“Why don’t you have children?” I used to get asked this all the time when I was younger. Now, of course, the question is “Why didn’t you have children?” Do men get asked this same question? It seems that women are the only ones who are supposed to want kids and choosing not to have them makes them an anomaly. The funny thing is, only the people who have kids ask me this. If you never had kids, you know why someone else didn’t, or possibly you are happy enough in your own life that you don’t feel the need to question someone else’s choices. I suppose I should go around asking parents why they chose to have children. Seems only fair, but I imagine it would be considered rude.
Now there’s a question. Why is it ok to ask someone why they never had kids, or why they didn’t get married, but it isn’t ok to ask why a person has children or a spouse? Societal norms? Or is asking someone why they got married the same thing as questioning their judgment? Some things seem to be ok to question, while others are not. After delighting in my childless life, I certainly question, if not the judgment, at least the planning of a person who opted to reproduce. What I would really like to ask, is if they ever regret giving up being childless, but I suspect that would be a very bad idea.
Kids are expensive. Even the cheap ones. Those guys never stop growing, never stop eating, never stop wanting new things. And all those plays and classes take money. Busy or lazy parents seem to spend even more, buying endless electronic toys to keep junior entertained. It doesn’t seem to matter how much money you make, your children will be requiring most of it. If I were independently wealthy, maybe I could justify being happy to drop a buck or two on a kid, but for where I am now, I can think of better things to do with my money, such as spend it on me. Selfish again? I’m still good with it.
There must be plenty of good reasons why people have children, they can’t all be mistakes, right? But whatever those reasons are, none of them ever seemed to apply to me. I guess it’s a good thing that other people have decided to reproduce, carry on the population and all that, but I’m awfully glad it wasn’t me. I like spending my time the way I choose without having to worry about the welfare of some small person. I get to go where I want, do what I want, and listen to what I want. I just can’t imagine how having a child could compare to the freedom and fun of not having a child. Sure, maybe I’m missing out on something, but if that’s the case, it’s not anything that I’ve noticed.
If you’re wondering if I’ve ever regretted my choice, why don’t you come over some time, we’ll go through my travel photos and talk about it. We can even eat ice cream and listen to loud music while we do it.