This photo was secretly taken by our friend on our Sunday walk at a nearby beach in Halkidiki, Greece. We drove 30-40 minutes from Thessaloniki city to Kallikrateia town. We were with another couple who was also Filipina-Greek/German. It was a very warm day – a sign that Summer was approaching.
[OPTIONAL READING. Warning. My rantz of the week.]
I was recently reading stories about couples. Their love story, their tragedies, and their life. And then a close friend of mine announced this week that she’s pregnant after being with a guy for only 2 months. They met on the internet through a friend. They had never dated in person – before. A marriage proposal followed immediately – and now she’s pregnant. Her story made me “feel off.” She was like a real sister to me, that’s why I was concerned about her decisions. Were her choices based on her own or was she pressured from the unfortunate events in her life that made her aim for attention, security, and secured long-time partner through marriage? Or is it because most of our friends are married with children and we often see them in facebook posting their baby pictures? I have more “or’s” on my mind why she had done this decision, which to me sound hasty. Why am I concerned about this because if something goes wrong with her marriage which will require divorce, it will be very difficult to achieve. Philippines is not a “divorce” type country. We have annulment, but it’s a tedious, money-grabbing, and insane process. No wonder there are a lot of infidelities going on. Parents whom you see not loving each other anymore and the children would end up suffering from this. Most importantly, the couple had to bare with each other for as long as they live. Happiness is crucified – and sacrificed.
I talked to another friend of mine about this. We are both Filipinas, born and cultured most of our life in Philippines but now we’re living in a different country. Greece is not the first country we went to. I was in California; she was in one of the countries in Scandinavia. We both have seen the difference and progress in developed places. And where we live, we adopt to the culture and lifestyle. At some point, I told her that the Philippines is way behind regarding family planning – foremost. We grew up in the concept that Filipinas should get married before 30 and have children by then. Women should be provided well by their husbands and be good housewives. If you are NOT married before 30, you are considered “old maid”. If you have no children as soon as you got married, you are “late in child-bearing”. Is anyone laughing reading this? I always contradict these type of thinking. If I were in Philippines, I’ll be pressured and the topic of any social gatherings. Living there would be hectic and it will be difficult to find people-friends that will understand your decisions in life.
My talk with my husband about family planning is not difficult. If we are not ready – then we are not ready. We are supported by our friends and family in Greece with this decision. No one laughed at us. No one made fun of us. Is it because we are in the west, or is it because people have thought that having a family and child-bearing are not the MAIN priority of life – but there are other things yet to do, yet to see, yet to achieve, yet to crave. Isn’t it great that you will enjoy your womanhood first and make children much later on? A parent student of my husband told him one time, “It is not difficult to create children. The difficulty comes after you bore them. So enjoy your life first [without them] and do not rush into making them.” EXACTLY.
Confronting myself about the “off feeling” towards my pregnant friend, was not easy. She was my closest friend, just like a sister. I am happy for her. Really I am because she said she finally found someone and she can create her own family. But after reading the conversations in facebook between her and other gal friends who are mothers by now, I cannot help myself to think that she got married hurriedly and just want to escape her other problems. I hope I am wrong. I felt that she’s talking nonsense when she commented that, Life could be happy only if you have children. That put me off. Because I know people that have children but not happy about having them. Also people that chose to be single or childless but they are happy couple. And sadly, there are those who want to have children, but cannot have. What are they going to feel if they hear someone say that happiness in life lies on children only?
I have a chat with my husband regarding related issue after her parent-student told him another thing. “Women do not generally want children to take care of them properly. But to put an accessory in their womanhood. They love to display their children. It makes them feel superior. It makes them feel & look good. “ I laughed at what she said! And I can’t agree more. I observe that there are women [who have children] who have the tendency to act as if they found a “lost knowledge” of womanhood. They have that aura of, “you do not know about life!” Oh yes I know, I have cleaned poops of other children and I did not like it – a bit! That’s why I cannot be jealous – even tiny bit! 😛
As an ice breaker from reading up to this point. I would love to share an essay by one of my hubby’s student (16 y.o.) Even a 16 year old knows how difficult it is to take care of children without having one at first hand! And that having children is not only about dressing up and feeding them, but much more. The most important question is – how are you going to make a human being out of your own?
While there are those women who are truly admirable. They are great parents Not only to their own children, but to that of the others as well. Some are not even married; some are widows; some are perfect mothers but not in their careers; some are great in both ways. All in all, they have been my inspiration what a parent should be. Regardless whether they are married or not.
Regarding my preggy friend again. I still respect her decisions. She took a risk and it’s her life. Life is full of mysteries, anyway. You never know what will happen exactly tomorrow, 10 years from now, 20 years from now. You won’t even know if a relationship would last, and for how long? And if it is a long lasting one , or not. Everyone takes risk in life. And regardless of those decisions, there are people who will go against you. But true friends will understand and respect you no matter what. This I can assure her.
And so to end my ranting, here is a wonderful video that I would love to share to everyone. Let’s live life to the fullest whenever we can. Because nothing and nobody – is forever.
DO YOU BELIEVE IN FOREVER?