Kids.. maybe a future possibility.. or not!

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?

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5 Responses to Kids.. maybe a future possibility.. or not!

  1. Tatsat says:

    I admit at the outset that am biased as far women’s take on adopted babies go ( most of them talk affirmative but do nothing afterwards), but that aside I think its a big responsibility. Very risky as well, given the fact that most of those from our generation are proving to be worst parents ever. True our parent’s generation were not that knowledgeable but they did have priorities. Now, we folks are more about putting up our baby clicks online and talking to kids in English than actually becoming a good parent. I mean why the hell would you talk to a kid in English when Chomsky talked of primary education in mother tongue! This is just an example…

    So, my verdict would be that it is a big deal if you CHOOSE to become a parent. If it happens by accident ;), or ignorance :better stay away, because it will probably spoil generations.

    And of course, adopted babies are the way to go. If you can, that is. One of the reasons my close friend divorced (almost) her 3 year old husband was because of this. Where the world sees obstinacy, I see conviction…

    • kinmin says:

      Hey Tatsat! This is an interesting comment!
      I am curious about a couple of things: You mention that women usually talk about adoption and don’t implement it in their lives.. In your experience, do you see both men and women interested and mostly the men following through? Or are women mostly interested in adoption and don’t follow through?
      The reason I ask this is because I have come across many women who are interested in adoption, but end up not doing it because their respective husbands are opposed to the idea.. I think it’s unfair to judge a group of people for a decision without trying to understand the reasons (personal and societal) behind their decisions..
      Secondly, about the friend you mention, I have to say it takes a lot of courage and conviction to stand by your beliefs and principles. I wonder if the couple ever talked about the question of kids (adopted or not) prior to getting married? Also, if one is satisfied/happy with the relationship overall, would they separate based on this one thing?
      Finally, about being a good parent, I feel that most people don’t even realize that they have the choice to have kids or not.. And many in India almost don’t have that choice.. The example you give, of parents talking to their kids in english and sharing pictures, I think it’s a combined effect of ignorance, social media and the rat race where everyone wants to show off.. For example, the parents may not even know about the benefits of primary education in mother tongue, and think that this is a better way to raise their kids..
      I do agree that it’s important to make a conscious decision to have kids and be a good parent, but I feel that parenting is such a tough job and most people are trying to learn on the job and do their best!

      • Tatsat says:

        First- the post is about a woman pondering over the question of adoption. And my observation, that they don’t follow the usual jibber jabber with the act, is not contingent on what men do. Its a standalone fact of truth. That apart, I don’t think men talk about this much. At least, not those who I have come across. They are nobody to make that kind of decision either, because in my opinion their role is limited to setting a role model for the kid. It is the mother who, I believe, has all the right.

        About men not being supportive : they are never supportive to this idea. Very rarely do they seem to endorse this notion. They will go to great lengths (babas, IVF etc) but will probably never go for adoption. But again, if a woman is has even a shred of conviction, she should factor that in choosing her husband. If she doesn’t, she can’t claim to hold the moral high ground. So, no. I don’t personally care what someone intends to do. What she does is what she actually is…

        My friend’s case: no, I don’t think she did. And no. This was only “one of the reasons”, as I mentioned in the first comment. She has commitment issues. What makes her unique, and respectworthy is the fact that she chose to walk out of a comfortable life when all my generation does is marry for salary slips. That, calls for respect.

        About parents not knowing: that excuse works for those who make efforts, but not for those who… let the nature take its course. I have this friend in Sweden who took baby classes for months, read baby literature and even attended some seminars by eminent child psychologists. If she misses out on something, I think thats ok. But someone not making any effort other than shopping for baby clothes, can’t claim innocence /ignorance.

        That is an exceptionally weak premise. Something like child rearing, cant be based on “doing my best” statements , without doing a thing.

  2. I have the same opinion about having kids. Maybe I will really want them in the future, but as of now, if I don’t have kids, I wouldn’t be too sad. But yeah, we evolve and opinions change. I get scared at times about how I like animals and want to work for them way more than kids. Most of my charity is for old and hurt dogs.
    Also, the whole responsibility part is scary yaa. I don’t understand how people keep having kids to give them a mediocre life rather than a couple and giving them the best upbringing. We seriously don’t need any more jerks running around when the earth is also splitting at its seams! 😜

    • kinmin says:

      Yes I think the biggest lesson that I’m learning in life is ‘we evolve and opinions change’.. It’s a good thing that you care so much about animals and want to support humanitarian conditions for animals, not many people do that!
      Yes the responsibility is what I find the most scary.. I feel like parenting is something you can’t just quit because you can’t handle it! And yes, we definitely don’t need more people on this planet, but I doubt anyone’s listening! 😉

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