For those who know me, know that I love my nieces and nephews dearly. and my ‘adopted’ children and their children. I buy baby shower gifts, birthday gift, Christmas gifts, ‘i just thought it looked like you gifts’, etc. Not because of any requirement, but because i want to. Men ask me why i dont have children. I say simply that i never met anyone that I like well enough to go through childbirth for. That’s the basic standard line i give everyone. Its the truth. childbirth hurts. A LOT. Children are worthy of our love and support. They don’t deserve to be brought into this world because someone is lonely, tired, angry, hostile, wants someone to love them unconditionally, want to ‘outdo’ their brothers, sisters, parents, to show someone that they are ‘grown’, or whatever subconscious issues someone has.
I’ve watched children come into this world with parents who had no clue. Parents who barely understood the ‘biology’ of how their own child ‘got here’, yet couldn’t grasp the concept that parenthood was a 24/7/365 the rest of your life situation. If I hear another parent say: “When is it going to be MY time?!” I always say. “when they are grown/and or 18 and out of your house, then you can take a temporary breather”.
Growing up, surrounded by sisters and brothers, I spent my days lazying enjoying being the middle of the pack. i was old enough to know how to avoid trouble and young enough that my older siblings got tagged if I did get into trouble. I stomped in mud puddles, rode bikes, ran down neighborhood streets and alleyways looking for all sorts of mischief (which i usually found). I was in a town where everyone knew my dad and all the teachers knew my siblings. this was reality TV before reality TV. you never knew who was watching and reporting back. I helped my older siblings take care of the younger ones. i changed diapers, wiped noses, gave baths, taught them how to walk and talk. I look back at those experiences with fond memories now that we are older but it also taught me that parenthood was a serious commitment.
In late middle school and high school, i saw classmates and acquaintances brag about how they were ‘ready’ for a baby and how they would take care of a baby and a baby would love them. I would shake my head and ask, so.. who is gonna pay for all this? Of course, they were prepared with ‘my mom and dad or me and the father.’ I would just laugh and shake my head. I had many people upset with me because I was like, you are just stupid. Even at a young age I realized they just didn’t have a clue. they were having babies like status symbols. Gucci and Fendi bags. children had became something to brag about. Of all the girls I knew having babies from that period of time, only one is with the father. and they didn’t get married until the child was 12 years old. While they dated before their had their “son, within 2 years of his birth, they had broken up and he was dating other people. It wasn’t until after HE went out onto the world and ‘did him’ that he decided that he loved her and wanted them to be a family. He declared his ‘leaving’ while his son was young as ‘immaturity’ but now he was ‘mature’ and realized what he had. I personally thought his ‘explanation’ was a bunch of bullshit, but then again. i didn’t have to be with him.
I wanted the total package. I wanted a man to be there from the beginning. from conception to birth and beyond. i wanted to full ‘ride or die’ experience. i wanted to know that we were a team, we were a family. i expected nothing less that full commitment. It was all or nothing. I was on no timetable. i wasn’t bogged down by some preconceived nothing that i had to have a child before i was 25 or 28 or 34. It was simple. no man/no child. and not just any man, but one that shared my idea of what children and family meant. I never dating a guy and told him on the first 3 dates that i wanted children within 2 years so what are you offering. Hell, if a guy could make me want to kiss him after 3 days, it was a miracle!
I dated all types of men, black, white, young, old, rich, not so rich, funny, charming, intelligent, active, kinda lazy. Some are more special to me than others. some i’d much rather forget. I learned what i wanted in a man, what i wanted in a husband, what i wanted in a father for my children. I’ve had 12 guys propose about 23 times (several proposed more than once). I said Yes only twice. Then I realized that I would not marry either one of them. I knew deep down that what they wanted wasn’t the life I wanted and I wanted more than what they were offering. Settling wasn’t an option for me. And it wasn’t an option for my unborn children. So we broke up and I moved on.
I saw my friend in their 20’s and 30’s desperate for babies and husbands and romanticizing how motherhood would somehow save them from their lives. It didn’t. In some cases, motherhood came at the most unopportunistic time, from guys who had nothing to offer them but their sex organ. In others, their dreams for marriage made them overlook drug problems, domestic violence issues, anger management issues, credit issues all for the bragging rights to say that their child was born ‘in wedlock’. Still others working on a deadline grabbed the first available man they could, whether he was single or not for a ‘donation’, most times without his being on board with her baby plans. While they love their children, they don’t really ‘like’ their situation. To have to guilt someone into being a father isn’t on my agenda. To run back and forth into court with a guy who has 3 other children for child support issues is a nothing I wanted to look forward to. Its heartbreaking to watch my friends and friends of friends justify staying in relationships because they don’t want to be a ‘single’ mother or to have to admit to friends and family that he really was just the type of guy they ‘pegged’ her man to be. No one likes being wrong, no one likes looking like a fool.
I have volunteered for various children charities and supported them financially. I email my representatives on issues that affect families and children on the state, local and national levels. I have mentored children. I have been the adult that children I know come to when their parents are getting on their nerves.
I am on the other side of my baby making days. I have no regrets. My expression of motherhood comes in every blog post I write. Every poem I create, every word I write.
No, I don’t have any children and NO there is nothing wrong with me.