August 7, 2013


The last week or two has been interesting for me.

The love of my life and I have chosen not to have children (caveat, required by science -- thus far.  Someday we may be able to clone ourselves and take an army to another planet in which case, I'm pretty certain E will overrule me and we'll have *TONS* of kids.  But today, we've decided it's not in our plans).

We are odd.  It is clear.  Our fridge is covered with the family holiday photos and birth announcements of all of our friends and family in our general age cohort who've all chosen to have children.  We're married.  We're happy.  We're more or less financially stable.  And, typically, people like us have kids.  Yet, we've opted out.  So, we are weird. (To those who know either of us well, this is not remotely surprising.)

We also maintain close friendships with people who don't have the option of having children, other couples like us, single folks, etc, and the variety of our relationships with these folks is defintely rewarding.

In the last couple of weeks, the US media has taken this (the "non-reproducing, otherwise relatively normal couple") up as a cause of some sort.  So we've got our most recent Time magazine as shown at the top, and this article.

And all I can think is,  why the fuck is it us versus them?

I have many children in my life -- nieces, a nephew, and all of my friends' kids.  I am grateful for all of them making my life richer.  I don't feel that my close friends and family feel that our choice somehow hurts them.  I am lucky.  So maybe we can all get to a place someday where it's okay to choose whatever you choose with  respect to reproduction (preferably when you can provide for your offspring...), but we all agree that, no matter what, all kids need support, and we should all support them.

In the meantime, headsup -- If you are youthful and fit enough that you can pose in a bathing suit on the cover of a magazine, then you are too young to have actually made any final decisions about anything.  Just saying.


Cathy said...

If anyone ever hassles you about whether you plan to have kids, I think you should just respond, "We're not planning to in the conventional way. However, cloning is an option."

Best caveat ever.

bt said...

@Cathy -- you know, that just may be my new stock response.

L.A. Runner said...

As a teacher, I see PLENTY of children brought into this world with very little thought or consideration by their parents. Therefore, I am VERY respectful and admirable of those people that are RESPONSIBLE about their choice, whatever that choice might be. Having children is a huge decision and not one that should be taken lightly. It's not for everyone, and unfortunately sometimes women are made to feel guilty for not wanting what *seems* like everyone else has or wants. You would think in 2013 we (our country) would be past the historical notions of what "family" should be.

F said...

For very selfish reasons, we are glad you do not have kids ("thus far") as we feel very blessed that you have the time to spend with R! I just said to P last week after BBQ that R is very lucky to have you, someone who has such a breadth of life experience, knowledge, generosity and intelligence, as his "auntie".

F said...

You also tell really AWESOME stories and do really FUN physical activities with him. And not afraid to actually TEACH (discipline, guide) him.

Jen said...

Yes, 100% agree. But I think you already know that.

I especially agree re: why does it have to be "us vs. them"? It's so confusing/weird to me when people take other's decision so personally, as if it's an attack on their decision.

A said...

For reasons that remain unknown to me, some people find my lack of children personally offensive. This puzzles me because, like Jen said, it's not like my status has anything to do with anyone else's choice to have or not have children. This feeling is usually expressed to me as my having made a selfish choice (and I haven't really made any choice at all, as of yet) and that I will never know how to love another person. Which, you know, gets my hackles up! Live and let live, I say.

bt said...

Thanks, all, for weighing in with your support.

To continue the conversation, a friend alerted me to this column, which I identify quite a bit with.

bt said...

Link from the last comment here.