The View from a Drawbridge

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

I was talking to a 30 year old woman who does not want to have kids, and she was venting about the societal pressures that are placed upon her. Boy, could I relate. She said she got very sick of hearing… and we said it simultaneously… “You’ll change your mind.”

Now that I’m 50, people have finally stopped saying that to me. Obviously, definitively, I can be trusted to know my own mind, and if I haven’t changed it by now, the world can simply resign itself to the fact that I never will. Whew! That’s a load off my shoulders. I can’t tell you how annoying it has been to have to go through life defending my decision.

The thing I could never understand, and still don’t, is why it was so bloody important to people that I join the procreation club. It was as if their personal experience was somehow lessened if I didn’t jump on the bandwagon with them. Why is my lifestyle anyone’s business but my own?

Even more annoying is the general concept that if I don’t want children there must be something wrong with me; something that I need to get over or be cured of. People treat the lack of desire for rug rats as if it is some form of brain damage.

And the more extreme critics like to say that child-free people are selfish. I actually think it’s more selfish to bring a child into the world when you have no desire or ability or preparation to be a parent. If you are going to be abusive, or foist the care of your child off on the state, or are simply indifferent to the process to the point that it will negatively impact the child, then that’s what’s truly selfish. And it’s not as if there aren’t plenty of people on the planet to maintain an adequate gene pool. If anything, one more human is the last thing this earth needs. The diaper waste alone is unbelievable.

I’m sure this will shock people, but here I am at age 50, looking back at my child-free life, and I can say without hesitation that I have no regrets. I’m glad I made the choices I made. I’m quite content with the fact that I never changed my mind. So next time you talk to an independent woman (or man, for that matter) who expresses this desire, maybe rather than try and talk her out of it, you might want to consider what a pompous ass you will sound like if you do.

[Image Credit: thesocietypages.org]

[Image Credit: thesocietypages.org]

25 thoughts on “Child-Free and No Regrets

  1. stefrozitis says:

    Both my sisters are childfree and likely to remain that way. They just seemed to always know. I envy them a lot of the time, I mean I love my kids but…in any case it would be good if girls could grow up without the pressure that they better get into a breeding mindset or else. Thanks for putting the good news out there! 🙂 oh yeah and by the way the planet is already overpopulated

    1. Just please make a point of telling them every now and then that their life choices are as valid as anyone else’s. We don’t hear that enough.

      1. stefrozitis says:

        Oh we get together over a glass of botrytis and tell each other exactly that! And bitch about whoever has lately tried to marry any of us off. They have some choice words for anyone who doesn’t think their life choices are valid too 😉

  2. JackieP says:

    I never had kids either. My decision and my bodies decision. When I found out in my early 30’s I probably would never be able to carry a child full term, I didn’t cry over it. I just accepted it. My ex was more upset than I was. I never regretted it either. Just wasn’t for me.

    1. I’m glad you had no regrets, Jackie, even if you had no choice in the matter. I genuinely do feel sorry for people who can’t have kids and desperately want them. I just can’t relate to them, that’s all.

    1. Okay, everybody, you have GOT to follow that link! You are an amazing writer, insanity! Keep it up!

  3. brightonbipolar says:

    Being child free is great! I have the time and finances to enjoy life to the full!

    1. Some would say that’s selfish. I would say it’s pretty darned smart. 🙂

  4. I find it funny that a lot of the people that I think would make the best parents don’t ever have kids… and a lot of the ones I know will be bad parents do.

    1. I know, right? I’d probably make a good parent, because I am responsible and compassionate and would want the child to be well adjusted and learn everything there is to learn. But inside I’d be miserable.

      1. I can’t believe that last part…

      2. lol. Did you not READ the blog entry???

      3. I did, but that part is so alien to my way of thinking… I mean, I get it some levels…

      4. Most people don’t get it, and I understand that. But that doesn’t make it wrong. (Not that you implied that it was, but many people do.)

      5. It isn’t wrong… just weird… HA!

  5. Seattle Park Lover says:

    I’m with you 100%! Especially about that ridiculous selfish business. I remember a couple times in my 30s getting an urge to procreate. Luckily the urges were short-lived and my better sense won out. It did teach me though that the ticking biological clock is no lie, and I think for the majority of humans difficult to resist, even for people who have excellent reasons for not wanting kids.

    1. I was so thrilled when that annoying ticking sound died down!

  6. Angiportus says:

    Never had ’em, never wanted ’em, never heard that clock either. At least my family left me alone about this, as much crap as they’ve given me about some other things.

  7. cupitonians says:

    OMG! I am riding this boat right now – with people so sure I’ll change my mind, that this is just a phase. I might just forward this post to them!

    1. You should! Stay true to yourself.

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