What it takes

Hav­ing chil­dren is one of life’s most re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ences.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FAMILY -

A re­cent ar­ti­cle by Time en­ti­tled Hav­ing It All With­out Hav­ing Chil­dren ad­dresses the fall in fer­til­ity rate in the United States; in fact birth rate is said to be the low­est in Amer­i­can his­tory. The ar­ti­cle ex­plored why some choose to not have chil­dren.

The ar­ti­cle also cited a Lon­don School of Eco­nom­ics study by Satoshi Kanazawa, who pre­sented find­ings as­sert­ing that the more in­tel­li­gent women are, the less likely they are to be­come moth­ers.

The ar­ti­cle has sparked de­bate online, and I, too, pon­dered on the mat­ter.

I have al­ways be­lieved moth­er­hood is a beau­ti­ful thing.

Yes, it can get pretty unglam­orous – clean­ing poop and vomit never made me feel sexy. I hardly have time or the fi­nances to splurge on some of the things sin­gle, un­at­tached and child­less peo­ple get to do. Trav­el­ling can be a pain, while the amount I need to save up for my chil­dren’s col­lege ed­u­ca­tion is just plain scary.

But, that does not sum up the ex­pe­ri­ence of hav­ing chil­dren. Choos­ing moth­er­hood means you get to give and get un­con­di­tional love. No mat­ter what, you are bound to your chil­dren and you have the op­por­tu­nity to nur­ture that won­der­ful bond. You be­long to each other.

My favourite blog­ger cum writer, clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist Dr Kelly Flana­gan writes there is true con­tent­ment when you give in par­ent­ing.

By be­com­ing a mother, you put some­one else be­sides your­self first. I also found that my chil­dren give me the best rea­son to progress in life, and I have ex­tra rea­sons to be happy.

How­ever, a re­sponse to Kan­zawa’s find­ings by The Guardian blog­ger Sad­hbh Wal­she did bring up a rel­e­vant point: No one ever men­tions the self­less­ness of women who choose not to have a baby, not be­cause they wouldn’t love one, but be­cause they don’t feel they are in a posi- tion to pro­vide that baby with the kind of life it de­serves.

There are also women who feel they are not fit to be par­ents due to a num­ber of fac­tors. So, they re­frain which is self­less, too. I had a male col­league who couldn’t think of hav­ing chil­dren as his wife had an im­pos­si­ble work sched­ule that in­cluded ex­ten­sive trav­el­ling. They felt they couldn’t give their best, so they shelved that de­sire.

I am not pro­mot­ing women’s pro­cre­at­ing duty nor am I wor­ried about the di­min­ish­ing mar­ket size which may af­fect tax in­come like some heart­less econ­o­mists. Far from it, I feel one should look at the finer things in life, be­yond the ob­vi­ous.

The writer thinks she’s a bet­ter per­son thanks to her kids. Reader re­sponse can be di­rected to star2@thes­tar.com.my.

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