Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Being Childless

A friend of mine said that she was jealous of me because I lead such an active life. I told her I don't have kids, that is why I need to constantly find something to avoid the emptiness inside my heart.

I guess people will see what they want to see. But there are many facets in life. We might be jealous of other people's lives but we never know what truly is in their minds and hearts, unless they told us. That is why never judge until you know what truly happened.

Few weeks ago my mum's neighbor came to visit us. She asked me how long I've been married. When I told him it's been 8 years, she started asking about my other sisters also. When she got to know that even my youngest sister has been married for at least 3 years, she casually called us 'mandul' (infertile) while proudly told my mum and I that all of her married children have got kids of their own. It hurts being called 'mandul' but I diplomatically told her that Allah has not granted us 'rezeki'.

Conversation about my personal life always makes me uneasy. I found it distasteful and rude when some people, who happened to meet me for the first time and attempting to make small chat start to ask me whether I'm married or not. When I say yes, they will start asking whether I have kids and when I answer no, they will make their own stupid presumption loudly, "Oh, merancang ya?" as if they know what is inside my heart better than me! Often than not, if we are chatting in a group and they are old folks , they will continue talking to each other with something like this, "Budak-budak zaman sekarang macam tu la, suka sangat nak rancang keluarga, kononnya nak ada karier dulu la. Bila teringin ada anak umur pun dah lanjut, dah tak subur dah" and I am left alone biting my own tongue trying hard not to say loudly, "FUCK YOU! Ko ke yang tukang supply pil perancang aku yang kau tahu sangat tu?!"

It becomes more uncomfortable when it is your relatives or your husband's relatives. They will start making all sorts of assumptions and give you all sorts of advices. I don't mind if it's my mom or my mom-in-laws giving me advices because I can understand that they are worried about their kids. But it really irked me when a bunch of 'penyibuk', acting under the pretense of concerned relatives start to tell me to try this product or that product or telling me their kids have successfully produced a line of brood of their own. If it's my own relatives, sometimes my uninsured mouth will have life of its own, without me having control of it. It will say something like, "Eloklah, beranak ramai-ramai tu make sure la jaga semua ya, jangan nanti sorang jadi bohjan sorang jadi bohsia sudah."

But if it is my husband's relatives, I have to make sure I keep my mouth shut, if I have to plaster it I have to plaster it because I don't want my husband or my in-laws to feel embarrassed with my language and my behaviour. Sometimes it hurts deeply, because they forgot that life is all in the hand of Allah, they act as if I can make babies on my own, as if I can just order it out of a catalog. Sometimes I so wish to tell them instead of telling me to try all sorts of pills or herbs, why don't you conduct a live session on how to have a satisfying productive sex. Show me what technique that you used to produce a whole line of brood. How did you keep all your husband's cum in your vagina and make some of them swim to your ovary. Show me all, bare it all so that I can learn from the experts!

Who are they to judge me?! They are not mind-reader. They do not know how much my husband and I want kids of our own. How devastated I was when I had a miscarriage few years ago. How much it hurts me to see the longing in my husband's eyes whenever he look at little kids. How much I miss having my own bundle of joy in my arms.

I always believe that Allah has His own plan for me and my husband. Maybe we haven't been blessed with kids because we are not yet fit to be parents. Maybe because we are still far from being good Muslims. Maybe because we have too many commitments that will get in the way of us being good parents. Maybe because I was so afraid I will ruin my kids lives. Maybe because I was afraid my husband will spoil our kids badly. And there are many more maybes that they don't know.

They will never understand what I feel. They don't know how crappy it is wanting to be a parent so badly and at the same time so afraid that I will not be a good one. They never understand the longing in my husband's eyes, the emptiness in my heart, the bittersweet feeling that comes to me whenever I hear somebody gives birth to a beautiful baby, the miserable joy I feel whenever I hold my nephews and niece tight in my arms. They will never understand that, because they only know how to judge, but not how to empathize.

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