January 08, 2006

Made a list, checked it twice...

I have been thinking a lot about being child-free and is it really for me. I basically decided at the tender age of 16 that I never wanted to be married or have kids. I changed my mind about getting married and have been happily married for about 2 years and 8 months now but haven't changed my mind about being child-free! However, on the odd occasion I've had second thoughts but this has been the exception rather than the rule. On Friday I had some of those second thoughts!

You see, I work with children and I really adore the children I am currently working with. They are adorable, cute, sweet, smart, funny and I'm really proud of them. And on Friday night I was feeling a bit clucky, thinking, well, I'm in my 30s, am I really SURE I want to stay child-free and not have one of my own in the future?

I've done a LOT of soul searching about being child-free, especially lately. What I did on Friday night was write down some of the things I have done as a child-free woman and some things I'd like to do in the future. After I'd done that. I decided I was so happy with my child-free life, I've definately made the right choice.....
For ME. The right choice for ME. It doesn't mean I hate kids, I love them! It doesn't mean I don't respect women or men who choose to become a parent - far from it! And I DO see it as a beautiful, wonderful life-choice. But that's exactly it - being a parent is a choice. Some people seem to think it's inevitable. But it doesn't have to be! It's an option. While it's an option that is wonderful for some and terrible for others, it's an option I choose not to take.

Anyway, I'd like to share my list with you, of some of the things I want to do and have done. It might inspire you, whether you choose/have chosen to be child-free or not:

I've got a degree, diploma, travelled to Hawaii, Australia, Las Vegas, Belgium, London, Avebury, Warwick Castle, Stratford Upon Avon, Cotswolds, Spain (Madrid, Toledo, Seville, Granada, Gibraltar) Edinburgh in Scotland, Singapore, Paris, Venice, also Murano, Burano, Torcellino, Egypt (2x) Finland, Austria (Vienna and the Lake district) Prague and Wales (Cardiff and Pembrokeshire.)

Also, have a lovely marriage, lots of sleeping in and free time! (Well, sleeping in on weekends, anyway!) Am currently working on my career – full time work plus studies and working out a
bit – losing weight!

Working on my spiritual development plus met some positive people. I've had lots of alone time when I wanted it, DVDs galore to enjoy, internet, games online which I can play undisturbed. I have a lot more free time and money than I would if I had children. Here are some things I hope to do in the future with my child-free life and time:

Learn the saxophone
Learn the drums

Travel EVERYWHERE on my list:
Salzburg, Bahamas, Caribbean – esp. Pink Sand Beach e.g. Harbour Bay, Denmark, Dubai, Egypt (Luxor etc.) Provence, Greece, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy (Rome, Florence, Capri) Japan, Jamaica, Jordan, Mauritius, Madeira, Russia, Spain (Barcelona) Scotland (Orkney, Skye,) England (York, Bath, Cornwall, Wookey Hole) Turkey, USA (Dallas/Fort Worth, Florida (Orlando) Grand Canyon, New York, Virginia, Hawaii, Seychelles, Zanzibar African safari, Cruise, go on an archaeology dig, learn origami in Japan and of course explore Japan!
Go on an Abraham Hicks Cruise, Date with Destiny

Become fluent and literate in Arabic and French.
I could get a Masters degree (although that sounds like too much hard work!)
New career
Have a cat
Have Horses
Perhaps live on a farm (when we are much older)

Early retirement (do you know how much money kids can cost? I've seen such research - the answers would SHOCK you!)

All night dancing
Regular dates with hubby
Buy a boat
Get published
Invest in property
Help my husband with his career
Have my best body (figure) ever
Work part time
Lots more options…

I don't think I will exactly have a boring, unfufilled life!


Anonymous said...

Athena Marina -- You GO girl! You blew me away with your first blog post. There are so many things I can respond to. This may take some time. I may make them blog posts instead of just comments. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

I was a little fuzzy on which things on your list you have done vs. still have yet to do, but I appreciate your enthusiasm.

A couple of things you touch on really stood out for me. First the discussion of a woman's choice. Children shouldn't be a surprise in a perfect world. The responsibility is just too great.

Between studies, your career and a husband I don't know where you find the time to have so many interests. We Purple Women(TM) are blessed with so many options to pursue our interests, it's sometimes hard to focus! I have studied French, Spanish and
Japanese just for fun. I have been a PR lady, artisan bread baker, professional fundraiser, volunteer and I have travel to some amazing places. Lucky me. Now I am simply an administrative assistant and feel fortunate to only work 9-5 and have plenty of time for all my hobbies and my husband who I adore. 40-something is good and my figure is 30-something!

P.S. My dream has always been to have a saddle outside my bedroom door, and a beautiful horse of my own. I'd settle for a vacation with equestrian trimmings as a second best.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

That's all fine, but you know what? It's ok not to have kids and NOT have a terrific career and learn languages and work out and all the rest. Really. It is.
I have found that a lot of women who go overboard justifying why they are childfree...turn out not to be, down the road. I'm not trying to be insulting. I've just noticed that people who are really and truly comfortable with the decision don't have to defend it. It just is, like the color of your skin.

AthenaMarina said...

This is true! and I'm not insulted!
Sometimes (I think) people kinda expect that if you don't have kids you're a career woman and I'm not. There are some child-free women, like one of my colleagues, who work very hard at their careers and do a lot of extra time at work etc. Some like me who enjoy chilling out and also hobbies and learning things they consider fun. Many many different women and men who choose to be child-free, many different reasons and things they do or don't do instead. Apart from travel, hubby's main other interest is football on TV. He works too. So one of the things he loves doing to relax is watch football. That's all! Relax and enjoy his favourite TV sport! And he loves not having a child interrupt his viewing pleasure! And that's all good!
I'm in my 30s, I work with kids and maybe that's why I come across as justifying! But there are many times my mum calls me and I have no news! I have only one life and I do want to do as much things I dream of on it. I couldn't do it if I had a family. But it's things I want to do not have to do to prove anything. However, it doesn't hurt people to realise that having a family is not the only thing a woman can do with her life so if people come across my posts (or others here) and realise it great!

ChrisR said...

Yeah, a bit of both here for me. I want to do heaps more travelling but work keeps getting in the way. :)

However, I have no plans to be superwoman any time soon. I dropped off the corporate treadmill because I just didn't think the benefits were there.

For me, being child-free means being able to listen to the radio, read a good book, sleep in on the weekends, enjoy a good bottle of red ... quality of life issues, you could say.

AthenaMarina said...

Yeah, me too Chris. I'd love to work less hours. And I love travelling too. I want to travel more! Not all women are career women or mums some are both and some are neither and I want to be neither working yes but not too much! Many women at work are working mums and I take my hat off to them for doing all that and so well but it's not for me! To each their own! I agree with the quality of life things, more peace and quite, more me time! Some of the time I'd like that (in the future) to be with hobbies sometimes just chilling! At the moment I'm studying part time (work related) and working so I usually just do the chilling things in my spare time. If I had kids I bet I'd have LESS spare time! I hope in the future to learn some of those things I said though! But not right now. Too much on the plate as it is!