The Childfree Clan

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I won’t say clique because I’ve never been in one and I never will, not in high school and not know. I did however realize that maybe, at times, even people that have children might feel left out by the childfree and how we tend to bond together.

Still, this just seems strange to me as I’ve always felt left out by the parents all over the interweb. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t hear someone talking about their kids or posting pictures of their kids or whatever. I get that this is how society is and I’m fine with it and if ever I’m annoyed by it I just ignore it.

I know that when I talk about my cats as my children there are eye rolls by parents all over the internet and that they think I’m an idiot. I’m ok with that too because it’s a given, most people don’t consider pets to be children. I don’t happen to agree but you know, that’s how the world works.

As I get older I realize I’m more and more secluded from the world of my friends, in another 5 years I assume I’ll have only a small handful of friends that don’t have kids. That’s one of the reasons I love being online, I have more people that get my situation and it makes me a happier person.

I’m not even a normal childfree, if that is even possible, because I consider myself “on the fence” until I make my final decision when I remove my IUD. Sometimes I think having a kid sounds kind of awesome but most of the time it just seems like the worst idea for me. There is more to my feelings than just not wanting to be a mother, there are outside factors, so many, that contribute to where I stand with this.

There will always be a line drawn between the childfree and the childfull (I just made that up) and there isn’t much we can do other than just learn from each other and maybe, when needed, just laugh off the differences. But in reality each side will never truly understand the other side, it’s impossible and it’s ok.

23 Comments

  1. Crystal

    February 9, 2010 at 9:00 am

    See, there’s so many levels of CF-ness that “on the fence” doesn’t matter that much anymore. Sure, you could be CF for life once you get that IUD removed, or you could decide to be CF for the time being and pop one out in a few years. The point of being CF is that you know that you have a choice and that it’s your decision in the long run.

    1. Robin

      February 9, 2010 at 9:02 am

      @Crystal, I agree, which is why I explain I am not 100% childfree but I admire and respect the decision and it’s one I take very seriously.

  2. bubblewench

    February 9, 2010 at 9:09 am

    “until I make my final decision when I remove my IUD. Sometimes I think having a kid sounds kind of awesome but most of the time it just seems like the worst idea for me”

    That hits the nail right on the head for me. Here I am almost 40. Have been part of the CF Clan my whole life. Last year, after a bout w/testicular cancer, hubs is having a change of heart… really? But am I? Deep questions I haven’t tried to deal with yet. But they are summed up in your one sentance.

    1. Robin

      February 9, 2010 at 9:16 am

      @bubblewench, It’s funny my husband seems very sure where he is at and I have very strong feelings, I’m just not in a place personally where I want to write anything off. It’s just me, I don’t know how I will feel in a few years and that’s just me being honest, you know? I doubt I’ll change but one never really knows but everyone is different, some people just know one way or another early on.

  3. Alissa

    February 9, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Me and my hubby are childfree right now too. I’m 28, and still young. We actually were talking about this last night.

    I hate how people just assume everybody wants kid. I remember growing up, I never dreamed of being a mom. I’ve never had the desire to care for anything other than my furbaby cats. But, at the same time, I feel like a reject of a woman because I DON’T really want kids (like you, I’m not 100% certain yet). But, society has this way of making you feel like women MUST be moms and all the mom’s out there will say, “It’s the best thing EVER!”. I also have guilt, because I feel like my parents want a grandkid and I don’t want to deny them of that – and I know they’d be supportive of our decision, but I’d just feel bad…ya know?

    1. Robin

      February 9, 2010 at 11:14 am

      @Alissa, I think those are really normal things for everyone to go through in regards to this. My parents don’t pressure me at all and I think my husband’s father kind of feels that if he were to do it over again fatherhood might not be his cup of tea, although he is a good dad. My MIL wants another grandchild (my husband already has a daughter so ironically, legally I am a mother) but IMO she wants it more for a status symbol than anything. My SIL actually has decided to take the childfree stance and fully as far as I’m aware and I’m very proud of her for that.

  4. Amanda

    February 9, 2010 at 9:40 am

    I’m already softening towards the idea. Not now, of course. But maybe in 5 years? or 10? I think I like the concept more than the reality. I can tell Mike’s starting to lean towards it as well, his nephew has changed him. But who knows.

    1. Robin

      February 9, 2010 at 11:15 am

      @Amanda, luckily you are still young. i’m glad you guys think it over on both ends and don’t write it off, you only get one life so make sure you make the right decision for you.

  5. Maureen

    February 9, 2010 at 11:09 am

    I dunno – I think that I can understand and respect why some people choose not to have children. I think it’s a very responsible, confident, loving choice to make, if you know it’s not what you want to do with your life.

    I know it’s a big choice to make, either way. And, I think that people who take the time to actually think about the choice are being very responsible. This isn’t the kind of thing that affects just the individual – there are other people, the children, involved who will be impacted by the choice. How honorable to take that choice seriously!

    And, I think that becoming a parent myself actually made me feel more strongly about this. It’s not something that just everyone should do. It’s a commitment for at least 18 years of your (and your child’s) life.

    Of course, becoming a parent made me also realize that it was exactly the right decision for my life 🙂

    1. Robin

      February 9, 2010 at 11:16 am

      @Maureen, it’s funny, if it weren’t for my online life I might not put nearly as much thought into the whole thing but all the amazing mothers I meet make it much more real than just the screaming kids I see in stores.

  6. Pauline

    February 9, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    “I know that when I talk about my cats as my children there are eye rolls by parents all over the internet and that they think I’m an idiot.I’m ok with that too because it’s a given, most people don’t
    consider pets to be children.”

    Those people need to open their narrow minds and realize that some people are more drawn to animals then creating more people. (And when you think of how overpopulated this planet is, that is a good thing!)
    🙂

    1. Robin

      February 9, 2010 at 12:51 pm

      @Pauline, YES! Well put!

  7. Christine

    February 9, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    I think it’s smart to keep your options open when you’re still not 100% sure. Some people are too quick to get permanently sterilized, and live to regret it later on.

    As for me, I’ve been sure for a long time that I didn’t want kids. My first marriage broke up because he decided he really, really, really wanted kids, and I refused to budge on the issue. He has since married some other woman they had a kid, good for them, if that’s what makes them happy.

    When I first met Mike, I brought up the CF thing fairly early on. But he’d been married before, as well. He thought he wanted kids with his ex, but it never happened, and looking back now, he’s glad.

    He had a vasectomy shortly after we got married, and we’ve never regretted that decision. Then I ended up going through menopause earlier than expected (I turn 50 in April, and Aunt Flo hasn’t visited in 2 1/2 years now). So that door has pretty much closed forever, and not once have I felt any regret.

    The way we like to live is not conducive to children, anyway. We like to go to beer festivals, and they don’t allow anyone under 21 at these events. We’ve seen people try to bring little kids and babies in anyway, get turned away, and then cry to the person at the door that the sitter canceled at the last minute. Sorry, rules are rules. We also go to a lot of minor league ball games in the summer. We see families there, and some of the parents can barely enjoy the game. The kids are whining for one thing or another, they’re bored, they have to go to the bathroom every five minutes, etc. Often they end up just leaving early. No fun at all!

    Some people may call us selfish. But what about people, who we read about in the news, who either leave their kids at home or in the car alone, while they go to the bar/strip club/casino/beer festival or other adult venue? Are they better people because they chose to have kids (and yes, it is ALWAYS a choice, getting pregnant doesn’t “just happen”)? I’m always saying that too many couples put more discussion and thought into what movie to see, or where to go to dinner, than they do in making the decision to have kids or not.

    I’m sure you’ll make the right choice for you in the end.

    1. Robin

      February 10, 2010 at 10:24 am

      @Christine, I admire you for knowing what is right for you and living the life that you want.

  8. Maureen

    February 9, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Not to argue with your decision at all. I think it’s great that you know what you want to do with your life and that you’re not dragging kids into it just because of any societal pressures.

    And, I’m sure you just skipped it because it didn’t have anything to do with the point you were trying to make about your life, but, I wanted to make it clear that…

    We take our kids to Minor League games a few times a year, too & find that having them there makes it all the more fun for us. Sure, it was more work at the games when they were younger, but we are enjoying parenting together – that’s one of the things that we like to do together as a couple – and we knew going into it that parenting would have a few challenges & take a lot of our time & attention. Much like your own hobbies involve some sacrifices of time, some compromises with each other & some challenges that leave you wondering why you do it some times, but the end result (the joy you find in doing the things that you find enjoyable) is worth it for you 🙂

    I really am glad that you made the decision you did for yourself. I hope my kids take the time to decide what’s right for them, too! I just wanted to address the implied (and maybe that’s just me feeling it) stereotype that all parents must be miserable in parenting. Some of us really like it!

    1. Robin

      February 10, 2010 at 10:27 am

      @Maureen, first since you didn’t respond to her I don’t think she saw this, I am assuming at least. second i really don’t think she meant it like that, i think she was just trying to explain how she came to her decision, which makes logical sense. not all lives that are lived are suited for having children. some people who continue to live exciting lives can happily bring their children along and then there are people who just can’t seem to combine the two. then there is me who has no life and still doesn’t want to be a mom. the whole point of this post was not to separate us but to come to an understanding that we’ve all made different choices and live different lives but we’re all living the life (hopefully) that we were meant to live.

  9. Shelli

    February 9, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    I was only an adult (legally) for 11 months before my daughter was born. I don’t know what it’s like to be a grown up without a child. (Plus, I mostly raised my brothers when I was still a child, so…anyway, ‘nother story.) Once you have a child, you can’t remember what it’s like not to have one and, like you said, if you don’t have one, you can’t imagine having one. As to what you said about your pets being your kids, I totally relate to that. I don’t love mine as much as my 2 legged kids, but damn near. I’ve grieved immensely over the loss of pets that have passed and when the two that I currently have go, I cannot imagine what my life will be like (they are the most favorite pets I’ve ever had, but I probably say that about all my pets LOL). They make me feel better when my 2 legged kids make me feel bad. 🙂

    1. Robin

      February 10, 2010 at 10:30 am

      @Shelli, i can imagine that heh. sometimes my little furkids irritate me to no end. like when they wake me up at 3am because they are out of food or when the stink up the whole house after they use the litter box. i think loving anyone or any being is hard but worth it.

  10. Maureen

    February 10, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Oops- re: not replying to the right comment :-p

    I’m sure that’s what she intended, too. I just wanted to clear up the feeling that was left behind in her post’s wake (at least in how I felt it), that parenting is surely a miserable enterprise for all who do it.

    It most likely *is* for people who don’t want to be doing it! But, for some of us, it’s an amazing chance to experience & be a part of another human’s growth and development from the very beginning.

    1. Robin

      February 10, 2010 at 12:42 pm

      @Maureen, this was exactly the opposite intent of this post though, not to be like “my decision is better, yours sucks” just that everyone feels left out at times and every path we take has to be the right one for us.

  11. jen

    February 10, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    ya know? I don’t know how, but I end up reading all of these blogs that are written by moms. I guess we can still relate even though I am not a mom. Maybe it is that we are women, or we are the same age, or like taking pictures, who knows? I am 37, and I do want to be a mom, but who knows if it will happen. I do feel secluded a bit since most of my friends have kids and I will admit, it does bug me sometimes. I say, to each their own. It’s your life, and your choice, to have or not. =)

  12. Maureen

    February 10, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Right – that’s why I wanted to clear that feeling (that *I* felt in response to the post) up from the ‘I have kids & I like it’ end of things. I agree completely – everyone’s got to take the path that’s right for themselves. But, I hope that it can be done without saying that the other path is just awful & they can’t imagine why anyone would take it. So, I just wanted to point out that, for me anyway, the path with kids is a happy place.

  13. ed

    February 10, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    kids are cool, i don’t think they are for me though. rock on robin!

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