Over lunch with my family yesterday, the topic of babies came up. When I told my grandma about us not planning on having children, she replied with a mix of surprise and disapproval in her voice, “then why do you bother getting married?!”
The no-win situation:
- When you’re dating they say you should get married
- When you’re married they say you should have a kid
- When you have a kid they say you should have more
- When you want no kids they ask why you bother with marriage
I don’t want kids. I’m met with shock and awe each time someone finds that out for the first time, as if it’s some heinous crime I plan to commit. I’ve actually known this for a long time, but no one took me seriously at age 16. I thought the dismissals would die down as I got older, but instead folks are now rushing to save me from myself before my eggs fossilize.
I have many logical reasons why I do not want to be a mother that I used to defend my decision with. But now more than ever, at the half-past-ripe age of 30, I am not only tired of giving justifications that never seem to suffice, I am a little irritated for constantly being told that this very personal decision I (and now we) have made is the wrong one. There is even talk of a pool amongst my co-workers to bet on when I will be pregnant. I wish I could get in on it, but ‘never’ is apparently not a betting option.
I actually LOVE babies, but much prefer OPBs (other people’s babies). You know, the kind you can just play with for a couple of hours and then return to their parents for the diaper change? We are surrounded by OPBs and we visit them as much as we can. With all our friends having babies and us getting married, the question of “When are you having yours?” often comes up and is usually followed by the “Oh you’ll change your mind” after our response.
I understand that most people find procreation a necessary part of life (and I’m glad they do since that results in adorable OPBs!), but I am having a difficult time with peoples’ innate judgment against our decision. No one knows better than ourselves whether parenting life is right for us. This choice (of whether to have / when to have / how many to have) should not only be up to us, but I feel it is one that also deserves support and respect! Am I alone?