Think before extending family

When Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso advised his countrymen: “If you don’t have money, you’d better not get married. It seems rather difficult to me for someone without means to win people’s respect.” Not many realised his words, for it drew much criticism from across the world. But I sincerely feel that what he intended was to tell youth to not get kids without saving or having a good salary to take care of them.

It’s been almost two years and I have heard so much from my in-laws, relatives, friends and even colleagues to have a kid soon. It hurts when people call me barren behind me. We were even more hurt when my husband’s brother’s wife delivered a baby and I was not even informed about it and when we went to see the baby they didn’t even allow me to take the baby, as I was childless. We both were shocked when my husband’s father openly told me not to attend the baby’s naming ceremony. Parents expect us to get a kid within one year of marriage. And we know our responsibilities and commitments but we fail to make them understand. Not that we have some problem in getting kids, but we are yet to make up our mind for children. It’s not that we are not in a good position but we want to give the best for our child. We hope that the humiliation we both have undergone for the past few months will prove to be worth one day or the other. When we aspire for a certain lifestyle, we should achieve it first by reaching that financial status. Of course, no one can stop us from getting a child, but we are not ready to make any kind of compromises for that.

When it comes to marriage and kids, the rules are different for guys and girls. A guy has to be in a position to take responsibility of his wife if she chooses not to work and the kid. But as today’s woman, I enjoy financial independence and contribute just as much to the family kitty. In Indian culture, it’s usually the parents who pay for the delivery and hospital charges but even then, one needs to have security before taking such a big step. From our wedding to honeymoon, we have paid ourselves and have not been burden so far. Right from the wedding to setting up house to planning a family, there is a long list of expenses and we feel that it’s a big commitment. We both strongly feel that both of us should have at least six months’ income on hand for emergencies and both should have surplus income to save after the monthly expenses. When we plan to start a family, we need separate savings for the child.

Though it is sure that the buffer against many storms of life are stable relationships with friends and loved ones, sound economic condition and savings make a lot of difference. I have even heard that in Africa, a person cannot get married easily until he is financially stable.

If people say marriage may not have to depend on ones financial status, they have to think twice. To build a family and have children certainly require a lot of money. Our kids will not be able to compete on level playing field if we are not financially able to nurture them. I have seen my friends who were born into big families  with eight to nine siblings. How my friends wished that their parents had not given birth to them! The cost of bringing up children is becoming astronomically high.

We don’t favour having children without at least a continuous income which leaves extra money after paying all bills is.

My man is an excellent husband who not only worships the ground that I walk on but also respects my ideas and plans. He agrees with me that producing a child is a major financial responsibility that not everyone can handle.

I think that a couple should wait to have children until they are ready. Establish yourself as a person, find a good job and save money so at least the problems can be avoided. It’s not demoralizing marriage, its strengthening it and improving the quality of life and the relationship so a person need not have to worry about financial condition. Yes, love should be the reason for marriage but unfortunately its not the only thing to sustain it. Love alone cannot ensure that your child has food, clothing, the things he or she needs to have a quality life. It might be nice to think so, but it’s not true. I think that’s part of loving a child, making sure he or she has the basics. We don’t want to depend on other people or the government for our children. Will the society and our relatives understand this? Will they stop staring at us and questioning?

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