Thursday, 26 May 2011

On the Question of Children.

So yesterday Himself and I left our visitors sleeping and headed back to work after 2 days off and I have to say I was actually kind of glad to go back.
Despite what most zodiac character descriptions for Cancerians say, I am not a homebody who loves to have her house filled to bursting with children and guests.
I am an uncomfortable host, mostly I think this is because I am not a confident cook and my house always looks like an explosion in a thrift shop. It's not dirty but it is untidy and very, very full of 'stuff' Basically I feel embarassed and prefer people not to see it. 

Anyway whilst it was lovely to see family again, hand on heart, nephew number two at 18 months was hard work. The fact the poor wee chap was not 100% well and did cry/scream on the top of his lungs a LOT does factor into that but even so. On a side note, I supose that was a fitting return for the many unannounced pounding all night parties our neighbours have had. Though I did still feel guilty at 3am after he had been howling solidly for an hour, the walls are pretty thin!
It did leave me pondering over the whole 'children' question as I walked to work from the station.

I have never wanted to have children and have never hidden that fact. Many people immediatly assume this means I hate children and am without a maternal bone in my body. Not true. I adore my 2 nephews (except maybe when screaming!) and including them I am a proud godmother to 5 children. I love to play with friends kids and I am often first in line to have a cuddle when someone brings a new baby into work, and that is what people really don't get. How can you love kids but not want one of your own?
I was always being knowingly told 'you'll change your mind when you are older' or 'when you meet the right man' or 'when the biological clock starts ticking'. They could have been right, you never know, but none of the above happened as it turns out. I didn't change my mind as I got older, my biological clock has refused to tick and Mr Right didn't tip the balance either.
In fact I was happily tripping along through life without any great plans for even a Mr Right, that was most definitely an unexpected and wonderful life bonus. Usually the minute a bloke got even slightly serious I fled so fast I left skid marks on the road! No real reasone for that either, I'm not a wild free spirit nor am I too deeply scarred by some evil man in my past to go near another.
Anyway when I realised Himself  was here to stay and for once I wasn't running but also staying and happy to do so. I raised the 'baby' question. I told him I didn't want kids and that I was not going to change my mind on that issue, and if he did, then we had better call it a day before we got involved any deeper. As it turned out he hadn't really thought about it much and didn't mind not having any, so we got serious. Thankfully he hasn't changed his mind in the last 14 years, if anything he has gone more to the other extreme and is adamant about not having children.
I have been called uncaring, selfish and un-natural. Whereas I think I definitely would be all of those three to have had a child I didn't want and therefore resented.


  1. You sound very sensible to me. I do have kids, and (obviously) love them dearly, but to be honest I can take or leave most belonging to other people! I certainly couldn't ever be a child-minder. I do get a lot of love and laughs out of my children, but that's pay-off for the noise, tiredness, lack of money, snot, germs and constant tidying up and demands for food! I would never presume to tell someone they were 'unnatural' for not having any - you're probably far more fun to be with than I would be be as far as other kids are concerned, as they're more of a novelty for you. My best friend is also childless by choice, but gets on just great with my two.

  2. I think you're sensible too but then I would cos I'm similar! Although I'm not so good with children either, which is looked upon as an almighty failing for a woman, sorry people I just don't get them, now dogs or cats or some other furry creature I get, we don't have pets either though!

    I see nothing wrong with not wanting children, not all of us have ticking biological clocks, I'm 44 and mine hasn't ticked yet! I suspect it's a little late now and finally the questions stop coming but people automatically assume at my age I have children which I think is very presumptuous!

    I'm lucky in that my lovely husband has never wanted children either, we do check with each other regularly that we haven't changed our minds, but nope we're fine thanks!

  3. That's awful that people judge you for choosing to not have kids. I have a one month old and 19 month old and when people tell me that they decided to never have kids, I say "good for you!!" I adore my kids but I know from personal experience that babies are not for everyone. If you can discover what you truly want before having kids, it's not because you're uncaring. It's because you're wise! I've known a few women who thought they wanted cute, cuddly babies and found out that they really only wanted a cute, cuddly puppy...but it was too late! You're anything but selfish, uncaring and unnatural. What's more unnatural than doing something you really don't want to do!? Having kids just because it's expected by society would be a disservice to those babies. I bet you're the best aunt and godmother that any kid could ask for! Shame on those people for pushing their expectations on you.

  4. I'm childfree too. I like kids, and believe strongly that every child should be wanted, loved and (wherever possible) planned. I know some awesome parents and love their tots to bits. I just don't want one of my own. It's awful that people have called you selfish and uncaring. Would it be better if you'd put a child through the misery of growing up knowing it was unwanted?!

  5. Hiya
    I’m just sending out a quick message to let people know their Faith Hope and Charity Swapping partners. Days of spreedsheet fiddling I tell you, if this works it’s going on my CV! I won’t have access to a PC from Tues 31st until June 6th – so any questions will have to wait til I get back I’m afraid. I’m going to put up a quick post on the rules before I go, but for now you can check out your partner’s blog and start figuring out what they might like.
    Your swap partner is Vintage Vicki
    Thanks for playing along!

  6. Thank you for your lovely comment! Awe, what a shame! They did look very newly painted! x

  7. Ah you commented again without me knowing lol! I only had a two day week and I feel drained lol! At least we have the long weekend ahead of us! x

  8. Well done for deciding on what you wanted and sticking to it, even if it meant losing 'Mr Right'. Motherhood is not for everyone, and far better to realise that than make you and another little life unhappy. xx

  9. You took the words right out of my mouth!