If you’re married for a while and are without a kid, then you must have come across people asking you “When are you planning for the next big step?” or “Isn’t it about time you two had kids?”. No matter how well-meaning someone is while posing the question, the fact is it is a personal question that is borderline rude and intrusive. Especially if you’re not even that close to the person you’re asking the question to. Maybe it had been the custom to get married and have kids soon after, till a few decades ago, but hate to break it to you times have changed now! For females, life is not only about getting married and having kids today. Women across the world, including India, are involved in all sectors of work and many would prioritize their career over having a baby at a certain juncture of their lives. If a woman decides to delay the plans of having a baby or even decides to not have a baby at all, it’s her call.
Since time immemorial, society has thrived on double standards. No, we’re not kidding. It’s time to call out the ridiculous expectations women have to meet in society to be considered “honorable” and “settled”. Let’s start with women in their 20s. The minute they hit their early 20s, they are bombarded with questions about their married life. “When are you getting married?”, “Don’t wait too long, or you won’t be able to have children!”. If you’re a woman in your 20s, you would have probably heard these statements more often than not. First, society pressures you into getting married early, even when you don’t want to, and sadly, the pressure doesn’t end there. After marriage, society expects you to have a baby and keeps pestering you with that one annoying question — “When are you getting pregnant?”. And all we’d like to say is STOP!
What’s It To You?
Firstly, it’s none of your business! So, maybe don’t poke your nose where it doesn’t belong? Yes, it’s super blunt to be saying that, but women have tried being polite for generations now, and it clearly hasn’t worked. They still have to answer these foolish questions and are expected to embrace motherhood whether they are ready or not. So, maybe, just maybe, being blunt will do the trick!
Unlike early days, women now have the opportunity to pursue a career they love. We have the capabilities of being world leaders and the ability to shatter glass ceilings. We might want to have kids soon after marriage or decide to wait for a while. We might want to have a baby with someone we love or become a single parent. Or, we might not want children at all! Either way, it’s not up to you to decide when we have children or not. So, BACK OFF!
Have you ever come across anyone asking a married man when he’s planning to have kids? Why does society uphold these regressive double standards even to this date? When will it change? While several women (and men) are fighting for equality, there is still a long way to go before men and women are seen and treated as equals.
Being A Mother Is A Choice
The idiotic notion that the true purpose of a woman is to bear children is beyond outrageous. As women, we have many goals and plans for the future that don’t align with society’s expectations of us, and it’s extremely unfair to be shamed for it! Today, from corporate to social work, administrative to entrepreneurship, women are excelling at it all. Every woman has her own purpose, not something that society or family dictates her to. The notion that women shouldn’t work and instead stay home and look after their families is antiquated. Not only are women achieving great success in their careers and professions, but they are also juggling household duties along with it, which calls for society to appreciate them instead of constantly criticizing them.
Being a mother is a choice. It is not a woman’s ultimate goal and definitely doesn’t make you a “complete woman”. People often say that motherhood is fulfilling, and yes, we agree that motherhood can be fulfilling. But not when we’re not ready for it. Women finally live in an era where they have a voice, and society’s expectations or nosy questions aren’t going to stop them from making a mark in this patriarchal society.
We don’t mean that choosing to be a mother is wrong (of course not). But we wish that every woman chooses motherhood and not get forced into accepting motherhood. It’s a choice, and it’s your personal choice! So, don’t let society brainwash you into thinking that you need children to live a fulfilled life — YOU DO NOT!
What To Ask Instead
If you’re someone close to the person and just want to know more about her life, you could ask her about her work and what her big goals are. When asked about this, the person would gladly answer since we all love to talk about what we are passionate about. It would be a better conversation over the “having kids” talk any day.
At times, some women are also going through complications that might not allow them to conceive. Asking about their plans to have a baby at such a juncture would be causing them much hurt and awkwardness. This is something that also should be kept in mind before posing such personal questions to people.
Remember, dear women, the next time someone asks you about your plans to be a mother, tell them that maybe they should have one, so they can stop interfering in your life. Call them out and let them know that you are fierce, strong, and will not take regressive mindsets seriously. Follow your passion and continue to paint the town red. Break stereotypes and glass ceilings, and most importantly, pay no heed to society’s questions! You do you! Have you ever been harassed with this question? We would love to hear your story! Share them with us in the comments below!