Just because being childfree is a complicated decision for you doesn't mean that you're some sort of failure to the CF community.I say this because people have tried to make me feel that way. On social media and public forums, other CF women jump on me and say I'm not really CF if I think being a mom looks kind of awesome sometimes. I haven't had anyone tell me it's okay to be conflicted sometimes, that even stopping to consider whether it's really what you want is okay.
Really, it's okay.Don't we have enough people on our asses about how we're living our lives? If we say that sometimes it makes us sad that we're missing out, or that we're a little jealous of the things that make parenthood awesome, we're vilified by the childfree community and told by parents that we should stop kidding ourselves. We're not allowed to express conflict or doubt. EVER.
How does trying to make CF some sort of exclusive club help anyone? And why is an expression of doubt an acceptable reason to stop supporting someone's decision?
We are all different, and we come to this community for different reasons and in different ways. No major life decision is without some degree of conflict. We need to support each other. You're not better than me at being childfree because doubt never comes into the picture, and I'm not better than you*.
And no, you can't say for certain how you're going to feel in 10 years, 20 years. You may change your mind… yeah, I know, I've already talked about how we're not allowed to suggest that. But reality is reality. One of my formerly CF friends is currently plunking tens of thousands of dollars on fertility treatments at 38 because she feels like she missed out. Becoming a mom is all she can think about or talk about now. I just shared the story of a CF friend who couldn't go through with her promise to herself to have an abortion if she got pregnant. They were childfree until they weren't. IT IS A THING. This isn't a label we have to wear to the grave. CF can mean different things to different people.
It's okay to admit that things can change. It's okay to be conflicted sometimes. Major life decisions almost always involve some degree of conflict or wondering what might be or might have been. And it's okay to be firm in your decision while getting emotional about it from time to time. It's okay to never have a single shred of doubt; if that's the case, I solute you. Tearing women down for expressing conflict or changing their minds is just as bad as the people who we get so angry at who insist that we're making a mistake.
We're human, we're not machines. Our emotions are complex, and the childfree community is complex. Embrace it, and embrace each other.
*unless you're an asshole