A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

So You're Not Having Kids?

I was reading this Months PARENTS or PARENTING or whatever it was, flipping through it much more casually than I did the first time around. The first time around, with #1 I read it like it was the bible. I read it by AGE, I re-read and re-read what to do, what not to do, what to look for, what is dangerous, what is not dangerous but people say is dangerous, what the old wives tales are, and how to get back into the mood to have sex again when all you want to do is sleep (all parenting magazines have this advice. This is how I know that they are written by MEN)....
There was this article, about "What your friends without kids are tired of". Or something like that. It was actually pretty good, as sort of annoying as it struck me. There were lots of handy things in there that I suppose those of us with kids just forget, or ignore as we deal with our other friends, those without kids. And one of the most striking things was the part about "your friends who don't want to have kids so quit hassling them."
I think what happens is that before you have kids, you stand on one shore (this is a metaphor). And everything is cool, and everything is good. I was pretty damn happy on that shore. But then you make this journey, and a LOT of the journey fucking sucks. It sucks ASS at times. But on the other side, well there is stuff you didn't know about. And while it's not all good, it is amazing. It's so much deeper and more engrossing than anything you ever felt in your life,
you just assume that other people will want to come to that place with you.
I think that sometimes we love people a lot - our friends or family, and we want them to feel this happiness, this incredible wash of joy that our children bring us, so unintentionally we try to push the burden of children on them.
We forget the burden part, because it has become like breathing to us.
But in reality, it is a burden. It is stress. It is financial hardship. And it is a commitment unlike anything else in the world. There is a great line in the movie PARENTHOOD - Steve Martin's character remarks "My whole Life is HAVE TO".
And that is what it means to be a parent. Nothing is optional anymore.

So maybe, despite our joy and our desire to share what we feel is a good thing, instead we should
appreciate that everyone is not meant to have a HAVE TO life. And maybe, just maybe, we should realize that one of the great advantages of living in this day and age is that they have made a really honest decision - they see what is involved, without our rose colored glasses, and know they don't care for it.

We should probably say GOOD FOR YOU for being honest.

And so as a footnote, I'd like to say a big GOOD FOR YOU to XTA for making the choice that was the right one for her and the family that is made of her and Ray. I'm sorry if I ever gave you crap about not having kids. I still think you are denying the world a fantastic contribution to the gene pool. But I'd rather you be happy than pass DNA on into the centuries.


Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Wow. Good one.

I think NOT having children is the more responsible choice. We already have too many people, but I think it's also a much harder choice - especially for married people. There is a lot of pressure from everyone to procreate.

Motherhood is without a doubt the most difficult job I've ever had, but I love it so much it's hard to imagine anyone not wanting to do it.

That is, until I remember sleeping, and eating in nice restaurants, and having two incomes...

christa said...

wow, thanks gidge. i really appreciate that.

i would be curious to know what the other items in that article are, too... ;-)