Wexistence

Wexistential Crises, Wayward Thoughts, Welcome Distractions and Willful Pursuits

On Childbearing

with one comment

I’m at that age where everyone is terribly interested in the contents of my uterus. It’s infuriating that no one seems to think that asking me about my reproductivity (or lack thereof) is intrusive and obnoxious.

It disturbs me that my inquisitors seem to imply that upon reaching a certain age, women should bear children whether they’re ready or not. I’ve repeatedly explained that I’m neither emotionally nor financially prepared for such a responsibility but this does not seem to be a valid reason for remaining childless. I get stupid responses like:

“But babies are so cute!” So are puppies, and they’re cheaper and lower-maintenance.

“Bahala si Lord!” This kind of thinking is responsible for the large impoverished families all over the country. Support the reproductive health bill.

“Kawawa naman parents mo, wala pa silang apo.” Bakit hindi kayo naawa sa aming mag-asawa? Hindi naman yung magulang namin ang magaalaga at magpapaaral sa aming anak. Bakit gusto mong maghirap kami para lang magkaroon sila ng laruan? Bibigyan ko sila ng tuta.

First of all, if and when I choose to have a baby is no one’s business but mine and my husband’s. I’m not the crown princess; my ability to produce an heir is not a matter of national importance. Second, while no one is ever 100% ready to become a parent, 80% is still a lot better than 20% and I’m still in the lower quintile. Third, social conformity is a stupid reason to bring a child into the world (or to do anything, really).

I’m aware that my biological clock is ticking. I understand that childbearing will become increasingly difficult and risky as I get older. I’ve been warned that by the time I finally feel ready to have a child, I may not be able to conceive one.

My husband and I aren’t overly concerned. We figure that if we get to the point where we want to have a child but cannot conceive one, we’ll adopt. When I tell people this they seem shocked, like adoption is not a desirable option. I can’t understand why. We would love an adopted child just as much as we would a biological one. We don’t see how the lack of common DNA would in any way diminish our family.

One Response

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  1. Ice, I don’t have ovaries but I know exactly how you feel. I also get those really unwelcome (and yes, INTRUSIVE)questions about having kids. Is it because in our part of the world our narratives of self are defined less by autonomy (and by extension, privacy) and more by connectedness and intimacy? Here, it seems, people either treat other people as complete strangers or assume towards them a certain intimate closeness, some kind of privileged access to their personal lives. To demand privacy or to insist on a some distance can very easily lead to accusations of being rude or, that dreaded Filipino word, being “mayabang”.

    Clem Camposano

    April 19, 2011 at 2:32 pm


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