I opened the gift wrap and saw a beautiful poster of a woman and child running towards each other on a beach. At any other point in time, this would have made me really happy. It was a beautiful picture, but at this point of time all I could do was to throw the picture on the bed and continue packing quietly!
Let me give you a bit of background information about myself so you understand exactly as to what is going on.
I am Tarisha, a 32-year-old. I got married to Akash a couple of years ago. Both of us are busy IT professionals living and enjoying life in London. We have a beautiful home, two cars and all the luxuries that life could offer. We don’t have any children yet.
Since I got married, the question on everybody’s lips has been “Any good news?”. Initially, I would answer saying “I am alive and that is the good news for today!” As time went by it started getting on my nerves. I guess now you get an idea of why I threw the lovely poster on the bed. If you still didn’t get it, then read on.
Maami wasn’t impressed by the way I was behaving so she decided to confront me.
Maami: Tarisha! Why are you throwing the poster on the bed?
Me: Maami, in how many other ways are you going to tell me that it is high time I have a child?
Maami: I am not going to stop till you have a child. Do you know how your parents and parents-in-law feel about this? Have you ever thought about them? Why don’t you have a baby? If you think it is difficult for you to raise the child because you are working you can leave the child with your parents or in-laws. Your biological clock is ticking and you might not have much time. It is not good for a woman to have a baby in her thirties. Also, you get an interest to live only when you have a child.
The house was full as we had all returned from a family function and I was packing my bags to head back to London the same night. I noticed that everyone around me was listening to this conversation. I had to react quick and I had to do it the right way. I thought for a minute and then started talking…
Maami, from the day I got married everyone has been talking about a baby. Has anyone thought about what I feel? I want you and everyone else in this room to listen carefully… I am telling you now, stop doing this to me or anyone else. If a couple does not have babies it can be for thousand different reasons. Maybe they are not ready to have a child, maybe they are scared and worried if they can be a good parent, maybe they are not ready to handle the addition of one more member financially, or maybe they are trying but there is some sort of physical problem that they have… there can be a million other reasons and they don’t want to share it with everyone. By asking them constantly why they are not having a baby are you not putting them in an embarrassing position? They would share it with you if they think they should, why ask?
Suni akka here, had to go through fertility treatment before she could have a child, imagine what she would have gone through the first five years when everyone asked her if she was planning not have children soon.
Maami if I would get an interest in life only if I have a child then you mean to say I have lived the past 32 years without any interest in life? I love life more than you can imagine. I cherish each and every moment of life.
I have seen couples who have had children in the first year of their marriage for the sake of having a child… just to prove that the women are capable of having children and the man is not impotent. But they seem to be so busy in life that they have no time to enjoy the first smile of their child or the first step the child took to avoid the guilt factor they give the child anything the child wants and spoil the child rotten! To add to this, I’ve even heard of couples say “When I come back home, I am so tired that I don’t care what the child eats or whether it sleeps, I am only worried about my food and sleep.” Do you think this is interest in life? I don’t want to be one of those couples. I want to have a child and cherish each moment with my child.
And I have some news for you and everyone here. We have decided not to have our own child, instead we are going to adopt two lovely children from “Helping Hands”. That is where I went yesterday without telling anyone. Motherhood is not about having your own child and loving it to death, but being able to love any child as your own. I know I should not have announced it this way, but none of you gave me a chance.
Now I am going to take this poster and find a real expensive frame for it and put it in my living room because it is lovely and I like it… if only the picture had two children instead of one, it would have been perfect!
There was pin drop silence in the house as I finished speaking. I turned around and continued packing as though nothing had happened. The next minute a soft hand touched my shoulder and I turned to see my mother and father standing in front of me. The two of them gave me a hug. The hug said what they hadn’t said, that they respect my decision and stand by me.
I might have been a bit hard on Maami, but I am sure she and the rest of them would understand and not bother anyone with the standard question “Any good news?” ever again.