Many of my girlfriends don’t have children and feel judged for it.
In all honesty, until I had children, I too judged people who didn’t have or want children.
When I would meet childless couples in their late thirties/forties, who appeared content with their lives, I never truly believed that they were. I just couldn’t understand.
I guess to me there was never really a choice. I always wanted kids and I always knew children were in my future.
I didn’t think they’d be Asian, but I knew they’d be a part of my life.
But now that I have children, I feel like I have a better understanding of why couples wouldn’t want them. Let’s see, how much time do you have…?
Losing my freedom
I didn’t realise that everything that I used to enjoy freely, was going to be put on hold. We’re all thinking “DUUUH what’d you think was going to happen?”! But in practice, that was harder to adjust to.
Here we are in Paris during our honeymoon, without a care, looking fresh and happy. Not a wet wipe in sight!
Shopping nightmare: Ducking out to the shops quickly? Forget quickly, in fact, triple the budgeted time.
You need nappies and water and snacks and clothes, you basically need to pack for a night away when heading anywhere. Just in case someone spills water all over themselves. Or gets hungry. Or thirsty.
Going to the toilet: Cue toddler crying and trying to push you off the toilet seat because it’s her turn!
Traveling overseas: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
Yep, you can no longer eat what you want because the kid wants it.
You can no longer drink what you want because the kid wants it.
You can no longer sleep when you want, because the baby gets up at 4am and they can’t do anything by themselves.
And definitely no more spending money on yourself. Unless it’s to buy new clothes because you can no longer fit your previous wardrobe. OH JOY!
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not impossible, in fact many parents vow that their kid will not stop them from traveling and doing all the things they did before kids came along.
I, on the other hand, haven’t been to the hair dresser and/or dyed my hair once since I fell pregnant with the first kid. It’s just money that I don’t need to spend. For the first time since I was 13, this is allll my natural hair.
Who in the world would want that?
So now, picture yourself never really being interested in children and seeing your friends with children complain and struggle with above-mentioned items.
You hang out with new parents to discover that they’re not really the same people anymore, they are slaves to tiny, terrifying tyrants.
You watch your dear friend breastfeed and she is wincing and tearing up and looks to be in extreme pain.
And then you make a decision
You decide that you don’t want to make those sacrifices.
Whether you are single or in a partnership you have your full pay/s and that shit is amazing, you are basically living like the Sultan of Brunei whilst your friends are now living like the Gypsies of Eastern Europe.
You don’t want the pain, kids don’t look particularly pleasing – and you know what?
Wanting kids is wanting an experience
Some people want to go sky diving, others want to be beekeepers, and some people want to be parents.
It’s safe to say that being a parent is the most challenging thing that I’ve ever done.
And I’ve done Tough Mudder. TWICE! Tough Mudder is nothing compared to Tough Mothering.
And like every single parent in the world, I complain and I’m tired and I do things that I wouldn’t want to do if I didn’t have a kid, like put on real person pants on a Saturday and go to the friggin park.
But when I signed up to be a parent, what I signed up for was the experience of being a parent. Of raising a child, a little human.
Of teaching them and guiding them and watching them master skills we take for granted. Of sharing these little humans with my husband who I adore, and every time I look into their faces, I love him more because he is them and they are him.
What I didn’t know was that being pregnant and giving birth and watching this little thing grow would be the height of my human experience.
The amount of love that I feel for my little rats is incomparable to anything I have ever felt in my life. It is impossible to explain, it is impossible to describe, you cannot possibly know what your heart is capable of until you go through something like that.
Of course it’s not easy. But when my baby looks at me with that cute little face of hers, with her father’s big head and her mother’s beautiful features (ha!) I cannot help but love the world and everything in it.
It’s easy to be just exhausted and frustrated in one moment but one giggle from my kid and all my worries are far behind me because I made this child happy.
Live for the giggle
And I live for that giggle, I live for their fascination, to show them something new, to surprise them and make them happy. Who knew bubbles could bring so much joy!
That’s why I make funny faces and jump around to E-M-M-A for hours on end! And let the toddler play with bark, so I can watch her realise she hates being dirty and then freak out about it.
Not wanting children…
Not wanting children is not a bad thing nor is it anyone’s business.
It’s a brave decision to make, one that isn’t made lightly by some people. Some people simply can’t have children and that brings on a totally different level of heartbreak. It’s never as simple as we think.
But even if it is, it’s not for society to decide. It’s for the individual.
On face value, parenting doesn’t seem like a recommended gig. The reason people become parents isn’t easily explained and can never be felt by someone who simply doesn’t have that desire.
It doesn’t make people who make that choice any less capable of love or of being involved in other children’s lives, of being aunties, uncles, of being great present givers.
So in Ellen’s words… Be kind to one another… Don’t be so quick to judge.
Besides, loads of people who didn’t want kids but decided to do it because it’s the “thing to do” became terrible parents. And we don’t need more idiots in the world.
On that note, thanks ya’ll, and until next time – PEACE!