I’m introducing Guest Bloggers where women can blog about issues that face them. This week’s post is from Sazan Mandalawi, a friend of mine who recently got married to her prince charming on the societal pressures that young Kurdish women face, and how they often feel coerced into having a baby simply because of the constant familial nagging.
Pressuring young brides to be pregnant
By Sazan Mandalawi,
The life of Kurdish girl goes through a cycle that we often refer to. Basically when you’re single it’s all about when will you say yes, when you found your prince charming it’s about the engagement, when engaged it’s when is the wedding, when married where is the baby, when the baby comes it’s when is his or her sibling coming. I can keep going, but I shall pause here. Let’s take a momentary pause and talk about… babies!
Enter marriage life and dare to complain of tiredness, feel a little unwell, especially in the stomach and you get that cheeky smile that says “girl you’re pregnant”. Another momentary pause, pregnancy and child birth is probably one the greatest miracles in anyone’s life and what more amazing in the world than carrying in your arms a piece of you, however there are a whole bunch things needing to be considered before that.
It has been covered before on Kurdish Mother on when is the ideal time to have a child.
The main reason why society pressure young brides to be pregnant is the same sentence: “if you don’t have a baby now you won’t be fertile later” I am not sure which medical grounds this is based upon but too often young girls fall into this trap. Nevertheless, it will not hurt to see a gynecologist, do a few tests and know the condition of your reproductive and fertility health. Then my dearest you might want to tick off the majority of these points:
- Am I mentally ready to deal with all that comes with a new born including all responsibilities, and the accessories including diapers, feeding, sleepless nights
- Do I have time to be with my child? Will I need a baby sitter, will it be my parents or am I going to stop work and look after the child? This all has to be planned out. Generally working new mums in Kurdistan send their baby to their own parents or her in-laws while she is at work, are you keen on doing this?
- Am I physically ready to go through the ordeals of pregnancy and child birth? We are talking about nine months and then the labour. This may include hospital costs if you’re resorting to private delivery. I don’t blame all the new mums to-be who fear giving birth in public hospitals in Kurdistan
- Can we financially sustain a child, so often people overlook this point but a baby comes with expenses, they need clothes, milk, stroller, clothe and shoes, maybe a car seat and that’s just the start!
- Can I secure a decent future for this child? Here it’s not just one or two years, but kindergarten and schooling are all to be considered. Sometimes new parents are not convinced by public educational institutions here but at the same time can’t afford the private options.
- Can I raise a child with good discipline, and more importantly can I give them my love, time, and energy
- Is there anything I want to do in my life before having a baby, whether we like it or not there are certain things in life that are not impossible, but more difficult once one becomes a mother. So I don’t get washed with criticism on this point I will give an example: Say you want to travel around the world and visit the North Pole for a while. The ideal situation here is not to leave a baby who has to be breastfed with anyone. Right? Well, that’s kind-of the logic. So, have you checked off your TO DO list?
- And last, but THE MOST important – is the relationship with your partner a strong, healthy one that I can bring a new family member into? You don’t want to be fighting every second day and expect to raise a happy baby.
Good luck to all those thinking of becoming a mother, my last advice is this is your child, and hence, your decision. No one should have a say on when you should bring a child into the world but you and your partner.
Disclaimer: Here, I am not generalizing, there are always exceptions. And this is not to say giving birth early in your marriage life is wrong, but one should simply be ready themselves without anyone else’s influence.