It has been about a year since I got married. I could go on and on about how fantastic married life has been, but fantasy isn’t quite the genre of this blog. Heh. I LOVE YOU HUSBAND!
On a serious note, marriage has been, for the lack of a better word, one hell of an experience. One moment, I love my husband so much that I never want to let him out of my sight. The next moment, I want to put him up for adoption. But all said and done, I am mostly happy. I think the real stress of being married comes from outsiders, rather than from within. Which brings me to the topic of this whole post.
Ever since we celebrated our first wedding anniversary, we have been inundated with that dreaded question.
When are you going to have a baby?
Before I continue, I need to include a huge disclaimer. I am OK with having my immediate family members and close friends ask me this question. I would answer them honestly. I would even feel comfortable telling them my reasons. They have been there through my ups and downs, and they have a right to ask these questions. But funnily, the aforementioned people hardly ask us this question. It is the ones who hardly speak to us, the ones who don’t quite matter, who take it upon themselves to ask and give unsolicited advice.
Sometimes, I think people don’t quite grasp what a personal issue this really is, and how the decision to have a child, or not, is that of nobody’s business but the couple’s, and here’s why.
These are all the reasons I can possibly think of, for why a couple does not have a child. Not going to share which of these is mine though. 😀
They might be struggling with infertility. Each month, a negative pregnancy test might just be filling them with dread. They might be undergoing really expensive medical procedures that just might give them a shot at having a baby. Every pregnant woman, every baby, just might be a reminder of how they cant get what they really, desperately want.
They might have just had a miscarriage. In which case, every question about why they aren’t pregnant yet might just be the one to push them over the edge.
They might not be able to afford it. This might come across as being utterly surprising, but there are people out there who want to only bring another human into the world if they can give him or her the best. And they might want to wait until they are able to do so. Would it be easy to explain one’s financial situation to another? I would hardly think so.
They might want to adopt a child. I have spoken to people who want to open up their homes and hearts to children who need them, without having to answer to the world about why they are adopting, and not having their own children.
They might just not want a child. Maybe not now. Maybe not ever. No one should have to have a children when they are not prepared for it. It really is their prerogative to make that decision. And that age-old argument about how they would not have existed had their parents thought the same really does not work. Their parents had a choice. They exercised it. They did not have a child just so that said person could come into existence. They had a child because they wanted to.
Each and every one of these reasons is a personal one. Some of it more painful than others. I cannot comprehend why someone would put another person through answering this question, of having to explain themselves. To the person asking, it is but one question, casually pulled out of their arsenal of stupid, pointless questions. But to the person being asked, it could mean much much more.
I have friends who have been trying for years and years. Friends who break down every time they go for a baby shower and people ask them when it is their turn. Friends who have given up because they can no longer afford to try.
And of course, the quintessential Indian labels of ‘Oh you don’t have a child after so many years of marriage? You must be a really unlucky person. Please come for my son’s wedding so that we can ostracise you and make you feel like dirt.’
So really, on behalf of all those to whom this matters,