Today, one of my labmate’s wife brought their 6.5 week old baby to lab. He was so adorable.. Such a tiny little baby, he was looking at the bright lights in our lab.. And people’s faces.. And then sometimes he would start crying when someone was holding him.. A few times, his mum held him and calmed him down.. It was incredible to see that he would calm down the moment he was in his mum’s lap.. And how she was kissing him with so much love.. They also wanted other people to hold him and calm him down because he would be going to daycare soon and they want him to get used to other people holding him.. All of us were just standing around the baby and observing him or talking about him.. Several people held the baby but I didn’t.. I don’t know if I was scared or if I didn’t feel comfortable because I’m not really close to this labmate.
After they left, I was wondering if I’ll ever have kids.. When I was 18 or 19 years old, I remember deciding that I wanted to adopt a baby girl.. At that point, I wasn’t opposed to having my own kids either.. In that phase of life, I was sure I wanted to have a daughter.. I was so sure that I even bought a birthday card for a daughter.. One day, a friend and I were browsing in a gift shop on our college campus, and I really liked a birthday card for a daughter.. I thought that it was crazy to buy it when I didn’t have a baby, but I kept thinking about it and actually went back the next day and bought the card. It’s a different story that I actually gave that card to my mum when my grandma passed away.. My mum’s birthday was less than a month after my grandma’s death, and I knew that she would be missing her terribly.. While the card was in no way going to fill that void, I sent it to my mum from her parents, saying that they’ll always love her and that they’re lucky to have her as their daughter..
Anyway, going back to my story.. I think my relationship with my mom meant so much to me, that I wanted to have a daughter.. To be able to share that same kind of bond with my own daughter.. I was also very clear about wanting to adopt because I feel that there are too many babies in this world who need love and family and a secure life..
Then, I moved countries and began living alone in the states.. Over the years, I became friends with many parents and read many parenting blogs and observed that it’s a lot of work to raise kids.. One aspect of it is just physical work and time and other such logistics, specially when you are an immigrant and don’t have family living close by for support.. Another aspect, which I think is tougher, is raising these kids to be responsible human beings.. I think parenting is the toughest job in the world.. You don’t know what to expect, there are no guidelines, each kid is different, and you are totally responsible for raising them with a good value system.. I think it’s also important that you and your partner are compatible and agree (at least to some extent) on how to raise your kids.. Moreover, I don’t want to be the primary responsible parent just because I’m a woman, I want parenting to be an equally shared responsibility.. Being a feminist, I know that it’s not going to be easy raising a kid in the patriarchal world that we live in, and I don’t think I can do it alone.. Through these years, I also discovered the biological clock and the risks of having kids after a certain age.. So basically, if I want to have kids, I don’t have too much time left. However, since I’m happy to adopt and may even prefer that, I don’t think the biological clock matters that much to me..
Whenever I see tiny little babies or toddlers playing in the park, something tugs at my heart.. I usually get teary eyed when I’m around kids.. Though I’m tempted to blame that on the kids.. Did you know that the presence of infants and toddlers leads to production of certain hormonal/ chemical responses in adults.. These responses generate emotional attachment and also induce these adults to care and provide for these kids.. I saw this in a documentary on adoption..
As I turn 29 in a few months, I feel that I haven’t really done much in life.. There are so many things that I want to do and see and learn.. I wonder if having kids would seem like a restriction or burden at some point.. And then I think, if I will ever feel ready to have kids.. I know that my life doesn’t revolve around having kids.. I have some friends who want to get married because they are sure they want kids soon and watch baby pictures and videos. I don’t feel as strongly but some days I do wonder how much do I really want kids and if I’ll ever have any.. I know that there’s no rush and I have time to figure this out, but I have been thinking about this today..
What’s your take on this.. Do you think having kids is too much work or a beautiful experience or both? Do you know if you want kids? Biological or adopted?