Authenticity: Do We Really Want Kids?
Daily Origami is a way for us to record our off the cuff thoughts, feelings and observations about the world around us. Published every weekday, Monday through Friday.
This past week, I took a trip to Las Vegas for work to attend an industry conference.
As I was getting on the plane, I chose to nestle myself in a seat between two women. I guess on a subconscious level, I’ve always felt more comfortable around women.
I ended up having a conversation with a Korean Canadian-American woman in her 50’s. She was on a girls trip to Vegas to get some R&R from her kids who were back for the summer from university. I’m not sure how, but I ended up getting her whole life story: how she was a first generation immigrant from Korea, married a surgeon, had two kids…
Since I thought there was no harm in asking, I went with the question that had been topmost on my mind: Was it worth it having kids?
The interesting thing about talking to strangers is that they (for the most part) know that they’ll never see you again so there’s less risk or guilt around being honest.
She told me that her kids grew up so different from her. As a first-generation immigrant, she worked hard, lived in a single apartment shared between five people, and she was always conscientious about saving. By contrast, she raised her children in a gated community in Malibu, sent them to private school, and paid for everything they could ever ask for. She explained to me that her kids didn’t know what the “real world” was like until they went to university. Sometimes her daughter would call her on the phone and say, “Mom, can you believe that some siblings have to share a studio AND a bathroom?”
She turned to me at that point and said, “ I think I did it all wrong…”