Monday, January 4, 2010

Family Planning

Two weeks ago my friend told me that her older sister was pregnant, and it’s her third. Her sister’s nuclear family is living under the very same roof with my friend and their mother. My point is they are not rich, yet the third baby is coming. I don’t understand. Everybody knows that life is only getting harder. What are they thinking?

I was too young to comprehend what I’m talking now when the Family Planning (Keluarga Berencana) was strongly campaigned by the former president Soeharto. But even when I was in junior high school, I understood that having fewer children is more sensible. Somehow I regret asking my mother to have another baby when I was 8. I also regret the fact that my mother was careless with her pregnancy prevention program when I was 13. Don’t get me wrong, I love my baby sister and baby brother (though it’s true I don’t love my first younger brother). But things would be easier if our family only consists of 4 individuals as the Family Planning always suggested.

Some families think that they are ready, or wealthy enough, to have more than two children. What I see now is many older children have to pay for their younger siblings’ school fees. In consequences, it is extremely difficult for these older ones to pursue a higher degree, let alone it is also possible that they are not lucky enough to finish any undergraduate study. In that case, I consider parents as irresponsible. You are the ones made babies, and then you must afford them without any exception.

It is not fair for young people to be burdened by their younger siblings. Life is already hard enough without having to raise “your children” when you should be pursuing your goals. This demonic circle also binds the younger siblings when they have to pay back by affording their nieces and/or nephews.

Even if you are a rich couple, it is still better to have only 2 children. Keep it in your mind that you will be able to provide them with much better facilities than if you have more children. Maybe you can even send them to study abroad.

I profoundly think that this issue is strongly related to the fact that Indonesian people are developing slowly both in economy and education. I have nothing to say but, dear friends, don’t think about “it is fun to have many kids”, but remember that “having fewer children will give them better opportunities”. I am serious.

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