Child-free? Okay with me

Published in The Snapper the week of November 8.

In a recent opinion article posted by The Snapper, Associate Opinion Editor Robert Beiler chronicled his experiences and his life aspirations, and eloquently described why he did not want children when he was older.

As it turns out, he is not the only one who feels this way.

Being a woman in today’s society, whenever the mention of children arises, people ages 40 and above will often stop what they’re doing to give me a starry-eyed gaze, asking when I’m planning on tying the knot and having children.

I’m not, I typically tell them. How do I mention that a culmination of life events and future aspirations do not line up with having children in the future?

Certainly not easily.

Right now, I am a broke student working over 45 hours a week on top of full-time school, just so that I can ensure that I’m leaving myself with the sustenance to build and become a better person, and a better worker.

Since I was young, I remember having big dreams and likely unobtainable career aspirations.

As a child, I did not live the life of a child. I took care of my mom, who was slowly but surely passing away. I took her to doctor’s appointments, sorted her pills out and was often the one to call an ambulance whenever she was too sick for me to handle.

After she passed away, I ultimately decided that I did not want to be responsible for taking care of someone 24/7, because I realized during that time that I did not really know how to take care of myself.

The thought of having something, or someone, holding me down to a specific place for an extended period of time scares me. I adore reading about those who have gone on adventures, taking weeks off of work just to find themselves in some foreign land.

I adore the stories about the women who pick up their lives and settle wherever their heart takes them. Right now, I’m working on culminating the skills it takes to become valuable enough in a given profession that I can do this.

See, the idea of not wanting children doesn’t come from me wanting to be reckless and not take care of another human being. In fact, I could see myself as a caregiver in the future, if journalism doesn’t end up working as well as planned.

I am a work in progress, and I am still attempting to figure out who I am, and what my purpose is.

Maybe after my reign as the United States ambassador for the United Nations is over, I’ll consider otherwise. If not, I’ll have to settle for being a Head Editor at the New York Times.

It’s okay to dream.

But, whatever the case may be, I know that I will be content with my decisions.

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