January 15, 2006

Ugly Family Cars, Being H.S.P. & Teenagers

Here are some things I don't like or want in my life. It doesn’t mean they are not for every one, it means they’re not for me! I just don’t fancy them, just like I don’t fancy becoming a nurse or a lawyer for example. It doesn’t mean I think no one should work in these wonderful and very important occupations! It just means I don’t fancy it for myself and it would not be a good lifestyle choice for me! It doesn’t mean I think it would not be a good lifestyle choice for someone else. There are many people who become lawyers or nurses and absolutely love it. There are also many people who become parents and absolutely love it. And there are also people who choose not to become parents because it would not be right for them and they absolutely love not being a parent (like me)!

Right, so now, without further ado, here are some things I don't fancy or don't want in my life!

First of all is them big “family cars” No offence to anyone who drives them but personally, I think some of them are really ugly! I’d rather drive something a lot smaller! Or even better, something really sporty, like a Lotus Esprit or a Porsche! Maybe one day! The little cars are very easy to park and I live in a city which has some quite narrow streets and limited parking in some areas. I’m not currently driving anything but if I do again in the future, it’ll be small, sporty or both!

I see a woman on the bus most days who has four daughters. They are quite cute and they are quiet on the bus, but every single day she has to try and find seats on the bus for five! I only have to find a seat for one. Some times people will give up a seat or two (and yes, sometimes me!) but many days, most or all of the girls have to stand. Whereas, it’s a rare day I don’t get a seat!

Furthermore, I like to be a bit “in my own little world” in the morning. Alone with my thoughts, or enjoying songs I love on my MP3 player. I don’t really like conversations before about 8am! That’s the earliest I get to work – unless there’s something major I have to do – and when I have to start chatting. So before then, it’s nice to be “alone” with my thoughts, even though I have people around me, I don’t have to interact with any of them. It’s highly likely that if I had kids I’d be having to chat with them on the way to school and well, when I got on and off the bus, I’d have to make sure they all got on/off safely, not just think about me.

Again, don’t get me wrong, I value children, I work with children. I love them, I appreciate them, I have fun with them, learn from them and daily they amaze me with the things they say! But I love giving them back at the end of the day and going home to my much quieter flat. I also love going home and not being the “responsible” one anymore. All day at work I have to be responsible and think about others’ needs and wants and put myself last. It’s nice to go home and it’s just hubby and me and the person who shares this flat I have to think about. I can relax (well, aside from the studies and working out!) hubby and I have our chats.

Another thing I want to add, cos people seem to say it so rarely, is I’m not really fussed on the idea of having teenagers.

That’s right, having teenagers. When people say “I want a baby” well, it’s not just a BABY you’d be getting. It’s also a child, teenager and adult! So you need to be pretty happy with all those stages of life.
I’m not comfortable with teenagers. Let me elaborate a bit. I know, when I say I don’t want teenagers, the first thing many people will think is, that I wasn’t comfortable being a teenager. Well, yes, I did feel pretty disempowered at times, and I certainly had my share of teenage angst but in some ways, being a teen was a magical time for me. In my mid-teens, I made some of the biggest decisions in my life. Including that I wanted to work with children and that I didn’t want to have any of my own. But it’s not my teenage years I was uncomfortable with. It was my brother’s.

He went through a really bad stage. Sometimes he would swear at my mother or throw her things against the wall and break them. And I’m sure her heart was also breaking at those times. I know mine was. I’m sure she never expected her son to treat her like that. But I knew that going through things like that was something I just didn’t want to handle.

I’m more sensitive than my mum. I don’t mean that she’s really cold – she’s lovely – or that I’m a real wimp, sometimes I can be really strong. But I am...
more sensitive than average, more sensitive to light, to heat, to noise outside my control and to my own and others’ emotions. (e.g.: I can often “read” people pretty well.) And I also need more time to unwind than average. There are a whole lot of people like me out there, about 20% of the population, apparently. They’re known as Highly Sensitive People or H.S.P.s and I’m one of them.
Some of them have kids and make great parents. A lot of them choose to be child-free. And a lot of people who aren't HSP choose to be child-free too. And a lot of people don't. And that’s all perfectly OK cos. there’s no one right path for everyone.

Back to teenagers. Some of them are amazing people in so many ways. So intelligent, so kind, so creative etc. But some of them, I’m sorry to say, act in ways I really dislike. I have seen teens spit on the ground on public pavements, litter, fight, swear continuously very loudly at the top of their voices and my friend saw one try to stab someone! Yes, some of them are very respectful, quiet, smart and so on but…..

It’s all very well to say it depends on how they were raised. Sometimes, maybe usually, yes it does. Some people make terrible parents and have terrible teens. (Or, should I say teens who do terrible things.) Or they make great parents and have great teenagers and I've met some of those too! But, you know what? My parents used to say that. That it’s all in the way the kids/teens were raised. And I believe they raised us the best they knew how and many, I’m sure, would say my parents were wonderful, textbook parents. And then my brother developed a drug and alcohol habit that marred several years of his life. At one stage he even tried to kill himself and we were right there.

My brother has turned his life around a lot but he was the last nail in the proverbial coffin of parenthood for me. If there’s even the slightest chance of me giving birth to someone who puts me through all that then I don't want to have babies/kids/teenagers.


AthenaMarina said...

P.S. I realise this post was posted on what I DON'T like and want but I needed to get that out!!
Hope that is OK?! and I promise my next posts will be on what I DO want and like and that won't be too hard to think of!!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow Athena, you really unloaded there. I hope your bro doesn't mind your sharing these intimates. Of course your identity is safe.

I also think you should give up your seat to that Mom with four daughters more often. Then again, she made her choice -- or at least I hope she did, about becoming a parent of four children.

Oh, and just for the record...I hate mini-vans and PT Cruisers are really ugly.

Mostly I wanted to say thanks for telling the truth. I really respect you for choosing to work with children. In your own way you are sharing your wisdom and talents with the next generation -- an age group that you DO connect with. I would love to hear more about this.

"fussed " is a new term to me!

My only bloggy tip would be to focus and shorten the length of your posts. Such a large, long block of copy may turn off most Browers and what we are hoping for is regular Readers!

Blog on!

M said...

Ummm... are you me?

Really, I could have written nearly every word in this post (not the sports car and teenage things, but pretty much everything else). From the throwing objects brother to the need for alone time and down time, to the working with kids.

Even more uncanny was seeing myself perfectly described in your list of characteristics of a highly sensitive person. Wow, there is a name for these combination of traits that I have, and other people are like that, too?

I have to learn more about it, it fascinates me already. (I'd heard of HSPs before but had no idea the term described me to a tee.)

I actually love teens (I taught high school actually because of that)--it's the younger kids and babies that don't really get me ga-ga--but like you, I've been strongly influenced by my brother's problems.

Thanks for a great post.