One of my ways of relaxing is to hit the random post button on Ask A Manager and keep doing that until I find a post I want to re-read. Today, I came across one called, “my bross is pressuring me to get pregnant” from 2017. It was refreshing because there were several people who said that they didn’t want to have children (many of them women!). One said that she knew it was PC to say that you like children, but don’t want them. I made sure to make that point when I was in my twenties.
Then I dropped the I like kids part because true or not, it didn’t matter. And I did not need to apologize for not wanting them/having them. It really wasn’t anyone else’s business, even though MANY women acted to the contrary.
I agree that it’s more of a ‘don’t hate me because I’m saying this’ and less of what I actually felt. If I were to be brutally honest, no, I don’t like children. I don’t dislike them, but I don’t like them specifically. To expand on that, though, I don’t like adult people, either. To be clear, I care about people in general and about specific people. But I do not care about every adult I meet so i don’t see why it shouldn’t be the sae with children. Or elderly people, either.
I also find it amusing that people say it takes a village to raise a child, but then are pissed off if you dare say anytihng to them or their children about their behavior. You can’t really have it both ways. You can’t say you want other people to help you out, but then get mad if they give gentle correction to your children.
This is something I don’t agree with when it comes to common wisdom–that you can’t criticize someone’s parenting. If it affects me, I most certainly can. Not the parenting, maybe, but the behavior. I have told kids kicking my seat to stop doing that after ten minutes or so of the parent most pointedly not saying anything. And it’s not as if they can’t hear what their children are doing.
If you want to be able to bring your children into the general public, then they need to adhere to the norms. I’m not saying they can’t run around and be a bit noisy, but they need to keep their hands and feet to themselves. And again, I gave it a good ten minutes before telling them to stop doing that. Once was in a restaurant; once was in an airplane,; and once was in a baseball game.
Here’s another reason I don’t particularly like children–they are self-absorbed and all about them. That is not their fault because they were made that way. It’s necessary for their development. I’m not faulting them for it, but having two parents like that and being forced to parent them, well, it’s probably no wonder that I don’t have any particular fondness for children.
I’ve read about other people who have either had to parent their parents or parent their siblings who wanted nothing to do with other children. That’s how I feel. When I was in my twenties, people commented on how good I was with children and what a shame it was that I wasn’t having any of my own. Yes, I am good with chldren because I know I can give them back after an hour or two. Or if it’s just chatting with a kid in public, that nothing is really expected of me.
Here’s my secret to why kids like me–I treat them like they’re human beings. That’s it. It’s actually why I got along so well with guys in college, too. I just talked to them like they were human beings.Basically, I try to take people as they are. This includes children. I listen to what they have to say and interact on their level.
It sounds simple, but you’d be astounded by how hard it is to be actively engaged in a conversation I give no shits about. I’m good at it because my mother made me do it starting with when I was eleven, and it’s like second nature to me by now. My mom calls and will ask me how I’m doing, but with the unspoken assumption that I will say I’m fine and move quickly on to her gripes about my father.
With children, it’s usually just being interested in whatever they’re thinking about at the moment. I actually really enjoyed the time I spent with my niece when she was little because we would tell endless stories together. I mean, we created them and went on for months with some of them. But the reason I liked her so much was because we shared common interests. I called her Minna 2.0 in my head because she looked just like me when she was little, and she was a lot like me, except better.
When she was twenty or so, she got her first tat, and she told me it was because of me that she felt comfortable getting one. I have four of them and have never hidden them. She also said that she grew out her hair because I had long hair. We message each other once a month or so on Facebook, and she’s divulged a lot of things to me that I ‘m sure she does not talk about with many other people.
They’re nonbinary and doesn’t care which pronoun you use for them. It’s funny because their mentality is very much similar to mine. Whereas I prefer no pronoun, they are fine with any. It’s two sides of a very thin coin, which I appreciate. They are very thoughtul, too, about caring for other people’s feelings. I worry about her because she’s very similar to me in that area, and I don’t want her to be TOO empathetic. It took me decades to learn how to effectively shield from the waves of emotions pouring over me, and it’s still something I have to be cautious about now and again.
Having had to take care of my parents’ emotions all my life (especially my mother’s) is a large part of the reason I never wanted children of my own. In addition, I knew that I would be way too hot-and-cold with my hypothetical child. One day, I would be hovering over them and the next day, I would be barking at them to get away from me.
But the major reason I did not have children is because I did not want them. I really don’t think that needs to be sugarcoated. I think some people should think more about why they’re having children and leave me alone. I never understood why people cared about me not having kids because it did not affect anyone.
I really didn’t understand why it was supposed to be selfish of me not to have them. Selfish to whom? My mother, I guess, and she certainly felt that way about it. She guilt-tripped me so hard about not having children, but it was all about her and not about me. I told her I did not want them, and she literally said that what I wanted did not matter–it was my duty as a woman to have them.
That’s pretty grim. I have never regretted not having children, and I wished society in general would accept that this is a perfectly viable life choice.