free to be you and me

By | March 7, 2007

Lately I’ve been reading more about childfree issues and checking out related blogs. I’ve never actually followed the childfree sites as I guess I’ve never really considered myself part of a movement in that sense.

I’ve never wanted children and this never struck me as odd. Nor have I ever been questioned about it — save for a few snoopy old-world relatives at whom I smile politely but nonetheless ignore. In fact, most of my friends are also childfree. This just seemed to work out this way.

There are many reasons why I don’t have any desire to be a parent but it all boils down to the fact that I feel raising children well is very difficult and time-consuming. Not to mention expensive!

It’s a job that you really have to want very badly and you can’t change your mind. I prefer to live my life without total and all-encompassing concern for a little person’s overall development. This is not selfish — it would be selfish to feel (and behave) the way I do and have kids. I made my choice — not that it ever felt like a real choice anyway as I never seriously considered fertilization within my womb. There was no weighing of options, no lists of pros and cons — not even when the so-called clock (what I prefer to think of as the fun and freewheeling mid-thirties) was ticking quite loudly…

Some people don’t like kids that much and that’s a good reason not to have kids — mind you any reason one might have is a good reason in my opinion. I don’t like to be around ill-mannered children (who does?) but I do like (well-behaved and delightfully smart) children in general.

I worked with kids for many years and it was damned hard work keeping them safe, entertained and meaningfully occupied. I planned every minute of the day they spent with me and by the end of it I was very pleased to go to a place where I didn’t have to prepare wholesome dinner followed by homework. I did homework once and I don’t want to do quadratic equations ever again.

I loved that job and I had a lot of fun but it gave me a (tiny) sense of what being a parent might be like — enough to know I would not like it. It also exposed me to wonderful kids and horrid little monsters.

Kids love me — no, really they do. People have commented on how much kids seem to enjoy my company…and how much I seem to enjoy theirs.

I know lots of games and I talk to them and I listen to what they have to say. It can be a lot of fun to play for an hour and chat about kid things. But after playtime, I want nothing better than a glass of wine and some peace and quiet — followed perhaps by some serious shopping with all my discretionary income.

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