Chapter 4 : The Reluctant Mother


I’ve been going on and on about how I’m not in love with this baby. How I’ve hated the world since I became pregnant. Perhaps I’ve given out the impression that I never wanted to be a mother at all. Well, that’s not the case. I like kids. Kids like me too. I wanted a couple of my own, definitely. Sajjad and I would have a lot of fun thinking up baby names, talking about the games we’d play with her/him, keeping nicknames and imagining our life with a new one.

But here’s the catch—I just didn’t want one right now, so soon.

Don’t know about other places, other countries and other cultures, but here in India most people think that getting married=having children. Everyone expects you to become pregnant the moment you get married, if not the next day then the very next month, at least. Woe unto you if you want otherwise.

Relatives, acquaintances, in-laws—especially in-laws—will beat the crap out of your brains asking you about the “good news” and why it’s taking “so long”.

And if you tell them the truth—that it’s taking so long because that’s how you want it—then here’s the well-meaning advice: “If you keep delaying you’ll regret it later. There are so many childless couples who regretted their family planning afterwards.”

Ouch! That hurts. Hurts terribly.

So the more people keep bugging you about it the more you hate the idea of ruining your happily married life.

Yes, I said ruin.

A lot of people think that the only purpose of getting married is to produce children. Not me. Like I said before (Chapter 2), for me marriage is all about companionship and cherishing each other. Yes, you do have children, but –and let me write this in bold—IT IS A BY-PRODUCT OR A PROGRESSION OF MARRIAGE, NOT ITS PURPOSE. What I wanted from my marriage was for the two of us to have a lot of ‘alone time’ together, doing all the things we liked, having those perfect romantic dinners and romantic holidays before a third person came along to share every single moment with us. That’s something that would have happened eventually, but I wanted to have a lot of buffer time before that, so I could look back with satisfaction and think—“Yes, I did all that stuff I wanted to. Now I’m ready to welcome my baby.”

But that didn’t happen. And when the shell dropped, for some inexplicable reason, I got the feeling in my head that I HAD LOST AND THEY HAD WON. All those people out there who couldn’t believe that a love marriage was not going wrong somehow, that we were so blissfully married and my husband was not being the restricting, oppressing mullah they had imagined him to be; all those people who had been waiting for something to go wrong; all those people who had wanted me to feel trapped instead of liberated with my marriage, had won. THEY HAD WON AND I HAD LOST.

And that right there is why I hated the fact that I had an unplanned baby on the way.

I NEVER HATED MY BABY. I resented my pregnancy; I resented the whole world, but I NEVER RESENTED THE BABY.

I felt sad for her…or him.

Yes. I felt sad for this tiny, precious little being who ought to be in a happy mother’s womb, a mother who would be overjoyed to have her/him and would have a whale of a time thinking what fun it would be.  I wanted to give my baby that kind of mother.

I cared for the baby. But I couldn’t be happy.

(Read from the beginning)

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11 thoughts on “Chapter 4 : The Reluctant Mother

  1. I know it may be a personal question but what birth control method failed for you? Just curious, but you don’t have to answer if that’s too personal.

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  2. I know it is hard to believe but when i came to know about my pregnancy i too did not feel that kind of excitement. However, now things are different.

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    • Well, things are different for me too, now… but initially you find it very difficult tto just wrap your mind around the idea that you’re going to be a MOTHER…. that’s huge…. isn’t it?

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  3. I couldn’t stop smiling while going through your blog. Its the story of every married girl. I felt as if someone has pen down my whole thought on having a baby. Good job buddy. Still smiling.

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  4. HAHA very good one Zehra :).It seems to be a continuation of our discussion when we met last
    ;-).Waiting for the next part!
    I love this part esp:-
    Relatives, acquaintances, in-laws—especially in-laws—will beat the crap out of your brains asking you about the “good news” and why it’s taking “so long”.

    And if you tell them the truth—that it’s taking so long because that’s how you want it—then here’s the well-meaning advice: “If you keep delaying you’ll regret it later. There are so many childless couples who regretted their family planning afterwards.”

    LOL:)

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    • Hey thanks!!! yes, i remember last time when we talked….. and yes, we were discussing this only… thanks for reading! Oh, and sorry about the mix-up in my reply to your previous comment, I thought you were another Farah who’s my friend (hence the reference to TOI). Thanks a lot for taking the time to read and comment, makes me feel so happy!

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      • Oh ,that’s okay,I am going to read your next write up now.:-).Your write ups are awesome.

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  5. Lol..Zehra this was my mental state as well :D…so dont worry, even I share the guilt of not been overjoyed with the ‘good news’ initially!! Love the way you write, very well expressed! 🙂

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    • Subi Baji I can’t believe that even you felt this way…. and here I thought I was a freak!!! I’m so glad I’m writing this blog…. I can’t believe how many women have these conflicting feelings and yet everyone goes on and on about how a woman is not complete until she is a mother….thanks for expressing your solidarity!!! And thanks sooooo much for your praise…it means the world to me!!

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