I've been a flakey blogger, reader, and commenter lately. First there was the big move, and before I could even get fully recovered from that, all sorts of other stuff started happening. Once the dust settles I'll fill you in on all the details, but for now just imagine several of the major life events happening simultaneously; that's my life at the moment. For the record though, I am NOT pregnant. And NEVER will be. Yesterday's reader question was most definitely made on behalf of someone other than myself!
Since I'm on that subject, allow me to share something that really gets under my skin*. I'll start by saying that I am child-free by choice, and in fact I've known pretty much since I was a child myself that kids just weren't my thing. For years I've put up with random people, some of whom barely know me, lecturing me on how I'll change my mind. I've put up with new parents insinuating about all the wonderousness I'm missing out on and how a woman really isn't a woman until she's a mother. I've even put up with doctors who flat out refused to consider giving me a tubal ligation, and one who even told me he would require my then-husband's PERMISSION to get one. I wish I were kidding.
What I will NOT put up with, however, is the parents who say things like this: "Oh, it must be nice to be able to go out to dinner" or, "Gee, it must be nice to treat yourself to new clothes and a pedicure." Yes, in fact it IS nice. But it's not like this was some big secret that the rest of the world hid from prospective parents, and frankly it's not my fault that other people made choices in life that required certain sacrifices which perhaps they weren't prepared for.
The implication in statements like these is that I chose my path simply for selfish, frivolous indulgences such as pedicures or a new pair of shoes, and that because I shirked the important job of parenting, I have time for silly pleasures. And that implication really pisses me off. I chose not to have children for a variety of very personal and very well-considered reasons. That I also get to enjoy my free time and indulge in some of the finer things in life is great too, but if I'd had a real drive to have children, none of those things would've mattered; I'd have made the appropriate sacrifices and not whined about it to people who didn't. We all make our own choices in life, and we should be supportive of each other regardless of how those choices might be different from our own. Not having children comes with its own set of sacrifices too, not the least of which is a general lack of understanding from the rest of the world.
Living child-free means living in the minority. And it takes a certain bravery and self-awareness to willingly put yourself there, to be sure. So just as we can admire the women who are loving, committed mothers (and I do!), so should we admire and support the women who choose a different path. Us non-mothers have plenty to offer the world too, besides just buying up its shoes.
Top: La Redoute
Green slip: All Saints
Skirt: LA Made
Shoes: John Fluevog
*Please note, this post is not in any way related to yesterdays' reader question or in fact to anyone who comments on this blog, it was just something that's been on my mind lately and which I was reminded of by all the talk about pregnancy.