After wedding, it is normal in Indonesia for family or people around you to ask ‘baby question’. So, I have been facing these baby questionS for almost 2 years now. First my parents were reluctant to ask “are you pregnant yet?” as they know that I hate that question and think that the question is absurb. But yet, they are still living in a society believing that baby should be born as soon as possible for young couple to actually form a family, and for me to be a real woman. Thus, they finally asked the question, although indirectly, and of course, I gave them my best known and usual answer. Children should wait until I have finished my PhD, until I am satisfied with my own life, until I have a good career, in short until I want to have one and ready to have one.
Let’s talk about the importance of baby. Do you really need a baby to form a family? Is baby vital for the strenght of couple’s bound? Is it impossible to be happy without a baby in a marriage life? My answer is NO. It’s not that baby should not bring happiness, the point is there can be happiness without child. Being just two does not mean a couple does not have a family, a small one, yet it is still a family. In Indonesia some people argue that a wife should have children to bound her husband to her through the kids, and a childless wife should be ready to have her husband looking somewhere else to have kids. How sad. How low women’s worth is in the eye of society. What about if a woman cannot have children? Is she should be condemned to be unhappy and incomplete for the rest of her life? How unfair! Woman’s existence and identity should not be dependent on husband or children. Womanhood is beyond marriage and pregnancy.
A lot of people have pushed me to have babies and all of them have been wondering why I do not want to taste the happiness of motherhood.
I am sure there is happiness of motherhood, but there are also worries, frustation, patience tests, etc. I am not a girl with pinky life vision. For me children is not only the boundle of joy, it is little human whose future is dependent on us, the parents. It is a huge responsibility.
Will we be able to raise them properly, having in mind that they will have to combine two different cultures, norms, and habits? Will we be able to teach them what is good in life and what is not? Will we be able to give them just enough freedom to find out who they are, but not too much to make them fall into all troubles, or too little to chock them with our love and attention? Will we be able to give them sense of responsibility, respect, and tolerance to others? Will we be able to make them listen and encourage them to feel free to talk to us? Will we be able to train them to be good person? So many questions..
I don’t want to have children for the sake of having one. I want to realize and be ready of all the responsibilities waiting for me and my husband ahead. Until the moment comes, I will just smile to baby questions and simply say, “you will have to wait.”