discovery #10

i am not alone.

saturday night i was confronted by my family about my and david's decision not to have children. let me start out by saying that we have decided not to have children NOW. i am not saying that i never want kids, but i truly don't know what will happen in the future. i have also made my wish to adopt (which david is also in favor of) known to friends/family, which seems to be another source of concern.

you should also know that the general vibe i have received from my family since my youth has gone something like this: "you can do anything boys can do," "you can have a career, whatever you want to be." and with regard to family planning, my mother's famous quote "just remember to elope" (with a definition of the term when i was 11). so you can see my confusion, when after my wedding at 31, my dad is suddenly concerned about my indecisiveness regarding the subject of children--and specifically, biological children. not to mention my sister/brother-in-law chiming in with the fact that neither of them know ANYBODY who feels the way i do about having children.

now, you must know that this is not the first time i have been the black sheep of the family. and this is not the first time my father has challenged me on one of my unconventional decisions, but i was still shocked that they couldn't understand my hesitation. nor my apparent frustration with their expectation that i uphold traditional family/gender roles.

so, last night i googled "women choosing not to have children" and found a whole new world--a thriving community of childless by choice couples, and even a national organization, NON: The National Organization for Non-Parents! and the ever so authoritative wikipedia even has a whole childfree entry. i must say that it was refreshing to read an article which spoke directly to me regarding my hesitance toward parenthood and supported our position as a new couple. someone to normalize the fact that i don't feel that maternal instinct, nor do i have a desire to bring new life into the world right now.

my discovery this week is that there ARE others out there who, for whatever personal reasons, are deciding to opt out of the parental domain. and i shouldn't need this "back up" to legitimize our decision...i shouldn't care about other people's beliefs regarding a 32 year old married woman who doesn't want a baby. but when it's your own family, it still hurts.

when we got married i knew the age-old joke would befall us: "so, when are you going to start having kids?" (and it did.) but i have thwarted many further probes by stating simply "ask me again in 5 years." and so far it has been successful. most people can appreciate the fact that i spent two years working hard in grad school and studying to pass the licensing exam. and anyone who's read my previous discoveries knows that i love my job.

what is wrong with enjoying my career (and trying to pay off school loans!) and spending quality time (and lots of travel!) with my husband in our first years of marriage? i'm not buying into that selfishness argument...i'll flip that and say that having kids when you are not emotionally or financially prepared for the responsibility is selfish. and if my decision not to have children is selfish, so be it. i've been called worse things. but i'm focusing on my marriage right now. i'm focusing on creating a life that is exciting and fulfilling and happy. and if, in 4 years, i happen to change my mind...that seems like a pretty fabulous place for a kid to join us.

p.s. the cutie in the above photo is my god-son.
p.p.s. i LOVE kids...and anyone who has seen me interact with my nieces/nephews/godkids KNOWS IT.
p.p.p.s. if you take any offense to the above opinion, please accept my apology in advance.

1 comment:

  1. I got married at 31. My husband and I don't know if we will ever want kids and if we do, we are open to adoption.

    And girl you are braver than me because I haven't even bothered to tell that to our families. I'm dreading the drama.

    please know that I totally understand and rock on for choosing your own path.