The moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew that not everyone would be fully accepting of the situation. I knew that living in the Philippines, many would ask me if I was married or when I was getting married. Given the culture of the Philippines, and the country being mostly Catholic, I knew that this would be the start of the discussion.
I’m 29 with a stable job and a good relationship. When I found out I was pregnant, I was happy; but then people started telling me what I should do next. Many of my relatives told me that I need to get married. I kept quiet about the topic – not because I don’t want to get married, but because I want to get married in our own time and not just because we are having a baby.
I have a friend who has two kids and isn’t married. Many are still telling her she has to get married if she wants her family to be considered a real family. Though she claims she is not affected by those comments, I can see that she gets hurt when people say that her family isn’t a family just because she is not married to the father of her kids.
Weddings in the Philippines are a million-peso industry and though many dream of getting married, the cost of getting married is getting higher and higher. And because of social media, weddings are becoming different. Aside from being a sacrament, it becomes a show of what you have. There’s no shame in wanting a big wedding with hundreds of guests, but there’s also no shame in not wanting one.
Marriage is linked to exercising your legal rights, and it’s also a right of passage for some religions.
I can’t count how many times people have asked me when I was getting married and I was just too exhausted to explain my decision to hold it off for now. It is not because of money or instances. It’s because that event is something that I want to do when I am 100% ready and not because society dictates that you have to get married when you have kids.
Shaming parents should really stop because all of us are just trying to give out loved ones a good life. What other people decide on should be their decision and theirs alone.