To have or not to have

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Motherhood evaded me thrice. The fourth time I prevailed. By then, it had come down to pure probability – the more times I lost, the better my chances of a win. But it’s so tiring. Physically and emotionally. Once that need comes in, that need to create life and nurture it, little else can compensate for the absence.

Sometimes I feel it’s a very selfish thing, wanting to have children. I mean, the child didn’t exactly ask to be born, right? I wanted a child. Me. I wanted to be a mother. Ironically, once you do become a mother, somehow, you enter this whole phase of selflessness where anything and everything you do is for that little person who you brought into the world. Good one, God – we humans must be such a source of entertainment for you! 😉

Where am I going with all this? As usual, nowhere. I have a small presence on Instagram and my next photo there will be my 1000th. Since I’m such a sucker for mostly meaningless milestones (I originally wrote just ‘meaningless milestones’ but who can pass up a chance for a pathetic alliteration, eh? I can’t!), I will make a little disturbance in the otherwise calm surface that is my blog and watch how far the wave travels before returning to steady state. Given how cliched the world is, my 1000th photo will obviously be one of my son’s. I still haven’t decided which one. If you’re wondering why I spend precious time contemplating a photo on Instagram, well, don’t. It’s bad enough I’M wasting time, no reason why you should do it too.

Anyway..long tangent short, I was thinking about the kid and how much the husband and I have struggled to be where we are now. Being childless is like living with a constant pain that just won’t go away no matter what you do to distract yourself or change your surroundings or any of those things you’re told to do by people around you. Oh, as opposed to being childfree, which is a choice and one that I totally respect. And sometimes feel jealous of – you know, during those days when the son is driving me up the wall and it’s all I can do to not lose my cool with him and make things worse (what? I’m human. And I’m just being honest. I dare you to show me a mother who’s all chirpy and happy 24×7, 365.25 days a year. I dare you.).

So yes, getting back, I’ve been on the all sides of the motherhood scene – initially childless, then temporarily childfree and then a mother. Neither of those is an easy place to be in, trust me. If you’re childless, there’s this baby-shaped hole in your life that you can’t fill up. If you’re childfree, there’s all those uncomfortable questions and judgmental glares to navigate through at least till every aunty in a 500km radius and all your Facebook/Whatsapp contacts are sufficiently satisfied that what you do with your life is your business, not theirs. And if you’re a mother, well, it has its own set of challenges, the most difficult of which to deal with is resentment – that others get to do such and such thing while you’re stuck doing the same thing day in and day out (here we are both equal – the SAHM and the working mom) – and it’s never ending. For all of us.

Children. Why are they such a big deal?

Oh wait. The human race. That’s why.

But is that all? Instead of my neighbor and I having one child each, if my neighbor had 2 and I had none – the human race is going to do just fine, no? So it can’t be that.

Then what is it about having children that makes it so complicated irrespective of whether we have one or not?

Is it so we can see little photocopies of ourselves, ours to bring up in our own messed up way? But that doesn’t explain adoption or donor pregnancies. The lengths we go to or are willing to go to, no matter how painful, to attain parenthood.

And why do people look at it as such a bad thing if you decide not to have children?

I don’t know. Tell me, if you do.

Or let’s just wait for an epiphany.

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5 thoughts on “To have or not to have

  1. A child in a marriage is a happy marriage(social audit).
    A product of love(and not a, er, success of a probability).
    The most eligible person on earth to inherit your wealth(economics).

    Basically some tool to keep you tied down to the ‘socially prescribed format of living’.
    But why?
    Because the infidel of the above format will threaten society. The blog post is an example. They are a threat to our ‘us’, the society people.

    Oh yes, the society is akin to ‘the five monkeys’.

    regrets for the incoherence in the comment.

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  2. As you rightly said that being childless after marriage is a pain.We are going through it. People say only a child brings meaning to a marriage and I feel it somewhat makes sense. But sometimes after all those tiring hospital visits and n number of painful tests I feel why is it necessary to have a baby? Can we not enjoy our life as it is? Hmmm i dont think that is possible.

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    • I would disagree with anyone who says only a child can bring meaning to a marriage. I have a lot of friends who have chosen to not have children and they are such happy couples in a secure relationship. Of course, it should be a mutual decision.

      The wait is painful, yes. We went to the very edge of hopelessness. Even considered adoption. But I was not brave enough for that sort of commitment. So we gave it one last shot.

      All I can say is, keep trying. Accept the wait but don’t put your life on hold because of it. Above all, do not stress out. That does more damage than anything! 🙂 good luck! It will all work out, keep the faith. Msg me if you need someone to listen.

      Like

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