I’m not a parent

I read this post, and then this, and this – and I don’t know what to say.

Like I said, I’m not a parent. But, I hope to be one, one day. I look forward to it. I, to be true, have been looking forward to it since I was 16 maybe.

I don’t ‘know’ what it feels like to be a parent, but I can imagine. And, I know that I can imagine because I’m genetically coded to be able to do so. I see people around me being all ‘intellectual’ about very basic human needs – food, safety and sex. And I don’t get how we think we are above other people who very obviously are not suppressing these needs.

Not having children – or more specifically, not wanting to have children – is absolutely fine, if that’s your decision. But, to think that people who do, are any lesser, is absolutely ridiculous.

The whole deal about being attracted to someone, falling in love, getting married – it’s all just chemicals, isn’t it? We, being humans, believe that we’re above the rest of the animal kingdom because we can ‘think’. We go through the process of getting to know someone, and then we may or may not fall in love with her/him. We like someone, but think he/she might feel we’re too needy if we call too often. We are able to hold ourselves back from calling. Yes, being human gives us the ability to do that. But still, isn’t it just chemicals that’s making us feel like calling?

A girl might find a guy funny and kind and successful and attractive – and fall in love with him, decide to marry him – because the chemicals in her body tell her that she and this guy may be compatible, and that they may have a chance at a long term relationship, which would lead to being able to give their children a safe and secure home. Because that always is the basis of why we’re attracted to someone – to be able to further the species. I know this sounds dry and practical – but reading people being so ridiculously against babies makes me want to say all this.

And, no – I don’t mean to make human beings sound like a group of cells at the mercy of chemicals. I think the human body is an awesome miracle. The fact that the human brain can suppress natural urges, or the fact that our mating ritual is so, so complicated. The fact that a baby inside the womb starts to take in amniotic fluid and excreting it, in order to develop its digestive and excretory systems – that’s just fantastic, and – well, so planned. The heart, the hormones that the body secretes, the respiratory process, how joints work so efficiently – everything.

But, to over-intellectualise very basic things is pointless.

Through school and college – even now, actually – I saw my friends falling for a girl or a guy, but holding back, for I-have-no-idea-what-reason. Why is it so difficult for us to just give in? Is it because we don’t trust so easily? Or is that too genetically coded? If something makes one happy, even if one’s intellect (or society) tells one it’s wrong – why do we hold ourselves back, all the time? My point is – if it makes you happy to call him, please call. If it makes you happy to open the door for her, please do. Don’t fall prey to what society tells you. Don’t not call because magazines tell you that a woman who calls too often comes across as needy. Don’t not open the door for her because you think it might offend her, or that you might not come across as the feminist that you are.

And there are so many more things of the kind that I can think of. Don’t not have children because you make yourself believe that there’s nothing that you’re missing by not having a child – and there’s nothing in your life that only having a child will complete. I’m not against people who decide not to. But, don’t let that be the reason. You will be incomplete without a child in your life. Not because your life isn’t good enough already. But because it will only be better then. Again, not because you’ll be falling back on, what some people refer to as, “regressive societal dictats” – but, because that’s what your body is naturally meant to do.

Did I sound preachy? Didn’t mean to. 🙂

Edited to add: Talking about children and parents, this is one of my favourite photos…


That’s me with Papa.

I really think this picture says a lot about what being a parent adds to your life – love, tenderness, and passing on something of yourself to a part of the future.



Filed under thinks

8 responses to “I’m not a parent

  1. you dont. you sound terrific. particularly because you’re not a mother yet and so your viewpoint is different from ours, coloured by motherhood.

    me: Thanks. 🙂 Though, I wouldn’t call it being coloured by motherhood – I would’ve reacted the same way if I’d written this soon after I read all that yesterday. Just had a little more time for more rational thinking. Also, this over-intellectualising is something that’s bothered me for a long time.

  2. sunayanaroy

    Like I said at MM’s place — I’ve never had to deal with this in real life. Weird how vitriolic it is online.

    me: Yes, it is surprising – ‘coz in real life, the most that happens is that we’re heckled to have children, or for whichever of our choices that the majority doesn’t agree with – it’s strange to see the venom spewing out on blogs.

  3. Great post! First time here, from TMM’s. You know – when I was single and even when I got married but did not have my son – I was so untouched by children. They just didn’t exist for me. But thankfully, I never, ever felt all this venom circulating in the system towards parents. And when I did become a parent, I understood what the big deal was all about but again, did not expect anyone, including my still-single friends to understand.

    Now, for some reason, I naively thought that most people went through the same cycle, with some minor blips. Seeing all these posts were an eye-opener and exposed a different side to reactions to parenthood, an ugly, vicious side, which I hope belongs to a minority – which may I happily add – ought to be suppressed (ok, ok I AM KIDDING)!!

    The next round of drinks is on me 🙂

    me: erm…cheers, Parul. 🙂 And, I agree – the viciousness ought to be suppressed. Unfortunately, it can’t be. The next best thing – to not sit tight and be quiet. Don’t you think?

  4. Amen. I just got around to not being quiet about it, upon prodding from MM.

    Cheers all around 🙂

    me: Cheers! 🙂

  5. very rightly said…. i hate people who go all out saying…. ewwww kids.. me never!!! i mean wtf people…. being parents (good or bad) is one of those things that make life complete…

    me: Isn’t it, Tanzi? Wish you’d come for the Bloggers’ Meet this Sunday.

  6. dipali

    Lovely post, Aanchal. But I do wonder- by responding to nasty blogs are we not playing their game? Surely they deserve to be ignored.

    me: But, don’t you think, by not responding (in a rational manner) one is saying that either I’m scared, or that I agree, or even, that I don’t care enough?

  7. dipali

    Do you honestly think that your stating your position will help change the minds of the people who write these really foolish things? I think they write them purely in order to provoke, and then they rub their hands in glee whenever some sane and rational person writes about their posts. I’d say that ignoring them is the only sensible thing to do.

    me: Maybe. But, these sad people rubbing their hands in glee at getting a reaction out of me is of lesser consequence than some more sane, rational voices in the blogosphere. No?

  8. @Dipali: Well some of these posts are almost 2 years old. So its not a knee jerk reaction. Its just that people get to read that side of the story and may even be swayed by it. Maybe they should see our side too. Sane voices need to be heard once in a while…. I agree with TDA, Sue and Y.

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