Maybe I am being too honest and writing this post too soon. Or, maybe not. Since I don’t assume things to change in the near future, I hope to save this till eternity. It has been almost 5 years to our marriage and being child-free has left our neighbours, maids, relatives, laundry guy, cleaners, nieces ... devastated! Everyone we meet looks at our ‘empty’ life with sympathy and tells us how they would be ‘praying’ for us. It is ironical that the same woman who will be ‘praying’ for us adopted a child and now regrets doing it because he is not a genius. Shameful - that is all I have to say.
Anyway, children are amazing. I love to play with them. I respect and admire people who bring up these little ones in the best way possible. I love my nieces and nephews to bits and look at their pictures a whole lot. I love my friend’s children and aww when they call me maasi. I don’t know if they will love me when they grow up to be teenagers, but I am sure I will love them till the day I live. Love without possess - that does make me feel like an angel though!
Does that mean I am dying to have children of my own? No, not at all. I live in a very small country which probably has the most comfortable life in the world. It is as good as living in India without having to deal with traffic, inflation, relatives, the works. We have contemplated moving out a lot of times just because we have become too complacent in life! The sample of population that I have in front of me is of married couples in their 20’s or 30’s with a lot of disposable income and free time. Everyone seems to be happily married and has kids. So - no bachelors, no divorcées, and certainly no couple without a kid.
That leaves us with no choice but to dodge the question. We are clear in our heads but to explain to everyone is a task. Now the Boy has always been someone who cares a damn about what people say. He is very vocal about his thoughts and I admire the brave rebel in him. But me, I have views that I am scared to share. I hate to go against what is considered normal. I am slowly learning from him how to stand up for what I truly believe in. It is a process that would take its own sweet time.
That brings me to the reasons for our decision. Are we selfish? Are we scared of responsibilities? Do we have health issues? Do we wish to travel without any guilt? Do we wish to save all our money just for ourselves? Do we think children can make us miserable? And again, are we selfish? – Yes, all of the above.
At first it was only one of the above. But over the years we have discovered all the more reasons not have kids. I would not say that I never think about it. I do. I do think and talk about it a whole lot because I want to have a life without any regret. I don’t want to feel 10 years later that we should have thought it through. I speak to the Boy every now and then. I read blogs and memoirs of people who don’t have kids. I read about parents who are miserable. And then there are those who think kids make their home lively and bring new meaning to their life. Not only that, I also read hateful posts by people who think our sole purpose on earth is to reproduce. The more I talk about the issue and read about it, the better I feel about our decision.
Only recently, the Boy said that if we feel the need to have a child after 5 years, we have the option to adopt. I was surprised because I thought he was against the idea of adoption. Then I told him that my mother feels it is better to connect with a charitable organisation which would take care of several kids in the same amount of money that we would spend on raising just one child. He liked that idea too.
And so, if we feel the need, we would do just that and not over-populate the earth (with no offense to people who don't agree with us!). We would try to romance all our life. We would splurge on our nieces and nephews and be the best aunt and uncle ever. We would travel the world and show-off several passport stamps. We would indulge in random dancing and singing and playing at home to keep it as lively as it already is or could be if there was a certain baby in the house.
There is no doubt in my mind that innocent antics of children bring happiness to your home. But if they are the ONLY reason for your happiness, then you have a problem. Not us.