Monday, July 23, 2012

Women and Children Series: On not having children yet or maybe ever by Rachele



I am 29 years old, married and have no children. Well, unless you count our three cats as babies, we are childless. No little ones that look like us running around, giving us tax breaks, filling up photo albums or giving a reason for our parents to come over. Are we sad? Are we desperately trying to have children? No, not at all. I love children and have been stricken with baby fever in the past. But I have grown to understand that if it is meant to be, it will happen. If we need to pursue it more aggressively, the right time to do that will be obvious. My mother’s response to any disappointment I had as a child, was that it just wasn’t meant to be. I used to grit my teeth and roll my eyes whenever she uttered the expression. But now here I am! Saying it myself!

It is not from a lack of trying. We are no Fred and Ethel, a childless and bickering couple living vicariously though Ricky and Lucy’s parenthood. We are quite happy and in love! We haven’t made the decision to never have children, but aren’t beating ourselves up over it not happening yet. We have so much more to offer to each other to make our relationship solid and fruitful. Not that having children is a bad choice! But not having children should be just as respected and celebrated. Nobody is throwing us a party for our 10 year anniversary but if I had a bun in the oven, I would be sure to have a baby shower and endless celebrations to look forward to. Go figure!

My doctor used to ask me the same questions every time I visited her. “Do you have children? Are you pregnant? Are you trying to get pregnant?” Depending on my answers, she wanted to know why, like I owed her an explanation for living my life in such an unconventional manner. One time she went on to tell me how her niece was younger than me and having her 3rd child and looked at me with pity, waiting for me to offer up a lament of how I wasn’t pregnant yet. I wanted to say, “Look lady, it isn’t your freaking business. Lay off!” It was impossible for her to grasp that not every female on the planet was trying to get pregnant and have 12 kids. That people can get married because they love each other, not to fill an obligation. I wasn’t looking to get a guilt trip every year so I quickly dropped her as my doctor.

I am far from my clock stopping but it is ticking. People have stopped asking about when we are going to have kids but it is something that still hangs over my head. But here is the deal, not everyone is destined to have children. It doesn’t feel like a failure to me. It doesn’t seem wrong to spend my life with the person I love and being a family the way we are now. We have gone through rough times and I am glad that there wasn’t a child to complicate things. We have been able to focus on ourselves and each other when we needed it the most. I won’t get it into details to respect my partner, but I am thankful every day that we were given this chance in our lives to be without children so that our well-being and health could come first.

There are positives on both sides of the children question. For us, the positives are that we can sleep in late on the weekend. My sister has two kids and she is always jealous of our 11 AM wake up time. We can go on last minute trips, movies and concerts. In a hard economy, we have only had to worry about feeding ourselves and not any extra mouths. When you don’t have kids, you have an opportunity to grow your self-confidence and express your talents. Really find out what you believe in and the type of person you want to be. One day, if we do have miniature people in our lives, hopefully we will be able to provide for them and teach them to be strong and loving adults one day. Maybe the time we have been without children will have better prepared us. Or maybe we will grow old together and have some grand-kitties. Either way is fine with me. So take that, Dr. Snoopy-Pants!

Read more of Rachele's writing over at her blog The Nearsighted Owl.

5 comments:

  1. Great post! I too, am very jealous of an 11 am wakeup time...that sounds like heaven!!!!!

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  2. Ha, Dr. Snoopy Pants is the greatest name. Isn't everyone always nosing around where they shouldn't be? I admire people who don't have kids just as much as those that do and while I wanted nothing more than to become a parent, I was still bothered by people asking when or if that was in the picture. It really isn't anyone else's business, right? Anyway, you know I love ya and think you all are awesome whether your kids are covered with fur or people skin.

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  3. I came here from your personal blog and I feel compelled to comment as this is so personal to me at the moment!

    I am 33 newly married and all I get is 'when are you going to start a family?' for one its an incredibly personal question and two it is so sexist! DO men get asked this question?! perhaps, but not in the accusatory-you-are-going-to-dry-up-soon way that women are exposed to which is so irritating. And lets assume I don't want children - then of course my life will never be complete....

    Yes a family and children are a blessing (for some) but so is freedom to pursue ones life goals or ambitions, i feel lucky that I have the choice to live my life the way I please, that I am not repressed because of my gender, that I can dabble with education, creativity and experiences and basically enjoy my life!

    One day I think I will have a family but it will be on my terms and there will be no comments about my age and such... and if my children ask me why I am "SOOOO OLD" I will say I was too busy having fun ;)

    Great post as always x

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    1. Thanks for your comment Carly! A Nearsighted Owl reader is a friend of mine!:)

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  4. A family of two is still a complete family! Especially so if it doesn't feel like there is something (some one) missing. I love how you voice that it's okay to be different and not give in to social norms out of some weird obligation to be the society's version of "normal".

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