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Are we ever ready?
Having children

August 13, 2004 unedited

Ok, here is a new shocking trend that I am seeing in my generation. The generation I am specifically referring to are the girls and guys who got their high school diplomas in 1990(1370) in Iran and now are mostly scattered around the globe. Give this time frame 2 years of tolerance to be on the safe side so go for 1368-1372(1998-2002).

So, what is this trend? Before talking about this trend, let me give you a background. Most of us who left Iran deal with a simple mind occupying daily question of where to end up for living. The first part of the struggle for all of us has been to leave our beloved country. Destination did not matter that much at that time, as long as you could get an admission from a descent university who would be willing to offer you some sort of assistantship. Now, after 6.7 years some of living in these new lands, many of us are not the cheerful 20ish people any more. We are getting farther and farther from happily thinking: “Oh, I am too young. Who cares about the family life and commitment and such stuff? “

Yeap, many of us have got married, many of us are cut in long distance relationships that might never work but no one has the guts to break them! , and many of us are still in search of that perfect match either by us or through seeking the help of mum, friends, that fortune teller guy at the end of sar- e- pol- e- tadjrish and stuff like that!

Those of us who are not still fixed in a commitment are sometimes too afraid to even think about it at this time. It is not because they are commitment phobic. No, but because simply when you are living on a single entry visa in a foreign land with a salary sufficing to enjoy life as a single bird , it is tough to think of sharing it with any body else. It is such an unstable position. You never know what happens to you when you are done with this great title of PhD if you do not find a job. So, you linger on and try to secure yourself more and more by writing endless brilliant papers on your research! But this does not change that feeling of instability in this land even a bit. It is too big of a risk to invite somebody to join on a floating piece of iceberg amidst the polar bears!

Now, the ones who have are involved at some sort of commitment, they are facing some new sort of dilemma. This dilemma and how my generation is confronting it is the trend that I was referring to earlier in this article. This dilemma is: As a couple, do we want to have a child ever? If yes, when, where,... ? I guess those good, old days people felt like taking a step further in their concubine lives and they would go ahead and start the tries for having a baby or more simply stop the tries for not having the baby! What matters here is that they felt like it! The adrenaline hormone or whatever hormone would make them want to go down this path and experience this new phase!

But now, I look at my conversations with my friends:

-- "Well, you know. I am thinking we should have a baby by 2 years!"

-- "Ok, do you feel that you are ready?"

-- "Na baba! Delet khoshe ... We have so much else to deal with, visa, work, money, etc.. but on the other hand there is no other choice ... I am afraid it might be too late ..."

Another one:

-- "I was thinking of having baby since I have not found a job yet! At least I am doing something useful! It might get too late ... But now.. no .. not any more..."

-- "Why? What keeps you from going for it?"

-- "We bought a house ! We can not afford a baby any more .. so, I guess I’d better find a job. But I am afraid that it gets too late!"

This third one comes from a more stable one who does not need to worry about visa and money:

-- "Wow! Congratulations on your new sweet heart! You must be very happy now!"

-- "Oh ... thanks ... yes ... not bad ... well, you know I was not ready ... but now I should be happy ..."

-- "You should be happy?! What is up with that? Isn’t this what you guys wanted?"

-- "Well... we were married for 4 years and khob digeh ... it was getting late!"

And there many other scenarios: I am not still sure where we want to live or where we can even be allowed to live! May be we apply for Canada and go there! You know we do not have a GC yet. So, I can not leave US and with this visa situation, it is so tough for my mum to come over. Who is going to help me? What if we were forced to leave?

And there is this word planning for making a family! You need a bundle of big green notes at least in US to even consider such an option! In a country that children rule and you are doomed to work for survival, you need plenty of them for any such plans!

So, I am seeing many of us just thinking of having a baby for mere sake of getting late despite all these concerns. I know of body constraints for fertility and all these but where is this trend leading us? Obviously we are not feeling like having a baby but are just pushing ourselves to have at least one before it gets late. Yes, that biologic clock is running and is running fast. We’d better jump on it before it gets too late and we are regretting it. But, still is it right to have a baby before we are emotionally ready for it?

Palm Springs
August 7th 2004

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By Katayoon Hadizadeh



Book of the day

Borrowed Ware
Medieval Persian Epigrams
Translated by Dick Davis

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