I’m 29 years old. I’ll be 30 in January.
I have yet to graduate college, although I am a little more than halfway done.
I do not own my own home yet.
I am not married. I don’t even have a boyfriend.
I have no kids (although I came close once).
I have no REAL responsibilities other than enjoying life daily as much as I possibly can.
For the most part, I live a good life. I find it crazy when society and its “norms” want to disrupt that for me.
I get this at least once a week:
“So do you have any children??” (Insert “No” here…) “Oh honey, you’re missing out on the glories of having children!! It is so rewarding!” They say to me. For some maybe. For me? I’m going to be honest and go as far as saying that I would find having kids, at this point in my life, kind of a burden. I can already hear all the gasps and comments from my readers now, “A burden? How could she!?” and would I be thinking differently if I already had a few of my own? Of course! No loving parent would ever call their child a burden, but coming from someone who has no children in a world that is constantly multiplying around her, I find it to be true.
Yesterday as I sat at a local bar enjoying a proper Gin and Tonic and an order of coconut shrimp, while working on my latest short story, I couldn’t help but observe a family that had just sat a few tables ahead of me. Mom, Dad, and four kids. The parents were about my age. The kids were maybe a year or two apart, the youngest not able to walk yet. They rolled in with strollers, diaper bags, sweaters, bottles, toys, everything a family with 4 children would need for an easier outing. As the afternoon crept on, I noticed that the parents had no real interaction with one another other than what they HAD to say to each other in regards to the kids. I couldn’t help but wonder what they used to be like with one another before the children came along. As a waitress I often see this and think the same thing. I always wonder what families were like before the children happened.
It’s not always that I see a disconnect between couples. It’s random but once in a blue I do see tightly knit families that give off that moment of inspiration… but that moment is short lived when I hear or see a screaming child at another table. Almost like life is snapping me back into reality.
I had a friend tell me once, “Since a kid all I ever wanted was to be a mom. And now I am one and sometimes I feel like, “what have I done?” No one tells you about the metamorphosis your body will go through after having a child. No one tells you how scary it can be when the realization sets in that you’re raising a little human and molding them to someday be a productive member of society. No one tells you how frustrating a child can be, because even if you are a good parent, it’s not just nurture it is also nature that plays apart in raising them. A parent sacrifices a lot. You can’t think about what you want to eat, or what you want to buy, or where it is that you want to travel to next. All you do is think about them. You as an individual is almost non-existent.” Her son is 8. I can’t imagine how she will be feeling once he hits those teenage years.
Like i said before, I get it often, “So, when are you having your little ones? Times ticking you know!” I reply with a shrug and a usual, “Not anytime soon.” Coming from complete strangers I find those questions and comments annoying and intrusive.
Yes, having children can be a blessing and very rewarding but, you don’t miss what you’ve never had. At this point in my life I do not want children. To have kids right now would be almost selfish of me. There is too much that I need to accomplish first, there are many things I need to get out of my system first, before I ever think about bringing a life into this world. I sometimes hear about parents resenting their children for not allowing them to be able to finish much of what they started or have the ability to live out the dreams they once envisioned. I don’t want to be that. I hear about parents imposing much of what they wanted to do in life onto their kids saying, “I want them to do what I could never get to do,” and most often than not, these kids would rather be living out their own dreams, living out their own lives. If I don’t do what I need to do for me now, how could I possibly be a good parent later? How could I possibly devote all of my passion, love, and energy into my mini me, while also working on obtaining a good career, finding a good home, establishing a strong relationship with my better half? Many would argue, “Well people do it everyday! No one is ever fully ready to have kids but ey, they manage.” Well let me just say, I don’t want to simply manage my way through life, especially if I don’t have to. All those people who are juggling kids while also finishing up an education, or intensely focusing on their career, or trying to work on their marriage, they are struggling. I’ve got enough struggles going on at the moment, no need to add a child into the mix. I am extremely content with playing with my nieces and nephews, or my friend’s children. I am happy that at the end of my visit I can simply walk away. I join in on the fun and once the fun is over I leave.
I give good parents a lot of praise because in reality they are doing something that I simply cannot. Kudos for contributing to society in a unique and special way. Because of you humanity continues.
At this point, I am happy because I get to contribute to life in a different way. I am living my life at my own speed, doing the things I want to do, while always making sure I don’t hurt others along the way. In my opinion, that, in essence, should be society’s “norm”.