Disclaimer: In Real Life is a platform for everyday people to share their experiences and voices. This article is a personal submission by the author and does not necessarily echo In Real Life’s sentiments.
To start the story, I have to go back to the beginning of what I can remember of my childhood.
I was lucky in many ways – I have loving (albeit traditional) parents, I enjoyed Barbie dolls and masak-masak, I dreamt and planned my wedding to my dream guy, and I even decided what to name my future daughter.
But somewhere down the line of my typical girl-to-woman life, something changed.
I cannot pinpoint the exact time and reason, but my course of life has shaped me into a woman in her mid-30s who has started questioning one of the most basic requirements for the survival of our species – Reproduction.
I’m aware that I’m not responsible enough for kids
During a time where most childless women would start feeling their biological clock ticking, I am instead having other concerns — concerns about the consequences of bringing a child into our world. Some of my reasons are selfish, and some are hopefully not. But it took me a long time to come to terms with it.
Let’s get on with the selfish reasons first – I would be the first to admit that I’m happy to only need to use my money for myself, and I’m not financially capable enough to be able to spend on raising a child without big sacrifices on my part.
Kids are expensive! I see my colleagues taking out precious annual leaves just to care for their sick children or attend school events, and it always makes me think how lucky I am to be able to use my free time to my own advantage.
Being a responsible parent is a noble endeavor, and I fully acknowledge the sacrifices parents all over the world make. I also believe the joy and love and familial ties of building a family is worth all the sacrifices – but I am not ready yet to trade in my freedom for it.
I also believe that the most responsible thing to do is to not have kids when one is not capable of being responsible for it.
The world isn’t pure enough for a child to grow up in
Moving on to the hopefully not-so-selfish reasons. The longer I live, the more I feel that this world is not a very good place.
Overpopulation, environmental damage, the list goes on. I know, maybe I am overdramatizing such a negative or grim perspective.
However, I look at how humanity has progressed, and I wonder what the chances are of raising a child who can grow up to be a happy, well-developed person with a good nature and a bright prospective future, in a clean and healthy environment.
As a parent, I might be able to try and influence my child’s upbringing to be as positive as possible, but I would be merely a parent.
My child would be of my flesh and blood, but he/she is their own person with their own mind and own character, that would be influenced by their external environment at large.
I see this clearly from the fractures of my own familial ties with my parents. Much as I love them and understand them, I can’t be like them or live the way they prefer me to in order to “keep me safe”.
Looking at the actions and mindsets of the younger generation nowadays worries me. I have become what my parents were 20 years ago – someone who is unable to relate.
Despite my reasons, I still think I would enjoy motherhood
Many of my friends told me I would make a great mother – I love babies and kids, and I am, to an extent, much more responsible than many other people who have children but are incapable of caring for them.
To be honest, even with all the reasons (or you can call them excuses if you want), I do in fact feel that I would enjoy motherhood. And I cannot say that I am 100% confident in not wanting kids.
For sure, there is family and societal pressure that is like a huge moving rock pushing me to conform to the typical life milestones.
But I think I am capable of pushing back. At the very least, I am today able to voice out that I don’t think I would want to have kids – and that’s alright.
And if I change my mind down the road, that’s ok too.
For more stories like this, read The Racism I Experienced Dating In Malaysia And I Dated Black Men And Was Shocked At Their Reality Residing In Malaysia
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