It was the day before my mom's birthday - we went to Mount Dora to take a stained glass jewelry class. On the way back, in the car, something just sprung the question "why do people have kids?". We met up with my brother and dad that day at Sweet Tomatoes and I asked my parents, point blank, why do people have kids? They seemed to sputter around and search for reasons to give me an answer - but none of them really held up. To change the world? Well, I plan on being a college professor & I do plan on impacting the lives of many before I die through the work I do both in the classroom and through my research.
Later that afternoon, I had to go into work. I called Kevin on the way to work and told him that if we are going to get married – he should know that I don’t think I want kids. Everyone keeps telling me that “when I get older it will change” or “it will change when you have your own”. Interestingly enough, my intolerance for the presence of kids has only gotten worse as I have gotten older (we can probably thank serving for that). As for this maternal instinct popping up once I have a kid…that just sounds risky. Both my mom and grandma are rather awkward or detached mothers from time to time. This just goes to show: not all mothers have that maternal instinct. (Case & point: Casey Anthony)
Luckily, Kevin feels the same as I do. It took some getting used to. For some time afterward, things would happen and I would think “well, when I have…” and then stop. I only had such thoughts because this country brands you to think marriage + kids = full life. Not everyone will have children. This is my decision. Kevin & I agreed we’d have more time for each other – more free time and money to enjoy our lives and travel. This is not selfish, this is our choice.
In this past year, I have often wondered why I am the way I am about kids. I feel awkward around them and emotionally detached. I do not find silly things done or said to be terribly cute like other women do. I feel sometimes that I am lacking something that everyone else has. I wonder why – maybe it is because my parents are emotionally isolated from me or because I never had a pet growing up. Maybe having a pet and watching it grow would have given me the feeling of parenting that I needed to be a good parent. Neither Kevin or I had a pet – though his family did feed a stray that he called Tony since it looked like Tony the tiger which he considers to have been his pet.
This past week, I went to the gynecologist for a checkup – and the waiting room was full of pregnant women (since my doctor deliveries babies as well). They all seem so happy. I feel sad that I will never understand that. Once inside the actual office, I waited for my doctor – and looked at the pictures of families and babies tacked to the wall. Families with such warmth. Photos of children like “Kyle is now 3 years old!” that my doctor delivered. Family Christmas photos and other momentous holidays. And a speck of sadness creeps into me because I wonder what that would feel like – when I get to the age that all my friends have kids and I’m not going to be able to see them for drinks on Friday because they can’t find a sitter. I suppose it will feel like missing a plane that all my friends were on. It makes me wonder if I will get lonely or regret my decision. And the photos – the families seem to be so content. For the past year, I have deduced (whether false or not, it is how I feel – sorry if this offends you) that a lot of couples only have kids so there is someone to care for them when they are old; kind of like returning the favor. This past week I wondered if there was more to it. I guess there must be – and the reason why I can’t fully grasp this is the exact reason why I shouldn’t have kids. I’m not etching anything into stone – but if nothing changes with how Kevin or I feel, then it definitely won’t happen. There is still time for us to grow and realize that we may feel as though we want them or desire for children to be part of our lives. However, if we did decide that – I have kind of decided adoption would be the way to go, should that happen.