June 29, 2006

Peace and Quiet

I’ve always been the kind of person who needs to have her space and to be left alone a good portion of the time. Needing my space has been a major reason behind my need to stay childfree since I rarely even let my own boyfriend into my quiet space.

People tell me that once you have a child you find yourself willing to give up your free time for them and basically your life belongs to your children. I just can’t imagine giving up my peaceful and relaxing free time to taking care of someone else full time.

I believe some people are just naturally nurturing people and like to take care of other people. My boyfriend actually is in the category of thriving off of taking care of others (including his daughter) but I don’t believe I am one of them. I have moments all of the time that I feel I will lose my mind if I don’t get some space and there is no guarantee of that once you have children.

So above and beyond all my other reasons to stay childfree I know that right now in my life (and I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember) I need to have room to breathe and just be with myself when the moment arises. Once I have a child I become responsible for another person, who needs a lot more than I do, and sometimes just taking care of myself is hard enough.

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Gemini said...

I completely understand your point. Personally I hope that if I ever have children that I can still make the time to have me time.

But like you said there is no guarantee that it will happen but one can only hope and try...

Good for you for making the decision... It is a hard one to make not because you feel that you have to but because society may feel that way...

Gary said...

I think everyone should be able to decide that question for themselves. In a world where there are clearly too many people, it is interesting how saying what you are saying will cause such a strong negative reaction from so many people.

VictoriaM said...

The latest post on the Baby NOT on Board blog (http://www.babynotonboard.com/bnobblog/) totally addresses this issue of having time for yourself. She mentions how a child adds 40 hours a week to a woman's workload. No thank you!

I'll stick with having rabbits. Those I can leave in a cage all day. For some reason, people frown on that with kids!

(And just as an aside, big kudos to Teri for creating such a positive, welcoming environment for discussing childfree issues. It's so refreshing to find a place that isn't all about child-bashing but about discussing the challenging and joys of being childfree. Bravo, Teri!)

Robin said...

Gemini - I think it's all a matter on what is more important to you. Do you want to take the chance in the extra 40 hours a week to a child or is the idea of not having a kid just too painful of a thought. It's a tough decision.

Gary - I think everyone should have a basic right to live life the way they want without being questions. Whether you are Mormon, gay or childfree.

Victoriam - That's why I stick with cats, minimal responsibility.

Teri said...

Wow, this is cool...new contributor, new commenters. Welcome all!

Gemini - Society can be such a bother (Big Brother?). No it's not that bad, but women in particular must arm themselves for the reactions they get from perfect strangers. NikkiJ is doing a good job of covering this in her "Reactions" series.

Gary - You are our second male commenter ever! This blog has evolved nicely into a broad demographic range of contributors (including the debut of the “one off” Guest Contributor) and I hope it will encourage more diversity in our participation as well.

VictoriaM - Multe gratzie bella! The Bella Online editor for the Married No Kids column has a place of honour in the PW sidebar. She also has us listed on her site.

ChrisR said...

I still love the quote I came across in Party of One - why would I give birth to permanent company????

Robin said...

ChrisR - I am SO using that someday!!!

nomadshan said...

Robin - Such a simple reason, but sooooooo important. And so not an option once you have kids. I mean, sure, maybe a few quiet moments here and there, but not whenever you want them, I imagine.

Teri said...

Here's a quote:

"Everybody's children are so special. It makes you wonder where ordinary grown ups come from."

From a British film noir starring Tim Robbins and Samantha Morton called Code 46.

Robin said...

Great quote!

One of my friends said something to me a little while ago and I still want to bang my head against the wall just thinking about it.

She said once she had children she planned to use all the "extra" time to finally write. She's going to have a big wakeup call I think.

Elise said...

The 40 extra hours a week figure is scary, but seems accurate to me. I am the auntie of 12-year old twins, and when they were small, my brother and SIL were on the very, very brink of needing to be hospitalized for exhaustion. When I'd show up at their house, they'd say "We don't care if you do the dishes, balance our checkbook or just hold a kid..." with a glassy-eyed, 100-mile gaze. Fortunately now that the twins are older, it's much better, but...

I do find it amazing that people seem to put less thought into whether to have kids than where to go on vacation. It *is* like knocking over the first domino; certainly other choices can happen after becoming a parent, but a lot of your life becomes about watching those dominoes fall. Although it seems harsh, I often feel that there are three sexes, or types, of people: men, women, and people with children. Particularly if they take the job with sufficient seriousness, it almost seems as if the moms and dads I've met have more in common with other parents than they do with non-parents of their respective sexes.

Many times since I began the process of becoming *consciously* CF ten years ago, at age 30 (I'd been unconsciously so forever, I think), I've used the "Alaskan Mushroom Farm" analogy in discussing CF issues with folks. If one wanted to move to Alaska and become a mushroom farmer (just an example of a bizarre, risky idea --- kind of like becoming a parent), and my partner was willing to indulge me in this endeavor, we could try it out. If, after a few years of trying it out, one decides it's not for them, you can always sell and move back South. Even if you go bankrupt in the process, after seven years, your record is clean. Not so with kids; if you "knock over that first domino", it's largely irrevocable (with the exception of adoption --- and society seems to frown upon children older than infants who are placed for adoption!), *and* you've involved an innocent, helpless third party to boot --- the child.

In any case...I'm happy to have found this site!