25 January 2011

Second Child


What is the right reason to have a second child? Sometimes, I find Tanvi is so lonely, I feel like going for a second child. I have seen her smothering other kids & babies with so much love that, I feel she must be missing a companion. She longs for company, maybe that’s why she does that. Whether the child is older or younger than her, age doesn’t seem to matter to her. As long as she has someone to play with, she’s happy to be with the kid for hours & days together. I play with her too but it’s not the same. Two children playing together & a child-an adult playing is very different.

I went for the first child for two reasons. One, simply because I became pregnant without trying. Two, I wanted to experience motherhood first hand; right from the conception to the entire term of the pregnancy to the labor & the delivery. This is one & the only experience that is reserved just for women. In my next life, if I am born a man, I will miss out on it. Also, this is one of those beautiful things you can’t buy off the rack. No matter how much money you’ve, or how many degrees you’ve earned, or how hard you’ve tried, no matter what, you can’t be a mother (biological) unless God wishes you to be & at the time He wishes it to happen. It is entirely in HIS hands. So if I have got pregnant without trying for it, I felt I should go on the whole journey.

Similarly, there are reasons why I don’t want to have a second (biological) child. And that is simply because I have gone through it all once. I have seen it all, been there, and done that; that too all alone; single-handedly. I know how horrifyingly lonely it gets sometimes & how terribly painful some days are. I don’t want to go through it all over again. Why would I, in my sane mind, want to suffer the hell of labor pain & the stress of raising a baby & the nine months of captivity & the countless hours, nights & days of just wanting to kill myself because I was so damn tired – emotionally, physically? Why would I want to go for it again? Once is enough; more than enough, in fact.

But when I see Tanvi, sometimes playing by herself, ingenuously role-playing, talking to a water tap on the terrace, or the chair or sofa in the hall or the railing of the stairway, pretending these things are people, & having a conversation with them, I feel so bad. I feel momentarily miserable that she doesn’t have a sibling to play with. Or even a kid in the building or the neighborhood. At those times, I so want to give her a sister or brother she can spend hours talking to.

I just want to give her a friend, a lifelong friend. Not the kind who come & go on weekends. Among the neighborhood children, the big ones bully her. The little babies only coo along; they are always under a 24 hours surveillance of their parents. If Tanvi so much as bends over to plant a light kiss on the baby’s cheeks, the parents shriek “NOOO”. They also usually forget that Tanvi is only 4 years old, a baby too & want her to be this ‘big sister role-model’ & conveniently expect her to be all sacrificing with her toys & crayons & cars & even if the other baby smacks her, to not smack back as a reflex action.

Some women say they went for a 2nd child because their mother-in-law or husband asked them to. Some say relatives said 2 kids is a must for a family. Some even said the second child ensures that, should something happen to one of them, you’d still have one more to hold on to especially if you cross the child-bearing age!! Like, if one dies, you’ve the other to carry on the family name!

I am not sure if I want anyone to carry on my name, let alone my family’s!

18 comments:

  1. One friend told me she was bored as all her kids are going to school and she feels lonely.One aunty told me that after her son got hurt seriously hurt,they decided to have a 3rd one just in case.One friend told me,she felt envious of a pair of friends who got pregnant along the same time and felt left out,so wanted to get pregnant.One told me at least 4 would be good and she does,she wont run out of family when shes old.One told me,she got pregnant because I kept telling her she would get pregnant soon(foolishness at its best).Two of them want to try again and again until they hit the jackpot,a boy child.One has 2 and the other has 4.One just didnt know how it all happened and was shocked to know she was 4 months along.This happened twice and the age difference between the 2 being 9 months plus few days,she has 4.One thought she had gotten menopausal but was shocked to find out she was 4+ months along,had a healthy boy at the age of 47,her 3rd.

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  2. haha u came up with a whole census on d topic...the part where she didnt know how it happened & it happenend twice -;)
    sujatha

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  3. Ha ha ha...I know of a family who tried for this jackpot 7 times and then adopted a boy!!! I wanted 2 kids and i secretly prayed that they should be boys,(not for selfish reasons)but so that they did not have to go through the turmoil i had been through in my own life...

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  4. @ Jayashri: andha?? jackpot lady!!
    i can understand u wanting boys

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  5. I dont think one should do it for others, but for one self. Pregnancy is not troublesome only..it can be enjoyed too..I miss those pampered times..

    with siblings children learn many things..sharing, caring, and interpersonal skills too.

    as for affordability is concerned, I feel that it is very subjective..children dont demand best of evrything but love only from parents, its parents who have this feeling to compete with the monetary things..

    I feel that bringing up children with values brings more happiness in their life later on, in comparison to loading them with goodies.

    And suppose one is lucky to have children of both gender, then all festivals are such a delight...

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  6. @Renu: yes, i agree Renu the companionship is a great plus

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  7. hey, this is exactly my story! i'd written a post on this topic but its still in my draft folder though i wouldnt hv done as good justice as u hv in ur post! very well written!

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    1. hey you must publish that post.i will read it and i am amazed that this post was your story too
      thanks for reading Lilac and the follow too. appreciate it :)

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  8. Frankly speaking, we , too were happy with one - but second one eventually came after a gap of some five plus years. My late mother used to say- even a single tree is not good - the logic eluded us always-may be she wanted a grandson after a granddaughter from us !

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    1. :) yeah i guess grandparents have that desire.

      thanks for reading this post

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  9. Hi Sujata, I came across your post and thought of doing one with my reasons here. Please do read http://wrenwarbles.blogspot.com/2012/04/second-time-around.html

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    1. thank you Wren. will surely read your post

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  10. Hey
    I read this post of yours again today. Apparently may be because I could find myself in the story somewhere!!

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  11. thanks Sushma :)
    felt glad to read your comment on this post

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  12. Am surprised not to find a grain of Sathya's opinions in the post. And then you write posts taking a dig at the poor fellow. :D

    On a serious note, it really is a tradeoff, it could be taggable as concentration and dispersion of material resources, or priceless issues like time, love and physcial effort.

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  13. I was deeply moved after reading this. You have said it so well: it is one experience that is reserved only for women. I was pained to read all that you went through physically and emotionally. I can totally understand how you feel. You have written this with so much emotion and it is so heartfelt. I have been a single child too and sometimes it feels that you are alone and that it would be better to have a brother or sister. But it doesn’t last long especially with so much love showered by parents. So Tanvi will surely be fine in your infinite love. :)

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  14. I will tell you my reasons for having a second baby. Like you, I had my apprehensions too. I wanted to get back to active work as well. And having another child meant a long break. Having been through it, we already know how much work it entailed. My elder son started asking me why he couldn't have a sibling. That played at the back of my mind too. But the clinching factor was my having my own siblings to fall back upon. I have the best sister and brother in the world. I know the way we watch each other's backs through tough times, only a sibling can do. I rely on them so much. And, I felt I shouldn't deprive my own son of feeling that way. So, that factor egged. Like I often say, they will have each other to fall back upon when we are gone. I did have my husband standing behind me like a rock helping me with everything small and big. I don't think I would have managed it without his support. That's all that I'd say from my experience. I know the dilemma you are going through. But, don't let anyone else tell you what you should do. We know how much responsibility it is bringing up a child so only get into it with both eyes open. Just wanted to share a blogpost Sid wrote for his younger brother:
    http://mymysteriousmusings.blogspot.in/2012/07/my-brother.html

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  15. OMG Sujatha, you have taken the topic that's currently in my mind. You know my baby is just 4 months old and already people are expecting me to have a second baby. But seriously raising one kid is such a tiresome task that we women have to think a thousand times before having a second one :) Personally if you ask me its better to have one kid, give it proper care, love and education rather than have 2 kids and not be able to look after them. BTW, I have decided to have just one! Great post, as always...

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