The concept of childbirth is highly-convoluting. Can you really understand how the human race came to reproduce itself; how the motivation came about for one to raise a being inside of them and then for the rest of their lifetime when the being gets out of them?
Whatever books have told us about this, about how it lies in the “supposed” natural instinct within all living things to have the desire to prolong their existence of our own kind. To want to leave some sort of a “legacy” in the form of a living being. I did think that it’s not puzzling for animals to procreate at all, it’s understandable why they’d do that to expand the population of their own kind to meet the logic of becoming a stronger and more resistant species. But for human beings? There must be a different sort of purpose! Aside from the agenda of the government’s attempts to control that. In the in-and-out conversations we’ve had among people in our lives, we had probably phrased the “legacy” term differently. When asked why people reproduce, they’d probably say something like to “carry on the family’s name and the blood line”. I thought I had figured out the reason why we would want to leave a legacy in the form of a byproduct genetically-created between a man and a woman. I think it is our fear of being forgotten. But I wouldn’t say I’m certain about this until I attempt to ask this to people and if they had an answer for that.
Then when I get told that this is where traditions are in play, it’s difficult to question that isn’t it? “Why do you do what you do?” “Traditions have it that way. We respect traditions.” I guess we seldom question the provenance of the traditions we engage in because we are somehow certain that: for traditions to become traditions, the first follower must have had the purpose in mind to engage in this particular ritual/belief and had the other followers do the same. Certainly, it can’t exist from nothing. Perhaps for living things to procreate, it has become a sort of commonality. This, being instilled in all of us, whether genetically or socially, like we can envision it happening to all of us at some point of our lives. The want to build a family outside of the realm of our biological family.
Then the legacy is left behind in the form of family, presumably the child is the missing puzzle piece to a complete family. Without a child, there’re no aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. It’s an enhanced web of relations you can’t avoid. Family bounds you for life and I guess in most circumstances, they are always there for you and vice-versa. Our actions, opinions and values are influenced by the obligations we have for our family and what our parents have exposed to us time after time. The legacy is carried on in the byproducts of the being and another one through their genes and the impalpable-s (e.g. the culture we’re exposed to, what our parents reiterate (nagged) to us again and again). For instance, recently I wanted to get a tattoo with my parents not knowing about it and are still against it and I’ve always held onto my view that it’s my choice to do that, that I’m all grown up to make these decisions but I feel horrible inside out to go about executing this without letting them know about it.
Some would say, “I love my partner and this is why I want to have a child with him/her, assuming that the child is what you need to achieve the greatest kind of love out there. Perhaps to want to have a child with someone you love demonstrates some sort of a sacrifice and readiness between 2 parties to take on the responsibility to raise the kid together. I perceive it as a “boundary maker”. The child will always remind either one or the other, and even among the outsiders, that you should always consider about this being in whatever actions you commit to. The being has a living pair of eyes to observe what you do and an individual mind to interpret its observations. The being grows up to be the sort of person you’ve exposed it to be over time. Of course, the other factors being considered. The being then goes on reproducing other beings, where their lives will be influenced by the being that you raised.
And then there is this entire deal about another wonderful human instinct (whether or not it is a myth): the maternal/paternal instinct, which I guess it can exist outside “being in love” and all that. This draws us back to where I started this post – where does the motivation come from? It’s not uncommon for me to hear my mom say something like “you’ll only understand all of these until you become a parent yourself“. To talk about this kind of instinct, would it imply that to procreate is a natural human need? What need? The need to care for another being? We go through endless number of lessons in our lives, having a child is another lifelong module to undertake. Missing that part would only mean that there’re other lessons awaiting for you to attend. But one doesn’t simply procreate for the sake of undergoing this extra module. It’s not convincing to say that you want to have a child to understand what your parents went through.
This is complex… I bet there’re alot of other issues at the back of our minds that we haven’t considered why we do what we do. It just appears to us like “natural human tendency”. But as we evolve, we make conscious decisions about this so-natural tendency. Then it’s not a natural human tendency anymore… None of these come from any sort of research. It’s just something that suddenly crept into my thoughts for awhile and I had just wanted to write about it. Perhaps I will read something about it soon. Reading about these things, they’re always backed up by alot of science research that mean little to an underreader of these things myself. They say, to write is to read, read and read more. Then I can write. There have to be answers to these somewhere, people must have had asked those.