Marriage and children | The Daily Guardian


By: Raoul Simon Suarez

“PILA NA bata nyo?” (How many children do you have?)

I’m sure you have heard that line. It seems to be the default follow-up question that most people would ask someone they know who happens to be married. It happens in reunions. You hear it during family get-togethers. You can hear it almost everywhere. Marriage equals children. What is going on? What is wrong with this equation?

I am having a hard time trying to understand why some people would repeatedly ask married couples if they plan to have kids. I am amazed that some people even have the nerve to ask married couples why they don’t have kids yet. It sounds to me like these people mean to say or are seriously implying that having kids is a pre-requisite to a fulfilled married life or an official and standard requirement if you happen to have tied the knot with your significant other. These expectations or assumptions can sometimes be offensive. Sometimes.

You see, friends, there are married couples who can’t have kids due to biological reasons and have been very frustrated about it after a couple of failed treatments. Some of them have been through numerous miscarriages. It can be frustrating. It can be very frustrating that some of them already gave up on the idea of having kids. There are others who have the capacity to bear children but they decide not to because their life is too busy and complicated enough. They just might end up not having the time to take care of their children. There are couples who are fine with the idea of having kids but are planning it really well and will surely have it in due time but not now. There are couples who are satisfied with being together as of the moment; just enjoying each other’s company and the kids can come later or maybe not even. Some of them are just happy living together without a care in the world. Some of them are hurting real bad to have children but they just can’t. We don’t really know the real score.

What’s my point? Ask the right questions. If somebody tells you that he or she is married, I think the best and the safest question would be, “So how is married life going for you?” Or maybe a plain “Kumusta na?” There are so many topics under the sun that would enable lively conversations and fun exchanges. Unless they open up and tell you personally about things that are going on in their married life or if they plan to have kids or not, it isn’t something you’re supposed to be rambling about. Nope. Shut it. That is none of your business.

Why? Because you wouldn’t really know if they are struggling and have been frustrated time and time again trying to have kids. Maybe they just don’t want to have kids. Not now. Not yet. Maybe not ever. Whatever their reasons are, it’s something you shouldn’t try to poke your nose in by asking the wrong questions that might trigger a response you might not like at all.  Yes. It is none of your business. Shut your piehole.

Believe me and mind your own uterus. Be a pal. Try asking a different question.

Take my advice. I don’t use it anyway.

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