Tag Archives: child-free

Kidding aside: Some not so random thoughts

Note: This post is a response to posts by (in order of how I read them) Indigo Bunting, Mali, Lali, and Bridgett.

I gave birth to two children. I wanted them and I had them. I’d have three if the stars had been aligned a little better.

There was a time — throughout my twenties and into my early thirties that I thought I would not have children. My husband and I were a child-free/less couple for a decade and when I think back on that time it was fine. We were fine. We would have been fine had we not had children. However, the minute I was given the go-ahead to have children, my life changed completely. Pampers commercials made me quiver with anticipation. When we had our first child we were so smitten we tried (and were successful)  for a second before the first was a year old.

I know people with no children either by choice or not by choice. I know people with one child. I know lots of people with two or three children. I know people with many children. I know people who adopted children. I know women who had children on their own. I know same-sex parents. None of these people should be judged, especially based on the decisions they made or didn’t make regarding offspring.

Last night, after writing an emotional comment on Indigo Bunting’s blog post, I thought about why this topic makes me so emotional. I think it goes way back to an episode of All in the Family in which Mike and Gloria proclaim they’ll never have children because of overpopulation. This was the first time I’d heard of this concept and it upset me. I wanted to grow up and have children, but I didn’t want to be a cause of overpopulation.

I have felt a lot of guilt in my role as mother*. I felt guilt when I worked when my daughter was an infant. I felt guilt when I didn’t work when my son was an infant. I felt guilt when I read books for pleasure instead of taking the children to the park. I felt guilt for going back to work when my son was a toddler. I felt guilt for what I fed them and then what I didn’t feed them. (you get the idea) I didn’t, however, feel guilt for having them in the first place — overpopulation be damned.

I try really hard to be non-judgmental. I try to remember that everyone has a secret history. I rarely ask questions of anyone except the best of friends questions that might be considered personal — especially regarding children.

So the idea that people who have children are selfish upsets me — perhaps akin to what someone who didn’t have children feel when they’re called selfish. It goes both ways.

While writing this and thinking about the posts that inspired it — I kept remembering two sayings I’ve thought about concerning parenthood. One was a teeshirt I saw in a card and gift store (incidentally the one in which went into labor with my second child) that I thought was funny. It had a drawing of a woman with a shocked look on her face. Under the drawing was a quote: “Oh no! I forgot to have children!” I remember a heated discussion I had with a friend (who had two children — I might have had one at the time — or none) about the saying. She was appalled and could not figure out why I thought it was funny.

The second is a Brian Andreas print/saying that I gave my mother for Christmas one year — shortly after we had our first child. It goes something like this: “There are lives I can imagine without children, but none of them have the same laughter and noise.” I always felt bad that my Aunt Ginny had to see that whenever she visited my mom’s house — she always wanted children, but she and Uncle Jack never did.

*I’ve never used this phrase to exclude people who are not mothers. To me, it just means in my life as a mother as opposed to when I was not a mother.

Fun Friday

Did a little work on the HTCA site again, messed with the themes. We’ll see how that goes. Put in 4 straight hours of work for pay – barely even blinked. Finally finished the ten templates – and put them in the correct spot. Monday will send to the SME for her approval. Finally feeling better about the process. Still very time consuming, but it seems to be working ok now. The still have tons of work to do on the forms though.

Bade Clare farewell as she went to GS camp. Poor thing – she has a ton of studying to do and didn’t want to go. She’s also feeling a little sick – allergies. Her voice was nearly gone by the time she left. Andrew was at a band function – Six Flags in NJ. So, being child-free for a few hours, Dean and I went to a Scottish Pub in Wheaton for dinner. I a bottle of my favorite beer and an order of fish and chips. Then I had a wee drop o’ Ardbeg. Yum.

We thought about going to the AFI to see a film, but since we had three Netflix movies at home, chose to watch one of those instead.

I let Dean choose the movie since I’d picked them out from Netflix. He chose Closer – which is what I was hoping he’d pick. I knew nothing about it, and was pleased with the location and actors. However the dialogue was very contrived, none of the characters were likable and nothing much seemed to happen. I was disappointed and Dean left before the movie ended. This morning I looked it up and found out it was a screen adaption of a play. That made a lot of sense. The dialogue was more along the lines of what I’d expect in a play.

Since I had to stay up to get Andrew at midnight, I watched another movie on cable. I’d begun watching Match Point before, but thought I’d save it to watch with Dean. Last night I felt I deserved to see it, and did. Same setting as Closer – sort of. British men and American Women (well, one woman in this one was American). Match Point was the better of the two movies, although still not going to be on my top 50 list.

Picked Andrew up at school – left here at 12:00 got back home at 12:50. The bus was late, then he had to wait around to take his instrument into the building. Lots of kids just dropped their instruments off at the door, Andrew was going to, but I insisted he stay and help take the other instruments in. He admitted that it was the right thing to do, even though he was tired and wanted to go to bed. He said he had a great time.