Monday, September 30, 2013

Stuff I don't tell people right away: Children Edition

So there are certain topics I have learned that turn really awkward and uncomfortable so I try to avoid them at all costs. This is one of those topics.
I do not want to have children. 
There. I've said it. I never thought this would be a thing, that people would find this weird and shocking. Usually people will tell me that I will change my mind (Ugh, I hate this one the most. I know my own mind people!). Or look very shocked and exclaim: Not even ONE? Mostly I'll get a combination of those two.

Let me be clear, I do not hate babies! I don't know why that is one of the stigmas of someone not wanting their own children. I adore babies. Put me in a room full of adults and one baby, and I will be with the baby. Just ask my husband. He knows as soon as he spots a baby that I will be all over that. I'm the one playing peek-a-boo with the toddler in the booth next to ours in a restaurant. I'm the one making little smiles to the baby in the stroller next to me in line. I'm the one squeeing over the silly penguin walk of a baby learning how to walk. But you know what I also like? Giving the baby to the parent when it starts being cranky or stinky. Fun time over! I really just want to be the fun Auntie.

People online say that people who don't want children are selfish. If they mean by selfish that I like my alone time, my money being for me, and my sleep being uninterrupted, than yes, I am very selfish. 

But you know who is also selfish? Parents who bring their unruly kids to the movie theaters (especially films that are not geared for their age group). Parents who let their kids run amok in stores and malls (or like at Sweet Tomatoes when I am trying to carry hot soup to my table and I have to run the gauntlet of crazy unsupervised toddlers). Parents who let their kids scream and scream at restaurants. You made the choice to have these children, not me. And yet I have to deal with them, but not deal out any discipline! This doesn't seem very fair to me. 

Just because a woman doesn't have children doesn't mean she is an inherently bad person. And on the flip side, just because someone HAS children doesn't mean that they are saints and have super powers. Everyone is fallible.

If they mean selfish because there are people out there who cannot have children, and I can and choose not to... I don't know how my having children fixes their non-children issues? It does break my heart for couples that really want to have children, and would make fantastic parents, and just can't. This is one of life's cruelest jokes. 

I feel like as a woman, my expected goal is to be mother. I can add onto mother, but I cannot take away that base. I can be doctor-mother, volunteer-mother, photographer-mother, politician-writer-chef-seamstress-mother... but never not-mother. I do not feel that men get this same pressure. They have a clean slate and can make any life combinations that they want.

I've had people give me the what-if scenario (oh god how I hate what ifs! That is not a valid argument people!!!) of what if every woman decided to not have children, what then. This will never happen, so I'm not going to worry about it. The population of humans does not rest on my shoulders.

This is my choice, my own personal choice. I am not making this choice for other people, and I wouldn't want to. I am glad that other women choose to become mothers, and are absolutely wonderful mothers, and find joy and fulfillment in being a mother. That is a wonderful thing, and I am not against people becoming moms.

I feel that in this modern society, this is an awesome luxury to have: CHOICES. 

My husband and I have talked about having children and have reached the conclusion that it just isn't for us. This is something we both want, and we are happy with our choice. We like our time being about us, our plans simplified, our future clear (as one can hope). I love my husband, and I love my life the way it is.

The author of the blogs CakeWrecks and Epbot is also childless by choice and touches on that subject a bit in this interview. 

2 comments:

  1. So I'm behind on my blog reading which is why I'm just now getting around to commenting, but I have this to say: LOVE this post. It's really awesomely written and also I enjoy the little peek into a bit of your world, "Behind the Bento," so to speak. ;) Shawn and I fall into the "can't have 'em" category, but after so long, we're both actually glad it turned out that way. Every time we go to the Dairy Queen and don't have to share, don't have to clean off a sticky toddler, every time we come home from Chinese food buffet and pass out in that Chinese food coma and don't have to worry about who's going to take care of the kid - ah, the joys of not having a child! And I'm with you: I love kids (most of them). I'm generally good with them and enjoy the things they say and all of that. But I also enjoy quiet bubble baths without interruption and afternoon naps. :)

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    1. I just don't feel that every life decision is one size fits all (college, marriage, home ownership, children, etc) and I wish more people would realize how narrow minded they are being! I don't think most people really understand that they are fixated on a certain lifestyle being "correct". I just get surprised when I am almost demonized for my childless choice... I don't think of myself as a mean, bitter person!

      I am sorry that in your instance, it wasn't a choice, but a having to get accustomed to a choice made for you, but I'm glad that you have been able to come to peace with it. Not an easy thing at all! That just means more love for your husband and kitties:)

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