Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Childless and happy. Yes, that's a thing.

I have known for a long time that I have no interest in having children. I’m very  comfortable with that. I know 15 women who have had babies this year. I’m not exaggerating.  I was at a baby shower this spring and there were at least four pregnant women there. Of course, at some point it came up that I don’t want to have kids and a friend responded with “REALLY??!! I didn’t know that about you!!” as if I just announced I have some horrible disfigurement that I keep hidden. So I went through a brief phase of questioning myself. The funny thing is I never really got to thinking “Maybe I want to have a baby”, it was more like “What is wrong with me that I don’t want to have a baby?”.
Fortunately I was able to work through that on my own pretty easily. I just don’t have an urge to procreate. I don’t love babies. I don’t find the thought of being pregnant appealing. And I really don’t feel bad about any of that. I do love the fact that I have friends who wanted babies badly and were able to have them. I have lots of friends with children and I really love many of those kids. I’m not saying I hate kids or don’t ever want to be around them. I ‘m just saying it’s not for me.
I think most of my feelings stem from my childhood experiences. I grew up as an only child til the age of 12, when my mother remarried and I suddenly had four step-siblings. It was a complete nightmare. My step-father’s ex-wife was psycho and the kids were brainwashed into doing horrible things.  Ever since then,  I have felt strongly that I would never want to put children through a similar situation.  When I got married in my early 20's, we thought we would have children and when we divorced  I felt great relief that we hadn't.
Now I’m in my 30s, childless and unmarried. Thankfully I have a wonderful boyfriend who shares my feelings on the subject of kids but it’s interesting to me how many people find my situation “unusual”. I’m not sure why that is. I suppose it’s just human nature to want to have a family. I know there are things I’ll “miss out” on by not having kids and sometimes I wonder if it means I’m selfish but I really do like the lifestyle I have and the experiences that are available to me. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and that we all have a purpose in this life. Mine just might involve less babies and more cats than most women.

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