Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Today's Woman - Facing 40 - Part 2 - The Right to (Not) Bear Children

Ah, one of my most favorite topics....and one that brought me grief from so many through the years:  not having (make that not wanting) children.  And the older you get not only do the chances of you being able to have children drop, but you tend to be judged later on in life for making the choice

The Today Show - Today's Woman Part 2 (video segment)

I remember vaguely as a child that of course I played with dolls.  I remember "Tubsy" and I remember Barbie to some degree and then that doll came out that was like Barbie only smaller.  I think her name was Dawn.  Anyway, while I had dolls, I didn't have strollers and fancy cars and tons of clothes etc. with them. 

And I don't remember dolls being that big of a deal to me.

That probably should have been my mother's first clue that she had had a child that was born with some parts missing. 

Specifically a biological clock.

This really didn't seem to be an 'issue' until later on in my 20's (mom was being pushy) and really that was just her...and then that went on into my 30s (especially when I was with John for so long), and then well, once I got into my 40's she had given up.

I don't really recall, like the first girl in the video segment ever really feeling like I was an outcast for not wanting children (now not being married is an ENTIRELY different thing; another post), although I know some of my friends didn't understand that (not wanting children)...and while a lot of my friends don't have children (and are knocking on 40's door), they still would like to either have (or had) babies.  And then I do have quite a few friends that are in late 40's and early 50's, happily married for years and no babies.  By choice.

Truth be known, I was pregnant once.  I was 21 I believe.  Twas not to be.  And I am not one bit sorry about it either.  Judge away.  And one of the reasons I called off so many engagements was because each one of them wanted kids eventually and I knew that I would never change my mind.

I kind of checked out or zone out whenever one of my friends rambles on about how they want babies so badly.  Its not because I don't care, its because I don't get it.

Let's see...I have dated a lot of men with kids.  I have been engaged to men with kids.  And I adore kids!!!  And I am a kid magnet!  Kids adore me as well.  I always say I think its because I am not 'mom'.  I am like the cool aunt or sister.  And that's exactly how I like it.

Any time I dated someone with kids, I found it extremely difficult to be any more than that.  I would probably let kids just get away with just about anything to be honest.  I am not a disciplinarian.  Well thats not true, but I grew up where stern was king and you got whuppin's.  Not exactly something I should be doing with someone elses you know?

However, I never thought that my reasoning behind wanting children was pure selfishness.  I don't believe that for a moment.

I know I am selfish.  But honestly, I just never wanted kids.  I never thought 'shit if I have kids I can't do this or buy that'.  Not having kids was not a selfish choice on my part.  I just never thought about it to begin with.  See?  No biological clock/I wanna be a mommy someday going on inside this body!  No way mister.

I just never wanted any of my own.

I don't believe that not having children now; ever or even much later in life is the stigma it use to be.  Sure there are those women out there that will judge me, you or whoever out there and think 'something is wrong with us' in some way...or that we lack certain understanding and skills...but that is not the case I assure you.

I feel like I am rambling on, but the segment is interesting to watch indeed.  And I think its unfair to be judged on choices like whether or not to bear children.  And if you choose to wait until after you are 40, more power to ya!

Anyway, sound off if you care to.  For, against.  Do you judge?  Do you have kids?  Want kids?  Never even entered your mind?


Mel said...

I can TOTALLY relate to this. You put it into words way better than I could

Adrienne said...

I saw that yesterday and it definitely resonated with me. I work with children at work, have a nephew and recently have developed a new fondness for them.

This being said, I never, even as a young girl wanted children. It's nice to hear that the stigma is starting to be challenged.

Tara @ texasrunnergirl.com said...

Kudos to you for knowing you didn't want kids! Really, so many people have children and don't really want them and it's the kids that suffer. I don't think there is anything wrong with you in any sense for not wanting kids.

TX Runner Mom said...

Girl, you won't get judgement from me. I grew up having dolls but not really being into them. While I was growing up, I never really thought about getting married, much less having kids. I was the friend who would look at your baby from afar, but not want to touch it with a 10-foot pole until it was potty trained. I did get married and thought I'd eventually want kids after a couple of years. Maybe. But to be honest I was liking the kid-free life. Next thing I know, we'd been married 4 or 5 years and we didn't have kids. Then, that "shift" happened - we both agreed that we were ready and we weren't getting any younger. I am glad we did decide to have kids (although many days I do question my judgement, lol), but I can totally see how some people don't want kids. That is totally your choice. I don't think you're selfish (I was called that too) or that it's wrong. I think only you know what's best for you...and if you ever wanna babysit sometime, call me! :-)

TAG said...

I am so glad to read I am NOT the only one! I have always known, since I was little, that I didnt want kids. I dont know why. I never saw me getting married either (although I found a wonderful, loving husband!). And at first, when I was in my 20's and all my friends wanted/were having babies and asking why I didnt, I felt selfish. I wanted ME time, heck, I still felt I had to GROW UP, I still felt I was unable to support me, how/why would I think of being responsible for someone else? My sister had kids, and I LOVE them and they are a big part of my life.
And as I get older, I realize, I was NOT selfish, I was being true to myself!!!
Alot of people like to remind me how I will be alone with noone to take care of me when I get old, but that is no reason to have a child!! I will get along just fine. And in the meantime, I will spoil all my neices, nephews and friends kids.

TAG said...

Oh, and to add, I also have no biological clock! I had thought that as the years go on, maybe I would get that yearning. And nothing. Here I am just about 40, and still, nothing. Hmm. I dont know if its all in my head, if I had it and missed it, or if it was meant to be!!

JunieB said...

TAG: some have said that to me as well, and here is my answer: Just because you have kids does NOT mean that they are going to take care of you when you are old and sick! Kids arent always wonderful like that.