Tuesday, September 28, 2010

From Mumbai: It’s a Blessing Not To Have Children

I love hearing from people around the world who are living childfree by choice. Recently Leena contacted me from India with her story:
I am Leena aged 34 from India and I would like to share my story about being Childfree by Choice.
In India the only reason you get married is to breed. The primary reason is to have an heir for your family name and going against such an orthodox society means (you) get shunned and looked down upon. But I and husband Alex (aged 40) now have been married for 12 loving years and we are so glad that we took the decision against all odds to remain Childfree.
In spite of the fact that we are in the so-called "developed megacity Mumbai" you still get the "stare" and "comments" from most of the society around. At my work place, mommies share their agonies and I am the one having the last laugh, though I can not share it openly with anyone.
But I just want everyone to know the life I and my husband lead is a blessing. The intimacy we have after 12 years of marriage is not comparable to any couple married for that long. This is just a glimpse of my life but it comes right from my heart. I am blessed to not have children. My life is more complete, I have more to give to the world today as I don't have to keep anything for anyone. I have more love, more compassion, more of Life!

14 comments:

Angela Hemming said...

Amen! My husband's from Bombay too, and if ever there was a place inspiring contraception, it's India.

Sandhya said...

I am so happy I ran into this blog. It is about time someone conducted in-depth research on this topic. I am glad you took the initiative.
When I read the post about Leena from Mumbai, India...phew I was elated and relieved. Very often articles and blog posts one comes across on this issue are centred around women from America, Canada and Europe.
I am a 28 year old woman from India. I have known since I was a teenager I would never want to give birth to a child.

Traditionally, in India people got married to have children and continue the family name. This holds true even today were a majority of marriages in the country happen for this reason. Yes, things are changing in urban centers with young adults trying to break out of the arranged marriage mould.

But Indian woman from semi-urban and rural areas who choose to exercise control over their bodies; who assert their right to make reproductive decisions, often have to face overt or covert threats of physical violence.
Therefore, I feel it takes great courage for a woman from conservative Asian societies to come out in the open and admit she has embraced the “childfree by choice” option...and I am always glad when I read about women like Leena because it makes others adopting similar lifestyle choices feel less isolated.

Pulkit said...

Perhaps a club in India where child free people can hang out, travel, experience life would mitigate the social ostracization.

Priya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
iLenz said...

Thanks guys for all your comments..I was just going through the site after a long time and when I read your comments it has made me reconfirm my belief about going childfree. It has been a year since I wrote this email and things are going good to better. I have a promotion in my company and all thanks to us not having children I am able to go full out and achieve my career ambitions to the fullest, give myself fully, and have the freedom to reach my goals.

Laura S. Scott said...

So thrilled to hear back from you and to hear that things are going so well for you!! Congrats on the promotion and your feeling that as a childfree person you can go full out in life and embrace what life offers you!
Thanks for the inspiration!

Anu said...

And I was just discussing with my husband that we need to start some online forum for childless couples in Mumbai. ... This is such a huge break from convention that life has suddenly become complicated and well the ones making it the most tough for us are our own family!!!
Infact the pressures are so intense that i feel like I am committing a very great crime by refusing to have kids . The only thing that stops us is that well when the song and dance is over, we are the ones who will be left to handle the stress,responsibility ,death of independence and the financial burdens that come with the baby-alone.
I have faced some amount of stares and unkind chatter at work too ..mind you always indirect but well.
We are close to a couple who are of the same mindset and don't mind getting to know more of our kind in Mumbai.. Currently going through That phase of life when the strength of numbers will really help. Write to me on anukampa.r@gmail.com

Laura S. Scott said...

Anu
Be prepared for a response to your appeal! If you get overwhelmed I can always delete your comment if you wish as the administrator of this blog. Just post a comment asking for it to be removed.
Wishing you the best in building a childless by choice community in your home city.

KR said...

I am so glad to have found this thread! We are also a childless-by-choice couple, just turned 30, and our family is from a more conservative part of India (Tamil Nadu). Fortunately, we live in the US, and so far nobody has been rubbing the questions in our faces. I really want to meet/know more south-asian childfree couples, just to know how we can manage all the questions from the family.
@Laura: I just finished reading your 'Two is enough' book, thank you so much for that! It was very insightful and reinforced my decisions :)

Laura S. Scott said...

thanks so glad you enjoyed the book! I just released a documentary which features an indian american couple. It can be purchased on the website at www.childlessbychoiceproject.com

justaroundme said...

@KR - did you find your tribe of child free couples from TN...if not, you found one...me!!

Murthy ramanna said...

More comfortable in not to having kids

Aditya said...

When I first started thinking about staying childfree and happy, I had not expected to find like minded people in India. However, in the past few days, I have come across so many articles detailing the happy life of several childfree couples (there was an article in The Hindu yesterday) that I am surprised and relieved. The mere thought of the fact that I may have to spend the rest of my life raising a kid, used to give me shivers. However, the realization that I have a choice in this matter is relieving beyond comprehension :)

Saranya Anand said...

Hi this is Saranya from Tamil Nadu just got married a year ago I too want to lead a happy child free life