Maybe it is or maybe it is not. I don’t really know and I’m definitely no expert on the matter but I read an article on Today.com that said child-free women are ok with their choice and I can definitely understand it. See, here’s the thing, I turned 30 this last year, I have no children, and I’m ok with it.
Nearly every one of my friends has children, the majority of them have multiple children, and I am asked repeatedly:
“When are you going to have a baby?” – My answer: “I don’t know. Maybe this year. Maybe next year. Maybe in five years. Maybe never. I don’t really have that scheduled the way I do a doctor’s appointment or a vacation.”
“When are the two of you going to start a family?” – My answer: “We did start a family. We started a family May 12, 2011 when we were married. It doesn’t take a child to make a family. Right now it is me, my husband and our puppy. We ARE a family.”
“Don’t you want to be a mother?” – My answer: “Yes. I do want to be a mother but being a mother does not define who I am and having a child does not suddenly make my life important or validate who I am as a person. If I do not become a mother, I am ok with that too.”
Now, sure, when I am in the store and I see the beautiful holiday outfits for little girls or when I see baby sports clothes or those super cute tiny little mini baby shoes I smile and become a little wistful. I smile and have moments when I think about baseball or basketball games with my son or taking my daughter to the beach. Sure, good times. Then I also think about how I’m still finishing school and not sure I want to stop at my Bachelor’s degree. What if I decide I want my Master’s degree? Do I really want to try to raise a child and go to school? Do I want to give up school for my child or give up a child for my education? What about where we live? I know I want to move, my husband knows I want to move, but where do we move to? It’s easy to move a couple but not so easy to move a family. What about childcare? Clothes? Food? Toys? Oh, and don’t forget a bigger place.
So, yes, I’m conflicted. I would be happy with a child but I’m just as happy without a child. You see, life with a child is exciting and an adventure. I know this. I see pictures of my friends with their kids and they go to baseball or football or basketball games, they go to amusement parks, have holiday parties, take big family vacations and are always talking about how there “is never a boring moment.” It sounds fun! Here’s the thing though, without a child my husband I can still go to baseball or football or basketball games, we can still visit amusement parks and have holiday parties. We can still take family vacations but we can also sneak away for a romantic weekend if we want to and we don’t have to plan for childcare. We don’t have to hire a baby-sitter if we want to go to an “R” movie and we don’t have to worry every time we hear that there’s a case of the sniffles going around all of the local daycares. Oh, and those “boring moments” we have them and you know what? I love them. I can steal a quiet hour or two and read a book or take a bath or cuddle with my husband and puppy and life is good. Being child-free isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just different.
I’m not saying we don’t want children and I’m not saying we won’t have children, but if we don’t that’s ok with me. This world is so big, there is so much to do and there are so many places to go but life is so short. Maybe we won’t be playing and singing, “London Bridge is falling down…falling down…falling down…” but maybe we will go and see London Bridge and spend a week in England. I do get frustrated when women develop this attitude that if you’re not a mother then you’re nothing. Sometimes people truly are ok being childless.
- Child-Free by Choice (everydayhealth.com)
- A case for child-free womanhood (mindthebaby.wordpress.com)
- Childless or child-free? (paulaknight.wordpress.com)
- Child-free women feel intense pressure to have kids, but rarely stress over it (sciencedaily.com)