>I’m 29. I’ve been married long enough to have children. But I’m not a mom yet. Does that look like a problem to you?
I’ve had kids around me since I was 14, when my first niece was born (remember, I lived in a joint family?). I’ve seen plenty of kids delivered and reared and I’ve never claimed to have felt anything like a mother to them, though they do seem to me like my own children. I have cried when my niece cried with pain the first time she was poked with a needle and I’ve cried with joy when I saw my newphew performing at his first annual day in school. I know I haven’t carried a child in my womb and I know I haven’t felt the physical pain of delivering a baby, but I can still understand what it must be like, can’t I? I can understand that it’s incomparable, because I’m a woman if not a mother. How can you not understand that?
To have people throw it in your face like it makes you inept to understand life is unfair. I don’t tell you that you can’t see things objectively because you’re a parent. I don’t tell you you’re blind to your child’s faults because you’re a parent. Because I understand how parenthood makes you what you are. If I can appreciate your point of view without being a parent, why must you negate my opinion because I’m not a parent?
I don’t want to get into the reasons of why after 5 and a half years of marriage I’m not a mother yet. But understand what stupid part of me would go around reading momblogs and playing with my friend’s kids. Understand when I take out time to reach out to my little nieces and nephews what it means. Understand that it’s not nice to be excluded out of things because I’m not a mother. If I can share with you the joy your child gives you why can’t you share with me what it means to be childless yet happy? No thank you, I do not want your sympathies, but I also don’t want your cynicism.
I have friends who tell The Guy and me about their financial planning and when we don’t agree with them, they say it’s because we are not parents. We are not, but we aren’t dumb either that we may not be able to envision a future with kids.
When I talk of my career aspirations, my friends tell me I won’t care for all these things once I’m a mother. Perhaps, I don’t deny the possibility. Perhaps not – how would you know? Are all mothers cast in the same mould? What if I do care for a career post-motherhood too – would that make you a better mom than me?
I tire of hearing how I don’t know what I’m talking about because I’m not a mother. And it hurts when a fellow blogger tells me she wouldn’t get what I’m trying to say because she’s a mum and I’m not. It hurts because it takes away from my argument not because my argument is weak, but because I’m not a mother.
I cannot look at my mother anymore without reading in her face the question mark of why I don’t have a baby. No, it’s more than a question mark – it’s disapproval. I have friends telling me I should think of having children even if I spend my nights thinking of whether I’ll last in this house another month. I have other friends telling me they sympathise with our parents because they aren’t grandparents yet. I have well-wishers telling me rickshaw-wallahs also have children even though they don’t have financial security and that there is some logic in it. And all this when I’m not even saying that I don’t want to children. I am supposed to understand why your lifestyle has changed because you have a child to take care of, but you can’t understand that I am happy with or without a child? Does that bother you – that we are so happy as we are?