Whenever someone asks me when I’m going to have children, my response is usually one of four:
- I’m not having kids
- Kids are a lot of work
- No one tells me any good stories about having kids (or giving birth) so therefore why have them. (Not a question, just a statement)
- I’m too selfish.
Why do I respond this way? Because of this:
- You know, you’re not getting any younger.
- You’re not going to be young when your kids finally get out of the house
- You’re going to have problems with pregnancy/birth defects/labor if you wait a couple more years.
- You’re not going to have anyone take care of you when you get old.
Does anyone want to scream yet?
I should continue by saying that I’m fairly certain I do want to have children because I think they’re wonderful (I just think it’s a private matter and people shouldn’t be sticking their noses where it’s not their business). However, not too long ago someone said something that annoyed me to my core. Annoyed me so much that it’s the first time I seriously wanted to slap someone. Annoyed me so much that sometimes I want to not have kids just to say, “Haha, you’re wrong a-hole.” What is it that this person said? Well, I’ll tell you:
“You’ll never be truly happy without kids and you’ll never know true love until that child is in your life.”
WHAT! Did you just say that to me? Seriously, the person who does not have children yet? Did you just say that people in this world who do not have children will not know love or happiness? Did you just imply that those people who cannot biologically have children will just wander the earth as unfinished beings?
To this person I say: Well, I’m going to keep my blog post clean, but I have some choice phrases in mind.
The comment of this person has made me more adamant than ever to not talk to anyone outside of my close friends/family about children I may have. I’ve always know there are those out there who think children are more wonderful than anything, and that’s great. I myself work with children every single day, some with significant disabilities. I have been a babysitter since I was twelve years old. I volunteered in children programs in college. I had a practicum with children’s occupational therapy. I nannied kids while getting my degree. I am no stranger to children and how great they can be – I’ve wanted to work with them since I was 5 years old. I’m also no stranger to how much work they are. I’m also very aware of how much they can sometimes drive a person nuts!
So I ask this: Why, when I’m in my young years enjoying myself and having fun, would I want to put up with that right now? Why can’t I wait until I’m older, more mature, more grounded, and want (not can) devote undivided amounts of attention to a child? It’s like there are people out there who look down upon me because I have a brain that thinks rationally, makes plans, and can look at multiple sides of every situation.
I do want to address specifically what that person said. I found it very hurtful of this person to claim that people cannot be happy if they do not have children. This seems very narrow minded considering there are so many things in life to be happy about everyday. It’s putting people down for being themselves, taking care of themselves, and in general living life in the way they want, not in a way they feel they have to because society tells them. Then, on top of that to claim people will not know true love without a child! This seems like the person is saying their significant other or their family is not loved. I mean seriously, they just insulted all of the people in this person’s life. To me it seems incredibly narrow minded. And I bring up again the people who cannot biologically have children. It’s saying that through no fault of their own they’re now doomed to a loveless life of unhappiness. Maybe they should tell that to the person who’s by their side everyday and does love them because of who they are, regardless of being able to have children.
Lastly, I want to follow up with my own responses to the statements people made above:
1:You know, you’re not getting any younger.
- True, people age… and thank goodness otherwise I’d be dead.
2: You’re not going to be young when your kids finally get out of the house.
- Uhh, you just emphasized, “finally,” doesn’t that seem strange to you? Do you seriously have kids just so you can get them out of the house? That seems wrong. Why not live and explore while young, then take are of kids when you’re older and have more knowledge to pass along. I’d much rather have kids at my age now than when I was younger because I feel more settled with myself.
3: You’re going to have problems with pregnancy/birth defects/labor if you wait a couple more years.
- You’re right. I take care of myself by eating healthy, exercising and enriching my mind. Those are all complete body destructors right there. By the way, “[…] about 80% of children with down syndrome are born to mothers younger than 35.” Look it up. Oh, and children who have Down Syndrome are pretty damn amazing. (http://www.globaldownsyndrome.org/about-down-syndrome/lorem-ipsum-3/)
4: You’re not going to have anyone take care of you when you get old.
- You’re right, but I will have a hell of a lot more money for a good retirement home. I’ll see you at shuffleboard.