Friday, May 26, 2006

Justified

I've never really wanted children.

That does not mean I haven't thought of names for kids, like any woman might. I think Aubriel (Auby) is a pretty name for a girl, Gabriel for a boy. But I don't want children.

That does not mean I haven't imagined that if A and I had a child, what color would his eyes be, if he would be tall like A or short like me, or fall somewhere in between. But I don't want children.

I'm not sure anyone believes me that I've never wanted children. Wondering "what if" is not the same thing as having the desire to change my lifestyle in the way a child would. I have never had the longing that most women seem to have; any "what ifs" have been tempered by a strong realization of what having that child would mean.
To me, living with children is completely undesirable and always has been.

Today I read someone's intriguing point… no one EVER questions a couple who chooses to have kids if they thought long and hard about it, at least not if they're in a position like A and I are -- financially stable, emotionally stable. No one asks a pregnant woman "what if you regret the decision?" When a woman says she wants to have children, no one explores the emotions behind that decision, yet I have to justify everything.

I'm tired of explaining myself.

I'm tired of trudging out every major and minor life event that I've changed my mind on. So I got divorced the first time -- it was a bad marriage, and even THEN we didn't want children. So I went through a phase during my post-divorce single years where I was coming to terms with possibly never getting married. That didn't mean I *never* wanted to get married again. I wanted to marry A VERY early into our relationship.

What's that you said? A wanted children at one time? Well, gee, I've never talked to my husband about that!

We've talked exhaustively about his motivations to change his mind, from seeing friends and family change after having kids, to the admission that he never realized before me that it could be a CHOICE. Love + Marriage = Children in his very religious upbringing. His motivations are sound -- I made sure before I agreed to even get engaged because I didn't want him to be motivated by getting back at his dad, or if he was just saying it to make me happy...

There are people who will never be comfortable with this decision. The problem is, these are people that I love. I just wish there was something I could do, that there was a way I could say "we're not having kids" and have that be the end of it. I know this is not going to be the case. I just need to vent.

1 comment:

Tamara said...

Your writing is very good!

I found your blog last week when searching for info on "childfree" people. My hub and I are struggling to make our decision, so I am not in the exact same boat as you, but I do know that we'll be dealing with some similar things if we ultimately decide not to have children.

Thanks so much for sharing this, it's quite helpful. I wish I had some advice, but I'm afraid I don't. You seem to be handling it as best you can. I'm sorry that this isn't yet a more accepted choice for people.