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Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Musings: On Being Childless by Choice

Hi Everyone!

Today, I'm sharing a very personal story and decision.

 I've been an anomaly ALLLLLL my life.  And, thankfully, I've always been comfortable in my own skin.  I believe the following quote wholeheartedly.  I can only be me, I cannot, and more importantly, I will not try to fit in.


So, I have a confession:  I've never wanted children.  Never.  Don't get me wrong, it's not that I (or my amazing hubby) don't like children.  On the contrary, we LOVE other people's children.  They're the best kind of children because you can babysit and spoil them for a few hours and then return them to their parents!  People look at us like we're on drugs when we say that we do not want children.  And, this brings me to my next point.  I teach my students to value difference.  I celebrate other people's choices in life.  If someone wants to be a mother, I am genuinely happy for them.  Parenthood is not my calling or desire. And, I wish that people would celebrate that choice.  With that said, I think that there are several things people should NOT say to a person (or a couple) who does not want children, including but not limited to the following:

1.  You'd be great parents.  My response:  Really?  How do you know?
2.  You're being selfish.    My response:  it's selfish to procreate when that's not your desire.
3.  Who will take care of you when you're older?  My response:  that's why senior care facilities exist.
4.  What about your legacy?  My response:  The Internet will document it.
5.  Children are totally worth it.  My response:  They definitely are if that's your desire.
6.  You will change your mind.  My response:  I promise you that I will not.  I love my sleep.  I love spending uninterrupted time with my amazing hubby.

And, just so you know, here is one of the biggest reasons why I'm childless by choice:  I LOVE my amazing hubby, and I do not want to share him with anyone!

Finally, I LOVE this book by comedian Jen Kirkman (it's really refreshing to see someone engaging the "I'm childless by choice and there is nothing wrong with me" segment of the population:



So, there you have it!  Are there any choices/decisions you've made that people criticize?  Do tell!

Thanks for stopping by!

32 comments:

  1. I'm a fellow happily childfree married lady! Love my personal, free-time, and love the time spent with my husband. We have two adorable nieces & I'm happy to give them elaborate presents & spend time with them... but I'm also happy to not have to do it 24/7!

    (What do you teach? Is there a post around here talking about it? I'm a teacher-in-training & people seem to think that makes the no-kids thing even stranger!)

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  2. I made the crazy decision to leave a lucrative legal career for teaching, high school! I always get the "what a waste of a law degree." Or "you could make so much more money." My response is that money doesn't make you happy, but teaching does! Even to this day, nearly 10 years in, I still get the looks and questions! So annoying!

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  3. Hi rynetta,i totally respect your choice and am glad you are talking openly about it.
    We got a lot resentment from people,because of moving with kids internationally a couple of times. You should have heard the comments we got:(.

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  4. Just emailed you. Preach it, sister!

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  7. Thank you for sharing this. I love all my nieces and nephews and my friends children, but I know that's having children is not for me. I can't even commit to a pet! Lol!

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  9. Hi Rynetta,

    I'm a mom of 3 awesome boys. And a special ed teacher! It's fulfilling and exhausting! Ha Ha.

    Personally, I'm tired of seeing glossy magazines glamourize parenthood and make it seem like everyone should have children. I'm tired of hearing about dating celebrities having children, bump watches, and fancy spreads showing celebrity baby pics. Give me a break.

    I applaud anyone's decision to be fulfilled and exhausted by other adventures. Children are not something to be had because society tells us we won't be complete unless we have them. As a teacher, I see a lot of children whose parents probably didn't really consider what being a parent means. I bet you are a great role model to the children in your life. And we really need lot of great role models for our children.

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    1. yes, very well said! it's sad that some people can't celebrate other's choices.

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  10. I think that the decision to have children is deeply personal and am happy that you are your husband are open and content with your decision. Everyone wants everyone else to do what they do to validate them.m good for you! Wendy (very happy mother of two!)

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  11. Ohhh wow - thank you so much for sharing! My DH and I go back and forth, to be honest. We are still young (almost 30) and enjoy nice dinners, traveling, sleeping in, and just being with each other. I'm still entirely too selfish (hello, j crew sale) and would like to own a house before I even entertain the idea of having kids.

    My sister (recently married and younger than me) told me she was sad for me because I don't want pop out a kid or three yet. My mom's only concern is that I will regret it one day, but there is always adoption.

    So... I donno. I've also been studying and trying to advance my career, and quite frankly not sure that I'd like to throw that all away to potentially stay home all day.

    Sorry for rambling, but thank you so much for sharing this. I'll probably pick up the book, too.

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  12. You said it all about understanding difference! People can be very intolerant of certain life choices, and society doesn't entirely back us up either!
    Fortunately people have mostly stopped nagging my partner and I about it- after almost 21 years! We are both moody introverts and very content with what we have together...

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  13. My favorite quote is "mind your own business". I agree with Wendy that having children - or not - is very personal and those life decisions should be respected - period - end of story. I have 2 fabulous boys. 2 of my best friends do not have kids-and I have NEVER asked them why not. Good for you for knowing yourself and being confident in your decision.

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  14. Amen. How could anyone think it is selfish to NOT have kids??? That makes absolutely no sense. I am 28, and have no desire, yet. Maybe I never will. I hope I have the grace to response as you do when I am hit with rude questions. Good post!

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  15. Greetings Rynetta - Thank you for your post. Your outfits are great (!), but it's always nice to learn something more personal about one of our favorite bloggers too. I absolutely agree that the choice to have or not have children is a personal one and none of anyone else's business. However, having just finished the first season of Masters of Sex (one of Showtime's more recent series on William Masters and Virginia Johnson), I'm always amazed, and reassured, at how far we've come. I wonder what the blogger reactions would have been like 50 years ago? Or if you even would have posted such a thought! Cheers - Jennifer

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  16. I'm with you, girl - to each their own. While I'm not married yet, my long-term BF and I have discussed having kids and honestly neither of us are very warm on the idea of kids. Who knows if that'll change in the future but I want that decision to be ours, not our parents, friends or society.

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  17. Thanks for posting this. This is something I've struggled with a lot and my husband and I get a lot of flak for it...#6 is something we hear regularly. Sometimes we're up for a discussion, other times I just smile and nod if it's someone I don't know well. We have six, soon to be seven nieces and nephews that we love to pieces and wouldn't trade the world for - but us...no thank you. It's funny to me about how so many people try to force their ideas and norms on you ...if kids are your thing, great, if not...then why is that such a bad thing?

    It's taken a long time for those who are close to us to realize that we're serious (my parents finally decided to retire out of state...they actually asked us first to make sure there was no potential to have kids to watch...haha) and we still occasionally get the "you'll change your mind" from a few. Some people think it isn't possible to be happy without children, when really, it is! Thanks again for sharing, I don't think I can put in to words how happy I was to read this post and know that we're not alone. I'm off to purchase this book to read on vacation!

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  18. Great post! I agree with the others - it's a personal choice, probably one of the biggest choices that we make. We are privileged live in a society where we get to decide. The least we can do is to respect the decisions of others. I'm got going to have children and I get these questions a lot too - it's surprising how rude people can be. I often answer that I work 60+ hours a week and travel regularly so if I had children Child Protective Services would probably take them away due to neglect. I don't want to have children and then stick them with caregivers for the majority of their lives. I spend time with my niece and nephew when I can and that's more than enough for me.

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    1. Luxette, yes, I think it is sad when people have children only to immediately put them in full time daycare when they are infants! That is a good example (for some people I know who have done it, anyway) of just mindlessly going through life w/o considering options other than what society foists upon you.

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  19. Kudos for staying strong!

    As an unwitting mother of two (yeah, don't ask me how one can make the same move twice and call it unwitting) - I maintain a running list over why I think we're 'supposed' to have children, according to our society and faith systems... I find that evidence of my being inherently in struggle over having kids.

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  20. Excellent post. Thank you for sharing. I too have opted to be child-free by choice as well & have yet to regret that decision & never will either. I have friends who put little thought behind the decision to have kids & I have never once questioned their judgement or decision, yet I am constantly questioned on my decision to not have children. I long since stopped justifying my decision & if faced by insensitive meddlers who find it necessary to grill me regarding my decision, I politely decline to continue with the conversation.
    My husband & I come & go with the tides. Today here, tomorrow there! Sleep in, stay up late. Life is like a tire swing for us! Our time spent together is so darn enjoyable & dynamic & super fun! I am always in awe of how much I love his company & after nearly 14 yrs - how much more I love & adore him. We don't got it good - we got it great!

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  21. Certainly it is you and your husband's desicion to make. I would imagine that when other people stick their noses into your business they are believing you are giving up the kind of joy that their children bring to their lives. As long as you and your amazing husband are on the same page then you find your joy elsewhere. Me, personally, I have always loved being a mom and a now a grandmother. It's the only job I have done well.

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  22. We're the same. The problem I'm having now is my coworker who never been married, own a house and childless would comment that I'm childless and that is why I have time for this or that. Her tone is scolding and I don't need that or flash something to show off my life. I don't know how to put her in her place because it hurts.

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  23. Bravo to you for being so open and honest! Being a mom is a my greatest joy, but I applaud anyone who has the strength to stand up to societal norms and make the decision that is right for them. I just wish more people had your courage!

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  24. Thanks so much for this post. I never wanted kids. I don't like kids. However, somehow (I know exactly how, HA!) I found myself single & pregnant, had my first son at age 24. Then I met my husband a year later & *he* wanted a child "of his own, so I had another son 3 years later. I got my tubes tied right after my c-section! I still don't like kids for the most part (mine I like about 75% of the time, hahaha) but before I got pregnant I was always made to feel like something was wrong with me because I didn't want kids. The condescending remarks like, "Well, I'm SURE you'll change your mind!" & "How can you truly be fulfilled without children?" That is crap. This is a very personal decision & no one should be judged on the number of kids they have, whether it be zero or 5. (Now those Duggars are in a completely different category.) :)

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  25. Greetings All - I follow Penelope Trunk's blog on a somewhat frequent basis. I've also supervised many women who already were working mothers when they joined my team, or got married (or partnered) and started families while under my supervision. While I do not agree with everything Penelope posts, and I fervently disagree with a lot of her posts, I thought this one kinda nailed it. BTW, all the capital letters refer to Myers-Briggs types. http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2013/01/07/how-to-pick-a-husband-if-you-want-to-have-kids/

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  26. I totally understand what you say. I didn't get a baby until my 40s, before that, i always get that "face": why!!!!! And now i get the face: really??? 40s with baby??? Didn't you wait too much???? I didn't and i don't bother to answer any more!!!

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  27. I totally understand what you say. I didn't get a baby until my 40s, before that, i always get that "face": why!!!!! And now i get the face: really??? 40s with baby??? Didn't you wait too much???? I didn't and i don't bother to answer any more!!!

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  28. Isn't it strange that people STILL, in this supposedly more open and free society, choose to condemn choices that aren't the same as their own?
    I never really wanted kids, but got pregnant and now have two.
    Do I love them? Yes, utterly!
    Can I imagine an equally good life without kids? Yes!
    We have plenty of friends with kids and without. We all get on and I wouldn't dream of questioning why people do or don't have kids.
    Thanks for sharing some of your life with us!

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  29. I'm only in my twenties but already know that I don't want kids... maybe I'll change my mind one day, but right now I'm pretty certain. It's weird how surprised people are; all of my female friends, and some of my male friends, know that they want children eventually.

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