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Some advice for young girls

A disclaimer: OK, I am not dying. I have also NOT suddenly grown old enough to be a grandmother to dole out advises. It's just one of those days when I don on the thinking cap. Again, it does not necessarily mean I am talking out of "sour grapes" experience. I have no regrets from my current social position. This post is more of the food for thought kind. Phew! have I made myself clear?

Marriage and then motherhood is considered as the final goal in a girl's life, at least in India. Interestingly, anyone who has crossed these stages know in their hearts that there is certainly more to life than just getting married and having kids. But very few may voice this openly much less admit it to themselves for the fear of being judged. I am certainly no saint or a wise one for else I would have done differently. And I am not vainly under impression that my rants will be read and more absurdly even taken as a piece of advice. But again, it is my blog and it is meant for my rants. So, after ample prologues, if you wish to read further, here you go:

Marriage and parenthood are just a step (major? maybe, but surely not the last) in the journey of life, hence should not be viewed as the ultimate and only goal or destination. Both come with their share of responsibilities and a huge change in the rhythm of the current lifestyle. Unfulfilled desires and unaddressed emotions come out in the raw when you are dealing with yourself and a new person(s) in your life on your own. The need to take stock becomes necessary then and a certain level of maturity in sorting out priorities is required. Much like the rearranging of a closet, where old and redundant things have to be cleared to make space for newer ones. One needs to be prepared to let go.

Since, these two are such life-altering decisions, in my opinion, a few listed below are some must things to do .

Before you get married:

1.Travel. As much and as wide as you can. Take solo trips or group with friends or even strangers. Tour the country and if possible outside the country.

2.Work. Take up a part time or full time job. Anything that interests you. Need not be always a 9-5 job. In fact preferably in the area of your interest. This is the time to explore. Don't let people bother you with questions like, oh! but what are you doing in this job? "but how will you find "good" guys?"

3.Stay independently. Get out of your parent's home and try to live independently. See what goes into maintaining and managing a home and a life on your own. A lot of things are taken for granted when one is at the parent's house. Also, it gives you the space and chance to carve a distinct personality and attitude that is not a default or inherited one.

4.Dream. And dream of fulfilling those on your own and not linking it to someone or something else in life. It is OK if they don't materialize but at least it will be on your own accord. You will not attribute it falsely to others.

5.Take up or pursue a hobby. Do something for yourself. Discover what makes you truly happy.

6.Take time to spend time with your would-be for a few months before tying the knot. The courtship days are important not just for the romance. It helps to identify possible thorns and possibly avert further follies.

Before you have kids:

1.Spend enough time (in years) with husband. Get to know each other better.

2.Repeat point one under 'before marriage' above with spouse.

3.Do NOT fall into the trap of "oh! I am getting older. Oh! all my friends have a kid(s). Oh! what people will say". Take into consideration the biological clock by all means but do not stress yourself unduly about it. And regarding others and friends having kids, well, it is you and not they who have to bring the kid up. So take stock.

4.Prepare yourself physically, financially and mentally for the kid. Although the last part can never done enough. When the kid comes along you will always feel you were not mentally prepared enough. But the other two can be done.

5.Understand that a kid is fun. But that is last. It is first a LOT of hardwork. It is demanding of your time, space, strength, energy, patience. If you can spare all of these in aplenty with even an added smile for bonus then you can consider yourself one lucky woman and your child luckier.

This is definitely not an exhaustive list, I know. What I am trying to convey is that a wider exposure to life in general is needed to take an informed decision on these two important stages in one's life. So, what's your take on this?

Comments

  1. Girl I love.....infact absolutely HEART this post!!!!!
    And u've written it really well!!!!!

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  2. Really valuable post this. I totally agree with you - First understand what you want from life not what others want from your life!!

    But this realisation also comes veryu late sometimes!

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  3. Words from a wise woman!! So true. I hope someone who is pre-husband, pre-baby reads this and takes the solid advice :) Fortunately, I think I did most of this stuff except for the travel part which I think was sorely lacking :((
    I was smiling all through your disclaimers and prologue...it was kinda cute ;))

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  4. Nancy: Thanks a ton Nancy! Coming from you, it means a lot..:-)

    RS: Thanks RS! very true, it is so important to know yourself first and a lot of times, realization dawns late.

    Aparna: Wow, you managed to check of most things? that's cool. I did not get a chance to stay separately and also travel too much. Also, I wanted to travel overseas before having a child, which didn't materialize. Rest of the things more or less happened I should say.
    and wise you say? well..;-)
    many who know me personally read my blog, so felt the need to add the disclaimer..hehe..:-)

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  5. Good one Uma! My only grouse is that some just don't get it!!!:) We (in India) are culturally trained to think these are the only two plausible goals! That said, even with all the preps, the change that these two events bring into our lives is beyond all imagination, right?!

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  6. A very thoughtful post... I am sure i'll come back to it when these two life-altering(as you said) experiences happen to me...

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  7. Your advice is very very valid and should be something every young women should try to do but I'd love to read a bit where you say that it does not matter when you get married or have kids you should always make time for yourself - your dreams and your wants. Travel, have your own friends, make your own bucket list and do it. Don't become a giver to a point where you wake up bitter some day.

    http://kindazesty.blogspot.com/2011/09/32-hours-banglore-to-hampi-and-back.html

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  8. Uma.. How I wish I could follow all your advice Uma.
    Sometimes, things just happen and we will have no control over it. In that situation we should not worry about what we wanted to do, but think about what can be done to be happy in what we get.
    What do you say?

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  9. Wow my comment could be ditto of Aparna's, not to mention that your post is filled with so many of the things I have thought of or realized over the last few years. How wonderfully you have put the points down Uma - really a great read!

    Travel travel travel - the one big thing I never made time for pre-kids, which is why I have plans of doing those non-kid vacations sometime soon in the future ;). Somehow work was so all-important those days (esp where hubby was concerned), that taking a holiday never got the priority it deserved. I was lucky to see some of Europe when I was in Germany for work for a few months, but never with hubby - that is something I really want to do in life :).

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  10. Vidya: Thanks Vidya. Even today, in spite of being a thinking person, there are girls who get into marriage without really thinking much about it. And I can absolutely vouch for the second part when you say even with preparation the change can be daunting and difficult to handle.

    Radhika: I am glad you found this worthy of taking heed. Thank you! :-)

    Mallika: Welcome here Mallika! and glad to know you liked it. It is so important to address yourself first before sharing your life and space with another.

    Sahana: sigh! how I wish I had been wiser before..:-) what you say is right! but we also need the maturity to re-organize our plans and be happy with what we get.

    Aparna: Thanks Aparna! seriously, I did not travel enough before or after marriage and I def regret it 'cause it was my wish to travel overseas before settling down to have kids. But somewhere, the biological clock sounded more loud and I gave in..:-) I am motivated by your plans of no-kids vacation. Seems very possible when you say that. DO let me know when you do make such a trip..:-)

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  11. Uma, Aparna: I'm still planning for the non-kid vacay :) Hopefully in the next year! can u believe this - now the husband is not willing to leave the kids behind and go on holiday with his wife -- what is the world coming to???? :))
    On a more serious note, Uma - just take R and travel. You've already done a few trips with him, am sure u can do a big overseas one too.

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  12. Aparna, All the best for that vacation!! I'm sure I'll have the same problem with hubby - to even go out for a meal without the kids will leave him all wistful and I'll be like "Huh!?!" :)

    Uma, You should definitely attempt places like Singapore with R. It's only far away and "romantic" or complete backpacking destinations where I feel it's unnecessary for kids to be along, they should do it when they are older - what's the point of showing them all the places now itself ;) ?

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  13. Aparna: Agree. Singapore is a great place for kids. Uma, another foolproof idea is any good beach vacation - kids can't complain and its very restful when there is no sightseeing involved. I've heard Bali is great, also places like Bintan, Langkawi or the Thai islands. Or even Srilanka and Goa closer home.

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  14. Aparna and Aparna..loved your suggestions. Will surely consider planning a trip with R (waise koi chara nahin hai, with husbands behaving like this:-))

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  15. Hey Uma
    Very succinctly put...why the hell didn't I read it before? Why didn't you write it before hehe?!??
    Ya man, though I've had a whale of a time with travel and work, didn't stay independently even once. BIG MISTAKE. BIG BIG MISTAKE.
    All that you say sounds so...sound...I wonder why good friends or cousins don't seriously talk of these things before you get sucked into this whirlpool...
    Great read...thanks :-)

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  16. This post is just PERFECT! Loved it !!! 'Meri mooh ki baat cheenli' types coz I have caught myself telling my single friends the same. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Forever mother: hell, why wasn't I wiser before?..;-)
    Thank you so much! :-)

    Namratha: Thank you so much Namratha! Hope your friends take heed..:-)

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  18. I agree with all the 'Before you Get married' points. I am going thru that stage now.

    Very motivating post:)

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  19. Tan: Thank you Tan! Glad to know that you agree with me :-)

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  20. I completely agree to you here Uma and yes I am living by these lines as of now...hoping to do in future too :)

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    Replies
    1. it's gr8 to know you are following this..more power to you, girl! :-) all the best!

      Delete

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