"We do not plan to have children anytime soon."
Pregnancy is typically a vital factor in every Desi household and has been for years. Once a couple ties the knot and walks down the aisle, the whole family will eagerly be waiting for the announcement of a baby.
If you are a Desi reading this, you will know it is true. However, as things have modernised and mentalities have changed, Desi couples are beginning to change the dynamic of when they want children.
By becoming much more relaxed it means that they are delaying pregnancy until they feel comfortable. They want to be able to tick everything off their bucket lists before trying for a baby.
Desi couples are challenging society by having babies in their thirties and are changing the typical perspective of a Desi marriage.
DESIblitz explores some of the reasons why Desi couples are decided to delaying pregnancy.
One of the reasons why various Desi couples delay pregnancy is due to health issues. Some women are not able to have babies, or the idea of birth either scares them.
Pregnancy also frightens those women with underlying health conditions, in case something happens to the baby.
Health is a major concern when it comes to Desi couples having babies. Even if the couple has no existing health issues, many women are scared they will develop them during pregnancy.
Developing health issues during pregnancy is quite common among many women. Issues can arise such as iron deficiency, fetal problems, high blood pressure and many more.
Alongside physical health, mental health is also a reason as to why Desi couples delay pregnancy. Some women fear they might go through depression, in particular, postnatal depression or will go through body-image worries.
It is common for women to go through post-natal depression after birth which some women do not want. This then causes them to delay pregnancy as they are not comfortable with that thought.
However, there are also women who simply delay pregnancy because they do not want to go through the pain. Giving birth is not a light matter and the pain is excruciating which also scares many women.
There are many women who simply cannot endure the pain, especially after hearing horror birth stories from other women.
Having a career is not only a major aspect for men anymore, rather it is a woman’s world too. Many Desi women fear that once they fall pregnant, their career will never be the same again.
With the first couple of months of pregnancy being some of the hardest, it could mean that time off work will be needed.
Some Desi couples love their jobs and become attached to them. Having children then becomes a threat to their jobs.
This mainly applies to those couples who own businesses or play major roles in their workplace. It then becomes difficult to take time off work or to leave their business to someone else.
Business owner, Daniyal speaks to DESIblitz about the difficulties of owning a business and thinking about a baby. He says:
“I am the owner of a very busy business, I am working literally 24/7. The thought of having a baby to worry about too gives me so much stress.
“As much as I want children, my job just puts me off the idea every time. I just do not think I can trust anyone to take my place for a few years.
“If and when I do have children, I want to spend loads of time with them. This seems highly unlikely right now though!”
Women are luckily given a six-month maternity leave when their baby is born, whereas fathers are allowed only two weeks paternity leave. However, many women fear that even when they do go back to work, it will not be the same.
They will either need to work part-time or will need to reduce their hours because of their children. Time off will be needed some days to attend important assemblies or even when their child falls ill.
Dealing with the Responsibility
Having a baby means you will need to be responsible for them for at least eighteen years of their life. A baby needs feeding, changing their nappies and complete round the clock care.
When they start going to school things become harder. You become responsible for attending parents evenings, assemblies and making sure they do their homework.
There is always something you need to check up on once you have a baby. This is also a big factor that causes many Desi couples to delay pregnancy.
Some Desi couples simply are not in the right mind frame to be responsible for their children. It is, in fact, hard being a parent and it does involve a lot of time and effort to mould them into good people.
Responsibilities become harder when a couple are working as well as looking after a child. When they get back from work, they will need to give attention to their children.
However, some Desi couples are just not cut out for this job and decide to put off pregnancy. Although things do eventually fall into place when you have children, it is, in fact, hard at first, but it is also a blessing.
Changing the Desi Concept of Marriage
Gone are the days where the whole purpose of getting married was to have children, marriage is solely based on love. While there are many Desi couples who are excited to marry and to go through pregnancy, there are many who are not.
For the older generation, it is hard enough trying to get their children married. When they finally do marry them off, they then expect them to have children as soon as possible.
You will most certainly always get those nosey aunties asking; “So, are you thinking of having any kids then?” You will find yourself rolling your eyes and biting your tongue because you do not want to be rude.
Those Desi’s with a backward mentality are the real problem here.
It almost feels as if they scare young couples when it comes to pregnancy by making a massive deal out of it.
Desi couples are trying to prove to society that marriage is not just about having children. In fact, at the beginning of a marriage, the couple is still getting to know each other.
It is at this stage where young, Desi couples want to explore, have fun and spend time with each other before bringing children into the equation. However, it is often difficult trying to explain this to others.
For many Desi couples, pregnancy and giving birth is a private matter which should only be discussed between the two of them. Fortunately, there are many people who are beginning to realise this and decide to leave them to it.
Beautician, Natalia speaks to DESIblitz about how important privacy is between a married couple, she says:
“Before my husband and I got married, I made it clear to him that I did not want babies straight away and that I wanted to wait for at least a year or two. He was totally fine with it, he did not mind.
“So, about 8 months into our marriage, I already had some old aunties implying things about pregnancy to me. Once, one of them asked me when we were going to have a baby, it made me so angry!
“Some of the older generations just do not understand, they need to stop and think before they speak. These things are private and should only be discussed between me and my other half.”
It is also important to note that these questions are always aimed at the wife rather than her husband. This is because many people believe it is entirely the woman’s responsibility to bear children.
Aside from worrying about health issues or financial problems, there are also some Desi couples who worry about losing their freedom.
Many young Desi couples decide to delay pregnancy because they will not be able to do the things they normally do.
Desi couples in the 21st century are evolving and are changing to suit a more westernised lifestyle. They go out to eat at restaurants and go clubbing much more often.
It becomes so easy for them to simply get up and go as nothing or no one is holding them back.
They frequently have their friends around, having a drink or two and staying up until 2 am, having fun.
Without babies, couples are able to go on holiday whenever they want without having to think about their children missing school. They simply only have themselves to think about.
Jay speaks to DESIblitz about how he and his wife love their freedom without children, he mentions:
“My wife and I have been married for about three years now and we do not plan to have children anytime soon. My mum always asks me when we are going to have children because she wants grandchildren.
“The both of us literally go out all the time, we go clubbing, out to eat and are always out with friends having fun. Now, if we had kids we would not be able to go clubbing and if we did go out to eat, we would have to find a babysitter.
“We would have to come home at a certain time to get back to the kids and that just sounds like too much effort to me right now!”
Some might think that having this type of mentality sounds selfish while others might agree with it.
It is totally understandable for people who think it sounds selfish as there does come a time in your life where you need to move forward. It is important to experience change, especially as you are becoming older.
However, if you are someone who does not want to lose their freedom because of pregnancy, then that is also acceptable.
Everyone has their own opinions and views, some people do not mind changing their ways and some do. Remember everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
Finance and money is often a concern in any situation, let alone trying to provide for a baby on the way. This factor is mainly a huge concern for those Desi couples who marry at a young age.
Over the past couple of years, there has been a rise in Desi couples who marry at a young age. At this age, they are not settled and do not have full-time jobs which mean they are not financially stable.
This then puts many couples off pregnancy as having a baby can be pretty expensive.
Buying a pushchair, cot and nappies cost a lot of money. Couples then worry about where they will get the money from.
Aalia who got married at the age of 20 speaks to DESIbltiz about how hard it would be trying to provide for a baby, she says:
“I really want to have a baby, I have dreamt about since I was little, I really cannot wait to have one. However, I am currently jobless and my husband is working part-time and is finding it difficult trying to find a proper, full-time one.
“We have no money to look after a baby when we have one, we want to be able to give it everything they want. We want them to have a good, decent life, so to do this we will need to delay pregnancy for a bit.”
There are also many Desi couples who are not young but still have financial issues. This then causes them to delay pregnancy or not have a baby at all.
A couple who both work find it hard in the school holidays as they are not able to pay for babysitters. This also causes Desi couples to delay pregnancy as they do not want to dump their kids on family members all the time either.
When children grow older, they then request for hundreds of toys which then becomes a struggle for many parents. Even taking them out for the day also becomes a financial issue, causing them to delay pregnancy.
Times are changing and attitudes are evolving, it is important to understand that Desi marriages are also based upon love and understanding.
It is vital to remember that there are many reasons as to why Desi couples delay pregnancy. So, be sure to think before bringing up such a touchy subject in front of any couple. You may be unknowingly offending someone.
After all, none of us knows what anyone is truly going through, so, just be kind and supportive!