Thursday, October 1, 2009

No (Kid)ding

I have always been pretty sure that I don’t want to have any children. I’m 29 now and maybe that will change as I enter my 30s and the biological clock starts wailing, but for now, I’m pretty decided.

Up until now, my reason for not wanting to have children was that the very idea of carrying a living thing inside me for nine months, that would kick my insides out, and the process of giving birth, sent shudders down my spine. I almost start hyperventilating when I spot a pregnant woman. I didn’t think I had it in me, physically, to go through the process of child birth.

While that reason remains, the place I am in life right now (late 20s), I see and interact with a lot of women, mostly my friends & people I worked with earlier, who are mothers. I read blogs by mothers. And I see that their entire life revolves around their child/children. Every thing they discuss relates to their child or involves him/her in some way. They have no time for themselves, to take care of themselves, do something they like to do, or to just be by themselves. The tea gets cold, they have no time to groom themselves, go to the parlor, get a manicure/pedicure/facial/hair cut etc. Of course, they don't seem to mind it in the least bit because the joy they get out of being a mother overshadows the need for everything else. Call me shallow if you will, but having time for yourself is important in order to prevent the build-up of a feeling of resentment later.

And the biggest horror of them all, their husbands are relegated to second place in their lives as the child takes center stage. They can’t indulge in an activity if it's going to be inconvenient for the child in any way, irrespective of how badly they want to do it. It could be something as small as going out for a cup of coffee or shopping, to traveling, taking up a new job or moving to another city.

In short, once you have kids, your life isn’t yours anymore – it’s your child’s.

I was reading a blog by a “mommy blogger”, a stay-at-home mom, who says that she often gets desperate for company & conversation, or to just go out of the house for a little while. If her kid is being cranky at a public place or annoying/disturbing other people, she usually can’t stop him because that is simply asking for a full blown-out tantrum! That hate it as she might, but she can’t help feeling cheated & repressed at times because she had to give up her career & stay at home.

Another “mommy blogger” accepts that her husband has become second priority since her son arrived!

Now, before parents start sending me hate mails, let me clarify that I am by no means implying that parenthood is a bad thing or that people shouldn’t have kids. I have nothing against people who choose to become parents. All I’m saying is that the concept doesn’t appeal to me. It doesn’t work for me as it does for most of the world. I’m happy for them, but that’s not what I want in my life.

I want to have the freedom to go for leisurely coffees with my friends whenever I want to, or to spend hours at a bookstore browsing through books without worrying about the child that might be hungry/cranky at home. I want to take off for impromptu shopping trips without having to worry about how much I’m spending because I have a child whose education I need to save for. I want to be able to travel whenever I want to, without worrying about whether I will be able to do it because I have a child. But most of all, I can’t bear the thought of relegating my husband to second position. If I love him enough to marry him, I would want him to be my first priority always. Very often, the relationship between a husband & wife disintegrates when kids come into the picture, often leading to relationships outside of the marriage.

I don’t want to live my life in stolen hours, stolen while the child is asleep or the grandparents are around to babysit. I don’t want motherhood to become such a part of my life that it overshadows all my other relationships – for there is no way to avoid that if you become a mother. And it will be unfair on the child to give him/her anything less than your very best, if you’re physically capable of it in anyway.

I want to keep the love for my husband alive always, keep making efforts to keep my relationship with him thriving.

I don’t know whether A and I will make it to where we want to go but I really hope we do because he’s with me on issues that matter the most to me – not having to change my last name after marriage, being financially independent always, being able to continue doing whatever it is that I want to do, not compromising on my freedom one bit, being able to care for my family like I do now (without obligations towards his family coming in the way), because, let’s face it, my parents only have two daughters. Not wanting to have kids is just one of the issues we agree on.


Mr Chamko said...

Fair enough!

i think its better not to have kids than to have them and treat them miserably. Infact, poor indians have kids just so that they can make enough money off the poor kid!

btw...are you married? I always thought marriages end up in kids and it makes complete sense to me as well!

Scarlett said...

@Mr Chamko - Not yet. And not all marriages end up in kids, though that's considered to be the natural progression. I know a few couples who've decided not to have kids for various reasons.

BTW...why this blogging name? What does 'Mr Chamko' mean?

Moonshine said...

I know a few moms for whom kids are priority but have not taken over their entire life!!! They still take care of their grooming.. do what they like.. i guess a lot is individual driven!! A lot depends on how you choose to lead your life!!