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The “Agonizing” Choice

February 27, 2012

I admittedly read a lot of child-free articles, blogs and books. I feel somewhat comforted in knowing there are women and men out there who have made the same decision as me, go through the same child-free bingoes and have similar emotions regarding Facebook mommy zombies, reproductive rights and so on, etc. I am especially keen to the more personal posts about the difficult decision to have children–or not to have them, sometimes the whole point and purpose of some blogs. I understand the mental and emotional calamity of making such a decision for some. With family members, pregnant and childed friends, a partner/husband/wife who may or may not feel the same way, advertising and social conditioning, etc–it is definitely something to sleep on.

I probably felt a bit of doubt at first, but nothing like the waves of relief and peace of mind I experienced. I have experienced “baby envy”, I have had the “what if…” but ultimately, at the end of the day I’m very happy with my decision not to have any kids. I don’t think I’m going to live the rest of my life in anguish over the decision, either. Some pro-lifers and parents want you to think if you don’t make the jump and have a child, you’re going to regret it and live with this nagging feeling at the back of your head forever. But I don’t think so. I don’t think about having children every single day anyways, because I’m busy making a living, spending time with friends, shopping, playing with my dogs and enjoying hobbies. If I feel sadness about my decision, it is usually very fleeting–like when a very adorable biracial child flashes on the TV screen–and I imagine being her mother. But then I ask myself, “Would I be happy being her/his parent for 18 years?” And the answer remains the same. No.


From → My CF Life

  1. Thank you so much for the repost (my very first!) and for sharing your thoughts here.

    I think it’s both brave and important to be willing to talk about the kinds of doubts even the happiest and most secure ‘child-free’ people feel. Whether people are parents or not, I love it when they are willing to engage with the decision as a complex issue (rather than a barrage of MY DECISION IS SO RIGHT AND HERE ARE THE BILLION REASONS WHY IT IS RIGHT AND I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT DOUBT FEELS LIKE. For me, that is never how real life really works and I always appreciate writing like yours, that allows for some complexity in feelings and thoughts.

  2. Kate permalink

    Besides, you wouldn’t just be a parent for 18 years, you’d be a parent for life! 😉

  3. I guess when you break it down like that, it really makes sense – you may spend, say, an average of 2 minutes a day wondering if you made the right decision or even possibly regretting it. But if you had kids, you’d spend an average of probably – I don’t even know – maybe 8 hours a day worrying about them or dealing with crap you don’t want to be dealing with. Which isn’t to say there aren’t plenty of great moments, but if you’re someone who doesn’t really enjoy children, there’d be a lot of time spent doing things you’d rather not!

  4. Are there any decisions we make that we don’t second guess now and then, or think, “Oh, if I’d taken a left instead of a right, I could have seen that great house I like to drive by…Oh well! Going home”?

    I’m with you on the waves of relief and peace you felt having made the decision. The only time I felt more relieved and free was when my husband told me he’d decided to get a vasectomy. Very exciting day. I was probably as excited to find out I’d never get pregnant as a woman who wants children is to see the plus sign on the pee stick.

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