The hard question

How many of you have heard of these statements:

Children are the best thing you can have

You’d regret when you are old and alone

They carry on your legacy

I love kids and won’t doubt for one second that they are bundles of delight and the future of us. However, I know they are not for everyone.

Several weeks ago, my friends and I had a face call. It is a thing that I am still struggling with. Virtual hangouts suck, yet our social circles tighten a little more each time we hear the number of COVID cases goes up. But regardless, we had a quality time together, and one of my girls brought the big news to us – yes, she’s pregnant! We were all over the moon for her. Looking into her eyes, that sparkle, I knew she wanted this baby and she will nail motherhood.

After the call, I sat in the washroom for a while until my husband came looking for me. He found me sobbing. I looked up and asked him, “is it wrong to not want children?” I felt like a monster saying that. But why did I say that?

  • Because it is not the right time amid the pandemic?
  • Because babies are demanding and having a child will break the bank?
  • Because we are just not ready?

All valid reasons, aren’t they? Having a baby and committing to parenthood is such an intimate and personal choice. But we often find ourselves being pounded with questions and shamed for not giving the “correct” answer. To this day and age, the social stigma around not having kids is still strong.

My mom and my best friends are all wonderful mothers and role models. I wanted to be one of them. Life would be more predictable in many ways, in terms of doing the right things at the right time. I will have help. I will be applauded for making the sacrifice. And yet, I know I will stop being me, and lose my identity. All of those unfinished dreams, is it fair to ask my children to carry them out for me? Or should I just let them die.

I know there will be voices trying to tell me otherwise. I respect them and want to believe that they have my best interest at heart. But it’s me who will live the life I choose, facing any consequences down the road. So for once, I say no. It’s up to me and my husband. We will make plans for us and for our family, with or without children. And that is okay. It is okay to be thinking for ourselves, to be selfish. After all, we are the ones pay the bill.

Maybe I am missing out on having a little human grow inside of me; maybe I will get used to the chaos and busy parenthood life. And for sure, my internal clock is ticking fast. But leave that to us to figure out. Because that’s part of growing up.

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