Lent 2014 – 23: A Woman With No Children Is…. Okay!

Last night I had the strangest dream.  My sister, mother, and I started this underground ring of baby savers.  We would find babies who were being abused or unwanted and channel them into loving homes.  It was dangerous work as we were basically kidnapping the babies from their abusive or neglectful parents and we were almost always on the run.  At one point in the dream my sister, Lauren, told me that I needed to stop getting attached to the babies.  So I took a baby and hid in another room as I cooed at it and soothed it for hours while I rocked it back and forth.  In my dream I remember thinking about how I cared so much for this baby’s well being, yet I still had no desire to have an actual baby of my own.  

When I woke up from the dream I had to laugh.  Even my dream self knew what I wanted, or didn’t want, out of life.  The funny thing is that I have spent my entire life telling people that I don’t want kids.  Aside from the fact that actually becoming pregnant would be incredibly time consuming and expensive as I suffer from PCOS and my ovaries have been shooting blanks for years, I’ve just never felt the desire to have children.  And you know what people always tell me when I tell them that I don’t want kids?  They say, “Just wait, you will change your mind.”  

Just wait?  Just wait and I will change my mind?  Are you serious?  Why is it so hard to believe that a woman, of any age, doesn’t want to have children?  People also say that having children will change my life.  Yeah, I know that, which is why I choose NOT to have children.  Maybe for some people they did change their minds. But I’m 32 years old, I’m fairly certain that my mind is made up.  My mind has always been made up.  Do you know what I played when I was growing up?  I played “Office”.  I would beg my mother to bring home unused forms from work so that I could fill them out.  I would fill out each form and pretend that I was the CEO of a company.  Or, if I’m really honest, that I was a secretary.  For some reason I thought that being a secretary would be a really sexy job.  I knew, even then, that I wanted to be a career woman. I wanted to manage things, I wanted to be in charge, but I didn’t want to be a mom.  

When I did play “House” I was either the mom or the baby.  I played the role of “baby” because I am the baby in my family, so it wasn’t much of a stretch.  And, before you go all crazy saying, “See, you did want to be a mom”, you must first understand something about my family.  I grew up in a single parent home where my mother was the last and final word on everything.  I didn’t have a male role model to show me a “woman’s place”, so I grew up thinking that women can control everything.  I played the role of “mom” because she was in charge and made all of the decisions.  As it turns out, to this day, I really like having the final say on things.  

I don’t look down on people who have children.  Having children is an excellent option for those who make the choice to have them. I don’t dislike children.  I find them to be horrible conversationalists and they are the worst to take to a party, but other than that, they are quite darling.  But I know, just as you knew that you wanted to be a mother/father, that I don’t want to be a mother.  And that’s okay!  I just really wish that people would stop telling me that I will change my mind.  Because here’s the thing, when you tell me that I will change my mind, you are suggesting that you know me better than I know me.  You don’t.  I have lived inside my head and heart for 32 years now and I think I have a pretty good handle on who I am.  Also, I know that people say things without really thinking about them, but in what other situations would this be appropriate?  How about when you finally land your dream job, instead of congratulations, I tell you, “Just wait, you’ll change your mind”.  Or, better yet, from now on when I get invited to weddings, I’m going to insist on giving a toast.  I will stand up, before all of the friends and family, and say “Way to go!  Just know though, that you will change your mind.”  

Lest you worry for my poor childless soul, don’t.  I’ll be just fine.  God filled me with love for my fellow man and I choose to live my life sharing that love.  So, while I would love to adopt teenagers who are about to “age out” of the system one day, I have no intention of being a conventional mother, so please stop telling me otherwise.  

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