The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.

At the moment I’m taking care of a child. I love him to pieces, but I swear there are moments when I’d like to dump him on his parent’s front porch like a flaming bag of dog poo, ring the doorbell and drive away quickly.

Blond Boy Crying

He whines. He complains. He doesn’t listen. He gets cranky. Various liquids flow from every orifice. I have to clean up after him, feed him, and wash his clothes. He often won’t eat what I put on his plate, and he for sure insists on drinking things that aren’t good for him, rather than the healthy alternatives that I suggest. He won’t go to bed when he should, and he wants to sleep when he should be doing something else. You’d think I was water boarding him when it’s time to take medicine. When we have to go somewhere, getting him moving is like pushing a train up a mountainside, and he usually makes me late. Lord knows he makes me cancel plans on a regular basis. Strangulation looks more and more attractive to me with each passing day.

This child that I’m taking care of just happens to be my 56 year old boyfriend who is sick with the flu, but my mantra for the past few days has been “Thank GOD I got my tubes tied.” He is my reminder that, aside from my dogs, I do not have a maternal bone in my body.

Now, before I get a s***storm of hostile comments about how SELFISH I am by not being a parent, or how INSENSITIVE I am for even talking about this subject when there are so many people out there who can’t have children who desperately want them, or how I’ll someday change my mind, let me say that a) It’s much more selfish to have a child that you didn’t want in the first place, b) I’m not against other people being parents except when they let their child throw tantrums in the checkout line at Walmart or when I’m trying to watch a movie, and c) I’m 48, and I haven’t changed my mind yet, not even for a second.

Another comment I always hear is “The Bible says we should be fruitful and multiply.” My response to that is that the next part of that sentence is “…and replenish the earth,” and the earth seems to be replenished enough without my help, thank you very much.

I’m convinced that not all of us are cut out for parenthood, and it’s better to embrace that than to do what society expects and be miserable. Oh, I think I would have been a great parent. I would do everything to make a child feel loved and safe and nurtured, because he or she didn’t ask to be put into this situation, and every child deserves not to be emotionally crushed like a bug, in spite of the fact that most children wind up crushing their parents at least once in their lifetime. The fact is, I’d have been unhappy deep down, and therefore I chose not to have children.

I could go on about this for pages and pages, because I’ve certainly been expected to defend my choice every step of the way, but my boyfriend is calling me from his death bed, begging for lime sherbet, so I’ve got to go.

10 thoughts on “Why I am Child Free

  1. Vicky says:

    I am with ya, Sista! I never played with baby dolls (although I could be found designing high fashion gowns out of socks for Barbie) and I had 4 younger sibs to try my hand on, had I the interest. It always looked to me like a messy, hard job with little return. My Mom was beautiful, loving and super energetic, and did a great job. I just always felt too selfish to want that huge responsibility. I (gasp!!, blush) wanted a life of my own. I have never been sorry. I think my inner demons are best kept to myself, no sense visiting them on a helpless child. People that do it willingly are ither very brave or not properly informed.

    1. Not wanting the responsibility is only selfish if you’ve already had the child. Not wanting the responsibility and therefore not having children is the most responsible thing you can do. 🙂

  2. If you think you shouldn’t have kids, don’t. Not everyone is smart enough to figure that out.

  3. Leah Hurley says:

    As I am reading this I feel selfish that I have children (whom most days I am blessed with) and wonder what life would be like if I had never had them. Don’t get me wrong being a mother has been really rewarding in my situation but there are days where I am tired and stressed. The post holds very true to how things are (some days). Its stressful and hard! There are also rewards. Reward that make my life worth living. Like smiles that I create and “love you mommy” said randomly. My first child was an accident and I cried for days when I found out. However, my choice to keep him has never enhanced my life in a better way. I have many family members who will not be having children and I am happy that they are there to show my children that things do not have to be do in the “conventional” way while still enjoying different aspects of life. I think that it is important to choose the best road for that individual. I am grateful that I have so many people to love them in a special way. Especially those who will help raise them both to be good people because they chose to not have children of their own and care so much about my boys. On a even more personal level, as my aunt, you also helped mold me into the person I am today. Even if you decided to not have children you have helped raise one!! Love you!!

    1. Carole says:

      Nice tribute to Motherhood, Self respect, and loving without strings.

  4. Leah Hurley says:

    Also I know now reflecting on decisions that I crushed my mom many times in my teenage years. On the same page I am pretty sure she is not the only one. Growing up was hard. Luck for me I grew up and realized the error in my ways. Thanks to all the loving people I had in my life!! : )

    1. Leah, you have grown into an amazing woman, and I couldn’t be more proud to be your aunt. I’m so grateful to my sister Lori for having brought you and Ryan into the world, I can’t even begin to tell you. You’ve grown into the thoughtful and intelligent person I always knew you could be. You make me proud. Your mom would be proud, too. Of that I am positive. I love you.

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