Everyone around me is having babies. I know. A few years ago, I was complaining that everyone around me was getting married and that I could never see myself being married or finding the perfect person to spend my whole life with. But that’s over now. What’s new is babies. And mommyhood. Anyone can be a parent. (Well, yes, not everybody but let’s not be vulgar) and it seems every Lakshmi, Sita and Divya out there is having one.
Let me be honest. I believe there should be some kind of parenting test just like a driving test that test basic parenting skills. In my opinion, the following people should be made to take a remedial class before they become parents:
- People who would give their babies and toddlers sugary sodas and juices
- People who believe education is overrated
- People who have no plans for how they’ll find the time and money required to raise a child
- People who do not recycle and dispute climate change
This list is obviously not exhaustive. But I’m sure this gives you an idea of what I mean. I’m not saying that people should be stopped from procreating. Just that before they do, they should be required to think long and hard about it. And realize what they’re getting into.
To be perfectly honest, The Hero and I currently lack the nurturing skills required to even water our lone Tulsi plant (yes, every Desi makes a purchase of this sort on their first visit to a massive Indian store) everyday. Obviously we have a long way to go before we can take responsibility of caring for a tiny helpless human being. What’s more important, though, is that we’re completely aware of this fact.
But even before we deal with the practical issues of parenting, there’s a fundamental question that I can’t seem to find an answer to. What’s the point of it all? What’s the point of adding another member to the already massive, selfish, annoying and greedy human population? What can possibly justify having a (biological) child when there are so many babies already out there without homes or families or hope for their future? What’s the point of bringing a child into a world that’s only going to be worse than what it already is? What kind of world are we leaving for the next generation, anyway? I can never find satisfactory answers to any of these questions.
When you think rationally, there seems to be little reason to have children except a) as insurance against old age b) to have something to bond over after you’ve grown as comfortable with your partner as Shrek and Fiona c) to give your own parents a chance to play with babies without being morally responsibly for their upbringing.
And then, when you just despair over the whole thing, you can have a conversation with your best friend that goes like this:
Me: What’s the whole point of having a baby, anyway?
New Mommy: I really don’t know. To see a bit of you and a bit of him together, maybe?