When are you having a baby?
These dreaded words are heard with alarming regularity even when you are just in the first year of your married life. I mean seriously, our Indian society can really drive you up the wall. First, it is when are you getting married? Then it is when are you having kids? No amount of grimacing, making a face, or trying to evade the question helps. It is asked again with a straight face. Any answer then is followed by unsolicited advice. I am sure most of us have faced this question. Some people even start dreading it.
Does this important decision need to be based upon a grandmother wanting to see the family name being carried forward before she pops off? Or because the ma-in-law needs a new distraction or because horror of horrors, it is time for you to have a baby! Now, what “time” would that be, and are you deciding it for me? I know one has to take the ticking biological clock into consideration, yet that cannot be a good enough reason to rush into having a child that you are emotionally or physically not prepared to handle yet.
It is sad enough that in our society no one really educates you about the huge responsibility that parenting entails. Giving birth to a child is just the first step and a very tiny one at that in the process of raising a family. From the moment a child steps into your life with its tiny feet, your world and routine as you knew it goes for a huge toss. Parenting is a life-transforming experience that requires both parents to be well equipped for the adjustments and the emotional and physical toll that the job demands. I really wish that there were some parenting courses that people could undertake when they are planning babies. I also wish that becoming a parent was not treated with such frivolity in our society. It is much more than just procreation. It is about molding a tiny life from scratch. Think about it; that is huge!
The least we can expect from educated families is to let the married couple first adjust to each other and also enjoy their time together forging their bond as a couple. Trust me this time never comes back. Besides, the best environment for a child to grow up in, is to have happy parents in their life who love and respect each other. Let the couple take as much time as they need to make their decision on their own without pressure or interference of any sort. And, bad marriages don’t get better with having a kid. That’s a really pathetic ruse to get a couple battling domestic issues to add to those issues and bring a hapless, unloved child into the world.
As a parent, I enjoyed the freedom of making my own decision to have a baby and then two. I think once we take the responsibility of the decision and are better prepared for it, parenthood can be a joy with strings of experiences that can be cherished. There is loads of fun coupled with tears and toil in this journey called parenthood that every couple must experience it at a time of their choice.
So, the next time you are itching to ask a newly married couple when they are planning to have a kid, think again! Remember sometimes even a harmless query can add to the pressure that their families are already exerting upon them. Be sensitive because they may be having problems conceiving, and may not feel comfortable with your probing. Besides, it really is none of your business. Let us all ensure that being a parent is a CHOICE that everyone makes out of their own free will.
Rachna Parmar is an avid blogger, a passionate cook, fitness enthusiast, loving wife, and mom to two feisty sons and a Labrador! She is also a Freelance Content Writer and an entrepreneur. She co-owns her startup, Tranquil Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Reach her at http://rachnaparmar.com or @rachnaparmar her twitter handle.