Baby no. 2? No, thank you!
Should I apologize for a decision both, my husband and I have taken? Should we have consulted you whether or not to go for another baby?
Irrespective of which part of the world you belong to, most everyone feels that another person's life is their personal business. It’s even more fun if the person is single. And it just gets better if the person is married. Need I say how much that joy multiplies when this person in question has had a baby?
I have been a lets-follow-the-blueprint person since I was a little human. I have pretty much followed my parents’ and teachers’ advice, took the road much traveled, finished college, went in for higher studies, took up a job—slight deviation from the blueprint occurred as I opted for media instead of finance… oh mighty lord!—and got married at the RIGHT time. Guess what, I even had my first (and ONLY) baby before the clock went ticking! Yes, pretty much the ideal, harmless bore.
So, now when I get asked when am I getting ‘preggers’ again or getting a little brother for my daughter or expanding from three to four, I feel like flipping out the right finger. But hey, I’m the blueprint child. So I won’t do that. I’ll just tell you politely, exactly why I do not intend to go for another baby:
- I don't see why I must have another baby: I have been married for 10 years now. We have an 8-year-old growing bundle of joy, noise, the eerie-calm-before-the-storm calm, confusion, clarity, all in one. We are happy. As happy as any other parents of any other such a complicated bundle. I rest my case. We don’t want or need another baby. Wait, did you just snort? No? Great!
- I have just about found my space: And I love it. At eight, she has just started doing things on her own. She doesn't need me for her bath sessions or to help her pack her bag, or even to wake her up. To be fair, she was quite a self-sufficient child since she turned five. But hey, till then I think I just faked sleeping. Call me paranoid, but I was CONSTANTLY semi-conscious even when I was supposed to be sleeping. One whimper from her, and I was awake and by her side the next second. So yes, there's a lot of catching up to be done.
- I'm done with pregnancy: I haven't had an easy pregnancy. The first four months were spent throwing up whatever I ate, smelled, felt or saw. The next five months were spent making up for all that I couldn't eat. The next 18-hours were spent enduring labour pain. Yes. 18 hours of labour. I think I have endured enough pain for two babies already. I rest my case. Again!
- I love my (almost) pre-pregnancy body: Shedding the 22 kgs that I'd gained in the last five months of pregnancy, took me over an year... an year of depression, anger, frustration, gymming, hurting, sobbing, over-indulging, starving, better-sense-prevailing, getting back to a routine of healthy diet and some exercise. Why would I go through that all over again? Last I heard, I wasn't a masochist!
- People have survived living a life sans siblings!: People have not just survived, but thrived without a sibling! Just saying! I have a brother and I love him to bits. I'd like to believe he loves me too (except when I 'forget' to return his books). But should having a sibling be a rule? So many of my friends have grown up without siblings and they seem to be quite well-adjusted in life. So, where does this need-to-have-a-sibling-for-your-child come from?
Don't get me wrong. I love babies. I really do. I have one too. I just don’t see why I need to keep making one, though. AND, what's the guarantee that once I have had another baby (absolutely hypothetical situation this), these 'well-wishing-acquaintances' won't start prodding whether it's time for a third one? Basically, what I’ve come to understand is, we need not panic or take it too seriously. It’s just a bunch of acquaintances, standing in front of a mother, asking to keep procreating. Shrug. Ignore. Repeat.
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