It’s been a while since anyone has said this to my face. I had forgotten those feelings that come up when my fellow humans make such bold assumptions.
If you're feeling in limbo about becoming a parent, today's post is especially for you.
We are all looking for validation.
Whether or not we admit it, we want our life choices to be admired.
Parenthood is common.
You can sneeze in any direction and hit a parent. As you get older and your social circle beings to procreate, peer pressure inadvertently happens.
You find yourself shopping for baby gifts and attending gender-reveal parties. Drinks with your girlfriends become breastfeeding sharing circles.
You may not be the only childless person in the room but perhaps you're the only one not actively trying to have a kid.
You don't say out loud that you're unsure about parenthood.
You just smile and nod and say "someday".
Someday turns into 10 years later.
You’ve moved on to new careers and maybe some travel. You see your core group of friends maybe twice a year.
You catch up, their kids are now in school. You see how many bottles of wine mothers consume on the regular.
You talk about the places you've visited or the work you’re doing.
Your friends talk about all the things the kids are up to these days. The latest family trip overseas where one kid got really sick and the other one didn't want to do anything except play video games.
You get grilled on your dating life.
"You should find somebody soon" because, you know, who wants to still be dating at 36.
It's OK if you are divorced and dating because at least you were married.
You hug goodbye, promising to see each other more often.
"I wouldn't trade my kids for all the free time in the world", the mothers say to themselves.
"I'm glad I don't have kids", you say to yourself.
And yet, you wonder.
Everyone has kids. This feels like high school all over again-the popular parenthood gang. With their minivans and sports tournaments and endless birthday parties.
Never a dull moment. So they tell you.
"There is nothing more important than raising a child"-- scream the mothers.
"No matter how many different life scenarios I play out in my head, I cannot imagine a better one without my kids" --bellow the fathers.
Here you are-the non-parent-standing alone on an island while party boats and yachts of parents with their many children and grandchildren go sailing by.
You feel isolated in your choice. You too could be on that yacht with your baby(ies).
Your friends and pushy relatives would welcome you into the parenthood fold with open arms. "Finally! You're a mother (father)."
You're showered with gifts and attention on social media and then people go back to their own busy lives. Leaving you to fend for yourself and this tiny human life.
You may discover a new purpose, a new meaning, a new sense of love.
People tell you that this will happen when you have kids, but people lie. People kill their own children. Yes, that's extreme but it happens.
Parenthood never ends. You may have a healthy child who grows up to be sick and dependent on you for the rest of their life. For some parents, this becomes their entire life and identity. Some welcome it, others resent it.
You may have the most blissful parenthood experience, relish your grandchildren and be surrounded by each and everyone on your deathbed.
You may have a child and lose that child.
You may have children who don't become parents and therefore, no grandchildren.
So, what do you want for your life? Your daily life?
The most well meaning of friends and family will encourage you to have children without knowing what you really desire from life.
They've done it, so you should do it too.
Hell, if I lived by that motto, I'd be demanding that everyone stop breeding so much.
How about developing their own unique talents and abilities to create art and cures for diseases instead of entitled children.
I was a child once. My parents had the best of intentions when raising me. I fought against them to become the person I am today.
I've had to develop my own abilities and skills to thrive in this world. It may seem easier because I have some resources and chose not to have kids, but it's endless work.
I enjoy doing this work on myself. I try to make my daily life as comfortable as possible. I have to do this myself because it's just me.
I don't feel that the most important thing in life is raising a child. I think the most important thing in life is to express myself.
One day, I won't wake up. Children or no children, when my life is over, it's over.
Some people have children to continue on their name or genetics or family business or history of insanity, whatever.
The reason I wanted to become an entertainer-a violinist back in the day and now a writer of sorts-was to create something that inspires others to live well.
Hopefully, something I create will have a positive ripple effect on a small part of humanity.
An ex-boyfriend used to say to me all the time:
"What if you gave birth to a child who would go on to create something amazing, wouldn't that be worth it?"
My answer was always this:
“Why can't I be the one that goes on to create something amazing?"
I am open to doing such a thing. I have very few distractions in my life, Universe. Hint hint.
I wouldn't make such a great mother because I would resent having to sacrifice so much of myself to give my offspring a decent chance at life.
Especially since I was born in a female body.
I accept my female form, but not to the point where I'm willing to procreate. I feel it's unfair to me.
And I'm now pretty sure I came here to be loud and proud about being a childfree woman.
As a Canadian, I feel free to live how I want to live. I am very fortunate. I don't belong to any religion anymore and direct pressure from my social circle to procreate is minimal.
It wasn't always that way.
Speaking openly about my choice has led to some heartfelt discussions between both sides (parent and childfree).
If you are on the fence about having kids, see if you can have an honest discussion with a parent who is willing to share the ins and outs of parenthood.
You need to get beyond the platitudes of: “it's the most wonderful feeling in the world".
The most wonderful feeling in the world is having your back tickled. Or in my case, the back of my knee tickled. Nothing puts me into a more blissful state.
I'm an aunt. I love my nephews. After a full weekend of hosting them at my house, with all the fun we have, I can tell you that kids don't put me into a blissful state the way a knee tickle does.
There are so many experiences to be had in life.
Find what makes you feel satisfied and know that satisfaction will change and take on different forms over the course of your life.
What makes your neighbor happy may not make you happy.
And remember, Bitchy Readers, it's harder to give the kids back once you have them.
Have a lovely day.
Almost an Author
Former Fantastic Violinist
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