Happy Home · My Life · Uncategorized

You’ll Change your Mind (#SOL17 8/31)

Disclaimer:  I have been hesitant to post this even though it is really important to me, so please be gentle.  I’ve just needed to get this out there for a while now.  

“You’ll change your mind.”

This has been said to me more times than I can count.

Let me back up and start at the beginning of the most recent conversation that ended with this phrase.

It was a pleasant morning first semester, I had just punched in and was headed up to my classroom. Walking quickly, I caught up with a sub I know pretty well.  She looked at me, smiled and asked, “how’s the baby?” her voice rising until it reached the required level of excitement associated with the question (and babies in general).

A look of confusion crossed my face when I realized she wasn’t talking about our puppy Georgie.

As I furrowed my brow, she realized her mistake.  “Oops! That must have been a different cute, young teacher.  How long have you been married now?”

I could sense what was coming. I knew the conversation we were about to have because I’ve had it before. Many times.  But I couldn’t get away.  We were walking up the stairs together, and I was trapped.

“Three years”, I replied with forced sweetness in my voice.

“Well, when are y’all gonna get started?”

I shrug and smile.

“How old are you?”

“33,” I reply. (Note: My blood pressure is rising steadily)

“Time is running out, honey! I had my baby at 35, but you don’t want to wait too long,” she says as she smiles at me in an I’m-passing-along-grandmotherly-wisdom sort of way. Don’t get me wrong, I know she wasn’t trying to be pushy or nosey, but either way, I was (and am every time it happens) frustrated.

This is where my internal struggle bubbles to the surface.  Do I admit that I don’t actually want kids?  Or do I smile, nod, laugh and move on with my day?  Honestly, it depends on my mood.

Sometimes it’s fun (for lack of a better word) to surprise people by admitting that my husband and I do not wish to have children.  The looks! The confusion! The shock! The disbelief!

This time, I decided to tell her the truth.

“Or maybe we’ll just get more dogs,” I replied with another smile, in an effort to keep it light.

She hesitated and laughed a little.  And then she said the magic words:

“You’ll change your mind!”

As I walked away, I couldn’t help but wonder why people think I have to change my mind? Why do I have to have kids?  Why is it assumed that just because two people marry, they must produce offspring?

It’s 2017.  I do not need children to run my farm one day.  The world population doesn’t depend on me to procreate.  I can live a fulfilling life without having children (gasp!).

I am an educated person who understand the costs, the joys, the risks, the ups, the downs.  I’m not making the decision lightly.  Afterall, I have nine nieces and nephews; I’ve worked at a daycare; I’ve been teaching for eleven years.  I know kids. I love kids. Kids love me.

I also understand that I will never love another human the way I would love my own child. (Another phrase that has been said enough times that I can’t keep up with the number).

I. Accept. That.

Please, I beg you, let me make this decision about my body, my life, my future without interference.  I am thankful for my husband who is on the exact same page as me.  For my family–especially my parents who “get it”– and friends who support what we want in our lives without questioning or ostracizing us.

It’s our choice to make.  We’ve made it.  And we won’t be changing our minds.

 

Please note, I respect everyone’s decisions to have kids. Or not.  Find what works for you and go with it. Thanks for letting me rant here, SOL friends! I hope I did not offend anyone!!! 🙂

 

 

 

24 thoughts on “You’ll Change your Mind (#SOL17 8/31)

  1. I’m in the same boat! I’m 37 and not planning on babies anytime soon or later. I feel that sometimes people go too far in asking and almost pressuring to have children. Glad somebody is taking a stand and writes about it 👍🏼

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a well-written post! I chose to have one child through adoption–and an older child at that. And I’ve certainly had well-meaning people tell me, “Oh you’ll regret not having your own baby.” There is wisdom and meaning in all of the different paths we might choose in life.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. > I do not need children to run my farm one day. <

    Ok, I know this is a serious topic, but this made me chuckle. 🙂 While we did choose to have two children of our own, we also made the choice to not have children beyond this. Our decision has been questioned A LOT by other people as we were still young when this decision was made. We've made peace with this decision, and it sounds like you and your husband have with your decision too. Enjoy your four legged babies as they are a TON of work too! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this personal slice with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. During all my years of struggling with infertility and miscarriages, I learned a lot about boundaries and people’s general lack of awareness of them. It’s crazy, really.

    Good for you! I respect your decision and your choice to put it out there in a post.

    Like

  5. I think your post is a good reminder that we need to be sensitive about asking these kinds of questions. Having a family or not is truly a personal thing. I enjoyed the dialogue in your piece, and the inner thoughts you share with your reader are filled with marvelous emotion.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. People are crazy. I can never understand why we think it is ok to ask others such invasive questions. Also, I am thankful you posted this today. When people would ask us when we were going to have children, my husband or I would respond, “Just practicing!” and laugh. People usually got all uncomfortable and changed the subject.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You actually do have children. A LOT of them. And the great thing is you get a new bunch every.single.year. And they just keep coming!!!!! 🙂 Thank you for your bravery in sharing this part of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for sharing this with us. I’m sure this is a safe space, as I hope the rest of your world grows to be. I can’t understand the frustration you feel dealing with this question. Also, I often think of friends who are struggling to get pregnant and have to go through the pain of getting asked repeatedly as well. Frankly, I’m tired of conversations that start by questions about when I’m getting married or having babies. There are a lot more exciting things going on in my life and as a culture, we can certainly move beyond thinking that these are the only accomplishments women achieve. In my life, I have been trying to make a better effort at asking my friends about their jobs, how they’re feeling, etc. and allowing them to tell me, if they choose to, about weddings or pregnancies.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. You shouldn’t have to face these questions from anyone and you shouldn’t have to hesitate to share your thoughts/reasoning behind YOUR life choices. Thank you for being vulnerable and hitting that “publish” button! Perfect slice for International Women’s Day!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have a friend who is just like you. She runs into the same thing and after so long it works on you. It’s YOUR body and therefore your decision. I hope this vent made you feel better but I hate that you were unsure of whether to post about this or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Nope, you didn’t offend. What you did do is document the limitless boundaries that some people do not have. It’s amazing what people feel they have a right to say and ask. BTW–great use of punctuation to create your emotional impact.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is a loving, caring community who accepts each of us as we are. I think that even in this day and age, some people still have expectations that they need to impose on others. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I admire you for taking the time to share this. I hope more people are exposed to why one shouldn’t question someone’s choice regarding their own body. Think of how hard this is for someone with a genetic disorder, someone who simply knows it is not for her. One does not beat out the other. What we decide about our own body is no ones business but our own. Thank you for sharing it may wake up someone out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. As far as we’ve come in society, there still seems to be this unwritten belief, that women must have children. Your post is both brave and beautifully written… simply gorgeous. The cadence of your thoughts ebbed and flowed naturally. “I. Accept. That.” was a surprising way for you to take your final stand. Thanks for sharing such a personal piece of your life.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m sad you’re hesitant about talking about this.. We should always have the voice to say exactly what we’re thinking — kindly — but courageously and unapologetically.

    I wish we were never fearful for nothing!

    Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I am sorry that this invasion of your privacy keeps happening to you. People are well-meaning, I am sure, but they need to be more sensitive (and mind their own business.) I hope it helped you to vent a little today.

    Liked by 1 person

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