While I am still battling with my reasoning opposing my Filipino family orientation, I came across an article on Rappler on motherhood being a choice. It may actually reflect what my principles hold, but what struck me most with such discussion was the take on motherhood as not merely a choice, but a rational, reasonable, and responsible decision.
It has become a norm that by age 30, a woman ought to have a child. Beyond her 30s, it would be difficult to bear a child. But this more than just any biological premise. It is rather socially-constructed and programmed that as opposed to psychologically, emotionally, and financially evaluating oneself for being capable of having a child, she ends up succumbing to the norm.
The holy book says that a man and woman are supposed to procreate in the world. As if that’s the only purpose one can ever have. But that has become normative in the mindsets of most. I am not against any religious or cultural constructs. What I value is simply choice grounded on reason. If one isn’t really into having kids, and then that’s totally fine. If it’s more of a calling to bring up a child in the world, well, then, that’s something worth pursuing.
This discussion isn’t merely about happiness and the existential principles one can uphold. One can simply cascade this to responsibility, rationality, and simply choice.
To be a mother shouldn’t be an obligation in society. One doesn’t owe anything to any institution by paying off by getting impregnated. To be a mother is a conscious decision, an empowering decision even especially to the individual. Gone are the days that for one to become part of a legitimate couple or a considerably contributing member of society, he or she must have a child. Today, the story has made its 360-degree turn. It isn’t the case anymore.
The article overall explains that a women has a choice. To Marguerite de Leon, one’s state in the world should always be a well grounded decision. It shouldn’t be acted upon impulse and immediacy as society claims it to be. If status quo does not permit it, or one’s disposition (mentally, emotionally, financially, purposively) does not fit that of a mother’s, then one shouldn’t coerce the situation. This is because being a mother, as I still think it is, should be all the best there is in the world. It shouldn’t a mediocre state between a mother and a child. It is rather a worth-treasuring moment. It shouldn’t be settled based on the individual’s state. One may reason that perfection is non-achievable given the constantly evolving society, but one must also be reasonable enough that prior to impregnation, the situation is definitely in the pipeline toward essential motherhood.
I once asked my mom what her dream job was years ago. And she reflected on it. She came back to me and said she wanted to be a newscaster, and communications specialist, and even an actor on stage. But she retracted and brought up motherhood as the best job there is. She couldn’t desire for the best in the world. But this premise is rather disturbing to me because my mom had that big dream, but because society tells her to be a mother, she sets that aside and changes abruptly to becoming a mother. I am not saying that she shouldn’t have become one, but what if she made a genuinely and essentially conscious decision? She would have made a big difference. But probably my mom was emotionally and mentally there. She has always been adaptive with many changing situations. Again, it is her choice. I am just not that definite if it was a firm one on her part.
I am still in constant battle of my principle that familial obligations (bearing a child; giving all back to the parents when the child reaches the bearing age earlier than 30) impede one to fully realize his or her purpose or essence in the world. The article resounds so much of my views on motherhood, life choice, and life development. In the world, there is always that essential purpose one must hold and take responsibility. Motherhood is one of so many.
If I choose to argue to change the world for the better, then that’s a very stable and conscious decision.