I shouldn't rile up the MiniVan Majority
(they'll cut a bitch in a hot second), but I just can't resist.No Kids, No GriefA new manifesto argues that parenting is bad for your career, your marriage, your bank book and your love life
This article features one of my favorite bloggers, Elaine Lui of Lainey Gossip
.“It was just an assumption, ‘You get married, you have kids.’ ” Front-line exposure to a close relative’s three young children and the work they required provided a wake-up call, Lui says. “That killed it for us. We just looked at each other and said, ‘We don’t want them.’ ”
In the ensuing six years, the couple has been barraged with reasons why they should change their minds, from “Your life will have no value if you don’t” to “You’ll be so lonely when you get old” to Lui’s favourite: “Don’t you want to know what your children would look like?” “Any baby we’d have would be of mixed race,” she says. “So everyone says, ‘Oh, it would be so gorgeous!’ ” She laughs. “And I’m like, ‘Wow, that’s really going to make me want to change my whole life.’ ” It’s a life the couple enjoys: they work together on her website (he handles the business side), golf together, engage in community volunteer work, and dote on their dog, Marcus.
As baby refuseniks, Lui and [husband Jacek] Szenowicz belong to a tiny but growing minority challenging the final frontier of reproductive freedom: the right to say no to children without being labelled social misfits or selfish for something they don’t want.
This article piques my interest for the forthcoming book by French psychotherapist Corinne Maier, No Kids: 40 Good Reasons Not to Have Children
. Love this:Are you prepared to give up your free time, dinners with friends, spontaneous romantic getaways, and even the luxury of uninterrupted thought for the “vicious little dwarves” that will treat you like their servant, cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, and end up resenting you?
No. Uh-uh. NEVER.
I mean, I'm not going to go as far to say “If you really want to be host to a parasite, get a gigolo," but if I am honest, the book sounds great because I want to revel in a little smugness. Because I get the same ridiculous questions Lui gets ALL THE TIME and it would be great to finally have something shut those people up. Because it drives me up the wall when people assume I want to be around their children, and that my life is unfulfilling or unhappy because I haven't experienced what I see as the often dreadful drudgery of child-rearing. Because while I suspect most people respect the decision to have children (I do, but within reason -- I truly believe you should only replace yourself) I think that often the same respect is not afforded to the decision to be child-free.
I once had a very smug (and exhausted) coworker with three kids who grilled me on why I wasn't having children and then had the nerve to tell me that when I got older (read: grew up) she knew I would change my mind. That kind of rude behavior is completely acceptable in our society, but can you imagine what would have happened if I had told her she was going to change her mind about her kids someday? Yeah, not pretty.
I guess the extreme feelings on both sides simply illustrate that the smug pendulum has to swing both ways so people don't drive themselves batshit asking themselves "what if?" The decision to be childless feels invalidated by those who say we're missing out on the "joys" of parenting, and the decision to have kids feels invalidated by people like me whose time is their own and who have freedom and disposable income -- among other fabulous perks. :)
Labels: books, not being broke, time for cake