8.05.2008

Child Free, Not Guilt Free

Wow. In our circles we do not have any friends our age who are married (or getting there) and do not want children. Imagine my surprise to find so many of you who were able to relate to my post yesterday!

You guys came up with fantastic and hilarious ways to combat negative comments regarding the childfree life we're choosing. I must say that while it's hard to embrace those comments, they don't actually hurt our feelings too much since they usually stem from good intentions, with fear that we may miss out on the kiddie goodness. We know that it is unimaginable to some, and we try to be understanding about it.

What is rough, is how our decision affects all the stakeholders. Us not being parents = our parents not being grandparents = our brothers not being uncles = our nieces and nephew not being cousins. Of course we understand we must base our decision on what is best for us and the life we would/would not bring into this world, but no matter how many great reasons we have, choosing to remain childfree is not as easy as it may seem!

The other day my sweet future nephew was giggling about us having a baby after the wedding (8 year olds find the subject hilarious), and I had to explain to him that we are not planning to have one. He looked up at me with those puppies eyes and said "but aunt GT, then I wouldn't have a baby cousin!"

A straight shot of guilt went from the hand I had on his shoulder directly to my heart and pierced it.

He would make a wonderful older cousin, as would all his siblings. His grandparents would be as great to our kids as they are to them. The mister, without a doubt, would absolutely be the most fantastic father on this planet. And I have deprived them of it all because, as my FMIL once told me, I am selfish.

I wish oh so very desperately that I longed for kids of my own! I wish I was not horrified by the enormous baby head genes that run in the mister's family! I wish the idea of babyproofing my home is not revolting to me! I wish I believe I would work hard enough to get back my current body after giving birth! I wish the law with all its safety regulations would be laxed enough for me to just pile any number of children in the backseat of any car without annoying carseats! I wish babies came with manuals (and 24 hour phone support)! I wish babies never turn into teenagers!

Obviously, I am not suited to be a mother for the above (and so so much more). While I can't help with the family associated guilt, I do at least take comfort in knowing that we are making the best decision for us, and in turn for our families. Maybe by some miracle one day my biological alarm will start blasting out of nowhere, but we're not counting on it, and we are prepared to live our lives to their fullest without children.

Now, dare I ask, can any of you relate to this kind of guilt or feel bullied into the baby making corner?

2 comments:

  1. No guilt here ... I am not hurting anyone by not having kids. I disagree with your "stakeholders" comment - the only true stakeholders are you and your husband. You don't owe it to any of these other people to have kids. When people ask me why I don't want kids, I simply tell them I'd rather stick a fork in my ear, and that usually ends their line of questioning.

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  2. Yes I do feel guilt (toward my siblings, nieces & nephews, and society in general), BUT not enough to have a child, (even if that were a good reason to have one!)

    I think everyone has their cross to bear in life. Parents have guilt about how they're raising their kids, or how they're not spending enough time with them, or how they're taking too much time off work, etc. No matter which choice you make life "aint gonna be easy" all the time.

    I'm a childfree writing a book called "Kidfree & Lovin' It," and have an online survey that over 2,200 childless around the world have taken. Any of you without children are welcome to take it too. Here's the link:

    http://tinyurl.com/2lcjah

    The results and many of the quotes will be published in the book.

    Kidfree Kaye

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