Thursday, May 17, 2012

An Acceptable Choice

Initially I applauded How I Met Your Mother for keeping Robin childfree, but that was before. Before they felt the need to justify her choice and their choice to keep her childless by making her infertile. It played into so many of my pet peeves because it minimizes her choice, and even though she stuck by it by not choosing adoption or fostering, her choice feels less powerful to me, somebody who would have liked to see a childfree person on TV respected. I like it in that it takes away peoples' hope that her mind will change, but it reinforces what so many people say to me.

Countless times it's been suggested to me that I should lie and tell people I'm infertile to get the people judging me to back off. But I can't. I have friends and family who've struggled with infertility. I just can't take the chance of getting into that conversation. I've seen the desperation in their eyes when they've talked about their struggle with wanting a baby so badly and being unable to have one. Without fail, infertility has brought mourning with it for the people I've known, and I can't play that game.

I understand that gives people a reason to accept my decision, to shut up about the pressure, but I want to be accepted for the choice in itself. I want people to stop saying I'll change my mind not because I'm too old to change it, or because nature took care of that choice for me. I don't want them feeling sorry for me.

I'm happy with my life and my choice, and that's after dealing with a pretty rough bout of arguing with my biology over babies. I'm not going to be a mom. Not because "it's God's plan." Not because I waited too long. Not because I or my husband can't make it happen. I'm not going to be a mom because I don't want to be.

Wouldn't it be nice if that was enough?

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Maybe Lady Liz said...

I say, that's enough! Well done.

Anonymous said...

Good for you! I won't be a mom because I can't and because I don't want to adopt, but in some ways I'm happy I don't have to make the chose to be child free because it has been made for me (it took me several years to even want kids, and once I found out I couldn't have them, I was sort of revealed). Just be confident that you will lead a full happy life (probably happier than most of your friends with kids). Kids don't make a happy life, you do! There is no need to justify your decision, so rock on with your fab child free life!

Heather said...

I'm an avid HIMYM fan, and I was also angry when they made Robyn infertile! I was always so happy that they had this strong, awesome childfree woman on the show, and I can't believe they ruined it. We shouldn't have to justify our childfree choice any more than people who decide to have children.

Anonymous said...

You're right on this Stasha. I also have to say, thanks for your blog. Recently there was a rough period for me concerning this same stuff because my husband, who had always been the most indifferent person on this, caught the baby fever for a spell after his best friend and his wife had their first kid. Hubby got over it (and is now, weirdly, more CF than ever), but the tense atmosphere and the pressure I felt during the time before he/we worked through it all made me feel almost exactly like you describe in this and earlier posts -- arguing with my biology over babies. I too am now slowly coming to re-embrace our original choice to be childfree, and it was immensely supporting to me to be able to read about someone who has fought this pressure and stayed true to herself.

On the off chance that you (or any readers) have heard of a situation where one partner got baby crazy but then got over it, how did you deal? I am hoping my husband doesn't put us through this again, but want to be ready in case it happens...

Melissa said...

I think like you since i was like 9 years old, i never want to be mom actually im 19 and i want to make a surgery to dont have kids cause i really dont like them, im happy the way i am, and i never want to have a family, so im happy to find this movement and im glad to find people who think like me, cause some people dont like my idea but im sure i am a childree woman, independent and free!!!!

Arcsis said...

I saw this post awhile ago, & I finally watch the episode you're talking about. I've always liked Robin & *I* felt relieved when they said she wasn't pregnant. (I'd do the same dance if I were in her position, hehe)

I was a little bummed when she was lamenting her infertility. You're totally right, it really bugged me that they had to give her a "reason" other than her own choice.

I really hope it was to add to the drama, ya know, make good TV.

Thanks & keep on posting!

Stephanie said...

I'm very guilty of lying and saying, "I can't" when people ask why my husband and I don't have any kids. My high school reunion is coming up and I am leaning towards not going because I'm the only person I know of from my group of friends that is childless. I *think* I might want kids, but my husband doesn't, so we don't have any. I'm nearing 40, so I don't have much longer to be able to make a decision, but I feel so ostracized sometimes being childless. Thank you for your blog. Knowing that I'm not alone makes a difference. I just wish it wasn't a given that everyone assumes we all want to have kids!

Anonymous said...

I just want to say thank you for having this blog. I am a married 31 yr old and have been struggling with the issue of having kids for several years. I have felt and still do feel so alone as EVERYONE around me is reproducing like crazy. I can t even go on Facebook anymore for the inundation of baby pictures and events I m met with...babies are all that anyone seems to care about anymore. I also just found out that my older sister is pregnant for the first time and now I m struggling with a whole host of other being grief for the loss of my sister who will never be the same again. Anyway, I could go on and on, but thank you for sharing your experiences and for making me feel a little less like a freak.

Elizabeth said...

I'm a closeted childfree person who is afraid to "come out" because I know our families will be very angry and accuse my husband and me of being selfish. Though I suppose that commenting here with my real name and link to my blog is a form of coming out! =)

It's hard for anyone else to understand that I just don't feel that desire to have kids. It's just not there, and it's never really been there. I"m really glad I found your blog; it's nice to find a community that feels the same way I do.

The Anti-Hoarder said...

I think your idea is wonderful. There's too much pressure to have kids in this world. And the world can't afford that.

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Anonymous said...

I remember when I first contemplated the possibility of not having children, because up to about 23 I figured it was just going to a part of my life. My partner selection skills also were lacking so I tended to pick men that were not interested in having children or already had their own from previous marriages. I set a rule for myself that I would give up on having them by the age of 32, not that I was actively working to make this happen. So 32 hit and I did not have children. I have to say that I honestly only ever really felt an urge when I approached 40. The urge lasted only a few weeks and it was probably founded more on the notion that I had the equipment (Uterus) that maybe should be put to some good use. I am grateful that I didn't succumb to the urge. So I am now 46 and people don't give anymore advice on why having my own children is different from other people's children. I still need some lessons, though on how to pick better partners. Maybe the lack of good partners was always a way to keep me from having children. I love the complexities of what motivates our human nature!

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Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm very glad you are all childfree. Most of you sound very uneducated. I can rest well at night knowing women, as ignorant as you all, are not reproducing. Your species will die off quickly and pain free.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous, who posted at 11.10 pm above. " Me thinks thinks you do protest too much". Your bitterness is thinly disguised. Finally, why are you even reading childfree websites? Pity you.

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Anonymous said...

I think the best thing to do would be for your husband to spend the whole day looking after those children. Of course when you spend a small while with them it may be fine, but if he's there all day he'll see how difficult it is. something is always better when you want it but don't have it, because after all, it's only an ideology in that case. My sister really wanted kids, but of course now she's got several under 5 she's not so sure!

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