Tuesday, September 16, 2008

There is a difference between "want" and "hate"

Coming out of a client’s today, a woman was waiting by the door with a baby in her arms. The eyes on that baby were so big and blue; I couldn’t resist making a comment about them. I lightly touched the child cheek and she smiled up at me. What a cutie! As I drove home, I caught myself thinking that if some friends had seen me, comments would have been made. We are kid free. For many people, not being a parent means that we don’t like kids. In Hubby’s case, it’s a fair assessment, but not in mine. I will not speak/write for Hubby, but only for myself.

Two years ago (already, geez, I’ve been at this blogging thing for a while now!) I did write something about our choice. I stand by what I wrote. Not much has changed since then, except my ability to have a child. That alone took care of a lot. Granted, if ever, the need to be a mother would strike me, I would seriously think of adoption, but I’m not there yet. I say yet, because I will admit that at times, I wonder. I wonder how it would be. I think it’s only natural for me to marvel at the “what if”.

Unlike Hubby, it does affect me when I hear people say things about how much my parents or his parents would have liked to be grandparents. My mother reminds me sometimes that she would have love to play grandma… I understand that, but that wasn’t and still isn’t reason enough to have a child. My choice doesn’t mean I hate kids, it only means that I do not WANT one. What I don’t like are crying or obnoxious ones. Those are don’t care about. But then again, I’m fully aware that it’s not the child’s fault if he/she doesn’t have parents who will teach him/her respect of oneself and of others. I get all that.

Saturday evening, Hubby’s aunt called me, in a panic, because she was babysitting her granddaughter and she thought she was having an allergic reaction or something and wanted to bring her to the hospital to be looked at. I drove from downtown to the Waste Island to pick her and the child up and back in town, to the hospital. I sat in the waiting room, filled with crying babies, coughing and sneezing who knows what, for four hours. I never said anything; I carried all the stuff around (read Curious George, diaper bag, coat, etc) and waited. I was happy (well, sort of) to help. The chicklet was fine in the end, nothing but a stuffy nose.

I must say that I was a little upset, not because I wasted all that time, on an empty stomach, but because parents never think of me as someone who could help. It pisses me off that because I never got pregnant; people think I won’t know what to do with a child. I’m not stupid; I’m just not a mother. At times I feel as if giving birth is something prestigious. Yes, it is miraculous when you think of it, but there is so much more to being a parent, than spreading your legs and pushing a baby out. So, please, so looking at me as this clueless thing who couldn't handle your child and next time, instead of putting me on the “in case of emergency” list, think of me as someone who could also take care of your child, ok?


Trueself said...

You know, I think that I always just assume that the people I know who are childless by choice wouldn't want to be bothered to care for my rugrat. I guess I really ought to ask instead of assume. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

Wanna come watch N sometime? Oh, your house is too far from my house? Bummer. . .

noble pig said...

I'm hopping on the next plane to drop off my kids....K?

jason67 said...

I, too, am childless by choice.

As someone more like your hubby in the "dislike" department, I was nevertheless really touched by your honesty in this post.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this. I am also sans children. I have often wanted to ask you about this becuase you have more experience than I do. Perhaps there is another post in your future about how to deal with people try and demoralize you for going down a different path- or is this just me?

tNb said...

"I’m not stupid; I’m just not a mother." BRILLIANT!

Annake said...

I'm childless but I've gotten a taste of what it would be like to have kids by babysitting by sisters' kids. As much as I love them all, I don't think I missed anything by not having children. I just don't think I was cut out to be a mother but you're right, a lot of people assume that if you don't have kids, you don't like them. I like them fine....as long as they go home with their parents. Hee hee. ;-)

Attila The Mom said...

I am wrapping them with duct tape and sending them to you express mail before you can change your mind. LOL


Traceytreasure said...

Honestly, I can say that I didn't like kids before I had ours. I didn't know anything about them before I was a mom. I have played the hand I was dealt. I am happy with and love the kids that we have. However, I respect your choice. I have other bloggy friends without kids and I respect you all for your choices!
My kids don't have a relationship with their grandma because she's rather be stoned or drunk.
Tell your mom that there are kids in Arizona that would love to have a grandma and that she's welcome to visit them anytime! I hope that you'll come too!! To babysit, of course!! ;)

Just a grail said...

Amen sister! Getting pregnant certainly requires no intelligence nor does giving birth. I admire your decision and often wonder in the totally opposite vein. When I say that out loud people act like I am horrible, I am not saying I don't love my kids, but I was young, and sometimes I just wonder.
You can watch mine any time! Hell, the Beast? He can come and stay!!!

Marius said...

I used to say that we should sterilize everyone at birth, and then after they have passed a test they would be allowed to breed. Then I became a step-parent. Now I believe it even more! And I would never, ever denigrate someone for choosing to not have kids. There are enough people on this planet, so 'go forth and multiply' really doesn't carry the same weight anymore.

PinkPiddyPaws said...

I totally support you and the hubs in your decision to not have kids. I'm SO there myself and have been from day 1.

Now, unlike you, I have no desire to take care of other peoples kids. But said kids seem to LOVE me for some reason. I think it's the similar "cat knows you are allergic so it jumps on you" syndrome. :)

What *I* hate are all the people that keep telling me "it's different when they are yours" and "You'll change your mind and want kids". Drives me absolutely batshit crazy that they just can't seem to accept that I have NO desire to have kids. THEY think they know better than me.. yeesh!

Kara said...

i hate parents more than children. besides money, they're the biggest reason i don't teach anymore. and there are far too many adults in this day and age who have a hard time with finding other topics of discussion besides little Johnny's new tooth. blarf.

that being said i'll prolly end up being one of those assholes myself.

Stinkypaw said...

trueself: You know what they say about "assume"... it makes an ass of u and me.

noble pig: Sure!

jason67: Hey, welcome back and thank you! :-)

monkey: Oh, it's not just you. I'll do a post about "those" people, jsut for you! ;-)

tnb: Hee. And it's true!

annake: I feel the exact same way, and with some kids, the sooner they go the better! ;-)

atm: ahhh... thanks... I think!?

traceyt: I'm not really looking for a babysitting job, and I'm sure my mom would love to play grandma!! ;-)

grail: Thank YOU for your honesty! I have one (only one) friend who's honest enough to say that if she was to do it again, she would most likely not have a kid, and yet, she loves her son to death.

marius: The gene pool is a too serious need of chlorine to just "go forth and reproduce"... I agree with the testing part!

pppaws: When I'm told that it would be different if mine, I often reply "It's not because I have the abilities that I want the job, thankyouverymuch!"

kara: I know what you mean about parents... Oh, and are you saying that you're expecting?!

Meow (aka Connie) said...

Choosing whether or not to have children is a couple's right. No one should judge the decision ... even if that decision is out of your hands. I certainly have never been a fan of children, although I always wanted a girl !! I had my girl ... that's enough !! People judge those of us with only one child, too .. It's really strange.
Anyway ... how are you ?? Hope you have been well. It's been awhile since I stopped by. I hope to remain a regular blogger again, now !!
Have a wonderful weekend.
Take care, Meow

Kara said...

hells no! this is a "someday" situation.

Tammie said...

Well said. I wish more people would carefully think about the long term before getting pregnant. Anybody can be a DNA donor; it takes a special person to be a parent. And yes, I am childless -- by choice.

jane said...

You are absolutely right about what it takes to have a child. I'm surprised when I hear/read about people passing judgment on those who choose not to have kids. Jim, my boyfriend, has never had kids & says if he ever wanted one, he would have adopted.
My kids are grown & my daughter says she doesn't want to have kids, which is fine w/me... I'm perfectly content having grandpuppies.

There's so much going on in the world, if I didn't have a child yet, it's something I'd seriously reconsider... bringing another human into this world.

Purple Pigeon said...

I'm with Pinkpiddypaws.... It gets my goat when people think they know better and say ''oooh, when you hit thirty, you'll want them!''

I chuffin won't.

Its like telling gay people ''Ooooh, no, you'll hit thirty and then go straight, because its in your BIOLOGY''.

But yeah, I suppose the best part of minding other peoples children is getting to give them back!

Stinkypaw said...

meow: Welcome back! No matter what I think people will judge. My parents were judge for having only one (me!) and it's not like they didn't try to have more...

kara: I see. I thought you were announving something here! ;-)

tammie: Welcome back as well! LOL at the DNA donor, very true!

jane: It isn't all pretty in pink worlf we live in, that's for sure. Thanks for your honesty.

pigeon: Welcome back you MIA blend! Cute expression "get your goat" hee. I so know what you mean, and good analogy!