"You are pro-life, right? If that's the case then I wanted to see you have more than just one kid."
It's one of those friendly(?) remarks I was getting from people who are aware of my stand regarding the RH bill. I rarely want to put a tag on myself but yes, I'm adhering to what the pro-life people are believing and following. But it's not surprising that being pro-life is oftentimes misunderstood by many. We're being accused of just focusing about people being born safely but not caring for the quality of life that these babies are facing in the future. Pondering on that, it is what exactly meant for us. Being pro-life is a holistic approach of caring for what's good for a person physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally and economically. And I think that's what I'm trying to practice. Maybe one way of doing that was how my wife and I have waited and planned for some years before marrying and starting a family and having our own kids.
My wife gave birth to our second child exactly a week ago. Mik now has a younger sister. We are so blessed and happy for our growing family. We are also getting a lot of warm greetings from family and friends which makes the occasion doubly special. But as a pro-life dad, based on the comments we are receiving from some people, I can't help myself from thinking how much the mindset of the people changed about pregnancy, fertility, planning and most especially, however ironic it may sound to some, respecting other people's "choice". I am not angry at those who have said these words since most probably, they meant well. Either that or they are just joking. But then I think I have to make this list to clarify, to inform or simply to put these things off my chest and mind.
|Meet our newest family member, Kayla.|
1. "So your wife's pregnant again?" - Emphasis on the word "again". Yes, she was. This question usually has follow ups like "how old is your eldest kid again?", "that was quick...", "are you kidding me?!" which went with surprised looks like it's unusual for a married couple of more than 3 years to have 2 kids already. And we're both 31. I don't really get what's surprising about it.
2. "Did you plan for it?" - Yes. But even if we did and if it wasn't meant for us, it wouldn't happen. And we're so thankful that it did happen. And for the people who don't know us for long, maybe you can consider these things like how my wife and I finished our studies first, got stable jobs, worked on our finances and ensured that we have a home we can call our own before marrying after 10 long years of being in a relationship, a "plan". But amazingly, there are still those we know for very long who still ask this question.
3. You're already on "quota" - This is a common joke among Filipino families. We have this term "naghahabol" for parents who would love to have kids of the two genders. And some families grow big because of this mentality. There's nothing wrong with this especially if they can support them and the parents can always strive harder. But when I'm being told of this "quota" for the reason that we already have a pair, a boy and a girl, I can't help but feel sad for our next kid. Is this where the "unwanted" term came from? And no, we currently don't have thoughts about having a third kid. Not now, not soon, not yet. Besides, it's a very personal decision between couples so I reserve my rights ot to speak with finality about this matter and also to ignore opinions of people regarding our own family's plans in the future.
4. "Is your wife getting ligated after this?" - Why aren't you not circumcised yet? When are you getting your new dentures? When will you get married? Is that a wig? These are all personal and sensitive questions. And to the person being asked, these are all so annoying. Just like this question regarding ligation. Alright, first let's throw my being pro-life away for the mean time. Still, the same question does not sound well. And it's not as if my wife's healthy fertility is something that needs to be addressed.
5. "You're fine with two. Life is more difficult now" - I agree that life is more difficult now for a lot of people. Just imagine that some years ago, a hundred pesos for a cup of hot coffee is scandalous and 40 pesos for a piece of doughnut is way too much. But now, you even have to line up just to get those. And the competition on buffet restaurants are stiffer than ever. So regarding our family's size being fine with two depends on the perspective, just like how difficult life is. You might have some good points to share, but my perspective about my family is first hand. Besides, my wife and I are now enjoying the fruits of being both born to a family of 4. I'm the eldest in the family while she's the youngest in theirs. Both of us can't imagine how hard life would be without our siblings around us. And we can't let that hardship happen to our kids at this point or in the future.
There are other varieties of these kinds of remarks but most of the thoughts are the same with these five. And I'm not innocent with these. I also blurted some of these words before. But now that I'm in the position of the one being told or asked, I realized that there's something wrong about it. Or let's just say there are better ways to say these things. Maybe we can be better off being "pro-choice", but NOT the way pro-choice people wanted it. Not the way they force people to think and act the way they wanted by using laws. Not the way they are getting other people's money thru taxes funding other's way of life that is against their own will and belief. It will be better if we just leave the choice to the family on how they would protect the health and dignity of our fertile and pregnant women keeping in mind that literally, the future of this world lies with them.