BATANG MINDANAW: Babies not included

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews/21 October) — Motherhood is not, and will never be, obligatory. What’s so bad with wanting to be a career woman? With pursuing other goals?

Every time I tell people I don’t really plan to get married and have kids, there’s almost always this barely withdrawn look of disapproval. And then I’m bombarded with the usual “Ngano man?” (Why?), “Muabot ra na” (It will come), “Kulang kaayo ang kinabuhi sa babae kung dili makaanak/ pinaka fulfilling mahitabo sa babae ang mahimog mama” (A woman’s life is never complete without a child/becoming a mother is the most fulfilling thing for a woman).

Look, I’m not saying I’m totally closing my doors to the idea of marriage and motherhood, it just isn’t in my concrete to-do list in life. I am not belittling marriage and motherhood; and I recognize the fact that there are women out there who want to have children but can’t bear any, and I will never mock or disregard that pain.

But I think that this idea that the ultimate “woman-ness” of a woman lies in the domestic life is primitive and patriarchal, and we should stop perpetuating this.

Ladies, remember: There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to focus on your career, your individual/personal growth, your own wants and needs. They may label it as selfish, but the fulfillment you get with taking care of yourself is definitely no less than the sense of fulfillment mothers get when raising their children.

So do not feel guilty about choosing yourself. Do not feel guilty about wanting to see the world on your own. Do not feel guilty about not making use of your birthing hips. Do not feel guilty about being selfish, if that’s what they want to call it. Go. Go out and achieve those goals and dreams. There’s no shame in not being “wife material”. You fab, girl. (Alexandria M. Mordeno, 17, is a second year Political Science student at Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology.)