Canadian Telecom Consultant
Blogs: North of the 49th, Floobergeist
Childfreedom wasn't thrust upon me, and yet, I didn't take up the mantle myself all-at-once. It was a gradual process. As priorities changed, perceptions changed, and careers changed. As I grew up and became more self aware, I began to realize the pieces of my life that were critical; and those that weren't were slowly shuffled to the back of the closet. Having my own children: Not Critical. Participating in a child's life: Important.
At the same time that I realized that I was a child-freebie, I fell in love with a man who had 2 daughters from a previous marriage. I squinted, I wrinkled my forehead in concentration, and I pictured myself in their lives. And it looked good. I could maintain the lifestyle I had built and the freedom I cherished, and add on a new dimension. I didn't need or want to go through the "baby-mother-delivery-give-up-everything, risk your marriage and your personal livelihood to procreate" process, and yet the idea of having a permanent relationship with children wasn't unappealing.
Fast forward 4 years: Every other weekends and every Wednesday night. I get a good, healthy dose of kiddos for 125 hours a month, in bite size pieces. I'm not really a step-mom, although the girls identify with that term more than I do. They're at a stage where everyone needs a label.
I'm just Jules. I'm the one who doesn't need to keep things equal, and the one who's allowed to have favourites. Who doesn't crumble at the sight of small tears, who tells you to suck it up and get over it. I don't have to be the one who gets up at 3 am, unless I want to. I'm the one who's objective, and plays the devil's advocate. I'm the one who stresses independence and encourages creativity.
Playdates FREAK ME OUT. I involve myself in activities as *I* choose, or not. My goal is to influence, open doors, create opportunities for the girls to experience things they wouldn't normally experience with their parents. I'm their portal into the unexplored. I play on *my* terms, and sometimes not-at-all.
People ask me all the time: "when are you going to have your *own* children?"Their dad is just that: their DAD.
My answer: "I'm quite pleased with the children I've got right now, thanks."
(cc)Flickr photo by Lorrie McClanahan
Technorati Tag: Childfree
May 10, 2007