Cute little girls in pink frocks scare me, and little boys they make me nervous too…. Well, no I am not scared of little children or their smiles I am just scared of myself. When I see friends pull a little one’s cheek and gush “cho chweet” “OMG she is so cute,” I scratch my head and wonder if something is wrong with me, because I don’t get that excited when I see children….
After all ain’t I an Indian woman, children should make me happy and children do make me happy but I don’t know if I want to give birth to one (well, not as of now) but everywhere I go the message both subtle and direct is “You are incomplete if you do not have a child!” “Becoming a mother is the best thing that happened to me” “Motherhood changed me completely”….
When I married I was 24, soon I moved to the US and was at home all day twiddling my fingers. Someone suggested that I have children because that is the best thing for women on H-4 to do, well put your time to good use was the advice. But what if that is not what you want in life? So I decided to be the rebel and ignore what my fellow H-4’s were telling me, I just felt too young. And in hindsight I think it was the right decision. Despite having dated for almost 7 and a half years, that first-year of marriage was quite a teething challenge for both of us. There were moments when we both felt if we were wrong….did we rush into marriage….on my part it was “OMG, I never knew you asked your sis each and everything!” on his part it was… “OMG, I never thought you would get upset at such silly things!”
But a year later, wiser and smarter we both realized that we had stopped being friends and were becoming too much “husband” and “wife” we learned that maybe “Mr and Mrs.” was not a role that suited us well and started working on where we had left our relationship 7 and 1/2 years ago – we became friends again…
In my late 20’s my resolve not to have kids began to get stronger, furthered by the husband who did not want to have children either. However, everyone around us kept having children and we kept going to birthdays, help out with the decoration, help with the pack-up and at the end of every party we heard “Oh, we will return the favor once you have kids”….” the husband and I would give each other that mischievous smile that two children who have a special secret that nobody should know give each other.
At 28 I was convinced motherhood is not for me, and I never felt “less of a woman” or “guilty” despite people around me giving me at times subtle and at times more direct hints. But I guess, when you are younger and have a lot of conviction you are able to deal better with difference of opinion and do not get frustrated easily. However, what really helped was having my husband’s support – it was a decision that we both made together.
However, when I turned the much dreaded “30” they got to me….I remember one of my close friend was expecting her second child. I had finished my first year at school, when I went to meet my friend she shared her sonogram with me, kept rubbing her belly and told me she couldn’t wait for me to have a child and was wondering why I was not having children. I did not pay much attention, however, she was relentless in her suggestions. She later said that she knew a lot of people like me who delayed having kids and when they wanted to have children they never had. She was worried the same thing was going to happen to me – I had several answers in my mind that I could give her, which would have resulted in the end of our friendship but I decided I did not want to be as cruel as her!
That has to be the most cruel thing someone has ever told me. I guess, that is the moment when I started fearing all the “what ifs…..” I personally do not think that giving birth would help me determine or discover what it means to be a “woman” I think I am very much in tune with it. However, the constant jabs started getting to me and I wondered what if tomorrow I want to become a mother and I don’t become one!
I sat down myself and said Good heavens! The unthinkable is happening to me – they are getting to me. Who are they? Well, all the mothers….I cannot let this happen to me.
Don’t get me wrong motherhood is great – but it is not for me (as of now, as of today) maybe two-years from now I will think differently and want to have children, but today I want to be in your words “crazy and stupid” and not think about it….
Today I choose to be “myself,”…. Being on H-4 and not being able to find a job does not mean my I should put my uterus to use….If you decided to do so I am happy for you, I will lovingly plan a baby shower for you but can you respect my decision, just like I respect yours….
After all we are all women bound together by H-4!