On children, and judgement

Recently, I had several discussions with several friends about the differences between men, women, and how we are treated in the world at large. The article that sparked the conversation wasn’t even travel related, but a wonderfully written, anecdotal piece regarding one’s choices to have children. Long-term followers of my Twitter feed will be well aware of my choices in regards to children, and also aware of my strong opinions on the treatment of women worldwide. I currently live and vote in a country where our biggest misogynist is not only a raving lunatic and our Prime Minister, but also holds the position of Minister for Women. I am constantly ridiculed, judged, looked down on, and made to feel like a failure as a woman for my choices in life – specifically my current choice to not have children.

Not where I see myself.

Not where I see myself.

I know what you’re thinking. It’s going to be one of two things depending on your gender. If you’re a woman, and especially if you already have or can’t wait to have children, you’re going to be thinking that what I have just said is horrible, and how could I possibly feel fulfilled as a woman if I DON’T have a child. If I don’t carry a pregnancy. If I don’t conform to societal pressure. If you’re a man, then the general consensus will be boredom. You’ve heard it before, single girl, in her 30s – CLAIMS she doesn’t want to get married and have babies because she thinks that will make her more desirable to men, and therefore speed up the process of her actually getting married and having babies. But here’s the clincher. I’m 100%, deadset for real. At this point in my life, I do not want or need to “feel fulfilled as a woman” and have a child. I certainly don’t need to get married (probably ever – more on that later). I’ve held this belief for a number of years, and while my opinions are open to change, I would need to have some ground breaking news or a huge life change in order for me to do this. So, in the interests of transparency, and so you all don’t keep asking (because I’m getting sick of those emails), here are my reasons. They’re very simple.

  1. I don’t want to. I like my friends kids, I even love them – but I love the fact that I don’t have to deal with them 24/7 even more.
  2. There are enough hungry, disadvantaged children in the world, that I would rather adopt or foster one of them than have my own. And when the time comes for me to “have children” this will be my first choice. I’ve seen too much poverty in my travels for this to not be a consideration for me.

That’s it. That’s all there is to it. Will the time come that I might change my mind? Maybe. But don’t hold your breath. IF I was to meet a man tomorrow and fall in love (it has been known to happen, don’t laugh), and IF having kids was that important to him, then I would give it more consideration. Because every good relationship has some give and take. In truth, I’m more open to the idea of children than I am to marriage. But I have a whole other opinion and could write several other posts regarding those thoughts. πŸ™‚ Now, can you all, please, stop asking. And do me a favour. The next time you meet a woman, and she doesn’t have kids (regardless of her relationship status), please do not ask her why. You don’t know her. She probably has better reasons than me for not having kids, and some of those reasons could be very personal, or incredibly painful. Do not extenuate her pain. Just mind your fucking business and don’t ask. She is not less of a woman because YOU think she would be more fulfilled if she produced life. Those are your issues, don’t put them on her. – end rant –

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4 thoughts on “On children, and judgement

  1. Bemused Backpacker says:

    Good rant, and I do agree. It is no ones business but yours what life choices you make. Although men get their own share of judgement when they say they don’t want kids too. That societal pressure is there for everyone.

    I don’t want kids, at all. I mean never say never I suppose but at this moment in time and for the absolute long term foreseeable future I don’t want them. They ruin your life, are noisy, cause you stress and anxiety, ruin your life, ruin your things, suck up all your money like a bottomless pit, and they smell! And did I mention they ruin your life!!!??? Yet when I say I don’t want kids there is always the usual judgements from women, men tend to be more understanding of that stance, but women are SO judgemental about it.

    I’m either gay (because apparently being gay precludes wanting kids), or I am some sort of evil antichrist with no feelings or have something wrong with me (which is the usual response), OR (probably the most annoying one) I am wrong and my partner will change my mind because she will want them (obviously strange women know her better than I do) and I will feel differently when I have them?!?! It gets tiresome, especially when I work in a female dominated profession. (And they feel the need to ask and judge without knowing my background too, I may not be able to have kids, I may have lost one and can’t bear the thought of going through that again, I haven’t but they don’t know that!)

    So I say own your choices, you are right, WE are right, and they are mindless sheep! You stick to your guns and say to any moron who questions your life choices just because they want to be endless breeders and ruin their lives with no money, changing crappy nappies and putting up with the endless disruption, noise, mess and lack of money, we don’t have to. We are making the smart choices and spending our lives relaxing on tropical beaches, travelling the world and spending our significantly higher disposable income on crap we don’t even need just because we can! We win!

    Like

  2. Katie Moriarty says:

    I really like this post. I can never understand why people feel the need to pass judgement on other people’s life choices like have an open mind ffs. Why do they care anyway? I haven’t even decided whether my husband and I will have kids and I certainly don’t think it makes me less of a woman if I don’t. Or more of one if I do. It’s just personal choice. I think what makes you a LEGENDARY woman is that you would rather foster a child and recognise the huge need for that. I feel the same way. My husband is the first man I have met that is down with that too. An emotionally intelligent man- thank God!

    Like

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