As a woman who has joined the “30 club”, I am now used to hearing “when are you guys going to have kids?” “don’t you want an heir?”, “why don’t you two go and see a good gynaecologist?” and “who has issues?” . Most of these persons are not concerned with ‘flimsy’ issues like, whether a couple want kids?, whether they are mature enough to be parents?, do they have time for parenting?, and is it mandatory to have children just because two people are married?. Because most of them are not at all interested in, or believe in concepts like reproductive rights, right to choice or right to privacy.
Our country is a winner when it comes to population. There are already crores of starving mouths in the country. We are decades behind many countries when it comes to proper sanitation, health facilities, education, gender equality and many other aspects which are necessary to lead a life with dignity. Nevertheless, as soon as two persons get married, they are expected to give the news about “expecting”. It is time for third persons including parents, to stop expecting this from a married couple. But somehow, this is the most difficult thing to make them understand. Fortunately, my parents never asked me these questions because they know I am fully immersed in my career and in building a peaceful life.
But I have heard stories about numerous couples spending lakhs, just to give an offspring to the family. Tragic fact is, many of them are unable to conceive a child due to the stress of ‘not quickly conceiving a child’. They are silently burning in the agony “well-wishers” created for them.
Child churning factory:
Marriage is not a factory established to churn out kids; and children are not commodities manufactured to satisfy the ego or dreams of someone. A child is an individual with emotional and physical needs, who is incapable of conveying them unambiguously; at least in the early years. Therefore, unless and until people are not ready to have children, do not force them to be parents. Unwanted parenthood may not only ruin the lives of the parents, but also, may adversely affect the mental and physical development of the child.
Postpartum blues does not exist?
When a woman becomes pregnant she has to face so many physical and emotional challenges. Some mothers may also have to deal with postpartum blues. It is real. When a mother faces Postpartum Depression, another mother may face Postpartum Psychosis. People suffering from postpartum blues require proper care and attention. I have literally heard old ladies of the household criticizing a newbie mom for having “mood swings” saying this is just “nautanki” of modern women; and that there were no such things in their prime. First of all, their ‘prime time people’ did not have a clue about many things. Therefore, don’t compel “modern women” to bear a child when she does not want to. What is wrong with a woman deciding not to go through all these? And what is wrong with her husband respecting that decision?
Torture like treatment:
There are couples who find it difficult to conceive a child due to fertility issues. For them, Assisted Reproductive Technology is a great solace. But there are couples who just want to accept their infertility and don’t want to undergo any treatment. This may be because of the huge amount of money needed for the treatment or because they don’t want to go through the difficulties associated with the treatment or because they are interested in adopting a child or because of any other reason. Pushing them to spend huge amounts of money, making them undergo treatment and discouraging them from adopting a child etc. are nothing less than torture. All this in the name of “own blood”; simply to see the cycle of parenting being repeated!
An individual is entitled to decide, to not have children for any reason or for no reason at all. So please stop asking married couples about your “expectations”. Wish them good luck, and then “shush”.