The Goddess Speaks
Think awhile before having kids
Once, women in society were meant to marry, be dutiful wives and have many children. As a girl, I told my mother that I'd marry a rich man and have 11 children someday. This odd number didn't come from logical calculations, but from silly, romantic childhood dreams.
I married a rich man -- in humor, personality and love. I'm never without important resources for the soul.
I became a stepmom, so I'm not a complete stranger to motherhood. My relationship with my stepsons is something I could never replace.
One could say that I have it all. But at age 34, I've reviewed my views on bearing my own children, and I'm not so quick to commit as I was as a child, due to inescapable questions within myself.
Is motherhood plausible and humane given the state of the world today? My change of heart has been brought about by much more than what some might consider trivial reasons, such as the fear of the act of childbirth itself. It comes from my own personal struggles, the harsh reality of changing social behaviors, environmental uncertainties and diminishing acts of human compassion in the world.
Friends, family and acquaintances have given me their opinions.
Many have warned that I might have regrets later. My friends who are parents say that having children has given them purpose. Other women have chosen not to take on motherhood in order to concentrate on developing themselves as people.
One of the most unique responses shared with me was environmental -- for example, the pollution that disposable diapers can cause. These are all valid points, none more valid than another.
Would creating life be a catalyst for more suffering for our children and their future children? Perhaps, if we don't procreate, the suffering will stop. Then again, the suffering never stops. The real underlying question is, Do I have the faith in myself to bring a child into the world who could possibly change the world? I know I'll find my answer someday.
Some people choose motherhood, and sometimes motherhood chooses them. Either way, when I finally do decide, I intend to take on motherhood as a devoted chapter of my life. Should I not proceed, I can be satisfied knowing all considerations were made out of love.
These words are not meant for pessimism. Empathize with me -- what does it really mean to take on the role of mother and father? If all potential parents could ask themselves this question, I'd be more inclined to take on motherhood with open arms, no questions asked.
Kimberly Monserat is an escrow coordinator for Towne Island Homes.
The Goddess Speaks
is a feature column by and about women. If you have something to say, write "The Goddess Speaks," 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210,
Honolulu 96813 or e-mail email@example.com.