I’ve observed that small groups and get-togethers are very enriching sources of social information. Discussions are easier, people express their views with greater freedom and conviction. The atmosphere is relaxed and chatty. Some of my best insights come from such small dinners with people who are easy and open about their opinions on topics that are generally not the stuff of large ‘do’s’.
I’ve come back with revelations on a new trend that is very much in sync with our ‘discussion’ in the last column on late marriages. Women these days don’t wish to tie themselves down with progeny and are ‘freezing’ their eggs till they are ready to bring a child into the world.
Technology gives couples and single women this prerogative. A close friend confided that she has gone in for the procedure. I’m noticing it is more common these days than I imagined.
Menopause, the biological clock, and such considerations are easily addressed by this advanced science of the day. It’s no longer a world where you let a child grow with no planning.
Having a baby is about a tremendous amount of giving, care, time, know-how, maturity, amenities and planning. Besides all that, the parents also want to ‘get a life’ of their own before they plunge into investing in another human being.
A woman wants to concentrate on moving ahead in her career. A couple wants to extend the romance of their courtship into marriage. Couples want time and money to have a stable base of finances, a secure home, the required comforts or a ‘baby fund’ that can sustain the snow-balling needs of a child. Couples now want to reach the emotional intimacy that will enrich them enough to accommodate the demanding child without derailing their equation.
So many mothers I meet say these days — I wish I had this knowledge about child rearing! Really nature should let us have children at this stage — we’re settled, experienced, mature and less dismantled by a child’s sprees.
Well, the ‘Science Genie’ has made that possible. This ‘freezing’ of female eggs or male sperm allows you to have a baby when you want one. Science is changing the old scenario where marriage was followed by reproduction. Birth control, surrogate pregnancies and homosexual parents having offsprings is the way of our world now.
Anxieties about meno-pause or the biological clock don’t matter anymore. What might have seemed like science fiction, a few decades ago, is now a fact of life. Of course, as convenient as it sounds, things are not so simple. But neither is life! It’s a big decision and may have unaccounted consequences. For starters, can one ever ‘be prepared’? After all, having a baby is not just about giving birth? Freezing one’s eggs and attending to it all later — is it all so
Many still feel that one should let nature take its course, let a child grow with the circumstances and not burden ourselves with complications when we have enough complications in life — like less energy, family support, will, and greater work responsibility, senior year redundancies at work or retirement looming on our heads.
It’s anybody’s guess what works for one couple and not for another. You make your choice with your best judgement and considerations — the consequences will or will not be of your planning.
The writer is a lover of wine, song and everything fine