The majority of women in my immediate and extended family started their families at a fairly young age. (In other words my great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, most of my female cousins, and my sister have had their first child before the age of 24.) Myself and two of my other female cousins (a little older than myself) do not have kids, but my oldest cousin, my 2 younger cousins, and my little sister do. While I am not a mother, I do have respect for the women out there that strive to be a good mom.
I am honestly amazed and proud of my sister sometimes. She has her drama, and it’s probably worse than other people, but she is going to college and trying to make a life for herself as a single mom with three kids. My cousin, one year younger than me, has gone through rocky times and has a total of three boys. My oldest cousin and youngest female cousin have also started a family and they both have a son and daughter. It’s strange to think how my mom and 2 of my aunts are grandmothers (2 of the 3 before the age of 50). I’m also proud of my friends that are mothers, many of which are single moms.
Unlike my family and my friends in my social network, I don’t share their desire for a family. I think being a teacher in the education system has shown me a lot of bad parenting and/or bad over-parenting, with very rare ‘great parent-great kid’ combinations. Don’t even get me started on the problems within education systems. There are a lot of negative things in the world and it’s hard for me to want to even think about bringing a child into it. On top of all that, I’d also want to have a more ‘permanent’ set up than what I currently have going on. Maybe I will have kids someday, but not any time soon. (My friends are convinced that because I have such a rational head about such things that I would make a great mom. Ironic, huh? lol)
There are A LOT of mothers out in the world. (By the way, Korea doesn’t have Mother’s Day: just parents day on May 8th.) Three of the blogs that I have been following (Westerners with a Korean husband), have recently had babies–all sons, actually. (When I first started reading, they were NOT planning families.) I have also read a few blogs and know a lot of people with very close relationships with their mothers. Sometimes, I am honestly baffled at their mother-daughter relationships. While I love my mom, I don’t feel this same kind of connection that some people apparently feel (neither does my sister). My parents had my sister and me at a young age, and we definitely faced some financial struggles throughout my life with them. I love my parents for the things they have done for my sister and me. They raised me to be an independent person, and I am just that. I guess that’s why I live in Korea and can say that it’s a rare day that I miss my parents. I like who I am and I think this is how they wanted me to be. So, thank you, Mom, for raising me to become a strong, independent woman. (Sorry I didn’t get you anything.)