Being a mother is complicated. But so is not being one.
In a society where a woman’s worth is primarily determined by her ability to bear children and fulfill the traditional role of a mother, it has become harder for women to go down another path.
Motherhood, in its purest form, is one of the most rewarding phases of life. Many of us consider our mothers as our source of inspiration, our personal heroes. But it’s a tough journey, and not everyone is keen on taking such a journey.
As the world celebrates Mothers’ Day, we asked a few Vietnamese Millennials and Gen Zers about their view on motherhood and whether or not they envision themselves taking on this lifetime role.
Dinh — 31, single mom
Motherhood is a learning process
“My motherhood journey was unexpected. As a first-time mom, I didn’t know a lot of things. I remember feeling so worried and scared when I found out I was carrying a human being inside of me, as I didn’t think I had enough strength and knowledge to raise a child. But a good friend reassured me that I’d be okay. I think I’ve proven that I made it. I’m raising my child the best way I could. It’s just parental instinct, I believe.
“Based on my personal experience, I believe that if we nurture our knowledge and awareness, combined with the inherent instincts of being a mother, the task of motherhood isn’t too difficult. The journey with our children is a two-way learning process. We teach our children, but we also have to learn. We learn from our children, we learn to upgrade ourselves, and we learn to pass on knowledge to them.”
Tấm — 26, working in finance
Focused on career…for now
“I do plan to become a mother at some point in my life. However, I am focused on building my career and maintaining my relationship with my partner for now. We have discussed our desire to have children in the future and have agreed to wait a few more years until we feel more financially stable and ready to take on the responsibility of parenthood.”
Huỳnh Phương Linh — last year in university
People complicate motherhood
“I want to become a mom, but not right now. Many Vietnamese women have that as an ultimate goal. There are many people who want to be good at everything when being a mother: cook well, take good care of their children, take care of the housework, have their own business, etc.
In my personal opinion, a perfect mother would be someone who can be friends with her child. Someone with whom your child can be completely comfortable to talk to. This sounds simple, in a way, it’s just being friends with your child.
“Many of us unwittingly complicate this. People worry about unnecessary things which distance them from their children, causing them to fear talking with us. And what is more painful for a mother to watch her child grow further and further away from her? So let’s be friends with our children and guide them as they grow through life.”
Nguyễn Linh — freelancer
Will probably never be ready for it
I’m not a mother… and probably don’t want to be one, too. I never had an affinity for young children, and I don’t think I’ll ever get that connection. I’m not ready to become a mother. Another reason is that I haven’t found a true partner to plan that phase of my life yet.
“To me, motherhood is a different journey for different people. There will be different standards and rules for each person when it comes to raising their children, depending on the child’s personality and the mother’s knowledge. But I know a good mother will always have her children’s best interests at heart.”
Tâm Như — university student
Dreams of becoming her future child’s best friend
“Becoming a mom has always been part of my life plan. I hope to become one at 30 or 32, about two to four years after marriage. I know some people assume that Gen Zers like me are more likely to pass on having kids for a career or a more free life, I personally want to be one. I want to be my future child’s best friend and be someone he or she can talk to about anything. Even if I accidentally get pregnant earlier than planned, I will definitely continue raising my kid. In a positive way, I see it as a great chance to become close buddies with my kid — which, for me, is the definition of a perfect mom and child relationship.”
Linh Vu — 33, mom of one
Motherhood equates unconditional love
“Motherhood, for me, is a state of life. When you become a mom, you’re a mom for the rest of your life. You’ve got another life to take care of, nurture, and love. It’s how you understand what unconditional love means, in the deepest sense. When I became a mom, I felt an indescribable sense of happiness. While I don’t have a solid definition of what a perfect mom is, I believe being a great mom is just doing your best to raise your children, not only providing them a financially stable life but also guiding them and spending quality time with them.”
Yên — 28, working in tech
No interest in relationships or kids
“I have never felt a desire to become a mother, and it’s not a part of my life plan. I value my independence and freedom too much, and I prefer to focus on my career and personal interests, especially traveling. While I respect and admire people who choose to have children, it’s just not something that I see in my future.”
Trịnh Tường Anh — university student
That time will come
“Yes, I want to be a mom in the future, not right now. I think that I am not mature enough, and I don’t have the appropriate understanding of what motherhood really is now. When I become one, I want to follow in my mom’s footsteps. She’s someone who never gives up and always tries to give her children the best life she can give. My mom is strict, but she never fails to make us feel loved. I just hope to show the same kind of love to my future children when the time comes.”
Hiêz — 30, content writer
Not wanting to become a mom isn’t selfish
“Becoming a mother is not something that I plan for myself. I don’t want to be a mother. And I don’t think I have the patience or the energy to raise a child. While I hold high regard for those who choose parenthood, it is not a path I see myself taking. I know that some people will think I am selfish for not wanting to be a mother, but I believe it is better for a child to be raised by someone who is truly committed to them. And I am not that person.
“I had the privilege of being raised by a selfless and loving mother who not only cared for our family but also helped countless people in our community. She is respected by many, and whenever someone needed assistance, she was always there to lend a hand in any way she could. That’s how I define a perfect mom. Her selflessness and unconditional love have inspired me to work hard and provide her with a good life as a way of showing my gratitude for all that she has done for me.”