Monday, July 18, 2011

Much Ado About Nothing

Since I crossed back into feeling better about my choice, I've been worried that meeting Newbaby would drop me right back into the midst of the rabies. Thankfully, when I visited my friends and their daughter this weekend, it couldn't have been better.

I think this was the first baby I've ever held without anyone uttering the words "don't you want one, even just a little?" and the first time the mother hasn't been convinced I was going to accidentally break the child. This comfort and ease made the visit something awesome. We laughed, we all sat and watched movies and chilled and took turns holding her, handing her back to Mom or Dad when she fussed.

They handled Newbaby with ease and grace, even while admitting that in her week in this world she'd already managed to rob them of sleep and frustrate the hell out of them occasionally. And I got to see the immense love they felt for her and how natural and normal it all seemed.

And, I am happy to report, my uterus didn't twinge once.

Through it all, though I loved holding her and cuddling her, I knew I definitely did not want their life. Just the slightest glimpse showed me how 24/7 this job is. They're overjoyed by it all, but all I saw was what I would lose.

I've been told that I'm too focused on the negative side of parenting, but that's the fundamental difference between us and those who want kids. For me, the negatives are overwhelming and always have been. Parenting's a tough job. So's being a doctor or a physicist. And, again, I'll leave it to those who want to do it and I'll watch from afar, grabbing opportunities to babysit on occasion, or make the busy family dinner (as I did this weekend) to help out the people I love, and my life will be far from empty.

9 comments:

Amy said...

Thank you for posting this. I can relate to it so much! My husband's cousin (who is like a little sister to him) had a baby this year and being around him has given me a lot of highs and lows. But in the end I'm just grateful that I get to be a part of the whole thing and even more grateful that I leave after a few hours and get some sleep.

Catherine X said...

Its funny, I also get nervous about visiting friends with babies, even though I am happily child free. I worry that all of sudden I will become maternal and crave a baby. Thankfully it never seems to happen and only cements my decision as I hand them back and return home to my quiet oasis!

Childfree Travel said...

I recently visited a neighbors new baby. He was so cute and I have always adored newborns so I held him the whole visit. Later my boyfriend joked that I almost looked too comfortable - I made it clear that there were no maternal instincts. There is a huge dif between holding a sleeping newborn for 30 minutes and raising a child for 18 yeasrs. LOL

Dinah said...

Hello Stasha,

I edit an online magazine called 72M and I'm pulling together an article about women who are child free by choice. I wondered if you would mind me including you. If so please feel free to email me on admin@seventy2minutes.com

thank you
Dinah

Anne said...

Stasha,

Today is my first visit to your blog and I am so glad to have found you! My husband and I are also in our 30s and child free by choice. All of my close female relatives and friends either have kids or want to have kids. In the past few years I have started to feel like that difference between me and them has become more significant. Thanks for putting your thoughts/experiences out there. I can finally relate to someone else on the subject of kids!

Anonymous said...

Please post more often. I love this blog and you give me inspiration

TLewis said...

I'm so happy to have found your blog. Although there are a few blogs about being child-free, many do not touch on all aspects of it. Many of your posts really resonate. Being married in my 30s and lacking the desire to have children (so does my husband) it seems everyone I know either has children (at least 2 or 3) or still wants them. I've been feeling marooned. Please keep posting.

burrito said...

It is so nice to visit babies of friends who totally accept my no-baby stance. I can cuddle their babies and enjoy it knowing I'll get none of the "see, you're a natural" nonsense! In other settings I know if I show any interest in the baby at all, I'll have people trying to convince me that I have to have one!

Like Childfree Travel says - big difference between holding a baby for a bit and spending the rest of your life parenting one!

Anonymous said...

I can't explain the RELIEF I feel at being now 100% sure I don't want kids. It took me about 10 months to get to this point.

10 months ago, I was only 60% sure I didn't want kids.

But getting to 100%... wow!

Now my husband thanks me for being the one to realize that kids are not for us.

We'll be at Target or just visiting friends and their kids will destroy their neat, tidy house in less than an hour. When we get in the car, he'll say, "Thank you for not making me have kids."

The kids can be fun sometimes or cute. But its so nice to get back to 'our' life when we leave.

I get my kid fix from babysitting at $10 an hour. Why not get paid to care for and nurture kids instead of PAY OUT for 18 years?