THEORY: Parenthood by a Non-Parent

Last night on the drive home, Jose and I ended up talking about parenthood. Specifically, the kind of parents we were going to be. And just so you won't get lost along the way, let me clear it out that JoeDy is the name of our unborn baby boy. If that creeps you out then please move along because it's going to get even weirder.

Anyway, we were talking about Jose selling his car for a new one. I told him that I imagined him passing his car (which I baptized as Badong) down to JoeDy someday. And then he said, if that was the case, then he should really dress the car up (meaning put all the accessories he just said he would never put back again since he just took them all down a month or so ago for the nth time). Also, he said that he would remove the car tint. I agreed. Somewhere in those lines is a hidden message. Read between 'em na lang.

Moving along, I started talking about all the things I wanted my child to learn and not to learn. I started with sex. Yes, as I type that word in, my nose cringes. I hate the word and I hate the thought of it. I actually kind of dread that we, humans, have to go through it to reproduce. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against "it" (please don't let me say the word again) but its just not for some people. I know, I may eat my words sometime along the road but at 20, I apparently still have a strong disliking for it. I thought the same thing when I was 13, 'Give me a few years and I will warm up to the idea'. It has been seven years and my feelings towards it has not changed that much. Well, I don't hate it as much now, rather, its more of dislike. Teka, how did this post become about me? (Conceited ko noh?) Anyway, I told Jose I wanted JoeDy to look at sex the same way I did and still do. I wanted him to hate it. That way I won't worry about being a young grandma. Jose disagreed. I got mad. I told him, 'Do you want to see your son's future go down the drain?' He said that doesn't have to happen. He explained that he didn't want to feed anything to the child. He wanted the child to decided for himself. Although he did make a point, the way he initially said it got me so pissed. I just have this set of values that I want my child to live by and hearing that my partner in life (hopefully, siya na diba?) disagrees with some of it is just so frustrating.

Let me just run through these 'values' I keep blabbing about (most of which Jose had a problem with):

  • Swearing is a no-no, it is condemned, it shall not be spoken nor be thought of. I don't cuss to this day, although I do accidentally slip a bad word or two very rarely, it is mostly because of hearing it all the time not really about me meaning what I say. I just find cursing very, what's the word, unclassy? 
  • Sex is not cool, it is disgusting. Yes, that is the way I will FIRST describe it because really, telling the child that it is how two people who are in love show their feelings (which most parents buy is a great way to keep their kids from engaging in the activity early), won't keep them from doing it.
  • I want my kid to answer back to me. I do not like it when parents say, "Because I said so" and then end the conversation. I complain about my parents' ways all the time but one principle that I am deeply grateful that my father believes in and continues to practice is that he listens to his children and encourages them to defend themselves. He tells me that I should follow him because I believe he is right not because he was my father. We would debate all the time when we would disagree on something and he would not call that rude or disrespectful. The greatest part is that if I prove him wrong and if I prove that I am right, he gives in to me just as I would with him. It makes me feel I matter, my opinions matter and that I am capable of doing things right. Of course, for most parts of my life, I always lost so he enjoyed this 'principle' for quite some time already... but its my turn now! Mwahahahahaha. I want my child to feel important, I want him to know he has a brain and that I encourage he use it... all the time, everywhere and with everyone... including his mom. And when the day comes that he proves me wrong in a debate, I will be more proud than ashamed my child had beat me because I have raised an intelligent person.
  • I want my child to pray. Before, I was close minded and strictly Catholic so I wanted my child to do all these religious stuff and serve the Lord. But the years have changed my perspective and if that is a good or bad thing is something I still am figuring out. Anyway, I want my child to freely choose what religion he wants. Of course, as a child, I will teach him what beliefs I know and raise him the best way I know how. But when the time comes that he questions this, I will be more than happy to let him explore and understand what faith really is. But no matter what religion he feels best expresses his beliefs, I will teach him the importance of prayer. No matter what God he chooses to worship, I want him to learn how to close his eyes and pray... to ask for help, to be regretful and to simply be grateful. 
  • I won't ask my child to give anything back to me, to his family. I will not burden my child with the responsibility of paying for his siblings' tuition, for buying me medicine, or for financing anything for the family after he graduates and gets a job. I don't want him to think that I raised him so that one day I could use him and make him serve me. No. I want him to know that I raised him and gave him everything I did because I loved him... no strings attached. If he chooses to give something back, I would want it to be because he loved me the way I had always loved him.
  • I won't give my child anything for nothing. I want to spoil my child and give him everything I am capable of giving as much as the next parent but my want to teach him the value of money and hard work is far stronger. I want him to deserve everything he receives. I don't want to go home one day and just hand him an iPod just because. I want to surprise him with a toy when I noticed he has consistently been getting good grades in quizzes, or I see he is being very kind to his sister. It doesn't matter if its big or small, I want him to know that things don't fall into your hands, you work for it. And if he has gadgets that are still working, I won't tolerate upgrading it just because everyone is. I just hope I could get his father to cooperate (who I am still trying to teach the value of money after four years).
  • I want my child to have passion for learning. I don't mean academically (but it would be nice if he loved school as much as I did), more of everyday life. I would love for him to enjoy Disney as much as I do, to enjoy reading books, to enjoy new experiences, to just enjoy life. I want him to find joy in knowing - trivia, quotes, tricks, facts, whatever! I just want to be excited about knowledge. I want him to continuously pursue learning. I want him to have the desire to improve himself. I want him to find satisfaction in reaching his full potential. 
  • I won't tell my child what to do with his life. I mean, in choosing what college to go to and what course to take. I hear of parents who choose their children's course all the time and I feel absolutely awful for their children. I know they mean well but they are doing more damage than help. This is the time where you trust that you have raised a child well enough to know what he wants in his life. To have to decide that for them is just wrong. I want my child to take a course he loves (although I will insist he goes to school no matter what) and it doesn't matter if it isn't what I would have wanted. I will support him all the way. If he loves painting and he sees a lifetime of it, I will support him. If he loves to play the flute and honestly believes he will live on playing the flute, I will support him. If he loves law (which I hope he does) and be his mom's personal attorney against his dad, I will support him. 

I guess these are just some of the 'values' I feel very strongly about. There are some more but I just can't remember them by now. But yeah, I really do wish I will be able to instill these values on my child and I hope and pray that my husband will be cooperative. I mean, all of my efforts to teach these values will be for nothing if once I close the door, the father goes and does something otherwise - like buy his son a car just because. 

But you know what... more than praying I actually become successful in instilling these values or getting my future husband to cooperate... I just really pray I become a good parent. I know all parents damage their kids one way or another, I just wish I could be a good enough mom for my child to love me despite it. Sakit sa ulo 'to! Thinking of parenthood is making me go crazy what more the actually thing! Hay, I'll stop na and leave that for when it actually happens (hopefully years and years later pa!)

P.S. Have you noticed how I lapse into Tagalog time to time? Well, that is my effort to make my blog posts less serious and more conversational. Effective ba? 

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