Thursday, December 10, 2009

Don't judge me.

At the recommendation of a good friend, Katie Mayfield (who I'm trying to get to return to the blogging world) - I'm going to write about a topic that may or may not go over well with you readers.  Bare with me though.  It's a topic I feel deserves a bit of attention.

Now I know that there are traditional gender roles that date back before you or I.  Heck, before the internet, blogging, and freedom of speech!  I'm about to bust a myth about them right open.  I may have a uterus but it doesn't mean my goal in life, or even one of them, is to get married and have babies.  Not that I think being a traditional (or unconventional) housewife is a bad thing.  I don't feel that way at all.  

In fact, I think the opposite.  I think being a wife and a mother are both important jobs that demand respect.  I admire my own Mom and my friends who are moms.  I'm grateful for how active she was and continues to be in my life.  I have learned an immeasurable amount of wisdom and have seen first hand what unconditional love looks like.  For that I could never extend enough thanks.

That being said, I'm not someone who has a desire to be a mom myself.  I do want to get married someday (not soon).  After I've had a little more time to enjoy this phase of my life I do feel like I will 'settle down' and love the next phase of life as a wife.  Now, Lord willing of course...since he's going to have to find me the right one!

I want to talk about this children v. not issue.  Myth: because I don't want kids of my own I must hate kids.  False.  I love kids.  I've always loved kids.  I do not now nor have I ever had a dislike of kids (wait, that might be false...maybe certain kids at certain times).  My lack of desire to have any of my own does not stem from some sort of dislike of kids.  Honestly, I picture myself as more of the 'cool aunt' type.

As I've gotten a little older (a whole 24 years old now) this topic has come up in more and more conversations.  Here is what I've found...

A. People are shocked that as a girl I don't want kids.  I'm not even sure what being a girl has to do with it since I know plenty of girls who don't want kids, and plenty of guys who do.  But that aside, shock.  Real, true shock.

B.  It is assumed that I must be some crazy heartless woman who hates children.  I may admit to being a bit crazy at times but I think most if not all my friends would tell you, I have a big heart.  I really love people.  It's why I chose social work.  It's why I tend to be the 70% of effort in my friendships.  I really truly love people...including children!

C.  Often times I am told at this point that I should want kids because 'I'd be a great mom'.  Don't get me wrong, that is an unbelievably generous compliment of which I am completely undeserving.  However, we all have things we are good at that we'd rather not do.  Right?  I mean I may be a natural at one thing but completely drawn to another.  Whether or not I'd be a good mom I don't know...but I don't see the relation in my skills to my desires.

D.  This isn't really a point, just an observation....that besides the assumption that I'm a freak of nature for not wanting to have children, I do often find that people think I will never find someone to marry who wont' wants kids either.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that there may in fact be some guy out there somewhere who also doesn't want children.  And if there isn't well I guess God will just have to change one of our minds.

Here are my disclaimers....

I believe in God having a plan for my life.  And if it includes children, then like many other things since my walk with the Lord - I believe he'll change my mind.  He's done it before and he may just do it again.  I'm in a good place both mentally and spiritually that if God choses to give me children I will love and care for them as I know He intended me too.

Also, I'm 24.  Many things will change in my life before I die and a year from now I may want 6 kids.  I reserve the right to change my mind for at least another 10 years about the whole kid topic.  So before you throw any stones, give me a few years.  : ]  

The point of this entry really was to say that I do and I wish more people did, respect that some people want children and some don't.  Similarly, I understand why some people choose never to marry.  Or not to go to college.  You have to find what works for you.  If, like me, yours doesn't fit peoples idea of 'normal' don't be afraid to want different than the crowd.  More importantly, never be too proud to change your mind someday.  People are always stressing that life is short, but it's not so short that you can't learn as you go.  

So (for now), I don't want kids...and I don't want any judgement for it.

'If you judge people, you have no time to love them' - Mother Theresa 



Joy Engdahl said...

Good thoughts, friend! I'm in the "not sure if I want kids yet or not" camp as well. But I'm sure whether you do or not, God has great things in store for ya!!

Priscilla said...

Weren't we like JUST talking about this? :)

Helen said...

Awesome popst, I know EXACTLY what you mean! I also fall into the not wanting kids category. Well not right now anyway.

To have a child is a huge responsibility, every decision you make for the rest of your life will depend on them, how can you feel pressured into it? It's a Big Deal.

And at 24 (me too!) I'm too selfsh for that right now.

When I'm in a situation that I feel ready and I'm settled and I have someone in my life I know will stick around, then maybe. But you cant make me feel guilty for not using my uterus!

Ebony Jewel said...

OMG You're a horrid person for not wanting kids right now, what's wrong with you? Mr. Perfect is supposed to come sweep you off your feet tomorrow, you're supposed to have his babies, be a stay at home mom and completely change your life for him.

Yeah and if you believe any of that then you're insane! ;)

I too am one of those people. I LOVE kids & yes, one day I believe I will have 1 and only 1 that I can spoil beyond belief, BUT at this point in my life, now is NOT the right time. My sister just had a baby 7 weeks ago (Friday) and while she's adorable, cute, I love her to death, totally cuddly, she's a handful & I know that's not the handful that God is ready for me to deal with. Honestly I think I'd go insane if I had a baby right now. As selfish as this may sound, it would totally ruin my career, my plan for myself.

The other thing is I look at my friends who got married at 21/22, had kids and are now divorced. My friends who believed in "perfect," who believed that "perfect" was going to sweep them off their feet, that they could be stay at home moms only to find out later that their husbands were leaving them because they lacked ambition. Just a sad situation that I don't want to put myself or a child in at 26 years old. I have a lot more learning, growing, partying to do. I still don't know who I am, working everyday to figure that out and I'm well on my way, but I can't expect someone to love me & know me wholly if I don't love or know myself ya know.

So that's my take on kids at 26 years old...not quite my time! And if someone else tells me that the most complete part of being a woman is being a mother, I am going to slap them! My response to that is sorry, call me selfish, but I'm still living it up!