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September 16, 2005

Why Baby?

I got a mail couple of weeks back from a friend asking my honest opinion on how a baby has changed my life, the downside of having a baby and if I would reconsider the decision to have a baby now that I have a baby!

Well, well, well! Indian women are sure coming to age these days! Imagine the same kind of thinking a decade or so back! Only the "villis in movies" had a similar thinking and you would be called a witch and be burnt if you even say something like this aloud to anyone! It’s not the case anymore and I really welcome this change! Rather than going about it mindlessly and adding to the already populated world, its better you sort out your priorities! But this does nt mean women don’t want children anymore! They just ask if they want it and just go ahead and have one (or two). Probably it will take another decade or so for Indian women to actually say "I chose not to have children"! Now, we are too involved with our family, we give in to social pressures and we really care what people think about us!

Coming to the question, I don’t think I can express myself correctly! I can say "It depends on the individual and the couple put together" and get away diplomatically! But I will try anyway! The first thought that comes to my mind is, you will never regret the decision if you decide to have a baby! One reason being we all have such enormous egos that we will never accept we made a bad decision or we are a failure! We will just make the best of what we have and go about it especially since it’s a decision billions and billions of people have already made, are making and going to make! So you are not unique! Also, the whole thing might turn out to be quite enjoyable and you might have one angelic baby in your hands!

Babies do change your world but that is because you change it willingly! I am not saying its easy being a parent in these days especially for a woman! It’s such a tough job that we start having renewed respect for our mothers and every mother in the world! What we thought was easy and simple will become the toughest thing we ever did! It still boggles my mind how things look so simple when you are not doing it!

Right from the pregnancy, things become difficult! Then the labour, a procedure which has nt changed since Eve gave birth to her baby! In this world and technology, you would think something would have changed to make labour easy and painless! But, no! That’s one thing God does nt want to hand over to us as yet or ever! And when you are physically battered and emotionally drained and hate the sight of your husband and keep asking the question "Why? Why? Why?" several times to yourself, there’s the new baby everybody is excited about except you and whom you have to feed and everybody is excited about that too except you! You read "Breast feed or die trying" almost everywhere you look and you try and try and try! If it’s easy for you, then you have one less worry!

If you have your mother or someone helping you at the beginning, life is a little easier! At least you don’t have to cook and there’s food when you are hungry! (Which is all the time!) If you are managing on your own, then I touch your feet! By the time you have got a hang on breastfeeding, you would have forgotten how the world looks outside and how fresh air feels like! Breastfeeding in public is a myth, if you ask me, especially if you are shy and easily embarrassed!

The only thing the baby knows is to cry and after a while you hear the baby even while s/he is sleeping and giving you a break for few minutes! You can’t take a bath leisurely, can’t go out without having to worry about a million things! Sleep is something you did in the past! Eating out was in your past life! Going out for a movie will be your ultimate desire in life! For the first three months, it is horrible! But the good thing is that time just flies by! By the end of it all, you are either used to all the stuff or life just gets better!

The first smile, the first laughter, the first time they roll over, the first bath you give them on your own, the first time they grab your finger, the times they baby-talk to you, the 100s of expressions they have already mastered - all these things make every struggle completely worth it!

You might ask "Why did I decide to have a baby" once in a while to yourself but it’s no different from the vain "Why did I marry" question knowing very well you could nt have got a better guy for yourself! Parenthood is also a very humbling experience! You become more tolerant and patient! The times you raised your eyebrows at babies crying and throwing tantrums and you thought the parents were doing a bad job, wait till you have one! Ha, ha ha! Life plays a very cruel joke on all of us!

And not to mention what your gene pool is going to unleash! Did your mother tell you that you were a difficult child, fasten your seat belts; you are in for a tough ride!
You are never prepared for this! You never know what you are getting into irrespective of how many books you read, how many moms you speak to! You just have to take the plunge! But just make sure you have a solid marriage before doing so! Spend a year or two and do the things you want to do just being a couple!

If you decide against having children, there will always be a nagging doubt whether you took the right decision all your life! (And there will be only million incidents to remind you about that) But if you do have one, you will never regret it! Yes, that toothless, gummy smile the baby gives just for you alone is worth everything in this world!

During the first trimester of pregnancy: Oh, I don’t feel any different! Life is great!

2nd trimester: Things are getting a little difficult, but not bad!

3rd Trimester: I can’t walk, I can’t sleep, I am always uncomfortable but it’s bearable!

Towards the due date: How long? I can’t wait for this baby to come out!

During labour: This is hell! What did I do to deserve this? I want to die!

After labour: Huge relief! Its over with!

Couple of hours later: "Adopt! Don’t get pregnant" advice to friends and sister!

Couple of days later: "When I meant adopt, I meant a puppy not a baby" advice to sister!

Couple of weeks later: When will the crying stop? Will life get better??

Couple of months later: Mommy, don’t go! Don’t leave me like this!

Sometime during the fifth month: A Second baby does nt sound so bad to me now!

Happy Parenting! :)


Anonymous said...

Hi Boo,

This one, although so true, had me laughing at many write the most normal things with a real comic touch ..The flow is
very good..


Anonymous said...

Excellent one...THis seems to be right from your HEart and very much True

alone in my dreams said...

great piece of write-up!

I call my 4 month ol' tyke 'boo'... inspired by the same cutie pie from monster's inc! :)

B o o said...

Lakshmi! Thanks again for visiting. Your comments mean a lot to me.

Anon! Thanks. I think every one has their own experience and a different take to such topics. Mine is this.

Alone IMD! Boo is a cute lil' thing, is nt she? I went by your site and am hooked. You have a great blog. Count me in as a regular.

Priya Arun said...

I'm glad I read this. Trust me, I am. Why? Well..I've been married for 2 years now and every family member who calls me up these days starts with 'So, any good news?' and ends with 'Tell me some good news soon'.

I cant decide which smiley to end this comment with - :-) or :-(!

Shammi said...

I am not a "villi" in a movie and I DID make a deliberate decision not to have kids. :) Dont get me wrong, I LURVE kids and get on very well with 1-5 year olds. Once they start getting attitude, though... well, you can return other people's brats to the hapless parents, but where would you return YOUR own brat? :) Yeah, everybody and their grandma have told me that "it's different with your own children, you wont get tired of them/want to send them back/run away without them/etc", but my question always is: What if it ISNT different? Dont want to find out the hard way, so I'm not a mother nor will ever be.

But I'm the "world's best aunty ever" to all toddlers! :)

Anonymous said...

Hello,I am a housewife married for 2 years and my hubby and me had postponed our plans of having a baby,we r trying to conceive from the past 5months,nothing has worked.It depresses me so much more so since i am not working I feel I am wasting my time and should have planned for a baby earlier on.Everyone back home asks me what I do to keep myself busy,I have no answer,I dont cal anyone no due to this fear.I am very sad,Boo can you give me some thoughts on this please....I need help and support.

B o o said...

Arathi - Why dont you mail me? boobabytalk at gmail dot com is the email id. Write to me.

Just Like That said...

Dear dear Boo, I'm hooked! I absolutely loved this post. It was so from-the-heart and sooo funny too. A wonderfully warm post.

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