Jan 3, 2016

Do you want to have children?

"Yes, of course."


Ruth Orkin
It was a warm afternoon. The sun was setting beautifully with its cotton-candy looked alike clouds moving over the horizon and the drinks were still cold. I was having a great time with a group of friends. All of them are mothers and their toddlers were running around, playing in the pool next to us.

Then, a soft voice interrupts. Asking me, the only woman in the group that has not given birth: "Do you want to have children someday?" 
I look at her and immediately respond: "Yes. Of course."
But just a second after I said those words, I rushed to revise my answer. "I mean Yes. Not Yes. Of course."

Here's why:
"Of course" emphasises an expectation, a mandatory feeling of obligation. It sounds like it is something you should do. When, it is not.
"Of course" sets a standard, it asks for approval. Of course is "What it has to be. Normally." "Of course" almost feels like there is no alternation. 
"Of course" makes sense when you ask someone if they want to get dressed after they take a shower. Or, when asking if your guest wants another glass of white. Yes, of course!
But not when it is about having children. 
As a woman who wants kids, (or one baby if we are being logical here with the number of eggs I can still produce), I get why some women do not want to. Having children is no easy walk in the park. And jotting down the list of responsibilities here is something I do not find necessary to do. You know it. I have heard of it.
And sometimes, it is not about the responsibilities. Sometimes it is only about you. You want to travel, you do not want to have saggy boobs, you prefer to adopt, education is not cheap. And of course, it is okay!

Not all of us know, as the owner of a uterus, eggs, milk machine and all, you are not incomplete just because a baby has not popped out of your belly. When people ask you: "Who is going to take care of you when you get old?", just look them in the eye and say "Well, do not worry. It is not you."And if someone question on how you will provide for your second twins, tell them the same. 
When they ask you why, tell them your reason and be okay if they cringe. I learned that their validation is not needed. And have no obligation to explain. As cliche as it sounds, it is your body. It is okay if you do not want to grow tiny humans inside it. Or if you believe in a doula to deliver your eleven babies at home. By the way, if you have twelve, may I suggest the name Benjamin?

This post is not carrying the torch of feminism. Let alone trying to be a sounding board of any party about pro creation. It is merely about the meaning of words that can sometimes be overlooked, until it becomes so powerful and able to mess with someone's mind. From today onward, let us drop the use of Of course, when it comes to the question above. Yes or No are valid complete answers by itself. 

So, allow me to ask you. Do you want to have a baby?
A. Yes, of course.
B. Of course No

Whatever your answer, be comfortable with it. Stand by it. No one can judge you. Least of all yourself. 


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...