Posted on January 16, 2021 at 11:08 pm

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You do not need to be married to be a parent

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Indian culture has sometimes been a nurturer and torchbearer of several age-old social dogmas regarding a meaningful relationship between two individuals. One of these is bearing a child only after marriage. From their birth, many Indian children are conditioned to believe that their goal in life is to get married and then become a parent. Fortunately, nowadays, urban Indians are questioning this belief in an effort to encourage this changing mindset we would like to bust a few age-old myths that we as Indians proudly hold.

  • Living-in or companionship besides marriage is acceptable forms of a long-term committed relationship. 
  • There is no rule that all married couples should have children. The two individuals might choose not to have any children. Their choice needs to be respected.
  • It is not necessary to be married to have a child. 
  • Biology alone does not make you a parent. Being a parent means taking an interest and making an effort and showing up for your child. 

Being a parent is a rewarding experience. Whether you have the child biologically or adopt. A person may want to become a parent simply because they want to be one. Wanting to be a parent should not be a reason to get married. You can be single or in a live-in relationship and still be a parent. There are no guarantees even if a couple is married that they will stay married. And staying in an unfulfilling marriage for the sake of the children does more harm than it does good to all involved. Parenting is easier when there are two people sharing the duties. The myth lies in the fact that it takes both parents to bring up a well-adjusted, emotionally healthy child. However, in today’s world, family structures are no longer fixed. Every family looks different, there is no normal. What is important for a child is that it is loved, nurtured and their basic needs are taken care of.  You as a parent are the one making the decisions that will shape their life and personality. Keeping your child’s best interest personal and career sacrifices may have to be made. If you want to be a parent, then this is something you should be willing to do. Whether you are married or not really is not critical in this endeavor. 

The ideology that encourages having a child to solve marital problems is beyond outdated. A baby is not a magic wand.  If there is a problem that remains undiscussed and unresolved then it is the children who suffer and experience trauma because they have no choice but to bear witness to unhappy and sometimes volatile parents.

If you are single and have not met your life-partner, are financially independent, and would like to be a parent, these are options that you may consider

  • Surrogacy
  • Adoption
  • If you are a single woman, you can also opt for IVF with the help of a sperm bank.

Parenting besides being fulfilling is a huge responsibility – choose to become a parent mindfully. Not because society expects you to be one.

Shalini Singh is the founder andwemet an online matchmaking service for Urban Indians seeking a meaningful relationship. Instagram I Twitter  I Facebook I Linkedin

 

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