September 24, 2007

Happy Purple Monday

Woooooooo -- Hoo!!! It was so awesome, to use a surfer term, to receive this cool comment on the recent blog post titled Top Ten Tips on how to survive the question, "Do you have kids?":

I think that the more comfortable I am with my choice, the less this question bothers me.

People will always make assumptions and ask the same social questions that we all ask. What about them cowboys in last night game or what about the weather.

They are just trying to make a connection and children seem to be the easy glue.

I am a teacher, and most assume that I would have children, and I am asked this on a daily basis by everyone. My answer," No I do not" is my simple and direct reply.

It is nice, no extra tone --- nothing. It stops people dead cold. I smile and the conversation goes another direction.

They are caught off guard-- that I don't have an excuse or a reason, and don't imply any sort of tone. It works great. I think lack of tone keeps them from thinking they can attack, because they never do.

I also get this from kids on a daily basis. I work with teens, and I love them. I love everything about teens, but I am happy at the end of the day not to have one at home.

They ask me, both male and female, "Do you not have kids?" I add more to my normal punch line, [my reply] changes with my mood, but it might go something like this:

'Nope. Love teens, but you guys are enough to handle -- don't want a house-full!'
They laugh and get the point better than most adults. Or I might say, nope I have other interests and I am happy with my choice. Some times if its a girl she might add that she would like not to be a mom, and I encourage her to do what is best for her.

I am a walking, living example to everyone that the choice to not have my own children is just fine. I live a more than active lifem: work, husband, extended family, full time graduate school, and Phd research.
So the next time some asks, maybe just smile...
...and know they really deep inside wish they had the courage to find what they really wanted before they fell in line with the tribal drum beat of "have kids or your life is over."

I say, "Bring it on!" and "Ask me all you want," I have all the answers to make your head spin. I am a Purple Woman you see!"

Teri says: Thank you for this gift oh Anonymous Purple Woman. This is a great way to start our week!

Artwork by Henri Matisse (cc)
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5 comments:

Anita D said...

Teri,

I just want to say that I broke the ice on my own blog. It's coming down to our 5th wedding anniversary and everyone ask me THE question. And of course all my friends' blogs are full of pictures of their children and I'm sure everyone's wondering (or do I just think they wonder) why mine isn't. So, recently I was asked to give 7 random facts about myself and I made the official announcement that I am a Purple Woman. Yeah! I feel so free and I feel no one has to make assumptions about me. They know my choice and that's that.

Teri said...

You should have a coming out party!!!
Congratulations on your new status.

Anita D said...

LOL@Teri

LauraS said...

In my forties I finally felt empowered to "out myself" to anyone who asked. Previously it was just close friends and family.
Yesterday, an aquaintence asked what I was writing these days and I told her about the Childless by Choice project. She offered many good words of support and confided that although she had two children, she wasn't a "natual mother" and she just coped and fumbled through it. She married at 18 and just followed the script. It's for people like her that I find the motivation and energy to nail myself to the chair everyday.

Congrats to anita for coming out. I know from experience, after realizing that the maternal instinct was not going kick in, that it's a great feeling to finally admit it to yourself and others that it's great to be purple.

Tanya said...

I teach as well. I recall having a CF teacher when I was in grade 3 and thinking WTF! She's a hypocrite! Be a teacher and NOT want kids. HARUMPH!

I get it now.

My students, teens as well, ask me if I have kids. I tell them that I don't like kids. They mull that over for a bit and then say HEY! WAIT! What about us!? I laugh, they laugh and I tell them that they are MORE than enough kid for me and that if I had my own, well, I'd not be a very nice teacher, I don't think. :)

I am thrilled with my choice. I am ok with saying "No, I don't have kids, thanks." My friends, the real ones, respect that. Yes, I do have witty retorts for those who INSIST on pushing, but I don't like using those.