Thursday, April 12, 2012

No Regrets

"My biggest regret is that I never had children."
- a white-haired elderly male character in an insipid movie which was otherwise forgettable.

In the past calendar year, half-a-dozen babies have been produced by people I work with.  It's a bumper crop.  Consequently, a parade of squooshy infants has been through the office in the past few months.  Like every female of the species, my body is wired to drench my brain in happy-happy neurochemicals anytime I look at a baby.  Just watching a little newborn fast asleep, doing nothing at all, is enough to fill me with big-time warm'n'fuzzies.

I've written before about my choice to remain childfree/childless (take your pick - either one will offend someone).  At this stage of my life I'm completely convinced that it was the right decision.  Having a child is an intensifier of everything in life, the good and the bad.  My life has been plenty intense enough without adding parenthood to the stack of challenges. 

I don't worry about leaving a legacy.  I have opportunities every day to better the world by loving people and by taking responsibility. My relationships (with friends, family, and colleagues) have been mutually rewarding.  By supporting those who are parents I indirectly contribute to the well-being of the next generation.  I also sponsor two kids through World Vision.

What's going to happen to me when I'm old?  That's in God's hands.  It's funny how young people consider this question as though nothing will change between now and their "golden years".  At the rate technology is progressing I expect that Robot Nannies will be available for sale well before I become decrepit, if I'm destined to live that long.  If I need someone to tie my shoes or make tea for me and my rickety friends, Robonanny will be happy to help.

At least now that I'm almost 40 people have stopped making insensitive comments. I'd like to know why they feel that they're better qualified than me to make my reproductive choices.  A hairdresser I've known for all of 20 minutes, a friend of my parents who's only just been introduced to me, relatives who want a squooshy infant to snuggle, all of them feel welcome to weigh in.  I'm just glad that I trusted myself enough to withstand the pressure.

It's my decision, and I do not regret it.  Sometimes I wonder what my babies would have looked like, and sometimes I feel nostalgia for sweet family memories that I'll never have, but my life is good, and I wouldn't go back and change it.

8 comments:

Tracy Makara said...

Hi Spark, oh boy can I relate to this post. I've remained childless too, and just turned 40 last months. Sometimes people can be very insensitive when it comes to this issue and for me...it's a personal decision with no right or wrong answer for everyone. This is not a one size fits all thing. So glad you wrote this post!

Warped Mind of Ron said...

I too am childless.... but really I'm willing to get out there and make my fair share if only more women were willing ;-)

Granny Annie said...

I have never understood why people are so inconsiderate and do not hesitate to ask childless persons why the don't have kids. Instead they should turn their attention to those of us who have children and ask, "What were you thinking?"

G. B. Miller said...

I lump those people who make those types of insensitive comments about a personal choice of not having kids about with those who have kids and scream bloody murder about people who do not have kids giving advice/making sincere comments about child rearing.

If you choose not to have kids, that's fine. I know quite a few people like that and I don't even remotely try to grill them about their choice.

Same goes with childless couples giving child rearing advice. It didn't bother me when I was raising both of mine, and it doesn't bother me now.

DarcsFalcon said...

And thus Spark has spoken!

I know what you mean hon. Parenthood is not for everyone and not to be entered into lightly. You made the decision that was right for you and that's all there is to it. The fact that you still have no regrets about it is powerful testimony. :)

Jameil said...

Wonderful! I'm so glad you are happy with your decision! People get crazy over reproductive rights. Your body, your life, your choice. I'm so sick of people telling me WHEN to have a baby. That's between my husband and me. Your opinion is useless. And it's mostly the distant relatives or people I know very little. I care how much think a lot. Wait I already told you I didn't so... I've gotten better at handling it since the questions aren't coming so much but I'm sure if we wait much longer it shall start again... not even a year married... really, people?

Sparkling Red said...

Tracy: T'was my pleasure. I know how important it is to know one is not alone on the path less travelled. :-)

Ron: I am picturing your boy babies with little moustaches. ;-)

Granny Annie: Indeed!

G. B. Miller: It's good that you can let those comments roll off your back. I would never dream of giving a parent unsolicited advice.

DarcsFalcon: Thanks! I often hear: Well, if teenage girls can do it, surely anyone can do it. That is such wrong thinking. Just because someone is biologically capable of bearing a child doesn't mean they'll be a good parent!

Jameil: I'm sure you'll never hear the end of it. Remember this when you're itching to become a grandmother. ;-)

Lynn said...

I remained childless out of circumstance, but I look upon that as the way it was meant to be. I'm fine with no children.

But I have the same questions from people - why didn't you have children? I usually reply "because I couldn't." And that mostly shuts them up.