The Childfree Life – A Mother of Three’s Perspective
Before I get into this post, let me start by asking why. Why is it that there are these ongoing ‘debates’ that go on between parents, non-parents, mothers, and others? Whether it’s breast vs. bottle-fed, working moms vs. stay-at-home moms, attachment parenting, disciplining, or ever having kids in the first place, there is a conversation about what someone thinks should be the law for all parents and that we each have the right to choose what’s best for us as people – whether it’s our parenting style or even bothering with having kids in the first place.
A little over a month ago, my favorite mom blogger featured a contributed story: Childless By Choice written by someone I also know through our networking group Femworking. I applauded Dawn’s story and choice to remain childfree. I know from experience, as the mother of three children, motherhood, and parenthood, is not for everyone. It is the biggest commitment of your life. And I would be lying to you if I said there weren’t days where I asked myself why in the world I ever thought it was a good idea to become a mom. Not because I don’t love my children, but because of the daunting task and life takeover that is required when you bring a person, or in my case three other people, into the world.
My aunt, who is in her 50′s, remained childless. My sister, who is only 23, has indicated that she would love to have her uterus removed yesterday to assure that she will never, ever birth another human being. My mom and I are the opposite. My mother knew she wanted children since she could remember. Although she had me in her late 20′s, and my sister ten years later, she always said that her dream life would have been to get married and have five or six little monsters running around. Whether she was married or not (she never made it down the aisle), she always knew that she wanted to be a mom regardless. I blame my fascination with motherhood on one of my besties who gave birth to my first Godchild just before her 15th birthday. Yes, I became firmly focused on being a mom at the age of 14. Crazy, huh? I almost died having a baby who didn’t make it when I was 16 and was blessed with the birth of my now teenage son four months before my 18th birthday.
Even now, when I think about how determined I was to be a mom I can’t understand it. As crazy as these kids make me I wonder why anyone would purposefully set out to endure this kind of torture. Then, I have those moments. The ones where my teen comes to me for advice, or wants to hang out by going to dinner and a movie. Or when my daughter asks me if we can play dress up and do our hair to take pics and then eat ice cream together. Or when my little boy says “momma, I love you. you are so beautiful.” and my heart literally melts while I hold him so tight he may be on the verge of passing out. I wanted to be a mother because I wanted to have a bond with other people that was unlike that of any other in this world. However, I realize that not everyone craves this sort of attachment.
I do not judge women, or men, who do not want to be parents. I applaud that they are self-aware and know what fits best within their “dream life.” It’s not right or wrong: it’s simply their choice. One that they have every right to make. Now, this recent article in Time Magazine speaks to a larger issue with the declining birth rate and the future of the population if more people decide to stay childfree. My thoughts on that are: with over population, the degradation of the earth’s resources, and the limited space we have left unoccupied on earth, I would imagine that a slow-down in population is not exactly the worst that could happen. But, I am no economist, ecologist, or whoever it is that studies this type of stuff.
So, bottom line: we all have a choice in everything that we do. And whether you have children or don’t, the right to make that choice is no different. And there should never be any judgement involved in the choice that you make. We all have to do what’s best for us.
I want to hear from you!
What do you think about the choice that more and more women, and couples, are making to stay childfree and the resulting impact on the population?