To kid or not to kid, that is the question.
The latest issue of Time magazine is focused on what they call a “childfree life.” The article states:
The decision to have a child or not is a private one, but it takes place, in America, in a culture that often equates womanhood with motherhood. Any national discussion about the struggle to reconcile womanhood with modernity tends to begin and end with one subject: parenting. If you’re a woman who’s not in the mommy trenches, more often than not you’re excluded from the discussion. But being sidelined doesn’t exempt childless women from being scolded.
Can you relate? I know I can. I’m nearly 40 and do not have children nor have I ever been married. Previously, I mentioned that while I’d love to be married, I doubt I’ll have children (I’m not 100% closed to it, but at this point in my life, doubt it will happen) and that’s ok.
But many of my friends do have children. And, thankfully, they have balanced lives so they don’t talk about their children all of the time. And they do things without their children. One of my closest friends is so thoughtful that she always invites me to do things with her family, including her children, but in a way that is so inclusive and enjoyable that I rarely ever decline.
Let’s get one thing clear: I’m a lover, not a hater, of children. Last night I “oohed” and “ahhed” over my cousin’s beautiful little boy, and even fed him ice cream from my own dish. Why? Because it just felt right. Sure, I have motherly instincts and relish the chance to babysit for my friend’s children.
But, I cannot stress, at the same time, how much I enjoy my freedom. I pick up and go at a moment’s notice. I can travel, sleep late, and drive a 2-door mini cooper. When my friend’s complain to me about my freedom, I want to shout, “No one forced you to procreate!” I do not like people holding my choices against me and sometimes, face it, you know you do. You wonder what is wrong with me:
Why doesn’t she have kids?
Why isn’t she married?
She works too much!
You all know, if you read this blog or know me at all, that I date a lot. I could be married. I could have had kids. I could work less. I’ve made choices in my life that might be different than yours, but seeing this article from Time is comforting. And posting it on Facebook and seeing that many of my friends can relate is comforting. I feel less alone when you pull out the photos of your children saved on your iPhone and show them off (though I will admit that I’m constantly showing pictures of your kids to everyone!).
I’ve made my nephew promise to take care of me when I’m in the nursing home. So, see, I’m all set. You don’t have to worry about me being alone or childless.
Now, if only I could find a husband……wouldn’t that be amazing?