Friday, November 2, 2012

Babies.

Now that I am almost done with my exams, quite a few people are asking me when I am going to "give them good news" as they say it in my Indian culture. I have been married for only 18 months and people are already asking me when I am going to have kids. I was engaged for a long time; but living with someone is completely different, irregardless of how long or how well a couple knew each other from before. It's a big adjustment. Babies complicate things and I don't think it's wise to have kids if you are still getting to know and get used to one another.  Unless you have lived together before the marriage. But this isn't permissible in Islam, so that doesn't work here.

I realize that not everyone reading this will know where I am coming from. Time to go off on a mini tangent. Modern day dating in Islam is not allowed. Old school courtship, maybe. But there must be a chaperone. This interaction of getting to know one another is allowed with the intention of marriage. Get to know one's goals, values, see if you're on the same wavelength of faith, etc. It is not an arranged marriage. You can read more about gender relations on our blog here, here and here. Now, I'm not saying that Muslims don't date, it's just not allowed in the religion. Just like there are varying levels of practicing people in any religion, people are on different levels of faith in Islam.

Back to babies.

Soon after our wedding, my husband started residency and I have been studying for my boards. All of them. Both of us have a lot going on and haven't had proper time to enjoy each others company without thinking of all the studying and work that has to be done. There is always something at the back of our minds that has to be done. When I finish an exam and take a break, he has to study or has a busy rotation at the hospital. When he has a rare weekend off {like this one, sigh}, I have to study and we can't just get up and get away for a while. Alhamdulillah, I could not ask for a better marriage and a better husband, but we want to be able to enjoy that time before we have kids. Kids change everything, in a good way. But this phase where we can be selfish and enjoy each others company will never come back once we have kids.

Having children is a very personal thing and I think it's rude to ask someone that question. Yes, children are encouraged in Islam, but it's not a sin to not have them right away. And it certainly is not an obligation to pester someone to have children. What if the couple already had a miscarriage or multiple miscarriages? Or if they can't conceive? Or they are about to split up? Or maybe they are in a rocky relationship and right now is not a good time for children. People constantly asking them is also going to be a constant reminder that they lost a baby/babies or that they cannot have them. And they don't have to announce to everyone they cannot have a baby. They don't need to answer to these people, nor does anyone have a right to ask.

I know it is the "norm" in many cultures to ask this of married couples, but I think it needs to stop. It's their life, let them live it. It's nosy, too. If a couple doesn't have kids, people start speculating that something's going on or something's very wrong. Rumors start to fly. It's totally unnecessary. Some people don't mean it in a bad way, but it sure gets annoying.

2 comments:

fuelMybrain said...

Kudos to you for recognizing that there's something "off" about how people butt in where they really don't belong. My aunt had one child and people used to tell her she was so selfish for having my cousin be an only child. She told me she would just leave it at their lame remarks and never mention that she tried so hard to have more but SEVEN miscarriages did her body in.

As for your marriage and kids... my 0.02 (not that you asked) is to WAIT!!!! Enjoy life, have fun and ENJOY LIFE!!!

Falling Up said...

FuelmyBrain: It's so nice to see you back here! I hope this means you're back to blogging? Your aunt is such a strong woman! It literally brought me to tears imagining being in her situation. And thanks for your advice about kids :) My brother and SIL just had a baby and she said the same thing. :)