I just had a baby! While I am out on maternity leave for a few weeks or so, I have begged some of the bloggers that I
stalk most admire to contribute guest posts to this space so it won’t be lonely. The posts are so awesome that I am afraid you won’t want me back.
The goal of these guests posts is to bring new and different insights to this space. Viewpoints that I am unfamiliar with, advice from those who have been where I have not been, and ideas that might seem foreign to myself and my readers but are important to consider.
Today’s guest blogger is actually not a blogger at all… she’s my BFF who lives in another state. I specifically asked her to write a post about being child-free by choice because she has an awesome perspective!
I have never had the, “Aww, baby”s.
Most of the time when I am handed a baby, what’s going through my head is, “this would be much more fun if this were a kitten or a puppy”. I like kids, I love all the children I am related to (by marriage or otherwise), I love the children birthed by those I love (love by association). When I see my nieces, nephews, 2nd cousins in law, etc., we have the maximum amount of fun to be had; I organize activities, games, and crafts. But, at the end of the day, they are not my responsibility. I see the stress, the heartache, the sleepless nights, the money issues, the family drama associated with holidays, stressful travel, piles and piles of child laundry, poop, pee, noises, battery operated toys, waste, toys that make loud noises, buying the newest toy, the sleepless nights (yes it is in there twice) and I think, “This is not for me”.
Unless I have a great desire for a baby of my very own, I don’t feel I should give in to societal pressure to have kids. Having a child for the wrong reasons isn’t healthy for the parent, or more importantly, the child. I am aware of the credence, “once you see the baby your heart will transform and sparkle because your baby will poop unicorns and rainbows.” I am not 100% buying that because I have had lots of friends whose children are not currently, nor have ever pooped rainbows and unicorns.
Because I don’t want this to become an, “I don’t want babies” stream of consciousness, I will briefly discuss 3 points that lead to my decision (I am not speaking for my husband and his reasons):
- Uncertainty of the future: I look at the number of people who do not recycle and have kids (or grandkids) and wonder, “Why they are doing this to their children’s future?” I look around at war, joblessness, political climate, environmental issues, and I can’t imagine bringing a person into the world to deal with what the future seems to hold. People continue to make messes for the next generation as people have done for decades.
- Overpopulation: I do not know enough about this subject to knowledgeably elaborate, but I do know it is an issue and the earth was not intended to sustain the ever expanding population forever. Here is a website that gives brief statements on the issue of overpopulation.
- Selfish reasons: I like to travel, something that becomes increasingly more stressful and less affordable with kids. I like watching movies in peace and I like watching the movies I want to watch. From time to time this includes Pixar, Ramona and Bezus, and movies with talking animals, but I also like Quentin Tarantino and movies staring Sam Rockwell. I like quiet and having time to sew and make greeting cards. While listening to my co-workers whine about “yet another snow day” and “what will I do with my kids”, and how their kids are driving them crazy, I am thankful I can snuggle on the couch with my cats and watch a DVD. I like not having to figure kid expenses into the budget. I can go on but I will not – while all these things may sound selfish, they are all factors in why I do not want children of my own.
Child Free, childless, whatever you want to call it doesn’t matter, because labels do not make a person; to me both these terms mean the same thing. My husband and I have made the decision not to have children. The decision not to have a child is a decision we have made together, just as the decision to have children should be made together and for the right reasons.