Raising a child is not as easy as it sounds theoretically.Every mother and father will agree with me on this point.In my case, I am blessed with a wonderful girl, an easy child she is.Everybody tells me that she is very sensible child(touch wood), and I feel happy about the fact. Yes, she is naughty and a little trouble maker at times…but all kids are,it’s better that way right?
Years ago, just after my marriage I had attended a talk on parenting organised by the woman’s club in my Company. The speaker was telling about the reasons not to have a single child.The child might lack in social skills, might end up being spoiled, might feel very lonely, might not know how to share things and responsibilities etc were some of the points she listed. I remember somebody in the audience getting up and asking the speaker if she had kids. “Yes, only one and I do regret it” she had replied with a sincere expression.
I have a sister and have seen the familiar structure of two kids per family around while I grew up. All my friends/cousins had one sibling each and in some cases two. I guess the family planning motto of that time was “We two, ours two”. One could see this phrase carved to vehicle backs, bus stop walls, in ads etc usually accompanied by a sketch of four heads each representing a father , a mother, a brother and a sister.
My mother is one of four children and my father one of nine(if my math is correct). In both sides two kids were the usual norm I had witnessed in my generation.So raising a single child never crossed my thought. In all my family visualizations, there were two chubby kids.
But now that I am already a mother of one. I am hesitant. I am a working woman and often feel guilty when i leave my kid at the daycare for more than 8 hours a day. I had gone back working when she was 4 months old, leaving her with a maid.I sometimes feel she is not getting the attention that other kids of her age gets. After office work, house hold works and time I spend for my little happy things(very selfish me), all I get to spend with her is too little. I have the advantage of having weekends of and so try to make up for all the lost time during the weekends.
I know I will continue to work and earn until I have an chance because it makes me feel independent and keeps me occupied. I was lucky enough to be able to pursue my career even after moving to US. Deep in my heart I know that I will never be able to give up my job willingly, no matter what, call it my ego or selfishness (or my choice). So at this point I look at back my two kid visualizations and wonder aloud- will I be able to manage?
I am not sure if I will be able to. Currently I am battling to balance my life. I am finding myself incompetent to handle my child, feeling insufficient and novice.With more discipline and a stringent timetable I might be able to find more time. But will life be too mechanical then? Will the elder child feel neglected?Even if we take out the time and emotion factor, what about the resources?Education has become so costly nowadays. One of my friend just admitted her child to a prestigious institute in Delhi(in LKG of course) and paid 4 lakhs donation. The college fees are bound to go up. In the era of inflation , amidst rising cost of living , will we be able to do justice if we have more kids?
There is a famous line in my native language ‘The God who carved the mouth will provide for the food too’ and people reassure me ‘ Everything will turn out fine’ . But when I see families around me with mostly one child (or when some of them with two kids secretly confesses that the second was not planned for) , I can’t help wondering.
I love my sister and my I know my childhood and my life would have been very empty without her. I know having a sibling is like having a life long friend , a shoulder to rely on.I have seen how my Mother or Father reach out to their respective brothers/sisters when they have some problems.I cherish all those family re unions. I love how my husband and his brother call and discuss the pros and cons of every impending decision and I want my daughter too to have that someone special in her life. But like all other new age parents, I am worried if I am emotionally, financially ready or will ever be…….