May 10, 2009

Great expectations

Ah.. seeing as it’s Mother’s Day today (Happy Mother’s Day btw), I couldn’t have chosen a more opportune moment to write about this topic – that first child. This is a topic on which I’ve had various discussions with my friends. It’s no shocker that these days, unlike the past, people aren’t popping kids the tenth month after their marriage (for the international readers, having kids out of wedlock in India is considered illegitimate and is highly frowned upon). Instead they choose to get to know their spouses in new light even if they knew them from before. They discover living together, make plans for the future, including financial stability amongst other things in preparation of bringing new life onto the Earth. But that’s typical of this generation, I would imagine. Of course, I understand that there are different reasons for children being born as well - “accidental” babies and all those not-so-flattering instances when kids are conceived for a variety of reasons other than truly wanting them – to repair a marriage, caving to parental pressure, to become the center of attention,  to spice up the marriage by adding a new dimension, to name a few. Sounds bizarre? Believe me, I’ve heard about it happen, outside of the soaps on TV. And as much as it sounds like 10 months conception time is a decent period of time to prepare for the new arrival, unless you are mentally ready, you’re probably not. These pearls of wisdom have been given to me by the newer generation. The older generation steadfastly believes in the “sooner the better” strategy. And for them, reproduction formed the core of family life. In our day and age, we seem to have added a lot more dimensions to our personal happiness and satisfaction and I know while everyone would love to have a child eventually, no one wants them right away. For one, it’s too much of added responsibility to the already being married thing. And in the past, for us Indians at least, it seemed easier said and easier done because of the large joint families and the plenty of childcare experience that ran with it. The women were largely homemakers and had plenty of guidance from the mothers and the MILs alike and in fact had hands-on assistance from other relatives and maids alike. Raising a child was a family responsibility as far as it went. And consequently the dads just had to entertain the kids when they were in good humor while the mommies got stuck with the diapers (previously just loin cloths I assume) and 3 hour feeding sessions. These days it’s an even deal and the Daddy had better pitch in for almost every responsibility to make it easier on the typically working Mommy, considering that the families lived away from homes and with visa restrictions and stuff, it wasn’t possible to have help on hand more than a couple of months at a stretch.

Everyone can agree that this is one change that is truly life-altering. It is so important to respect the fact that you are bringing in a new life to this world that is totally helpless and dependent on you for everything. While in short thinking it might seem as an excellent camouflage to get that attention from the husband/family or to stop those incessant fights amongst couples or to even stop having those unpleasant conversations with the grand old ladies who tell you they won’t live to cradle their great grandchild in their arms, it’s the most important thing to realize that the child needs to be born(e) because you want him/her, not because of anything else. Listen only to yourself.

On a different note, Happy mothering to all my expectant friends. :)

This post marks the 500th for MindBlogging! Cheers, MindBlogging!


Vidhya said...

Nice post..
The one thing I would say is we probably don't know the circumstances of ppl who have a baby to repair a marriage or something like that..I feel the reasoning may misguided but if it works then good for them..Like maybe the one thing missing was a common goal and now you have one..So things r working out..
And frankly I think all of us want kids for some reason whether it is to carry your legacy, complete your family, so on..There is always a reason..Some reasons sound good and others don't..thats all..

Vidhya said...

ooh btw..congrats on 500th post

Jaya said...

Thanks Vidhs n I agree with yr views whole-heartedly.

Saumya said...

getting a lot of pressure from patti and amma?..:)..


Jaya said...

Babli -> Not in the least... This post doesn't relate to me at all

krish said...

Nice post. Kudos on the 500th post, Ms J! And Happy Mothers Day to all the mommies :)

Gandalf said...

Applause applause! Congratulations and keep our time passing.. (evil grin). On a positive note, can't believe you've had the patience(and the range of topics) to hit 500! Keep 'em coming!

PS: Ms Gandalf's a reader now too (and hence I can't, you know....) ;)

Radhika said...

Wow! 500! You are too good Jaya. I have so much to catch up on after my India trip. BTW, very nice Mom's day post previously also. Good work, Jaya. I love Mindblogging

Jaya said...

Krish, Radhika -> Thanks a bunch! You guys rock my world :P

Gandalf -> If the missus is reading.. shdn't you be careful about your comments too? :P Thanks for introducing one more person BTW..

And y'all, keep commenting n importantly visiting! Thanks :)

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