My Life, My Way, No Need for Children
April 27, 2011 1 Comment
To preface this post with another, I have to say that the majority of this current post is based on the incredibly written post of Gala Darling. To paraphrase the post, it was an advice post based on the most appropriate way to address the incivility or ignorance of people who question those who choose not to have children.
I too have that same problem, I come from a LARGE family on both sides: My father’s side contains 3 uncles and 3 aunts, 7 siblings total; My mother’s side contains 6 Uncles and 6 aunts, Technically it is 5 uncles since one has passed on, but you get the general idea. When my grandfather on my mother’s side died back in 2001-ish, I cannot remember, He had over 32 Grandchildren (Including my brother, sister and I) and 15 Great-Grandchildren which has gotten exponentially greater since my teenage cousins have started reproducing. While I do sound cynical in all of this, it is mostly based off the fact that I cannot go to any party, be it a wedding, Easter, or a Funeral without being bombarded by the question:
“When are you and Donald going to get married and have children?”
And the answer to marriage has always been the same, “When the finances come in and we can individually pay for the wedding, we’ll have one”–God forbid we’re living in sin! According to my Aunt– and to the children one: “We plan on not having children.”
The wedding one causes its own type of controversy but the child question always brings up the other argument: “You’re disappointing your parents.”
While I have been living a lifestyle contrary to what my parents have wanted for me, I have always been my own person, my mother has gotten used to the idea that I will not wear a thousand dollar wedding dress, or wear white (How bout bright lime green or bright Mauve!), or have the wedding in a church (I’m Agnostic and the boyfriend is Atheist–House of Blues Peacock Room Wedding All the Way with Amanda Palmer as the House Band!!!). She has acknowledged that I like to wear makeup so bright that I blind people, and that I will never conform to her standards of what proper living should be, and I listen to Amanda Palmer who is not her idea of an idol.
She accepts me for all of these things, but the only problem we get into is Children. She comes from a standpoint that everyone needs to procreate and have children, I on the other had believe that having children and teaching may cause me to go super-duper insane and somehow either get put away for insanity or burn my house down! That and working retail 10+ years has shown me that I really have no patience for children at all, which is why I ended up becoming a High School Teacher, I may be raising children, at least they know how to potty in a toilet….at least I HOPE they do! Not only that, my mother should know as well as I that having Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome is a shot in the dark that will either produce healthy children, or loose your ability to have them at all. I decided not to try to have children based off the fact that I have seen what a hysterectomy has done to my mother, and not having children is the best way to avoid an unplanned hysterectomy in the first place. She ended up with both PCOS and Endometriosis from having my brother, sister and I, and many of that was from her not having money to be checked by a proper gynecologist until after she had me, my brother and sister. I also realized that most of my problems at that time of the month imitate hers when she was my age, so from a medical standpoint I say no to children.
From my personal philosophy standpoint I also say no. I have been a teacher for several years now, and I spend a great deal of time volunteering at my mother’s school with her first graders. I’m known as “Maestra Mala” or “Mean Teacher” because I have little to no tolerance for 25+ small 7 year olds in a small room running around on a sugar bender after lunch. I can barely stand my 4th period 10th grade class after lunch, but they know my rules, these small ones don’t, and it’s not my classroom, so I shut my mouth and make sure that they at least do not kill each other.
Children to me seem like a great idea for some, and a horrible idea for others, my boyfriend and I love children, we love playing with them, holding them, taking the for walks, and all that jazz, but as great parents we would probably make, the possibility of us having children are very slim, for medical and personal reasons. We’re not grown-up enough to have children, having most of our doors in our room locked because of the fact we collect vintage action figures and religious artifacts, video games and movies, and the fact that we are self-proclaimed Ferret Parents who understand the possibilities and dangers of having infants/toddlers around ferrets at the same time. Having one fluffy 2-year-old and a human 2-year-old in the same house is mental suicide! Also, we prefer ferrets anyway, they rarely cry, they may get into everything, but after the 6 year mark, they have less of a chance to back talk to you than a human child.
My boyfriend and I are also realists though, we’ve been planning for the unknown possibilities for years now. What happens if we end up conceiving, Abortion Yes, Abortion No? Adoption, Closed or Open? Or Keeping the child? While both of us are Pro-Choice, neither of us would prefer the abortion option, we can barely put down our animals without feeling guilty, and its our mess we have to see it through to the end, but neither of us would want to send the child out for adoption (Our ferret was a foster case who ended up staying with us, full term pregnancy then adoption would be out of the question), so we decided that the option for us was to keep the future child, more because conception happened and lets take it to the extreme. We’re reasonable people if a child happens through all the protection we’re taking, then obviously the child was meant to be with us. The other thing too, we’re stubborn, and take challenges head on, and rarely back out of a fight.
The way we see it, we may want to be a childless couple but we’re adult enough to realize that this child is coming to a home that it will be loved and cherished.
To add more to this story, we’re also Guardians for our friend’s children as well…last time I counted 5 children are in our guardianship and most of this was because our friends recognize us as responsible adults who do love kids and will take care of them and love them, no questions asked. I do not wish any ill will on our friends, but watch the boyfriend and I have 5 children who are not ours!
I do not question that sometimes accidents happen, but my plans are to where I want to get my PHD, I want to start teaching college, I want to work at the Sorbonne (If I can learn French), or work in the BAU of the FBI, there’s so many things I want in my life, that children are no where in sight for me at this time. After my first novel hits it big on the big screen, and I win an Oscar for Acting and Screenwriting, MAAAYBE I’ll think about having children, till then, my choice my rules. I even get questioned from my students about this, even ones who do have children, and I always tell them, “My students are the only children I will ever need!” If I could post the pictures on here, I have so many pictures of my students children, from their first picture to year three that I even get emails of 5 year olds with captions saying “Watch out Miss C, you’re getting another one of me VERRY SOON!”
My family has always been traditional, I have lived my life with nothing but being a non-traditionalist who prefers other things than most. I look at my brother and sister and notice that they can do things with their lives in any which way they want, and I know my parents will always compare me to my brother and sister, but I live the way I want to live. My parents love me enough to realize that children are really not my thing, and while I love playing with babies and babysitting, teaching those who wish not to be taught, and I know that I can go home and relax with a glass of wine without having to worry about another small person. You should see the boyfriend when he’s in a toy store, I had to pull him away from two 10 year olds with Nerf guns because all three of them were in an all out Metal Gear Solid battle at FAO Schwartz with my boyfriend wearing a red bandanna and crawling on the ground! Who says my boyfriend doesn’t like kids, he’s a big kid himself! He even told me that if we do end up having children, he wants a little girl so she can be the meanest, toughest, girly tomboy around! I laugh cause I know with our luck and Karma, our daughter would want to be in pageants and be the princess, not the awesome rock stars her parents are! 😀
My other reasons are purely familial. I come from a family who wishes to talk about sex as if it is nothing but taboo, which is why both sides of my family have teenagers becoming, or getting their girlfriends pregnant. It’s not that it is taboo, but they’re too afraid to even talk about sex with each other, and I see the problems these unplanned pregnancies have on my cousins and their partners and their children involved. I know the children are loved, but you can see it in their eyes that they did not want this for their lives, and I see that and I don’t want to become that. The problem I also see is that my teenage cousins don’t even want to talk to their children about sex either, and take the stance “They need to learn it themselves” but in my view that causes more problems than solves. If each of us takes the time to sit down with our children, and talk about the options that are out there, then maybe we’ll have fewer people regretting having children. I never got those options with my parents being conservative liberals, but they are starting to realize that I may not have that motherhood instinct, and animals are the best way for me to go, but they won’t realize it until they see it.
What gets me is that people start going on about how I am a horrible person for not wanting children. I am not a horrible person, I am just a person who sees her life and her options far better than many who don’t want children, or who do. I spent years looking at my family to realize that I am in no way fit to be a mother. Maybe my family scarred me from every being a mom, maybe I looked too hard, but I see those eyes, those zombie eyes of family members who used to be just like me, tell me I’m missing out when I know they’re miserable. I see my family taking their aggression out on their children, those who are fat, need braces, or are told that they are ugly as sin and won’t do anything to help them feel better about themselves, yet I am the one who gets told that I am selfish. I’m not, and I don’t appreciate being called that when I have your children coming to me for advice, because they are cutting themselves because my cousins are telling them that they’re ugly, or are getting drunk every-night blaming the kids on their horribly misshapen bodies. I get told things that they are too ashamed to tell their parents, because I do not judge, yell or question their motives, I listen. I get asked about sex all the time from my teenage second-cousins because all they get from their parents is “Don’t Do It.” Those with worse problems, I take them to their school guidance counselor, or email the counselor myself, and have some one on one with a professional who can help them. I’m also the person who tells them that they are the most beautiful things in the world, that maybe they were not planned but there are people who do love them, and if things do get bad, Cousin Oracle is not that far away and will come pick you up. I see and do all this and yet I am told by these same transgressors that I am selfish, or fat.
I in no way want to discourage people from not having children, these are only my opinions, and yet not many people realize that NOT having a child is an option. I have yet to meet a childless couple who did feel lonely or that their life was incomplete, my boyfriend and I feel very fulfilled in our lives as we strive to create a lifestyle for ourselves. You don’t have to have a child just to keep a husband, I like referencing Drop Dead Fred when someone tells me this, even though it is fiction, I do see in real life what some people do to their children when they realize that they had a child just to keep a husband, they’re in a loveless relationship, too afraid to divorce because of familial standards, and the fact that they don’t want to raise a child alone. Societal pressure is also filled with the ideology that we as women HAVE to get married at a young age, HAVE to have children, and be happy from it. We all have choices, if you don’t want children, then don’t have any, or if you try to picture yourself having children, and all you see are dogs and ferrets, then don’t have children, but…
always keep your mind open and start thinking of the options you do have, planning always helps, but never assume that having children will be easy, it is a constant struggle, just like it is a constant struggle in getting my ferrets to potty in the litter box and not on the floor.
Looking back at my teenage cousins and their children and their relationships right now, I noticed that they are not happy, I even have a cousin whose girlfriend is leaving him behind with their two sons, because she cannot take the life of a mother, and has come out saying that she only got pregnant to keep him from having another girlfriend in college. I don’t even know what to say about this, since I have never felt that insecure about someone to the extent of wanting children. I don’t even know if I could leave my kids behind, but since men do it all the time, why not women, maybe with women leaving their families, a dialogue of whether or not having children can come up without all of us looking like selfish people. I’m not a selfish person, I do spend time at Women and Children shelters helping out, I do spend time fostering animals, and having the neighborhood kids coming to help, educating them about the responsibilities of having animals.
The plain simple truth is, I like kids, I just don’t want any of my own.
Dreamers, what are your choices regarding Children, do you want any, not want any, what kind of plans do you have set?
The Childless Oracle of Dreams
P.S. I got some really great articles from Gala Darling’s page that opened my eyes into doing this post.