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¿Y los chamos pa' cuando?

Actualizado: 11 ago 2018

Patricia Torres

This phrase roughly translates to “And when are you having children?” although there is usually a condescending undertone to it.

People seem to think it is OK to ask anyone, whether close or not, when they will be having children, but this is especially true when you're a woman. If the question is aimed at a man, he can usually shake it off or joke and laugh it out, but women, well women don't get to do that. Try to deflect and the questions and judging eyes will follow you relentlessly; answer with anything other than “we started trying” and boy you'll regret it.

And that's after the “when are you getting married?” conversation, but we'll leave that for another time.

Besides the fact that it should be common sense not to ask (what if said woman was sick, for example), being a woman and, as one friend put it, not being “married” (haha) to the idea of having children, seems to baffle people, it's basically inconceivable... and that's when the questions of psychoanalysis start:

  • But who's gonna take care of you when you're old? - If this is why you plan to have children, please, just don't. They aren't retirement funds.

  • Don't worry, it'll change. You'll want them eventually – I wasn't worried, thank you.

  • But what's gonna be your purpose then? - Sorry, I didn't know I was put in this earth only to give birth.

  • Your parents want grandchildren? – Thank God I have siblings then, otherwise they have to settle for dogs (we're not really cat people).

And like that, so many other questions and judgments that I personally find are based on other people's desires or cultural biases. But if I were to pick the argument that most grinds my gears, I would have to say it’s: “Oh! But you're being so selfish!”.

Well, that's precisely the point. Yes, yes I am. I happen to be very aware of it, and it is because I am that I don't think I should bring another child into this world that is not completely and utterly wanted.

There's one Grey's Anatomy episode (I know I just referenced GA, but bear with me) where one of the characters (Yang) comes to a turning point in her life in which she has to choose on marrying someone and having kids or letting that someone go. In one of the versions of the episode she chooses the guy and the children, even though she's always been sure that it wasn't what she wanted... As the episode goes on, there is this one scene where she's taking care of her crying child, which she evidently loves, but who she also evidently resents. She looks powerless.

And I don't want to feel powerless or associate someone else's life with regret. I never want to question whether I made the right call, whether my life would be different or whether I'd be happier if I didn't have any children.

I am aware that I like to sleep. I am aware that I want to travel. I am aware that I want to live under certain standards. I am aware of what I want. And I am pretty sure I'll know when and if I'm ever ready to have children.

I also want them to know how loved and expected they were if I ever do make such a decision. I remember my mom telling me once that she left her career to take care of us, and even though I know she loves us with every inch of her heart and made what she thought was the right call for her back then, I also know she wonders “what if...” and I wonder with her.

There's also the “ticking clock” argument, which I know is an actual issue. However, the way I see it, if you really want a child, it won't matter if it's genetically yours, if you need medicine to help you conceive, if you use a surrogate or just adopt. They will still be just as much yours and will still be as much your family, because only each of us can determine what family means.

So, as I am not “married” to the idea, I still have plenty of time to make sure whatever I do is right for me and, consequently, right for my possible future children. It'll make for a happier me and happier kids.

#NoMo #Motherhood #Gender #Stereotypes #Women

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