As I go deeper within myself, I realize that the core reason of why I have children is really my personal attempt to leave a little footprint in the sands of time, and not for the love of someone else, and definitely not for the love of the nation. I know that my time in this world is limited, and my life is transient. The only way that I might leave a mark, would probably be through my children, who are true reflections of my personal light and darkness. Whoever I am, whatever I am made up of, will show up in my children, for better or for worse.
I see parenting as a journey of growth and refinement. Like the refiner’s fire that purifies gold, parenting is the route that I have chosen for myself to evolve into a better person. Like some people may choose to travel the world, or go for triathlons, or go for retreats, or set up businesses, I choose to be a mum. This is the challenge I have taken up for myself in this life, and I would resolve to be a better mum tomorrow than today, going for the extra mile.
To me, there is no greater responsibility than being a parent, as these lives I bring into this world are being shaped, moulded and influenced by my every word, every mood, every action and inaction, every presence and absence. From a foetus in my womb, to an infant at my breast, to a child in my arms, every single breathe my children takes, even before they take that first single breath, I am their universe. I am the earth from which my saplings grow, and I am their nourishment in every sense of the word. Physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually.
To have children, is to partake in the greatest creative mystery called life. There is no other creative force as powerful as this. Empires will rise and fall, businesses will start and stop, achievements may come and go, but the core driving force of all that, is life. Amidst the rubbles of destruction, amidst chaos, amidst despair and hardship, as long as there is life, there would be hope. And the union between man and woman is the only creative force in this world that can literally create a life. It is where it defies mathematics and logic and physics, where one plus one is no longer two, but three or four, or five, or six (in our case).
So that is really why I have children. To create lives and watch them grow. Not that these lives belong to me any more than they belong to themselves, for ultimately we all belong to God, but to be a steward of these lives. To provide, to guide, to steer them towards a positive path. And then let go.
That would be most terrifying, for both myself and for them, but I am sure it will be a deeply satisfying journey. So I guess for many people out there who do not embark on the parenting path, it is either they do not see parenting as a way towards self-actualisation, which I also respect, if they have found alternate ways of self-actualisation, or perhaps they are still terrified by the prospects of the journey. It takes a lot of courage as well as reassurances to want to create I suppose, and if the world out there is perceived to be hostile, would people still want to procreate?
To me, my answer lies here:
Do not be afraid, for I am with you; do not be alarmed, for I am your God. I give you strength, truly I help you, truly I hold you firm with my saving right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)