Wednesday, April 17, 2019

(O) OPPORTUNITY COST (#AtoZChallenge 2019)

I may sound selfish when you finish reading this. 

I often wonder the opportunity cost of being pregnant, giving birth and raising a child.

(Opportunity cost - loss of other alternatives when one alternative is chosen)

Since the time I have conceived, I have become less productive at work and in general. I have given up on various luxuries like monthly outings and weekend trips as it was not safe initially, and later on due to physical constraints, I did not like to take road trips etc. 

In my first and second trimester. I suffered from frequent urticaria*. On consulting the dermatologist she explained that many pregnant women have an onset, due to rising progesterone levels. I was prescribed medicines. I also had to observe my diet every day to notice if any food was acting as an allergen. I was advised against eating nuts and eggs. I was prohibited from going to the park for a walk as pollens also act as an allergen. In short, I had to be extra careful. Once carefree, I felt trapped sometimes.

Before I conceived, I was working on a business plan with my H. This was going great and I had made a decent customer base in a short period of three months. But due to nausea and tiredness, I could not focus much on the business with the same enthusiasm as before.  

Due to the care and support needed in the final stages of pregnancy, I took a break from work, business and daily life and visited my parents. There was a shift in location, hence I had to pause everything that was continuing in my life as usual. 

Of course, I may restart from where I left, but this also means that I will be behind by a specific number of months compared to those who did not have to take a maternity break.

I often think about the effort and sleepless nights that go in raising a child. I know my H will be equally responsible and family will chip in, but at the end of the day, the crucial role of mother can't be ignored. 

There will be a constant juggle between work and home and both needs to be justified with equal effort. Sometimes the effort that we put in as women is treated as a thankless job. In this context, I always think about my grandmothers - their entire life revolved around raising and feeding their kids. 

They devoted themselves for their family and usually, no one thought about their individual aspirations if any. This may not lead to positive rewards during their old age as the kind of selfless love they showered on their children may not be reciprocated with the same vigor. Sons and daughter might fulfill their obligation but not with the same affection that they received from their parents (I am not saying that this might always be the case, but such incidents are increasing, else there would be no old age homes).

The world human population is close to 7.7 billion but are we so humane to love our parents esp our mothers with the same intent with which they brought us into the world and raised us to be able individuals. 

For mothers - 9 months and beyond - does it justify the opportunity cost she forgoes when she could have been doing so many different things as an individual?!

Please share your thoughts. Did you or your spouse share the same feelings?
Is it okay to think like this?
Am I being selfish?

(These AtoZ Challenge posts pertain to my thought process, physical and mental changes, stress levels, perspective, journey and experience as a first-time mother who has yet not delivered her baby.)


*Urticaria, also known as hives, is an outbreak of swollen, pale red bumps or plaques on the skin that appear suddenly -- either as a result of the body's reaction to certain allergens or for unknown reasons. Hives usually cause itching, but may also burn or sting

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  1. Kislaya, life's going to be completely different when u have a new born. I totally understand what you mean when you say that you have to take a few steps back while you start ml. I was a senior branch head with hdfc when Tuneer was born. After joining back, I decided to take a sabbatical to be with him during his growing year. Without my Ma, it was indeed difficult to even think of leaving the baby alone. I never went back to job but I rediscovered my love for writing and I became a full fledged writer. Today I have published books and I am working towards making this solopreneur journey work. It's difficult but I don't think I would have ever mustered the courage to take this call if I didn't have that tiny boy in my lap. You are going to do great, trust me. Enjoy this phase.

  2. Kislaya,

    I've seen people not become parents because they said 'when we can afford to have children we will'. The truth is if we wait to be financially established, then noone would have kids. Motherhoods drains you of your sleep, time, engergy, sanity, and money that continues for the rest of your life. It's a daunting, unshakable burden to carry and you worry how do you go on another day but you find the resolve. You know everyone is depending on you and despite the heaviness be it financial or emotional one you're experiencing, you'll find you wouldn't do anything any different if you could do it all over again. My. Kids. Drive. Me. Nuts! I have moments where I say, "Why did I have children?", but in that split second my mind is eased and I know why because it was my call to be a mom. I've made plenty of mistakes along this journey and I'm sure I'll continue to do so but I am seeing improvements. I place my trust in God to see me through each day and for guidance in helping my adult children see the right way. All I can say is, 'Saddle up and enjoy the ride. It's gonna be a wild one! '

    A2Z Little Mermaid art sketch ‘Ollie’

  3. You are not selfish! The best mothers are the ones that care for themselves with the same love they care for their family. It makes you happier and healthier to think about yourself too! :)

    The Multicolored Diary

  4. You're not being selfish... just being a normal human I guess. I don't have kids, but I have also often wondered about the logic and practicality of having kids.

    One thing I realized in last few years was that kids bring a level of positivity in our life like no adult ever can. The kind of unconditional love and trust that a baby can give us, you can't get that from any adult once you're grown up too. Kids.. they kind of reconnect us to the inner child we lose somewhere while growing up. Just my two cents... :)

    Find my O post @ How To Write Original Content For Content Marketing | 5 Tips to Make Your Content More Original

  5. There are always costs no matter what path we choose. Looking back is natural, but you will stumble if you do it too often. Make the most of the journey you are now on. A child will enrich more than he or she takes away. :-)

  6. You are not selfish in your thinking, Kislaya. When I conceived I was working. I resigned and became a full time mom and housewife. Trust me it was not easy. Physical changes were visible but the mental changes were the ones which only I could understand. Post-partum issues are real. A mother has to take back a few step to care for the new-born. Later I never re-joined my workplace. But there are perks when bringing up a child. The first cry, the first words, each step brings untold joys.But some day I used to ask myself ,'did I do the right thing in bringing this child into the world?. Parenting is a mixed bag. These thoughts are bound to come.
    Enjoy the phase (even though it is difficult) and dont worry. We Indians are lucky to get help from our parents and grandparents.

  7. You are on the right track into parenting. I foresee an involved mother in you. Get back to working from home once you've got settled down with your newborn. The more productive we feel about ourselves the better we'll manage everything else.

  8. The kid will bring a lot of happiness & good fortune. You won't ever look back and think about opportunity cost.


  9. You've had lovely responses Kilsaya! You'll find any sacrifices made will be worth it. Be there for your little one - take him wherever you go, to work, shopping, visiting - let him be part and parcel of your life at all times ..