I get little pleasure from small talk. I don't want to know what you are doing, I want to know WHY you are doing (it).
I love when the person I'm conversing with wants to talk about their life revelations.
It's not often that I meet a parent who is comfortable in voicing their true feelings.
Usually, young parents are in limbo between babymoon and "what the hell is happening right now?"
Those who have raised their children and forget the mess and the stress will coo about child-rearing being the most important venture.
So when the casual conversation I was having with someone—who has children—took a turn down "this is how I really feel" lane, I got excited.
I asked them if I could use our conversation for a future blog series.
Permission granted, so long as I keep them anonymous. Age, gender, etc, removed.
What triggered this conversation was when the parent said
“my children don’t make me happy, I make myself happy.”
Applause, applause, applause!
Anyone who knows me well does not question my decision to be childfree. But as any childfree individual knows, there is that one person who is either flabbergasted or offended.
How can I possibly be happy when I don’t have children?
That’s like asking me how can I possibly be happy when I don’t believe in such and such deity?
Or drink such and such brand beer? Or wear such and such brand clothing?
The parent went on to say,
“I love my kids. We have fun moments. But nothing lasts forever and if something happened and my kids were gone, I’d never be happy again? Because they are my source of happiness? That’s relying on something outside of myself.”
We discussed the “happiness” checklist.
You acquire all of that. Now what?
Actually, that’s not the question I want to ask.
I made a comment about the smiling family photos that get splashed around social media.
The parent reminded me that the point of a photo is to capture a happy moment in time.
“Maybe 5 seconds before and 5 seconds after the photo is a disaster, but there is one moment where things are fine.”
I grew up in a family of 4, my father worked, my mom stayed home and raised me and my brother. My dad was home every night for supper. We had a family dog. 2, over the course of my childhood.
I saw my parents achieve a loving marriage, till death did they part with the passing of my mother. From dating at 18 to 27 years of marriage.
That didn’t inspire me to go out and find someone to marry and procreate with so I too could have that life.
I felt I had other options.
I am a single, mid 30’s, biracial, financially sound, queer, Canadian, agnostic woman, whose body produces a lot of testosterone. I like to wear dresses even though I sit like a dude.
No Duchess Slant for me.
I am childfree by choice, not circumstance. I have met wonderful men and women who would have made great spouses but they all wanted children at some point.
I look at the way I live and what makes me feel content and fulfilled and I notice something.
None of these ideas are promoted in the media.
My version of domestic bliss is the lovely home that I have created for myself, where I can live alone.
I don’t date, I have private relationships that are fun and sporadic but publicly I remain single. I am not opposed to a long term relationship or marriage, I just won’t enter into one lightly, for the sake of having a partner.
I am not interested in pets of any kind, no animals in my living space, please.
Wow, I am like an advertiser’s nightmare. All those dating and diaper and dog food ads just don’t inspire me.
Mazda on the other hand.....I’ve purchased two of them in the last 6 years.
I think Mazda needs to sponsor my blog.
Now, I know that I cannot be the only human on the planet who lives this way.
I have my own aunts who live awesome, childfree lives. I know others who have remained childfree by circumstance.
I do not speak for anyone but myself.
But I do speak, and proudly too because I have learned that there are many options for a happy life.
The greatest gift that I have been blessed with in this life is the freedom and ability and the confidence to choose.
To choose a life that may not resemble the life of my neighbor or the life of my best friend, but a life that speaks to me.
Almost an Author
Former Fantastic Violinist