There isn't a day when I am not reminded of my biological clock ticking away. Coping with long hours of work, the anxiety of meeting deadlines and ultimately delivering (the project) are just a few of the many reasons that a working woman finds it difficult to get pregnant.
Because after such long hours, there is, unfortunately, very little time left to make ‘love’ or should I say babies.
However, it could also be the man’s fault and can have nothing to do with the woman. But for whatever reason it is not happening, it is a shame that the woman is blamed for it or looked at suspiciously.
A Constant Fear
That girls should have kids by 30 seems to be the belief and it is considered a blasphemy if you have crossed that age and are not pregnant. Yes, there is research and truth in the fact that fertility is at a peak before 30 – but this does not mean that every woman should rush to get “knocked up” before that!
And even if the woman does decide to do it, she has a zillion things to deal with. What makes it more challenging is the female egg which is active for a mere 24 hours from the time it ruptures, says my gynaecologist. So if you miss that date – which is often a lot of guess work and monitoring one’s cycle using various ways (the Glow app is one), you cannot ‘deliver’. You will have to wait until the next month to Glow.Try.Repeat.
And even after the woman gets pregnant, there is a constant fear of missing out on the promotion she has been waiting for. Which, in turn, puts pressure on a working woman’s career. Being away from work for a day means others grabbing your missed opportunity. What would a six-month break mean!
Will I Be Able to Work After Delivery?
Another fear that grips me is whether I will be able to get back to work after delivery. What if I am not able to manage both work and the baby? Would I be able to clock in a 12-hour day that includes travel of three hours? Though I have confidently blurted out that I will be able to manage all of this, I know that the ‘ground reality’ is quite different. What if the baby needs me? And leaving the baby with a nanny is often thought of as being frivolous.
When it comes to men, they have far few concerns. Also very few people care if the man has applied for a paternity leave.
I don’t think its fair that men don’t have to consider it. They can have kids in their 40s. The biological clock does not tick as loudly and most don’t even consider going on a paternity leave. When it comes to taking care of the little one, women have to grow up so much faster to be in a place that they can earn well in order to meet the increasing costs of child education.
If this wasn’t all, the gender biases creep in at home too. No matter how much the lady earns, she is expected to be perfect at being a homemaker. She ought to make sure that her husband is well fed and that often means she has to cook even if she may hate it. Her hobby could be writing or reading or maybe even watching TV but she must know how to cook. Why are cooking and women synonymous or rather made out to be?
Even when you are busy in a meeting at work, beware the calls that remind you of how you added extra salt in that veggie or how the curry was tasteless. Because even though the man knows how to cook, it is considered derogatory for him to look into household work.
(A freelance food and fashion blogger, Pranjali Bhonde Pethe aims at getting people and their favourite food and style closer through her blog moipalate. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on @moipalate.)