Here’s another post with which most working mothers should be able to relate to. I’m going to jump straight into it this time around without beating about the bush. In an earlier post or two (I can’t remember at this stage whether I mentioned this in the same post or not), I mentioned that I had one love affair which ended up breaking my heart, and I also mentioned that I was at least nine years older than my husband. I did not mention that I got married late in life.
This, I’m led to believe, is no longer unusual in today’s twenty-first century life and this is where many of you could begin to relate. Most of you, I hope, have had the opportunity to go to college or university and then go on to begin your rewarding careers. If not, and if you still have dreams to do so, then know this; it’s never too late for that either. One family member here went to university quite late in life after previously believing that he could never do this.
Not only did he finish grad school, he got very high marks too. Anyway, it’s become quite common for many professional women to start their families late in life, even after having been married for quite a few years. As long as they are healthy and are keeping a good tab on the biological clock, this is a good thing. It allows for both husband and wife to fully establish themselves in their careers and get their nest eggs ready for the arrival of the first born.
In our case, the plan was slightly different. Because of my advanced age, we had hoped to get pregnant as soon as possible. But after two years of trying, it just never happened. We were about to give up and accept that we were going to be barren. But then the strangest thing happened. My husband’s older brother got married, influenced by his wife’s desire to follow our example and then rush straight into family planning. The brother was reluctant about the rush, by the way.
Anyway, nine months later the announcement came that they were going to have their first child. And then not months after their child was born, I became pregnant. I think I was more shocked than anything else. My husband turned white as a sheet when I broke the news to him. But, of course he was happy. And to this day, we have never stopped loving our children. An interesting and, perhaps, important point occurred to me. I’ve observed just how happy our first born child is.
I wondered if her exuberance didn’t have anything to do with the thoughts and feelings of her parents at the moment she was conceived. You see, while we were, well, you know, we were deeply in love with each other. We still are, by the way, but now there are those niggling arguments that creep in every now and again. So, my thought was that a child is likely to be an extremely happy one if the feelings of love between mother and father are absolutely mutual.
The opposite of that might be obvious. I’ve seen unhappy children in my time. But I’ve often erred on the best side of discretion to notice polarities between the unhappy child’s parents. I feel for those who are still forced into what they call arranged marriages. I also have a soft spot for those who, desperate to be married, to start a family perhaps before it’s too late for them, who aren’t really in love. I have in mind the high divorce rates around the world today.
And I’d like to express a strong-willed thought. I believe in this absolutely. I’m also happy that I was fortunate enough to never be tempted by fate and make the impatient and incorrect decision to accept the hand of marriage when there was no love. Now, those sharp readers could be saying right now that I should digress. Pardon me, you are quite right. Yes, I was engaged before I met my fine husband. And yes, really, I honestly believed that I was in love at the time. I didn’t know, at the time, that my suitor had no desire to settle down with me. But, fortunately he made the right decision in breaking the engagement and moving on with his life.
I think this requires a lot of bravery. To walk away from a relationship that simply isn’t working out and knowing full well that there is going to be a lot of hurt in the process. But I’ve experienced this. As hurtful as it may be, time does heal old wounds. You’ve just got to stick it out. And, again, I can’t help to keep on saying this, fortunately I did not have to wait too long to be truly in love. It’s a powerful feeling, but not always easy to maintain. Building a bond of trust, so necessary for love, takes some work.
And what about spiritual love? That’s perhaps more important than anything else. I believe the great Gandhi was forced into an arranged marriage as early as the age of thirteen. To think that my daughter is not too far off that age is indeed quite scary. I read Gandhi’s biography and he admitted quite openly that in those early years he never really loved his wife. But, fortunately for them, they grew to love each other deeply on a much higher level than what our basic human emotions are used to dealing with.
I close this post with the positive thought that it is never too late to get married and start your own family. But I also feel compelled to plead with those who may still be waiting for that day to never get married if there’s no love. I simply don’t think life is worth that risk.