Tuesday, May 31, 2016

On Not Having Children

I was talking with a few female, childless friends of mine recently (it even sounds sad, it isn't trust me) and we were talking about how we don't have kids, have chosen not to have kids and how great it is not to have kids.

Sorry, people with kids, but it's so great not having any. Granted, I don't know what it feels like to have kids, but you don't know what it feels like to NOT have any kids.

I have absolutely ZERO worries or fears or needs regarding "legacy." I just never have. My bloodline continuing on- I just don't think about it or worry about it. All the billions of people on or under the earth, I don't think the universe cares about my bloodline and neither do I. Even in my work, I don't feel the need to create work that lasts. My work is something for me to do while I'm here, has nothing to do with when I'm gone.

John and I talked this weekend about luxury and how even though relatively, we are BROKE still. We live in luxury, a beautiful neighborhood, a vibrant (and deadly, ugh) city, enough money to go to dinner and travel some. And I thought, that's part of not having kids for me, I'm TOTALLY going to enjoy my luxury. 

Anyhoo, my lady friends started talking about how tired they are of defending themselves. People's questions, assumptions - how they are told that they'll never "feel that love" or what's wrong with them or what kind of woman doesn't have children?

And I was honestly surprised. No one, NO ONE, ever asks me about my decision not to have children. I never get those questions, the only time it happens is when we're traveling and the people in India are terrified for us that we don't have kids, but that's fine, they can be afraid for me. All day long. I'd love for someone to come up to me and question me about it. Bring it. However, no one finds it necessary to do that with me. Maybe I'm too old now to even ask, but I can say, inside of the United States - no one has second-guessed me about having kids.

But I was listening to Rebecca Solnit and she wrote a whole essay about those questions and how to answer them.

And I loved this part:

People lock onto motherhood as a key to feminine identity in part from the belief that children are the best way to fulfill your capacity to love, even though the list of monstrous, ice-hearted mothers is extensive. But there are so many things to love besides one’s own offspring, so many things that need love, so much other work love has to do in the world.
Bam. Way to nail it Solnit. 

No comments: