Should one has kids just because people think and say so?

I’m 25 years old. A woman. An Indonesian. Still single.

To live in Indonesia is not easy for me. I actually love my life here when I feel like no one seems to bother about what I think, what life I want to live, what I believe in, why couples are having different religion. I don’t need to face their judging glare when I tell them that I date someone with Islamic name. In Indonesia, people seems to care bout lots of things but the important things.

They seem to care when you are going to graduate from university, where you are working, whether you are well-paid, when you are going to get married, whom you will marry, when you are going to have kids, how many kids you want to have… And this kind of question will just repeat over time.

We actually think about the way we want our kids to be raised, but (especially for me) it is only to give answer to our parents (and I don’t really bother about what others might think as it is not my business on what they want to think) that: “Yeah, we both have had thought about it as a consequences to our plan to be together.”

Since I was so young (doesn’t mean that I feel old now), I always think that there are some women who are blessed to have this maternal instinct and some others are blessed to enjoy child free life.

At the first time Mas H and I planned about the marriage, we both agreed on: “Maybe we should postpone our plan to have kids once we are married.” And after time goes by the conversation starts changing to be: “Is it OK if we have no kids?”.

Are we one selfish person live in two bodies?

The idea that women don’t have babies because they are ‘selfish’ is there. But for me I don’t agree to this opinion as because it is not only reductive, but in so many cases, it is simply incorrect. At least for me, I prefer not to have kids for myriad reasons. And if I can say, selfishness is not among them. First and foremost, I never keen on the kid thing. I’ve never felt a desire to get pregnant or give birth. I also feel like I always hold the infant in such an awkward way. I hate to hear baby’s cry.

For Mas H and me, there is no greater joy than just spend our time together in silence, in the middle of a garden or even room and start reading or writing. While we could have found a very nice condition to do so, neither of us will be very excited to squeeze children in this complicated equation – just like neither of us is very interesting in watching a soccer match.

In my twenties and going around by telling people I simply wasn’t ready to have baby will attract friends, colleagues, distant relatives, whoever that think they are concerned about me and sending me questions: “Aren’t you afraid you’ll regret the decision? That’s kind of selfish, don’t you think? Don’t say so, if God listens, you will find it hard to have kids at the time you want it.” And needless to say, the questions will generally go to me.

My desire to have no children was never made out of some desire to keep my life out of the hands of others. If anything, I have simply chosen to share my life in a different way. Sure, I may one day change my mind or even regret my decision. I may also regret a heap of other things. Not spending more time with my family, being a jerk to a good friend, sleep too much. But perhaps, a bigger regret I would have is having a baby who I don’t really want. It’s a person and even more a life that I will waste for my selfishness of having it just because others think so.


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