An Unpopular Opinion on Getting Married and Having Children

When I was a kid, I used to tell myself that I would marry by twenty-five and have kids by twenty-eight. Para mas maka-jive ko ‘yung mga anak ko, and they said that you would have a greater chance “to get your body back” when you give birth before thirty.

But I am two years past twenty-five, and I am reconsidering if I still want to get married or have children.

Getting Married

What is marriage? According to Merriam-Webster, marriage is a contractual agreement recognized by the law. For people with religion, it’s a contract with their god. I think there are also financial benefits to being married. Plus, if you’re cheated on, may laban ka. You can make the person pay for cheating on you.

Maybe I’ve come to this point that I don’t believe in the purpose of marriage anymore.

Why can you not live together, suffer and enjoy together, swear your promises to each other—in other words, commit to each other—without a contract?

And whenever I ask this to others, the answer is “Kasi iba ‘yung feeling,” sometimes with “gathering of the people you dearly love.” (Why not invite them to a party instead and just publicly announce that you and your partner are so in to each other?)

Maybe it also boils down to one’s faith. “We can’t have sex when we’re not yet married,” leading to “We must be married before having children.”

Having Children

I had a dinner with my former coworkers one time, and the usual tita talk included “Kailan ka ikakasal?” and “Ilan gusto mong anak?”

If it were ten years ago, I would have answered, “Two—one boy, one girl.” Now I’m not sure if I even wanted one.

To me, not having children when you are in a relationship is a self-less act because, well, you have decided not to multiply your genes. Siguro kasi iba pa rin ‘yung saya na makakita ng kadugo mo.

How and why are children created? Biologically speaking, people are created because a man and a woman had sex. However, not all sexual intercourses are planned. Whether planned or unplanned, either both or one of the parents, or foster parents have committed to raise a human.

Raise. A. Human.

The primary reason I reconsider having children is “Ako nga, di ko na alam paano asikasuhin sarili ko, ‘yung magiging anak ko pa kaya?”

To me, the worst thing a parent would hear from a child is “Bakit niyo pa kasi ako binuhay?” Imagine giving birth to someone who would end up not wanting to live . . . Sobrang sakit kaya. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe beautifully summarized my point: “The problem with my life was that it was someone else’s idea.”

And in the generation we are in, practically speaking, humans should be raised in such a way they could positively contribute to this earth.

That is so difficult. Having children is a responsibility. If our ancestors could reason “Humayo kayo at magpakarami,” Felicia, the earth is dying. We don’t need more humans. We need more trees or maybe human-producing trees. (Have I gone mad? My environmentalist friends would agree to this.)

If, before, our ancestors could reason, “Para may mag-alaga sa ‘kin,” uhm, I don’t know. Siyempre nasa pagkukusa na natin ‘yon bilang mga anak. It should be because we were raised well not to let our parents wander the streets, not because we were raised so we would take care of them (that is, the concept of utang na loob).

As I’ve said, I’m weighing things. “Baka pagsisihan mo rin ‘yan,” people would usually say. Maybe because I’m still young, and my friends are usually young single individuals. But what if they get married and have children?

I often hate myself because I think this way. Too many thoughts. Too many.

What are your thoughts?

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