Oi! “Calm down”, you want to tell them, “hold your horses”. I mean one thing at a time right? Apparently not.
It seems that after every milestone, at that moment when you have just become accustomed to the latest change or development, some clever spark will always enquire about and prod you about the next step. In all honesty I have done it myself, often as a conversation point to fill up an awkward silence or something like that, and actually I think that is quite forgivable. On the other hand, there are some stone cold sincere questions that are posed by some very um…how do I put this… concerned and somewhat self-serving individuals also known as parents! I say this with the best intentions and no offence intended- parents (and general parental figures) are notorious for asking difficult questions such as these, at the most awkward and often silent moments usually in the presence of other judgemental parental figures in their generation.
My C-section scar still raw and my daughter’s eyes barely open, I remember being asked when ‘they’ could expect another child. And what usually follows is the lecture about:
“Don’t leave a gap too wide between kids” or
“You will forget all these sleepless nights; do it now while you are fresh” or
“It is not fair for you to have one child, 3 should be the minimum”- this one kills me every time, what with the minimum number already stipulated just so you know and also how unfair it is on them. LOL!
In their defence, they have valid points and yes it all comes from a good place most of the time. The timing of the interrogation is just off most of the time. In my particular situation this was exactly what led to me deciding to only have one child (still a talking point in my home). I felt that at a time when I was basically in the frying pan with a new born, I was being asked if I would like some paraffin poured on the fire.
There is a lot to consider when thinking of having your first child and also when thinking of having more children in the future. It is very personal and the onus is on the future parents to make the decision based on what they can manage in all spheres of their lives. We are living in very different times from that of our parents (The Baby Boomers). Financial structures and models have evolved and life is just more expensive for whatever reason; being middle class with 6 children poses a very different scenario on a couple in the 21st Century. I know I am looking to give my child…children…the best life that I can afford and the quality will not be the same as the number of children rises (exponentially if we grant the desires of our parents).
On the lighter side, there is some comical relief in being on the other side of the room and watching while the interrogation is taking place with another couple other than yourselves. I have witnessed this time and time again with one particular couple that are not particularly in a hurry to start a family- in fact I wonder if they actually have the desire to ever start one. They are always in the slaughter house; in the beginning they were always like deer caught in the headlights, unaware and startled. As the years have gone by, they have mastered the skill of giving politically correct answers and shutting down the topic at the onset of the first words uttered. What we could all learn from these two is the art of respecting the older generational concerns and desires, managing them and then at the end of the day, doing what is best for ourselves nonetheless.
Have you been pressured into starting or growing a family? Please share your story with us below.