Should I have another?

We, Indians, are not known for our subtlety. And what’s happening (or not happening) in your life is our business too! Well, I got a taste of it first-hand myself.

As soon as little Aanya turned 1, I started receiving hints.

“Poor child, playing all alone. Once she has a sibling, she will enjoy playing with them” or “It’s easier to bring up two children together than one.” The logic beat me but I refrained from commenting.

Now when her second birthday is almost upon us, there are no more hints. This time, they are open and direct.

“It’s time you plan a second child. Aanya is growing up fast and you are not turning any younger yourself.” Gee! Thanks so much for reminding me that I am turning into an old fag.

But another child? Why?

The last I heard the population in India was 1.24 billion and still counting. Do I need to contribute to it?

We all know about the straining infrastructure, failing economy, poor safety and contemptuous climate. Should I add to the misery?

Forget about the country for a moment and see closer home. As if the soaring inflation and astronomical education fees were not enough, the political uncertainty and poor employment prospects are only adding to the woes. Should I bring another child into this environment?

Yes my daughter needs a sibling to play with. She would want someone to call her own long after we are gone. But at what cost? Isn’t she better off playing with friends and cousins? Do I give her a happy present or a dream lollipop for the future? How about adopting a sibling, would that be bad?

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2 thoughts on “Should I have another?

  1. Ritesh and I have been debating over this question for quite sometime now. Whether s/he is raised in India or abroad, it doesn’t matter. We wouldn’t know where our child will finally settle in future! While I agree that the present circumstances in India aren’t any good and managing home budgets is becoming difficult with each passing day, it personally doesn’t deter me from thinking about having another baby. I am an only child myself and know that cousins/friends somehow cant replace the love and affection that you receive from your own family. How many times in a year do we talk to our cousins/friends – may be Holi/Diwali/birthdays? At some point of life, especially in old age, it is only blood relations that matter and you can count upon, I have seen it for myself in my parents’ and many other families. Ritesh and I would love to adopt but given the legal complications in India, I am still uncertain about it. I don’t know how the adopted child would react – when s/he comes to know that we are not his/her real parents – there are so many emotional/psychological/financial/legal issues attached to the adopted child. And yes, I haven’t discounted the destiny factor as well 🙂 Own, adopted or none, I don’t know yet but if Anushka gets a sibling, I would happy for her more than for myself. All said and done, we want to have our second child if and only we can give him or her a secured and better future financially and emotionally.

  2. That’s the dilemma, Smita. In these troubled times, I worry for Aanya all the time, I wouldn’t want to do that for another child too. It’s too stressful. And I tell you from personal experience, having siblings doesn’t mean that they care for each other when they grow up. A lot changes…

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