Aug 06

couple-no-parenting

I feel like I’ve been seeing articles and blogs all over the place talking about people that are living their lives childless. As if it’s some kind of condition. As I was making my coffee this morning I heard a journalist leading into a story on this topic and asked the question, “Have Americans really become so selfish that ‘having it all…’ means having no kids?” Really?

I was instantly transported back to when I worked with sixth grade girls and we were having a discussion about what it means to be a woman and one of the students turned to me and asked, “Don’t you wanna be a woman, miss?” Confused since I was hovering right around the ripe old age of 30, had a full time job, my own car, apartment and a had received at least two college degrees, I asked her to explain. “Well, you ‘ain’t got no kids yet. You can’t be a woman until you have kids.” Oh dear.

Some concepts that I have read of late surface in the Times article, “The Childfree Life: When Having It All Means Not Having Children” refers to this focus on woman and motherhood (as the two identities are inextricably tied to each other) as “mom-opia” and in another article, “The Truth About the Childless Life” the issue addresses “Otherhood” which discusses those whose hearts are aching to take on parenting but their desires have been delayed as they are waiting to fall in love first. 

Becoming a parent, however you arrive at that junction of your life is your business. Whether you are dating someone with kids and you help with co-parenting, you are a single parent, a divorced parent, a foster parent or any combination of these things – it’s your life. No census report, journalist or well-meaning family member can really get inside your shoes (or uterus) to make a judgment on your life choices.

If you have decided that parenthood is not for you – awesome. It’s actually one of the most UNselfish acts I could think of. If you know that you do not want to be a parent but simply did it because you felt pressured by society (media, friends, family, etc.) then that is selfish – and stupid. Own your decision, own your life and live your life in a way that is authentic and genuine to yourself. Eff the hype.

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