I think I am one of the few ‘modern” women who find it totally “cool” to accept that she wanted to be a mother. I mean I met so many of my friends and cousins who would say “omg – who is going to clean a messy poopy bum!” and cut 2 – are pregnant within a year or two. I mean why women feel shy to admit that they would love to be a mother. Even though I harped for as long as I knew myself – that I would love to be a mother – I took 8 years to decide the right timing.
Yes I took 8 years after my marriage! 2 months before I found out I was expecting, I was discussing with two of my friends – one who had decided to not have kids at all and the other who was going through a messy divorce and was slowly giving up on the plan of having kids. I wanted to hear the nay-sayers POV too. My topics of discussion was why people have kids. Yes it’s cute to have mini versions of us and share the DNA with other human beings. But by age 32, you can rationalize and separate the cute from reality. I wanted to become a mother but I also wanted to know do I just want to be one because all of us are conditioned in such a way or is there a sense in it at all.
The Lame reasons that I didn’t agree on – who will care for you when you are old ( meh!), carry your name (WTF are you a royal person?), because we think we have to coz society aka samaaj, to experience the (short-lived) joys of pregnancy coz movies! Yada yada!
All species have an instinct to reproduce – it is one of our basic instincts as human beings. But as the only thinking beings – it is our duty to put a thought to it. So I put a thought to it. I made a list.
Things in my favour :
- My husband was good with having no kids. If we went ahead with having one – he was clear of having just one.
- My parents spent a lot of their grandparental love on my elder sister’s child so anything else was just a bonus for them. They were also pretty ok with us taking forever to decide.
- His parents didn’t pressurize either.
So the decision was solely mine.
Why do I want a child? I did make a list then. I don’t have it now but I remember my top reasons. Two came from my overthinking and one out of my romantic side of brain.
Nurture – the year 2014 is when I decided to have a child was also the year we shifted to a new apartment and I took up gardening actively. I found myself drawn to “nurturing”. I loved taking care of my plants. It did give me purpose after office hours. I have to admit – friends’ dogs gave me a big FOMO too. I wanted to have a being that I could call mine and nurture the way I wanted. I loved having spent time with my nephew who was still the cutest kid in the whole world for me. I absolutely loved listening to his tales coz adult world was starting to get boring. So I gave myself a tick there. I am nurturing and I love it. I love kids and I think I am ready to have my own.
Time – I wasn’t 22 or 42. I was 32 when I conceived and had him right before I turned 33. I wasn’t in a new marriage. It was an “old relationship”. By that time, I had spent 16 years with the same man and 8 years were spent in the marriage. If I had to procreate, it had to be with this man and the timing was right career wise too. I could take a nice long maternity break. I had done a lot of late nights and socializing. I was sort of in a comfortable space of wanting to stay more at home than going out mindlessly.
Love – As selfish as it may sound, I wasn’t satisfied with the love I was already receiving. I needed a selfless unconditional loving being that I could call mine. Nope – Spousal love & sibling love or friend’s love are all semi conditional or semi selfless. They all become conditional over a period. I realised in this one life you get, there are far too less opportunities that gives us surreal moments. When you are 15, you think you will get many such. By 20-25 – you do get them in forms of maybe first kiss or first time you had sex or a moment of extreme pride in some major accomplishment. But by 30, you know they are counted. You may not get many such moments. I realised that the romantic in me wanted to have that surreal motherhood moment. And I am so very grateful to this life that it gave me one such magical moment when my son was born.
Now it is extremely subjective what you call surreal. For some it may be travelling the world and completing the trek to the Everest or jumping off a plane for the adrenaline and for some it may be just this. I wasn’t much of a traveler –in fact an anxious traveler who over-packs. If you are at that junction of deciding of having a kid or not – make a list!
Remember all reasons will be selfish – to have a kid or to not have a kid. Selfish is okay. Be selfish and be honest. Only then bring a child to this planet.