Coming Out As Childfree
Recently I have been more honest about the fact that I do not want to have children. It has been an interesting experience as I realised that I was holding this information in almost as a guilty secret. Admittedly, I had been expecting judgement and shock.
People make the assumption that women are going to have babies. I even made the assumption about myself. The fact that most of the women in my extended network of family and friends either had children or talked about wanting children at some point made me assume that one day I would do the same. I also like children (for short periods of time). I was even a children’s entertainer at one point!
I got to a point where the thought of having my own child would make me feel anxious. It was only pointed out to me very recently that on one occasion when asked about having children I cried- that memory had been pushed to the recesses clearly!
Obviously such news is not a big deal in the scheme of things. Culturally as a woman of mediterranean descent and with a Catholic background I felt the expectations. When I finally started to verbalise my desire not to have children. Some people were surprised, but it doesn’t impact their lives in anyway (other than to maintain the staus quo) so onwards with their day they go. And of course my friends think it is great that I know what I want and am living life accordingly.
As a pilates instructor, I spend my time happily looking after people. I do this every day and I love it. I ensure that the exercises I prescribe are going to benefit my clients physically and often emotionally. I keep their personalities, occupations, physical ailments and interests in mind to ensure that they feel looked after in their sessions with me. I do this safe in the knowlege that after that hour, they are their own responsibility. For me that is enough.
I like the fact that the relationships I nurture (with other human beings) in the other aspects of my life are with grown ups that can survive on this planet without me- everyone’s base needs are covered. Although they would all be devastated by my absence of course!
The people in my life are very capable of looking after themselves. In the future, things will most likely happen where we will be called upon to support each other in unexpected ways. While these things may not be pleasant, I am up for this. The responsibility to parent a developing individual to become a worthwhile member of society I am not.
I have the fur children- one of each of the popular speices. I am happy to cater to their basic requirements. Food, water, playtime and affection. I am happy to avoid education, clothing, extra-curricular activities, presents and what ever else developing human beings need to my short list. I am also happy to spoil my friends children with presents and give cuddles to them.
So I guess this is just another article that reminds the reader, that the child free are not child haters. We just know our strengths and weakness and how to apply them to our lives. We know that there are amazing people out there that adore dedicating their lives to their offspring and all of related aspects to this. But we also know that we are amazing too, in our own way and that choosing not to have children is a valid choice today.