Saturday, March 13, 2010

You see, this is why we can't have nice conversations...

I wasn’t going to write about this.

It seemed fairly silly and insignificant at the time. Just something said to irritate me. But then I read this empowering post from Sarah Von and it started to eat at me again.

The other day I was sitting at the table with Dahling, eating lunch and chatting. She mentioned something about people who are bad parents. My response, which is an opinion I know I have made public before, was that I wish more people who are really not cut out to be parents would be able to admit that, both to themselves and to everyone else, and then go ahead and not have children.

Not everyone is a natural mother or father. Just like not everyone is an artist or a teacher. Being a parent uses a certain skill set. Some people are not particularly strong on that skill set.

I am not particularly strong on that skill set.

I said to Dahling, what I have said to other people, what I will say to you now. I am too selfish to be a parent.

Her response: “Well, change!”

And that really got my goat. Will I probably change, maybe as my life settles, maybe as I get older…yes. But why should it be expected that I want to change who I am so I can fulfill a role that I’m not looking to play?

“There are plenty of perfectly happy adults who never have children”, I responded, trying to keep the discussion levelheaded. “Are you telling me you don’t know anyone who never had children who is happy?”


It spiraled into a bad place from there.

Someday, maybe I will want kids enough to develop the skill set they deserve a parent to have. But if I never feel that way I am okay with that.

…either way, I will allow myself to be happy.


  1. Oh my god, are we twins? I feel the EXACT same way! Some people shouldn't be parents - and if I feel like I'm one of those, WHY should/would I force myself to change and give it a try? That's someone's LIFE I could potentially ruin... I might change my mind as I get older as well, but if I never have kids, I will still feel like my life has been full.

  2. Ah I feel the exact same way. I hope that someday I will change, but it's definitely not something that i want to force... and until that day comes, i do not feel comfortable forcing my life upon a childs. I'm far too selfish. And I'm fine with that.

  3. I was thinking about this topic recently too and picked up "maybe baby" - an excellent read showing the journey into parentdom or childlessness.

    The general consensus is that as long as you have what you want in life, you'll be happy. (And this applies to more than just kids, but also jobs, mates, living circumstances, free time, food, etc.)

    About 18-20% of women today choose to remain childless and are happy with their decision. That's the highest it's been in history, so far. It wasn't that many generations ago that women didn't even have a choice. It'll take a while for societal expectations to shift into alignment with reality, but we'll get there eventually.

    I don't have kids (by choice) and for now, am at peace with it. :)

  4. (And by "peace" I mean "I love it"...)

  5. Good job admitting that, I agree that more people should come to grips with that and refrain from reproducing. It's always good when competent, smart people consciously reproduce and not just people who reproduce by accident.

  6. Totally and completely awesome. Some people aren't cut out to be parents, but are great at other things, and there are millions of examples of this. And this person's response was "Well, change??" How often do we see people change!?!? In small ways, sure. But change their philosophical tenets, or their underlying identity?? Nay. Like, never. I also have a big issue with people who make babies and then live vicariously through them, but that's a story for another day... At any rate, I definitely dig the way you're sticking to your guns!