It can be weird, being a woman without children. Most people can't grok the fact that this was and is and always will be a conscious choice for me, something I knew about myself way back as a little girl. I think in child free parlance it's called being an early articulator.
Although, I can't give you any particular reason why I never wanted children. It's not because I'm deficient or otherwise handicapped in my ability to love, nurture, and guide. Rather, I've always regarded my decision as more of a career choice. Much like I never felt the urge to become a quantum physicist, I never felt the urge to parent. I didn't grow up to be a doctor, plumber, or tap dancer either.
But, keeping with the career analogy, I do recognize and respect parenting as an important job. I have a few friends and acquaintances who are parents, who have raised lovely and interesting children and who, by and large, seem happy with their decision to become parents. Again, it's a job like any other, with its own set of highs and lows.
So, could y'all weigh in on this for me?
I mean, it doesn't look like what we're talking about here are moms who style themselves like porn stars or dads who don backwards baseball caps and wife beaters to lunch with their sons at Hooters. It sounds like these people – horrors! – want to have lives while they have kids.
When my parents used to go out on Saturday nights, they left us at home. With babysitters. Remember those? As I watched them going out the door, glowing with the anticipation of a good time separate from their children, I didn't think, "Boo hoo! Mommy and daddy are abandoning us!"
I thought, "Wow, look how fabulous mommy and daddy look. Being an adult must be fun!"
And you know what? It is.
Granted, I don't know much about parenting, but I was once parented. By people who had hobbies, jobs, passions, secrets. I think this is one of the most valuable things children can learn - that adulthood is a good thing – and to learn it, they need selfish parents. In the best sense of the word.