For those who asked for a transcript of my latest podcast (Out on Spotify, by the way), here it is:
Parenthood. It’s like the last frontier. The final stage to any life that you have previously categorised as free and cool. Everyone somehow expects you to be a parent – like it is your one sole purpose in existing – to churn out little versions of yourself and your partner/sperm donor/egg donor. The oldies always seem to ask “When are you having babies?!” But they never ask the right question so they never get a really good answer. The real question is not WHEN but rather WHY.
Why are you having children? Why did you decide to finally say yes to procreation? We don’t ask the reason why, not even to ourselves.
Let’s backtrack a little bit here and throw some caveats:
- I am not a parenting expert. All my parenting knowledge comes from experience (what I saw from my mother and what I am seeing now with the kids and the environment that they’re growing in). I am sharing my own lessons and am hoping you can get something out of it and can help you.
- This is not just about parenting. It is also about certain toxic Filipino traits that fucking need to stop.
My reason for having kids? To be honest, it was quite selfish at that time. I wanted to be a mom. I have always dreamt of being a mom. I wanted to be a cool mom just like my mom. I had my daughter because I wanted to fulfil that dream. And if anything, I am one determined woman who will work hard to get what I want. So, I got pregnant.
I didn’t think about all the things that were attached to being a parent at that time. I thought I was doing the right thing because I was already 27 at that time and didn’t want to be an “old” mom. I was so ready to love her, care for her and sing to her and teach her stuff. But you know…parenting isn’t just that. Parenting is making sure that this beautiful little bundle of joy does not turn out to be a complete dickwad that you want to put back in your uterus. (cough, salpanelothelizard, cough)
I understand why some parents like to control their kids. It’s really a very easy way to play God. You have these little things that look up to you and are so malleable. Maybe you want to ensure that they be the best versions of themselves, but let’s face it. We want our kids to go after the stuff and have the stuff that we weren’t able to have when we were their age. We’re so adamant about providing them of all the things that we were deprived of (real or imagined) that we never stopped to ask them if this was what they wanted. It’s easier to make them think and believe that they NEED to take this course and that they MUST only be friends with so and so people. It would be so fucking easy. But parenting isn’t easy. So is life. I think you forgot the whole part about how God gave us Free Will. I didn’t see God come down from Heaven to tell me that taking up Mass Communications was a really bad idea. So, all things considered, I think I’m fine.
Your reason for having children then affects HOW you raise them. Then the more important questions come up: Who are you raising? What are you raising? Are you raising someone who you think they should be? If you impose on your kids, the kind of person YOU think they should be, they will never know who they really are and what they are capable of.
As parents, our job is to let these kids come to their own; find their identity. Our jobs as parents is to support that identity, to talk to them and understand them as you would try to understand your best friend. Yes, you birthed them. That makes you their mother not their master.
Filipinos need to stop raising kids that are going to be their “salvation”. They are human beings that did not ask to be put on this earth. You decided to fuck someone without any prophylactics and get fertilised. You were so scared of your GOD punishing you for using condoms that you didn’t even think about how he’s gonna punish you for having pre marital sex first! Your child is not your property. Stop reading the old testament and forcing it to be applicable in this day and age, you goat. Also, you can’t call yourself pro-life if you don’t care about the child after it leaves the mother’s body. That just makes you a fucking jackass.
Nowadays, more women are proudly living their blessed singleness – no kids, no husband, no problems! No judgements here. These women are changing how society is looking at having children or the lack thereof. It is no longer an obligation to populate the earth. If and when they do decide to have children, we all know that it wasn’t an easy or quick decision to make. Now, while my initial reason for having my children was selfish, I’d like to think that I have been trying to make up for that. I will never pressure them to having kids – and I’ve told them this several times. “You don’t have to give me grandkids. You can have a dog and I can call that my grandchild all the same.” To which my son replied with “Well, what if I want to get a barn owl?”
That’s about the time that I falter in my decision to have a second child. Oh, and because the Universe sees me as their favourite child, they gave me two for one.