A Child was the first thing that popped up in my head when I reached C. No, it’s not because I am very very fond of kids on the contrary I am not at all the kind of person who gushes and croons ‘That is such a cute little baby ‘ at some strangers kid. The reason this came to my mind because I am sick of distant relatives and other random acquaintances inquiring about when I am going to give them the good news? As if me having a baby is going to make a spectacular difference in their lives. Thankfully both my and H’s parents are not the nosy kinds and prefer to let us make our own choices. That is a relief because I don’t think I could deal with a bossy nosy MIL who would not let me live in peace unless I give her a grandchild. But my MIL is not the interfering one and prefers not to just talk about children though I know she hopes and prays for a grandchild. My mother on the other hand, knowing me quite well just says have a kid when you want it not because you have to. (I love her for that).
It’s not that I don’t like children. I do. But I am just not ready for the responsibility as yet. It’s been four years that I have been married but the feeling of being responsible adult has not yet sunk in. Most people think it’s time to have a baby because it’s been so and so years that have been married, or because their family and relatives want them to, or because they are financially ready for the responsibility. But for me there are a lot of factors to be considered before you take up the big step. I have done quite some thinking on it as I don’t want to be unfair to my kid if he/she comes into this world with an unprepared mummy. Like all other parents (or would -be ones) me and H want to provide the best for the kid , not just material things but a wholesome growing up environment.Thats the reason I have come up with this list of the factors to be taken care of before planning for a baby.
Sharing a few things from my list:
I think a stable and healthy relationship between parents is an absolute necessity for a child’s well being. I can’t understand how women with abusive husbands can ever think of giving birth to child and making it live in that unpredictable and violent environment. Women need to remember that their environment needs to be stable before a child is in picture. A child is not miraculously make everything okay. You have to do it for the child’s well being.
Parents’ constantly fighting and arguing is also very unhealthy for a little kid’s psyche. You have to be on the same page as to how you want to raise your child. You can’t keep constantly arguing about anything and everything. The child will not understand what’s going on and why the parents are constantly fighting. He will get scared and probably blame himself for his parent’s fights and that would make him constantly worry that one of his parents or both of them will someday abandon him.
I believe the key to raising a strong; healthy (mentally) child is to make him believe that his parents are a strong loving unit who love each other as much as they love him. So resolve your disagreements (at least most of them), sit and talk about your ideas about raising the kid with your partner so that you raise the child and look after it as a team.
This is a factor most couples think of nowadays. With the increasing cost of living, thinking about how secure you are financially becomes the need of the hour. When I was growing up there were not so many options when it came to schools. The parents who could put their kids into a good English medium school considered they had done a good job and left it at that. Nowadays there are so many boards ICSE, CBSE, IB, SSC etc. And the fees are mind blowing. The basic cost of education has gone up so much. One of my colleagues was talking about how her 3rd standard kid’s school fees were around 2-3 lakh per year. I was speechless. I did my degree course in less than that amount. So the thing is if you want your kid to go to a nice school with good facilities then be prepared to shell out a huge sum of money. There are other schools which might not have the fancy boards but still give a decent level of education but you have to take a chance there and not many parents are willing to do that with your child’s future at stake. So bottom line is financial standing has to be solid.
The whole financial thing starts right from the time you get pregnant. Hospital expenses, tests, prenatal classes, baby clothes, your clothes everything. So before planning a baby one needs to financially plan the future keeping in mind that there are a lot of unexpected expenses that might pop up anytime and there needs to be a plan for taking care of these as well.
Being mentally Ready
Now this point is specifically for people like me. Babies or kids are a huge responsibility. They need a lot of caring and nurturing and for that one has to put their needs and wants in front of yours most of the times and do it happily. You cannot get mad at a baby when it cries in the middle of the night and disturbs your sleep. You have to get up and take care of its needs. You can no longer just impulsively get up and go off on a vacation. Vacations have to be planned according to the kids school schedule and at a child friendly destination. You cannot go out partying late night or order junk food when you are too tired to cook. The kid needs to sleep on time and junk food or for that matter outside food is not healthy especially for a young child. You will not be able to just take a spa day when you feel like, or go out with your friends on a shopping trip without planning in advance. You have to plan something for the kids so that they are entertained.
Kids need you and they come first. They will make mess in the house, ruin your curtains, paint your walls, make noise enough to give you a headache, cry in the middle of the night and mostly turn your world turn upside down. It’s a huge sacrifice. You give up a part of your known world and enter into an unfamiliar territory when you get married but when you have a baby it’s like living on a different planet altogether. So if you feel you can handle your upside down world and live happily for that one sweet smile on your child’s face then you are definitely ready for parenthood.
One needs to know at least a little bit of what to expect when you are expecting. So research is essential. There are so many things as what to do and what not to do, simple tips which help in a smooth and healthy pregnancy. So I think do your homework first and play later (wink wink)
You have to have time for the child when it is growing up. Just providing him/her with all the material things is not going to help. You need to be there to listen, teach and inculcate the good values.
Whew!!! I know it’s a big post (I actually cut down on the last two points) but I really feel strongly about the whole approach towards parenthood. If you are reading this you must have read my whole post so thank you so much for bearing with me. Let me know your views.