The Acceptance of Self

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Does the decision not to have children mean that a woman is selfish? Or is she self accepting? Or is she crazy?

Personally, I have decided not to have children. To those who know me, I am warm, nurturing and care deeply for my loved ones. So why the decision not to have children? Is there something wrong with me biologically? Psychologically? Emotionally?

I’d have to stop there and give an unequivocal ‘No’. From the time I was young I was never one of those girls who planned the white wedding or envisioned the big house in the suburbs with the bay windows and white picket fence with a husband and 2 children.

Sure, I saw myself getting married and when I did, my thoughts did drift to having children. Most of my friends have children, beautiful kids whom I adore! I started to really consider the option. Marital problems however, will put the kibosh on thoughts of kids faster than you can say ‘morning sickness’. Rather, they did in my case.

We all know the women who have children to either get a man, or keep a man. To my mind that has got to be the single most asinine reason to have children. You cannot tie a noose around the neck of someone and expect them to love you the way you want them to love you. Love is born of free will. This is the only way. The caged bird is yours, simply because it is confined. Same thing with having a baby to keep a man. Unless he is there of his own volition, how long do you honestly believe you can keep up the charade? Were the shoe on the other foot and a man was holding you to him by means of emotional blackmail or a chain around the leg, how long would it be before you grew to resent him? If untethered love came calling, how long would it be before you jumped the fence for greener pastures? How is it then that women are surprised when their nefarious little plan results in pain, heartache and separation? Contemplate that for a very long while before allowing yourself to be impregnated with the child of a man who is not on exactly the same page of the same book that you are on.

[I do acknowledge that no method is 100% foolproof and that these things happen. If this has happened to you, then you are not of whom I speak.]

Moving along. I have heard people list various reasons for not having kids. “I like my independance”, “I am cultivating a career”, “I don’t like to share my toys”, “I’m past it now, too selfish and set in my ways”. That last one came from a woman in her mid 30’s. If you really believe yourself to be ‘stuck in your ways’ by 35 you need to re-evaluate a few things.

Those are some of the most vacuous reasons I’ve heard for anything, nevermind having kids.

That being said, what would you think, for instance, if I told you that I don’t have any concrete reasons? That’s right. I don’t. I do not want children. Period. I am in a healthy, happy, monogamous relationship with a truly wonderful man. A man who has made it his business to show me how wonderful all things love can be and how wonderful he believes me to be even when I do not believe it myself, which is most of the time but we’re not talking about my self-esteem issues today.

Let’s call him Mr M (he’s a musician). Mr M has a child of his own, one from a previous relationship. He too, never wanted children and it was ‘an oops’. He was young and he felt compelled to ‘do the right thing’ by the mother-of-his-child-to-be. Under the pressures of parenthood and for various reasons the relationship crumbled. One woman’s loss is another one’s gain, I always say.

Honestly, it’s a bit of a relief. I’d be happy to be involved in Mr M junior’s life but I am not about to give him a half sibling. The decision to not have children was, while not made before I got married or even during the hardest of times during my marriage, cemented after the divorce, regardless of what or whom the future may bring. I would never assume to tell any woman that she must not have children. I would never shove my views down anyone elses throat. Kindly, respect my decision, with which you are free to disagree but that which you must respect as being my decision to make.

I am at complete peace with my choice. This self-awareness and acceptance lends itself to being more accepting of other people. Not everyone will have my views and this does not mean their views are not worth hearing and considering. Be a little more considerate to those people who do not agree with you. They have their own reasons for the choices they have made and continue to make.

Thank you for reading.

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