I dearly love my nephews and nieces. I adore all my cousins’ kids. I treasure the time I get to play with my friends’ children. All in all I like young people. Some days I am sad I will never be a mommy. Maybe I will find that special someone and be able to adopt, but with each passing year, that seems less likely. Mostly I am OK with that, since I get to live vicariously through all those others. Nothing in the world seems more natural than loving kids, right?
The thing is, not everyone loves kids, and that’s OK too. There are many people out there that love the single life and do not want to change it. There are also many couples who consciously decide not to have children. They have found peace and happiness in their family of two and do not want to change it. They have made the considered decision that their lives would not be improved by bringing another life in the world, and frankly, in doing so have made the most responsible choice. There are a million bad reasons to want kids, but no such thing as a bad reason to not have kids. If you really don’t want kids, you shouldn’t have them.
Yet for some reason we malign these folks who make this choice. Sometimes the abuse is obvious: right wing pundits calling them selfish and such. More often it is subtle, a million passive-aggressive comments suggesting that because they do not have kids they cannot possibly know just how much having one will improve their lives. Not wanting, or sometimes just not having despite your wishes, children somehow marks you as less mature in our society.
Which is funny because some of the least mature people I know have children. Some of their least mature behavior revolves around their parenting. They so obviously live vicariously through their kids, expecting them to make up for their lost dreams. Or they try to turn them into little carbon copies of themselves, completely ignoring that these are sentient beings with hopes, dreams and morals of their own. Still, somehow just being parents make them mature, because, of course, two dogs rutting are more mature than a loving couple who have thoughtfully weighed their needs, and the needs of a life they could potentially bring into the world.
I get it, really. You think your kids are great. Odds are, unless they are really horribly raised, I’ll think they’re great too. Not everyone, however, feels that way. Kids can be loud, they are certainly chaotic, and very messy. While some of us love the opportunity to be nurturing, for those that do not particularly feel that urge (and there is nothing wrong with that), the neediness of a small child can cause anxiety. Not everyone loves kids, and that is OK. What is more selfish: deciding you cannot handle having kids in your life, or having them, not sure of what kind of mess you are going to make of their lives?
There are plenty of kinds of families out there, and families of two are no less valid than the rest. If you are a mommy of six and love it, that is great, but if you are, and you sit in judgement of the couple who have decided they are happy just they two, then you need to check yourself. There are plenty of kids out there to fawn over, we are not missing out when someone decides not to make more.
- Maturity (gaiamojo.wordpress.com)
- Let children be children (rightways.wordpress.com)
- Mommy Needs a Time Out (runningrachel.com)
- I am an individual before I am a mother (fromthiswindow.com)