“Children don’t need time”

“Just have a baby, put your child in a creche, and continue with what you were doing before you had a baby. That’s what I did…” That’s  what a friend said to me in an effort to pressure me into having a baby!

I just stared at her in total shock. I could see how neglected her child was, and was horrified at her advice.

As I write this, I’m a married woman in her 40’s who does not have a child. I have never been comfortable discussing ‘why’ I don’t have a child with anyone other than my family, doctors on a ‘need to know’ basis and a few trusted friends! So, mostly everyone does not really know the ‘why.’ I feel it’s a private matter and have, unlike a lot of other Indian women, always had the support of family in this.

Up until a few year ago, I’ve been accosted by people who want me to have a baby. I use the word ‘accosted,’ because they were generally very rude and angry and sometimes even offensive – ‘Who will look after you when you grow old” was their trump card, when all other attempts failed.

“You don’t believe in God that is why you are able to accept that you are never going to be a mother” from a neighbour who was upset that I wasn’t depressed about being childless!

I’ve had a family connection – a grown man with college going kids call me up and shout at me on the phone for not having a baby! … I’m putting this down to stress from his family problems!!

I’ve been to a funeral, standing battling emotion, paying my respects to the family of the deceased and been cross-questioned one of them about being childless! …. maybe some kind of mental instability could account for this ??

I will not mention the advice that I should try IVF (in-vitro fertilization) – something I personally disapprove of, because I feel the risk of birth defects or health problems for the child, with IVF and an older mother are much higher.

I personally think that if the God’s meant for me to be a mother, they’re powerful enough to make it happen. If they, in their wisdom, think otherwise, I will be grateful for all the other joys they have given me, and not ask for more.

I have had one caring friend tell me that her children are one of the greatest joys and also the greatest hardships of her life. And that despite the struggles she is grateful to have been blessed with her kids – that children need time, love and attention, and parents-to-be should know that and be prepared for the joy and commitment of being parents, before having children.

I think she had it right!

 


5 comments

  1. I clicked on your link in Opinionated Man’s post and I’m glad I did!
    I can’t believe some of the comments you have had to ‘endure’! The first comment about just ‘continuing what you did before’ is such a sad way of looking at parenthood for the child. Wonderful attitude you have 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Kellie. Actually, almost all childless women here face a lot of pressure to have a baby. In most cases from within their family – their own parents and in-laws and other relatives. I’ve been lucky, because it’s not been from within the family. In fact, my family (my husband and both our immediate families) have been totally supportive.

      I find the really big things in life find you when they must, so I’ve not had any major issues coping with the fact that i don’t have a child. But have seen other women, sometimes desperately trying to have a baby and anxious that it’s not happening, having to deal with this kind of behaviour and people who meet you constantly asking if there’s any ‘good news’….!

      It’s quite crazy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am in my 40s, married for 17 years, and am childfree (as opposed to childless, which somehow implies I am lacking) by choice. I used to get a lot of the same questions and “gentle” prodding to have children. I wonder if people would appreciate the same intrusions on their own lives as they make on ours when they say such things. I do find that it is becoming more acceptable, at least in the US, to choose not to have kids. At the end of the day the journey is yours to take, or not to take… Great reading this post!

    Liked by 1 person


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