Saturday, 9 October 2010
Why is the decision to be child-free questioned?
I am not maternal, and I don't get broody. The decision to have children is a very personal decision, and should never be undertaken lightly. I don't know when the light turned on in my brain that definitely said "No Children", but I think all my life I could never see children being a part of it. As a child, I never played with dolls as they were boring and didn't do anything. I liked Barbie as she had a cool, sexy boyfriend. She was rich and had a successful career - above all, she had no children. For me, being child-free is the default setting. I say child-free and not childless, as saying that implies there is something missing in my life. In other words: I do not want children, I will never have children, and I ensure I don't have them.
So why do I often have to justify myself or explain why to other people? It's my and my husbands decision alone. Over our 10 years of marriage, I've been patronised, questioned and judged by breeders about my choice. I'm a freak, and I'm WRONG!
I have had ALL these on several occasions.
"You'll change you mind." - I'm 36. I have felt this way since I was a child. I can assure you, I won't. Anyway, you obviously don't know me enough, or you wouldn't say that.
"You WILL have children." - No I won't. In fact, I am thinking about getting sterilised.
"You'd make a lovely mother." - No I wouldn't. I don't like children, I have no patience and I have a quick temper at times. Plus, you haven't seen me on less than 6 hours sleep.
"Why don't you want children" - Read my 140 + reason on my blog. This is the most common one, and the one that often makes me give a wry laugh as it's sometimes even been asked after their 20 minute bitch rant about how awful a weekend they've had with little Johnny being a little shit all weekend. Plus, if it's acceptable to ask me why not? Why is it not okay for me to ask, "Why did you have children?" after their 20 minute bitch rant.
"What if you got pregnant accidentally?" - How much more personal can you get? I used to just say, "Well, I don't know," and avoided the issue. From now on, I have decided that seen as the person is being so personal and probing, I'm going to be as frank: "I'd have an abortion." That might shut them up. Plus I use something that is free and readily available - it's called contraception. Again, getting sterilised would stop a question like that in it's tracks.
"What would you do if your husband wanted children?" - again, the personal questions. Well, he doesn't, so it's not an issue. And if it was an issue, I wouldn't have married him. How about me asking, "What if your husband/wife didn't want children?" Not acceptable? Thought not.
"Who will look after you if you got old?" - Well the money I save on not having children will allow me to pay for care. Plus, having children doesn't guarantee regular visits and having children so they can look after you when you get old is selfish and not a good reason to have them!
"Your child could grow up to cure cancer." - It could also grow up to be the next Adolf Hitler.
"It's natural. It's a woman's greatest achievement. It's a woman's role." - Oh PLEASE! I thought equal rights and a woman's right to choose had evolved from the middle ages - obviously not in your world.
"What if everyone felt like you, the human population would die out." - And why would that be a bad thing? If more people thought like me, the world wouldn't be severely over-populated like it is. The population growth on the planet cannot be sustained, there isn't enough resources.
"It's different when it's your own." - Yeah, it sure is! You can't give them back! What if I realised I'd make the biggest mistake of my life? I'd be fucked as there is no going back. Plus, if it's "so wonderful", why do you constantly bitch about how little sleep you've had? Or what a little shit your kid has been all day? Or that you have no money? Or about how little time you get to yourself? Or how you never get the time to do anything nice, like reading? Or that you never get the time or money to treat yourself? Or that you're constantly tired? Or that you never go out? Sounds like HELL!
Well, you know what? I went and got a manicure and pedicure yesterday, I had a great lie-in this morning, and I'm off out tonight with friends to a really nice restaurant and I'm probably going to drink expensive wine and not have to worry about getting up tomorrow.
"Don't you want to give your parents grandchildren?" - No, not really. My mum is happy with my decision. I think having a grandchild running around her child-unfriendly home would traumatise her anyway.
"What if your parents thought the same as you?" - What sort of stupid question is that? I wouldn't have existed, but because I wouldn't have existed, I wouldn't be around to know about it in the first place. But they did, and I didn't ask to be born.
It's as if breeders somehow think my life is unfulfilled, or that I secretly want children, or that I'm not happy and contended? Well, I am happy, I am contented. Do you get the message yet?