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Monday, August 3, 2020

Toddlers... off my back!


While globalisation brings along the possibility of dreaming bigger, it is also taking away the charm of ‘smaller’ things in life. Choosing to skip the phase of real responsibilities in life, a happily-married working couple shares their reasons of being child free by choice…
Issue Dated: March 1, 2009
Tags : Globalisation | happily-married | working couple | BRASS TACKS |Low fertility rate | Pro-baby policies | cheap health care | low-cost preschools | home care | maternity leaves | tax and transportation breaks | mid-thirties | nine months of pregnancy | full-time responsibility | standard of living | extra-curricular activities | bad parenting | challenging lifestyle | flame of passion | footloose relationship | robustness of a relationship | Swati Hora |
Toddlers... off my back! “We are happily married for over seven years and almost crossing the mid-thirties. People indirectly ask us at every family event (and even gynecologists have nothing better to ask!) about our plans to have kids or if we aren’t still bored of seeing just each other every morning. Embarrassed yet sure, we always say, kids... ya, they are adorable as long as they are a responsibility of someone else! It is fun when they are around but are not ready to pay the price of raising one or two of our own.

Apart from the terrible fear of going through the nine months of pregnancy, the pain and putting on weight to be fought with for the rest of the lifetime, there are two very broad logical reasons for it. We belong to a school of thought that if one brings a child into this world, raising him/her should be taken up as a full-time responsibility. This means that you raise your kid with a lot of love and give the child a lot of time, as well as resources as per the prevalent standard of living. With having a kid, one has to be prepared to shell out a good amount for education, extra-curricular activities etc. And, mind you, this cost only increases as they grow up and you age. And the repercussions of any compromise in all this will surely be seen in the future. So many scary things are happening in the world today which can be imputed to bad parenting. In order to make sure that none of it happens, you do nothing in life but juggle between the job that you once loved (and now do it because you need more money to fulfil responsibilities) and the home front (which was romantic once).


Low fertility rate is a big is

ue in the European countries. Pro-baby policies have been introduced to revive the birth rate and help couples balance family and career. Norway gives about 54 weeks of maternity leave where a woman is paid 80 per cent of her salary. In Europe, France has the highest birth rate. Highest numbers of French women work between the ages of 25 and 49 due to the ease of cheap health care, low-cost preschools – for infants as young as six months – subsidised at-home care, generous maternity leaves and tax and transportation breaks.
The next reason stems from the first one. Why should one go through such a thing when there is a lot of room for dreaming and aspiring but very little time and fortune to actually live it? We have found each other and we share a great understanding. There is so much that we want to explore in the world together with a carefree mind. The entire idea of constantly taking care of kids and spending all that you are earning to secure comfortable future for them or saving up for one’s retirement is so compromising. In fact, when we look around at people who have kids, we feel even more convinced about not going through such a challenging lifestyle. For that matter, there are so many couples with kids who envy our freedom and ease, the freedom of packing bags anytime for a brief vacation and the ease of not living in haste and instead having a lot of time at hand to nurture new interests and dreams, that too at any age.

Not that there isn’t a flip side to this choice. One, as they all say, during old age it feels really good when your grandchildren visit you or when there is someone who is concerned for you in times of trouble. The other one is what the experienced ones tell, that children keep the flame of passion ignited and render strength of responsibility to save it from becoming a footloose relationship. About the former, we can only feel sad. And in the case of the latter, the mere presence of kids cannot guarantee the robustness of a relationship. Besides, the reasons for stress increase.”
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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017