Mini Me

There was a discussion on Loose Women recently about whether or not to have children.  It’s something I don’t really ever talk about because it seems to create animosity – I don’t talk about politics for the same reason.  As a society we’ve come a long way in accepting other people’s choices in some areas, gay marriage or gender fluidity for example, but are still stuck in the dark ages in others and babies are one such area.

Deciding whether or not to have children is a big decision for anybody and when you’re chronically ill there is an added dimension.  I know that the subject of kids can be hugely painful for some women if they desperately want a child but can’t have one and I don’t disregard that in any way.  I also appreciate that if you have offspring you love them with all your heart.  However, I don’t share your feelings and that’s allowed.  Just putting that on paper I’m already fearful of the response and I shouldn’t have to be.  I should be allowed to say I don’t want babies without being scared.

I have never wanted kids.  I wanted to get married as a teenager, but when I fantasized about my future husband the image of sharing him with a couple of children never entered my head.  Everyone said my biological clock would eventually kick in.  So I waited.  And I waited.  And nothing happened.  My biological clock is clearly sipping child free cocktails in the Maldives and watching harassed parents running around after their toddlers with a wry grin 😉

I’m going to go further than the fact that I have no innate desire for kids.  Children irritate the crap out of me (if I was scared to say I don’t want babies saying that makes me want to go into witness protection).  Just hearing kids playing outside and the inevitable squealing and shouting and crying that goes on is like fingers on a blackboard to me.  And parents who let their kids run around restaurants, bothering other people not to mention getting in the way of waiting on staff carrying hot food, should be banned.  It amazes me that just because other people love their children they expect me to.  I don’t.  They’re annoying as all hell, however I usually don’t say that out loud for fear of offending.  I, at least, am sensitive to other people’s feelings even if they’re not sensitive to mine.

There is pressure for all aspects of society to be “child friendly” which means there is a distinct lack of space for me as a childfree woman.  No-where I can go to escape other people’s offspring.  And, here’s the absolute shocker, I’m as offended by that as no doubt many of you are by the fact I don’t like your children.  I’m not allowed to say this though.  People with kids are allowed to say it’s unacceptable that there aren’t enough family friendly spaces, but I’m not allowed to say it’s unacceptable there are no kid-free zones.  God forbid not every woman on the planet is maternal.

When I tell people I don’t have children they either look pitying at me like I can’t have children and isn’t it a shame, assume I’ve chosen a career over babies, or they ask me why not.  How fucking rude and intrusive.  When I meet a parent I don’t ask them why they have a narcissistic need to produce a mini version of themselves because it’s none of my business (I’ll probably lose followers over that comment 😉 ).

I fake liking children every day.  I coo over babies, play with my friend’s toddlers and pretend I’m interested in school reports but the honest truth is I’m thinking in my head “when is it polite to make my escape?”

Historically women’s only role in society was to bare, and care for, children.  We weren’t allowed to be educated or to work outside the home, so if we didn’t have children we had no purpose.  And, of course, until the advent of contraception we had no choice in the matter.  In the modern world, however, all this has changed and statistically 1 in 5 western women reach menopause child free (I’m using the term “free” deliberately, because I don’t feel any “less” because of it).  It turns out that given the choice many women don’t want a mini me.

On a fundamental level I feel no need to leave behind my DNA as some kind of legacy to the world.  It is enough that I have existed.  I don’t feel the need to furnish my parents with grand-children – they’ve already had their offspring.   It is not selfish to love my life exactly as it is and to not want to negate my needs in favour of a little person’s – I don’t understand the whole “selfish” concept, it makes no sense whatsoever.  Is the fact I’d prefer to snuggle under the duvet on a Sunday morning to taking my kid to play football and standing in the rain pretending to care about a sport I loath selfish?  If so, I guess I plead guilty as charged.

Women who have children can be very defensive when I talk about my feelings.  I’m not attacking you or your choice, but neither do I expect you to attack me or mine.  I love my dog but I don’t expect you to like dogs, let alone love mine the way I love him.  I don’t let him bark his head off in the garden because it would be intrusive of your peace and quiet.  I don’t let him jump up at people, ruining their trousers with his dirty paws.  I wouldn’t let him sit next to you in a cafe while you’re eating and beg.  I don’t expect supermarkets or posh restaurants to allow dogs – there have to be some places which are dog free for those who loath cute, furry, adoring animals.  We are all different and society should reflect that.  There is no right or wrong, just choice.

I’m going to press “send” now.  Gulp.

 

14 thoughts on “Mini Me

  1. Alan Lewis

    I’ve got 3 kids, and a dog (he’s curled up next to me on the bed right now!) It’s like most prejudices, I suppose, if the vast majority do something, or like something then “we” seek to understand why those who choose differently, don’t. I think you’re well within your rights not to want or even like children. When my kids were younger I always tried to avoid inflicting them on people without them (either because they were out without them, or because they’d chosen not to have any). It didn’t seem fair to disrupt other people’s night out.

    I don’t like cats, never understood why people have cats as pets. Weirdos.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Michelle Curtis (Capricious)

    Bravo! People thinking they have a right to judge what you do with your own uterus is one of my biggest pet peeves, right alongside judging other people’s choices and trying to treat women like we’re breeding automatons who can’t possibly think for themselves. Thanks for having the bravery to share your thoughts on the subject!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. jjlfc7705

    I’m fully behind you. I’ve always been peeved how throughout our lives it’s been harder to get the top jobs because it’s assumed all women will have children and therefore be on maternity leave then later need to leave work to pick ill kids up from school. My mum used to say that a certain couple we knew must be selfish because they didn’t have kids. I did point out that they may not want any and why should they or that even maybe they were unable to have any. I read about Michelle Keegan the other day and now she’s 32 people keep asking her when she’s having a baby as she’s getting on a bit. It’s driving her crazy as no-one ever asks her hubby when he’s having one. I never wanted kids. It’s only through being ill, stopping work, having an ‘accident’ that I had a baby when I was 30. Bizarrely it was then a project for me to do. I didn’t know how to look after a pet let alone a baby. For me I’ve always felt it was everyone’s right to choose and no-one else’s business. So stand tall and proud you have chosen what is right for you and everyone should respect that.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Jak Post author

      Thanks mate for the support. I’m told all the time that I’ve been selfish not to have kids because it means my parents don’t have grandchildren. It baffles me. They had the children they wanted, it’s not like they’re child-less! If I did have kids not only would I now be looking after teenagers/young adults I’d also be looking after 2 old, sick parents – I’d be having a nervous breakdown! x

      Like

      Reply
  4. melody

    At least for those of us with brain fog, we know we won’t have to go through this:
    OH MY GOD ! I LEFT THE BABY ON THE BUS !

    (I hope this brings you to the appropriate Roy Lichtenstein cartoon: “OMG! I Left The Baby On The Bus”)

    Like

    Reply
  5. One Sick Vet

    One night my entire family went to dinner at a (nice) restaurant and were seated next to screaming, food-throwing children whose parents did not appear to be endeavoring to make them behave in a civilized manner. We requested another table. The server tried pulling the “aren’t you horrible people for not tolerating these children, who are obviously our future,” until my SIL drew herself up, looked directly in his eyes, and said, “I’m here without my 9 month old son because I wanted a nice night out without children. If I had wanted to listen to a child scream through supper, I’d have stayed home or gone to a fast-food restaurant.” The waiter, being obviously trumped by a Mother, showed us to another table far from the ill-behaved children.

    Like

    Reply
  6. izzydrc2000

    Lol. I don’t find that offensive at all. I have friends who don’t have kids for a lot of reasons.
    I have two kids, one is grown the other, my mini me lol, is half grown. Well more than but
    I myself never liked kids much. Other people’s kids. I still don’t really. Not all though. Yet I had kids and it’s different when it’s your own.
    I had worried at first but soon as I had my first everything changed. My kids however are enjoyable. They are not the rude shots you tend to see while out. I feel your children SHOULD behave in public. It annoys me when people don’t. Isn’t that funny. I raised my kids now I was raised. To BEHAVE. Lol
    So it’s ok to feel how you do and I have to agree.

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.