Friday, January 7, 2011

The Awful Truth

Maybe it's the jet lag, maybe it's just me, but the thoughts rambling in my head tonight are countless and crazy. I can't sleep and lying in the dark in complete silence just make things that much worse in my head.  So I signed in to twitter and found a retweeted tweet consisting of a blog post. A very interesting blog post.

This is the link: On Living Child-free in Indonesia

I need to thank @riniunyil for retweeting the link.

One of the things I love so much from living here in the USA is the fact that people mind their own business. The only personal question I get from Americans is always about my age. And they always ask it more in a fascinated kind of way, not at all prying. Well because I'm that petite and they always see me first as a minor. It's an Asian thing, I guess.

The post from Sparkling Rain titled "On Living Child Free in Indonesia" is about how most Indonesians are extremely nosy. Especially when it comes to really personal matters, such as marriage and children. The post is a must-read. So please, click the link.

Husband and I just celebrated our first anniversary last December. When we went home to Indonesia people were asking the same questions about when will we have children or why don't we have one or when will we join the group of young parents and their cute babies. Well, actually most of the questions were referred to me, almost always by touching my belly. "Udah isi belum?" asked them in Indonesian. Basically asking if there's anything in my stomach. I'd answered them lightly, saying that I had fried rice, satay and other foods there. They'd laugh, but instantly looked concern. Some even encouraged me to keep trying and not give up. Little that they knew, we were not even trying, let alone giving up.

Do not get me wrong, I am not against people who immediately have children once they are married. Or that I hate babies and kids. It is just that I do not feel like having them now. It is crazy how often I end up thinking about this when I am not even trying to.

People would ask why don't I want children immediately. In my heart, only in my heart, I would question them back, "Why would I want a child immediately?"

To tell you the truth, I do not have a "civilized" answer to that question. Answering them would make me feel and sound even more terrible, because it is not that I don't feel financially ready, or that I see this world as too messed up and not suitable for a child, or that I would make a terrible parent (even if there is a fat chance that I would probably be one). I just am not ready for a kid and I do not believe that the child would be ready for me as its parent.

Looking at friends and their little kids only make me even more terrified. I am not ready for my life, my every day, hour and minute to be shared with another soul. See, I told you my honest answer would make me feel and sound even more terrible. That kid, that soul still floating in a better place right now does not want me as its mother. At least not right now.

The worst part is that I feel guilty saying that I do not want a child right now. Is it that awful? Is it that awful to not feel ready to have children as soon as I got married? Is it that bad to not want to join the pack of young proud parents and their cute babies? I am not being sarcastic, I really want to know; am I that awful and why should I feel that way?

The only two things that make me feel better are the fact that my husband is on the same page on this matter and that my mother, my wonderful kind-hearted mother is OK with me not giving her a grandchild as soon as possible. But still, deep inside I feel a sense of guilt. I feel guilty for being so selfish. The question is, who am I being selfish to? Isn't this my life, my body, my future?

I do believe that kids bring happiness. The kind that I might not experience right now. But I will take my chances and stick to the decision of not having kids right now. The sense of guilt will linger, I know, but I guess I just have to live with that.

And though I will live with the guilt, I am not willing to live with other people's nosiness. I have to agree with Sparkling Rain. She said, "Somehow though, I still hope that one day we will respect each other’s space and banish private questions from everyday conversations." Believe me, showing that you care and being nosy are two different things. And you know that.



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