We went to Papsie’s relatives yesterday and I had a chance listening to ‘updates’ from a few. One of the mothers related her sad story about her daughter who got pregnant while she was in college. The guy did not take the responsibility and was a sloth that did not look for a job to be able to support. Up to this time, he is unemployed.
The poor mother did not allow her daughter to go to school anymore and I asked why. I told her that it could be beneficial for everybody that she finishes school. But she replied that what if the guy starts to see her daughter again and impregnate her. That would be disaster for her.
It was so easy for me to say those things. I began to contemplate afterward if I could be able to do what I suggested sending her back to school. I could understand the anger and the disappointment because as you see, the family is not well-off. I believed that they were expecting that the daughter could help them in the future, or bring good news for the family when she graduates and land a job.
I honestly thought it was the expectation that brought the great disappointment. There is a big difference when parents are earning enough for the family than when parents are working their butts off to provide for the family. In a culture such as the Philippines’, offsprings are expected to assist the family to get on with life’s hurdles. There is truly a big difference when parents expect that their children will repay them for their parenting efforts by shouldering the family’s obligations.
I grew up in a family where my mother expected so much from her offspring that they will liberate her from poverty without doing anything, to change that course, and for her children. This maybe the reason why I am open to the concept that children do not have obligations for their family, or to the parents specifically. I truly believe that it is not necessary to oblige the children because they will have their chance of working for themselves and be an adult who will face the challenges in life in the future. They will have their chances of helping, if they feel like it. But parents should never necessitate the children’s role of being ‘providers’.
I believe that sending her daughter again to school will make a difference. If only she would not waste her time, effort and energy harassing the father’s baby, and focus on what to do next, then it would be better for everybody. I do believe she has to talk her out into committing to do good and give her the consequences if she fails this time.
I say this being a mother who is almost a single mother making ends meet for the family.