Parenthood

The other day I was going through a newly posted album of a colleague on facebook. I usually never bother to check out what others are up to. I don’t know; my curiosity is always converging towards zero at any point of time about any individual, including people like exes. But then people like me are highly prone to making mistakes every now and then and driven by that reckless attitude I ended up looking at my colleague’s album of her newly established happy family. She looked very happy posing alongside her husband and her infant son, touchwood. She often rants at work about how her life has changed so much after having baby. Among many other incredible talents I possess this great trait of faking interest when I’m internally begging to be spared. So like other girls in the group I too pretend to appear to be absorbed in her amazing accounts of her pregnancy and post-natal days. And then I begin to contemplate.

I belong to a rare subset of people whose generic true reaction to any news of parenthood is, oh crap. Be it my colleague who captions the album of her new family as ‘my world’. Be it my senior who has got knocked up for the second time within a gap of six months and gone on next maternity leave. (This news gave me panic attack. I’m not exaggerating) Or be it my countless numbers of batch-mates and cousins who seem to be getting knocked up left, right and centre these days. Somehow I cannot bring myself into rejoicing in the idea of becoming a mother. Or at least, not yet. Or perhaps, never. I’m not a great predictor of human behavior, especially my own. For me every action must come with a serious justification to myself. So when I receive this very concerned head shake from people who are apparently losing sleep at night on a regular basis worrying over my future (read impending spinsterhood), I feel very confused. Why do I have to get married so that I can procreate ASAP? I can give you at least fifty reasons why I wish to see myself married someday but progeny is NOT one of them.

No I do not think a child is the best way to keep the bonding between spouses intact. If that is the case then I’m sorry, you have perhaps married the wrong person. And I know a lot of people personally who do not give shit about marital sanctity despite having offspring. No I do NOT think a woman’s greatest achievement is to become a mother and raise her child. There is nothing noble about doing something you have chosen consciously in the first place in order to fulfill your own propaganda that society has been brainwashing you into thinking was morally correct. So no thank you, I do not wish to bring a brand new human being into this messed up world just because I need to fill up some holes which are there perhaps owing to my own shortcoming as a person. And it is even worse to become a parent out of whim and then later fuck up royally.

I have seen my mother sacrificing so many things in her whole life in order to make her ‘world’ happy and content. And now when the pieces of her ‘world’ have started to set out in search of a world of their own she feels hollow every now and then. And that makes me extremely sad at times. My mother is not alone in this regard. Most of the people out there choose the path of parenthood even before exploring their own life to full extent. Or they try to use their offspring as tools to give a purpose to their seemingly aimless life. I wonder why. Why not wait until you are truly ready, but not when the society asks you to be? Why not fulfill that bucket list of your dreams first that you have been nurturing since you were a kid? And even if you never feel the urge to be a parent, what is wrong in that too?

A very dear one of mine has recently concluded that my aversion to motherhood might be owing to my own turbulent childhood and adolescence. Perhaps that hypothesis is partially true. But at the same time I know at least three women personally who possess similar opinion on motherhood as mine. All three are married and for a long time. And as far as I know, none of them ever really had strenuous relationships with their respective parents. As for me personally I guess I have become adult enough to take charge of my own life and my own decisions. It’s time to stop the blame game and accept that this is who I am as a person. My future plans include things like stressing over whether I would manage to get Chinese visa to explore Tibet, ever; not which school I would like to send my future kids to.

Of all things in life a person’s choice of being born is the most out of control one. So it is a crime to create a person and then fail to prepare them to live a life worth living. I guess it is ok if someone is responsible enough not to jump into such a mammoth task without giving it a second thought. Because parenthood is neither a compulsion nor a hobby. And hey, the world is already pretty over-populated.

Comments