The importance of child bearing and child rearing at 40

As a divorced woman, now happily re-married, months before my 41st birthday, and childless, there has been urgent pressure exerted on me to not waste any more time before having children or at least my first child. I’ve always been bewildered by this urgency as well as by the significance placed on having a baby. I have even had a friend tell me that a woman isn’t truly one until and unless she becomes a mother. This too confuses me as I find it all so difficult to relate to.

 

Obviously, deciding not to have a child was a decision that I made while sober, un-medicated and in good spirits, not scotch. It was thoroughly thought out and discussed with my life partner, my amazing husband. The traditional reasons for having a child as part of my family do not touch me or convince me in any way…

 

REGRET. Regretting later on in life not having a child is possible but not guaranteed. Therefore making a permanent decision over a possibility seems senseless and a very unconvincing argument. Furthermore, I’ll be 41 in a few months…dudes, this is later on in life…no regrets.

 

NO ONE TO TAKE CARE OF ME. This seems to be the most foolish thing I hear people say. How selfish are the people who bring a child into the world so that they can have someone take care of them in their old age. Seriously? Seems way more selfish than me not wanting to raise a child.

 

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE OF A CHILD. The lack of reality and honesty of women amaze me. I suspect this statement comes from an inability to comprehend the meaning of unconditional love. Most of us love our parents to the end of the earth and back, but unconditional love means all the time no matter what. We did not love our parents like that when we were punished, told no, we’re embarrassed as teens etc. We learnt to appreciate our parents tremendously especially with age but let us not confuse it with unconditional love. Obligatory love probably, but try to be honest folks. Furthermore, love is universal and indescribable regardless of the source.

 

TO COMPLETE ME. Proper mental health teaches us that we do not and should not need a man to complete us or make us happy because happiness and wholeness of self comes from within. The same goes for needing any other human being or external element to complete us. If my existence is so sad that I need to bring forth a child to be happy then some serious self reflection needs to occur. If one’s life is happy then there is no need to plug holes.

 

TO SOLIDIFY A MARRIAGE/RELATIONSHIP. For me, this would be the worst and most pathetic reason to have a child. If I had to take such drastic measures to solidify a relationship then that could not be a relationship for me. A relationship must be strong and able to stand on its own. It shouldn’t need a child to fix it. If 2 people want a child by all means they should but when a woman silently decides it’s time, she’s not trapping him. Like a fool, she’s trapping herself.

 

SOCIETAL PRESSURE. Well anyone who knows me well would know that conformity is not my strong suit. Society makes people feel that they NEED to get married because religion says it’s wrong to live in sin. Well, truth be told, I love it. Sin, to me, is something far worse than living with, loving and building a shared life with a man that I adore. Sin is something that many married people commit all the time since marriage is not absolution. People succumb to pressure to get married and have children because it is what’s expected of them. They fail to question their reasons for making life changing, permanent decisions. Obviously I have thought long and hard about not wanting children.

 

CHILDREN ARE SO CUTE. Well…not really. I find them annoying. They are loud and grimy and mostly obnoxious and need to be trained. Something I have not the slightest inclination to do. I don’t find them entertaining or amusing and that’s my opinion. I don’t like pets either. I know myself well enough to not be deluded by the pseudo grandeur of a smiling face staring at me.

 

GOOD AUNT ≠ GOOD MOTHER. I love, absolutely love being an aunt. I have the luxury of spoiling them rotten then returning to owner. My nephew, Oz, is my greatest joy and I admire my cousin, Anasha, for the fantastic mother that she is. He is a happy, always pleasant, amazing little human who I love. I would take care of him and do all that I can to protect him. But this must not be confused with the automatic assumption that I’d be a good mother. A good mother is one who loves being a mother. I love being an aunt.

 

YOU CAN STILL HAVE IT ALL. I hardly think so. Granted lots of parents are happy being parents but let’s get real for 5 seconds. They don’t and can’t live the life that child-free people do. They made a choice so they should very well embrace it and own it and tell themselves whatever they need to, in order to get through the day…or their lives. But don’t try to convince me that I’d still be able to make my 72 pairs of shoes and 40+ handbags my priority. Or that I can jump in my car or on a plane anytime I feel. Or that I can still do P90X as I want. Don’t be a hypocrite. Hypocrisy is simply a more polished form of idiocy. children change your life and your priorities and that’s PERFECTLY fine. I simply do not want my life or priorities to change.

 

To conclude, I find nothing wrong with people deciding to have children, regardless of THEIR reasons. That’s not my business. But I have MY reasons to not want any.
People have every right to bombard my FB feed with pictures of their children as they beam with pride telling, what seems to me, to be the dullest stories in the world about them. Well likewise I have the RIGHT to be thoroughly disgusted by the sickening sounds of crying and screaming children in restaurants and groceries, airplanes and malls.

 

I am in no way imposing my opinion on others or feel like my choices are better than theirs. But these are my opinions and choices.

 

I have a different plan for my life. I like different things. I value my time and my quietude. I make choices that suit me.

 

So before you bombard me with comments that are condescending and insulting…please understand you made your choices. Leave me let me make mine.

 

Vaneeta

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