DINKS , a curse or a boon ?

DINKS (Double Income No Kids) is a term which is a pretty much recognised term in the west. However, it is a fairly recent phenomenon in our society/country and has gained momentum only in the last few years. Given our customs and traditions, it's hard to even imagine that something of this sort has actually managed to make its way here and stay.

Earlier, most families were single income families where the husband was the breadwinner and the wife, homemaker. And it was a natural progression to have children. At that time, the joint family system was still operational in many households. Then, women going out to work was something that was unacceptable. The roles of a woman post-marriage were to be a good wife, daughter-in-law and mother. And it was always regarded as natural to want children, unless there were medical complications.

Slowly, but steadily, the joint family system gave way to the nuclear family system, and at the same time, women became more educated and empowered. The need to have and enjoy luxuries became prominent.

Managing with a single income became difficult. Somewhere along with this, there was also a change in the way women began viewing themselves. Given the changing fabric and the ever increasing competition, jobs became more demanding and work hours were no longer a typical nine to five setup. All of this eventually gave way to the phenomenon of DINKS!

Couples made a conscious decision to work and not have kids as either their work schedules did not allow them to have kids, or they as they wanted to lead a better lifestyle, without the responsibility of child bearing and rearing.

Another factor contributing to this or compounding this change was the fact that society became a lot more individualistic and there was more focus on singular needs and wants.

It is mainly a matter of individual choice, one that is made after weighing the factors at play in one's own life. Therefore, the choice needs to be respected for whatever it is. It needs to be made very consciously and there should be an awareness of the consequences.

To sum it up, it would be appropriate to say that these decisions should be free of any familial/ societal pressures. And the consequences of these decisions should be faced gracefully and with full responsibility!

Pros VS cons...
One gets to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle and manage to save a good deal of money as there are no child-related expenses like education.

Children are not neglected or raised by maids, given that both parents work.

The couple is able to devote more time to work and climb the professional ladder rather quickly.

The couple can spend their free time travelling, taking up hobbies and bonding with each other which might help their relationship. Often, when kids enter the picture, the couple barely has time for each other and their personal relationship gets compromised. The equation they share undergoes a huge change since the children's needs and demands take precedence.

The couple becomes more individualistic and self- centred. The growth that takes place once the couple turn parents is compromised.

Personal needs take precedence.

Their relationship does not evolve as they do not move to the next level, that of parenthood, which opens different avenues and introduces each of them to other aspects.

Having kids helps couples look beyond themselves and place someone else's needs before their own. A self-centred attitude gives way to a more selfless approach with kids.

The natural instinct to procreate and nurture is somewhere thwarted or suppressed when such a decision is made.

(The author is a clinical psychologist

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