Saturday, 20 March 2010

When to have a baby...

In India, having a baby within a couple of years after getting married is normal. In case the period goes beyond that, thousands of questions are asked by family members, relatives, nosy neighbours, and friends. Some will ask you if there is a problem, some will suggest remedies without even asking if there is a problem or not! Those who cannot ask questions directly would normally discuss you when you are not around and jump to conclusions.

Eight years of marriage and not a baby yet, there has to be at least one problem. Yes, I am talking about myself. I wouldn't say that too many people have asked me why don't I have a kid, but some have asked my mother and also suggested that she should convince me to have a baby. To that my mother completely shut them up by saying that she does not like to interfere in anybody's personal life. Thank God, that I have such a supportive mother to shut those stupid people up! Almost all my trainees have asked if I had a kid after knowing that I was married. Wonder is it compulsory to have a kid?! An ex-colleague once called me a DINK (double income no kid) couple with a hideous grin. What was itching her I don't know, chose not be rude so I did not respond. A couple of so called friends (read acquaintance) asked if I had a problem... well I didn't even know if I had a problem... I didn't care to find out because my husband and I did not want a child then.

What always bothered me was the mental set up of people. Why is it that that a couple needs to answer to questions asked by almost inconsequential people about plans of having a child. Why is it anybody else's business when it is supposed to be only the couple's business?

It's not always about a career, it's sometimes about the maturity of the couple that delays them to plan a baby. My husband and I did not want to rush into bringing a life into this world when we ourselves were not good enough to take care of each other. We just didn't want to have a decent career and have a baby. We wanted more time for each other, we wanted to travel a fair bit. We did not want to struggle all our lives and give up our aspirations just to please the society.

I am 3 months pregnant now, and I am thoroughly enjoying my break from work after 13 years. I am sure many people who know me have assumed that I have had major problems and I had to go through treatment to get pregnant. God and life have been kind... I had things happening very smoothly so far. And I know that with all the love and blessings I have got from those who care, nothing will go wrong in the future too.

Whether to have a baby or not have one should be a couple's decision and nobody else's. And, how and when they want to time it should again be absolutely the couple's business.

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