Don’t ask me why I don’t have kids, or why I haven’t yet. What in the actual hell makes that ANY of your business? If you don’t know me well enough to know the answer to that question, then you probably shouldn’t be asking. Not to mention that it might not even be my preference to not have procreated at this point, but that there is something I’m dealing with, be it mental or physical. Having seen many of my loved ones go though hell and back while trying to start a family, from infertility to difficulties affording or even attempting IVF or adoption (many times due to restrictions based on their sexual orientation and/or single status, don’t even get me started) these were very personal, very painful times that, I am sure, they would not want to share with a stranger, or even an acquaintance. I am SURE of it. So don’t ask. And don’t give me that judgmental eye, either. Please. Just don’t. I’m tired of feeling ashamed, or like I have to give a good reason, or seeing all of the pitying, quizzical looks flying my way and thinking ‘Maybe I’m way off here, maybe I WILL regret it, maybe I really DO want kids’ just because you think I should. That ends now. And so should these unwanted questions.
Don’t attempt to justify your rude attempt at intrusion into my personal life by saying, ‘Oh, but you’d be a wonderful mother’. Awww, how nice. You’re throwing a compliment in the mix to make it look like you’re not rudely prying into my life. I have a question for you: would you have asked my husband that question, or followed it with that statement? I know he would be a WONDERFUL father, he is an exemplary husband, and I married him for all of those wonderful qualities. But I have a feeling you don’t see his worth as a man quite as wrapped up in his role as a potential father as you do mine as a woman and mother, and I resent that. More than a little bit. I am just as much a whole person in every way as any mother, and not using my reproductive organs or being a mother in a traditional sense has no bearing on that. The same goes with adoptive mothers, single parents, gay mothers and fathers, foster families, extended families caring for nieces and nephews and cousins, and the million other configurations of families out there. Not to mention that I appreciate and admire the qualities that say ‘mother’ to us as a culture, and I find myself stepping into that role in many ways in my life, ways that don’t include having my own children, that fulfill that need in me. I mother my cats, most of my friends, I nag my own mother on a daily basis, the list goes on and on – and I’m happy with that.
Please. Don’t judge me or people like me for my personal choice to not have children at this point in my life. I have the world’s COOLEST niece, with whom I am madly in love. A lot of my friends and family have little ones, and all of them are awesome kids with equally awesome parents. Tom teaches children all day long, but he comes home to a quiet adult home, and loves it. This does not make us bad people. This does not mean we hate kids. This, also, does not mean we judge you and your choices when it comes to procreating and parenting, quite the opposite – I celebrate your mother-and-fatherhood, and honor your commitment to do all that it takes to raise a child. Taking that on is no joke, and I am amazed and humbled by my own parents and the parents around me constantly. I recognize and respect your decisions, and in return, I would be thankful if you did the same with mine. Because to me, support and respect, not judgement and negativity, will get women further beyond the glass ceiling than we will ever get if we continue to draw lines amongst ourselves. Mother or child-free, religious or atheist, rich or poor, none of it matters. Because Moms rule, but so do I.