16 November 2007

Purple Woman

Yesterday Teri, who runs the Purple Women web site rallied the readers to write about whether they feel invisible as a childfree woman, or to talk about how they self identify. Yesterday I was on the road unexpectedly so I did not participate, but I thought better late than never might apply.
The older I get the more I embrace our childfree status. Of course there were moments when we wondered if we might want to have kids, but over all I would say the feelings have overwhelmingly been on the child free path.
I don't understand why people think a person is hiding something or denying something if they don't have kids. It is so easy to have a kid- there's the good old fashioned way, there are fertility treatments, IVF, surrogates, and thousands of kids in need of homes through adoption. Some people just don't want kids. We are 'some people.'
When I was a kid myself I never wanted kids. I never baby-sat except one disastrous afternoon when I stayed with my bff's little brother and he screamed and cried at the top of his lungs for the entire (LLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNGGGG)two hours that his mother was gone. I actually signed a contract with my father early in high school betting him that I would not have kids. After I got married I thought that I might want to have them. My DH was is a very smart cookie though. We borrowed neices and nephews for longer visits, both young and old, had a foreign exchange student and took in a teenage nephew for a while. While I love my neices and nephews it showed the reality of what having kids does to you and life as you know it. Other than the toll it takes on your body I noted that you become a maid, and a second class citizen in your own home. Twenty-four Seven. That may seem like a good challenge for some women out there, but I felt that I could do more.
I remember talking to a customer of ours years ago who had gone through some basic fertility treatments and then decided to adopt. She asked a very good question,"Do you want to be pregnant, or do you want to be a mother?" It seemed like a benign question, but the more I thought about it, the more it became clear to me. So many women get swept up in being pregnant, and "having" a baby that they don't consider what it is like the following 18 years plus.
So many people say,"You don't know what you're missing." I have to disagree. You would have to live in a cave in a very remote region to not see what kids are like, in public, or even in a home at parties and get togethers. It isn't all lollipops and hugs.
Then there is the environmental stance. I believe that with energy being at a tipping point, and with the current world's population we are unsustainable.
"Who will take care of you when you're old?" From my experience in Ladie's Aid I have seen that kids rarely take care of their elderly parents. They might hire a housekeeper, or stuff them in a nursing home, but it is impossibly rare that kids take in their elderly parents. I know of one out of dozens of older people who live at home. I would rather invest my money and be able to live in a cool retirement community like Art's parents.
I love my husband and I love my marriage. I do not feel we lack for anything. We are volunteers, and run a business that I feel contributes. On the selfish front we like to travel, like our home, like our freedom, like to eat out, and like being childfree.
If you have a positive response I will happily respond, however, I will be deleting any negative comments as this was done more for me than anyone else and is definitely not up for debate...


Angry Grrl said...

Good for you! I've found more acceptance among friends and family as my husband and I have gotten closer to the magic 40, and still showing no signs of reproducing. It's like no one believed me when I was younger, but now, maybe they're starting to get a ticket for the clue bus...

Escape Brooklyn said...

That's an excellent point about the environmental impact of too many people! There's a reason China has a one-child policy, offensive an idea as it is to many in the "free" U.S.

My mom always says, "You can't give them back" when I talk to her about having children. She gave up her life to have three kids and had to manage everything in the household, and her choices/sacrifices never struck me as something I wanted to do.

Anonymous said...

Yeh!, there are plenty of kids out there with serious lack of supervision. They drive me crazy sometimes at the bus stop or on the bus is even worse.