Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mother(less) Day
I am not a mother and I don't want to be.

I'd be a lousy mom. I'd be miserable and stressed and make the kid that way. I'd never sleep. I'd neglect Husband (whom I adore beyond words). I'd eat my young.

And yet everyone expects every woman to want kids.

Nope. No way. God forbid.

I have some wonderful friends who are wonderful mothers. And I stand in open-mouthed amazement at them because I couldn't do it. Nor do I have any desire to do so. Never did. Never played with baby dolls as a girl. Never wanted to hold anybody's baby. Hell, I didn't talk to my own nephew until he got into high school and could hold an intelligent conversation.

And yet rather than being applauded for recognizing that motherhood would be a disastrous choice for all concerned -- society views women who are childless by choice as being somehow selfish.'s not like the species is in any danger of dying out. Considering how many abused and neglected children there are in the world, it would probably be a better thing if more people decided never to breed.

So I'll reserve what little maternal instincts I have for Cipher (The World's Most Amazing Cat, Screw You if You Don't Agree tm) and the cats at the shelter. And while I won't have breakfast in bed or a homemade cup with "world's greatest mom" on it -- I'll have the satisfaction of knowing that I have made absolutely, positively, the best decision to never, ever have kids.


Duke said...

Most women are driven to have kids. In fact, kids seem to be all they want. They might talk about a career or a good husband but they'll compromise both in a heartbeat to have kids. I've seen it over and over.

Women will have kids when they can't afford them or have a man around to help raise them. I think most kids are in single parent households now. Women will get on welfare, live near poverty, it doesn't matter so long as they can pop out those kids.

It seems to be sickness I've never understood. To me if you want kids, fine. You look at your situation to see if it's a good idea. You ask if you can afford them and is your marriage stable. You insure the man is both able to provide support plus willing to be there the next 20 years to raise them.

If the answer to any of the questions is NO or Maybe Not, you say oh well, I guess kids aren't in my future and you go on about your life.

You don't say "I don't give a crap if the guy is willing to devote 20 years raising them" and have kids anyway (unless you are rich, which none are).

You don't say I'm going to take huge chunks of time away from my career to have and raise kids although that action essentially trashes your advancement at work.

I understand why people want to have kids. I don't understand why they're willing to ruin their lives to do it by having kids in unstable relationships (or none at all)or without the time and income needed.

Decca said...

Thank you Duke!

It seems like people have kids because that's what you do. You grow up. You have kids. And maybe they even like the idea of taking care of a baby. But the reality is it takes a life-changing commitment that I'm not sure many people are ready for. They don't put into the thought of the financial, emotional, and personal demands required of raising a kid.

And it's not just raising a kid -- it's raising a "good" kid. One who is willing to work hard, be honest, take responsibility for their actions, and be a good person. You can't just expect a kid to raise himself -- you need to be ready to work to make sure the kid is raised right.

I know I couldn't do it. And society doesn't need one more badly-raised kid.

So I'll save my energies for cats.

Jemima Jones Beck said...

Good for you! I have had the same experience. People seem to think that I am a selfish heathen because I don't have children yet, and may not have them. It's the right choice for me, but no one seems to understand that...power on Non-Mommy!

#1Nana said...

I felt like you did until one day I didn't. I wasn't ready to have kids until one day I changed my mind. Best decision I ever made...for me.

I think you're wrong about expectations that every woman have children. Thank goodness that we still have the right to choose. Just because we have the right doesn't mean we all choose to act. Smart people know that and support every woman to make that personal decision.

End of sermon! Go your life. It's your life. Who are we to judge.

FinnyKnits said...

100% Amen from me, Decca. Though you already know my feeling on this topic.

And I agree with you, Duke, so many of my friends barely consider a supportive spouse, income, ability, etc when faced with The Baby Question. And, shocker, many of them are now single moms bitching about how they don't have time/money/etc for themselves.

Um, yah. That's what happens when you dedicate your life to raising another one.

I only wish women would consider those things as equal factors when having kids. Because the lack of one should probably make the decision, in my book.

I'd also like it if I weren't considered "selfish" (#1Nana - I've been called so, which to me means that many people DO expect it) because I can check the box next to "Able to afford" and "Stable Happy Marriage", yet choose not to have kids.

*Sigh* Whatever. One day all of the, "Oh, you'll change your mind"s will go away and be replaced with, "Wow. You and your husband have a fantastic relationship"s.

Because we do. But no one cares because HOW COME YOU'RE NOT HAVING KIDS?