By: Reenita V
When you are a 30 something women, single and no prospect of a marriage or children, you get put into the lime light, especially when you are surrounded by friends and more so when you are surrounded by family. I found that in the last ten years, while I have focused on my life, career, education and personal growth, people were more interested in when I am going to have a baby rather than the accomplishments made thus far. I find it incredibly difficult to navigate those conversations, especially when they involve older generations and I have this sneaking suspicion that I might not be alone.
Growing up, the consensus was that after high school comes college, then love, marriage and a baby carriage. This plan played out for aunts, cousins, uncles and friends – marriage and babies were always the end game. This idea seems to be heavily imposed by our community and it works for some but where do the non-baby makers fit in?
Let me start off by saying that I do love babies, especially when this baby is a new family member. Having a new addition to a family is a beautiful reminder that we come from a community that truly works together to ensure the wellbeing of each member. I loved being involved with such a large family. In the Western culture, family stops at the parents and children, in our culture, it goes way beyond that. Contributing to the grown of the family is a huge accomplishment of itself but I have decided that it is not for me, at least not at this time in my life.
I envy the dedication and patience displayed by my parents, grandparents and family members and friends who do have children. I also respect those that have chosen an alternate path. No matter what your decision is to not have children, it should be respected and not questioned. You may voice your thoughts and wishes and receive backlash at least this has been the case for me when I have expressed myself to family. If you find yourself secretly wanting to step away from these expectations, I am here to tell you that you are not alone.
Would it be too far fetched to create this awesome support system for South Asian identified women who want to go against the imposed ideas of what their futures should look like? I think not. Not wanting a baby does not mean that you hate kids, your parents, and your culture. Not wanting a baby is a choice each women is allowed to have.