"My life has real meaning now since (insert child’s name) was born."
When I was a little girl, I didn’t want to play with the dolls that you had to fake feed or change. I had a cabbage patch doll - she remained untouched on my bed while her horse, Nightmare, and I were inseparable. I still have the stuffed horse in fact.
When I was in high school, I felt that the egg experiment was useless and I never took it out of my locker except for class.
Within weeks of getting married (and even some before since we opted to get married in Vegas) people felt obligated to ask us when we were going to start our family.
Even now, the constant comments from friends and family about the fact that we are in our 30s and don’t have any kids on the way are practically a daily trial. “When are you going to get to the baby making?” “Better not wait to long.” ETC
I met my husband when I was 23. We learned a lot about each other up front which meant I knew his take on kids and he knew mine before we ever even discussed marriage or the future. Neither of us wanted kids. It was not for us. It is not like I don’t like kids. I am a pretty spectacular Aunt to my little niece and even the step kiddos. I take time to teach them things about life. I spoil them rotten with artsy goodness. I spends oodles of time with them. I just do not want my own. I knew this in high school. I maybe even knew it as a little girl.
I am of an age where I am going through what I would like to classify as the 3rd baby boom of life. When I was 19 the first one came along - many of my friends had the OOPS baby that they loved after the initial shock. POOF no more friend. They started a family and now their kids are in high school so now they are back in my life. When I hit 26, the 2nd baby boom hit. All the friends I had in college had paired off and started breeding. Sometimes 2 and 3 at a time! And POOF they disappeared from my life. Those friends are the judgy ones who say stuff like ”You don’t have children, so you won’t understand.” and “You think you’re tired? You don’t know what tired is.” and worst of all “Well your dog is not the same as my kid” I usually just roll my eyes and move on. Of course they all invite me to baby showers and such (see above - I spoil little kids) or ask me to baby sit. But my husband and I are on the do not call list when it comes to parties or dinners. “You just wouldn’t understand”
The 3rd baby boom is a bit more spastic. Apparently there is this imaginary clock inside a woman’s brain that makes her absolutely BATTY. Those who were not in relationships seem to pair off with INSANE PEOPLE or just some person and have kids with people they can hardly stand. OR worse than that are the ones who have been trying since boom 2 and are taking fertility drugs which makes them the insane ones who feel the need to tell me about their internal system and all the things going on (or not going on). I sit quietly by and listen to them drone on and one about things that we will never have in common.
I try. I really do. I want to be supportive. I want to understand. I don’t, but I want to try! I just don’t want kids. I don’t think this makes me different from a growing number of people out there. My husband and I are still a family. We started our family 11 years ago. We just don’t choose to make more of us. Our dogs are the kids we choose. There is NOTHING wrong with us. We just like each other more than someone we don’t know. I also do not think there is anything wrong with not being in a relationship or not having the traditional family life.
So if you have kids - please be considerate. Kids are great, they are just not for everyone. My husband is becoming less and less patient with this. Saying ”You’re missing out on one of the best things in life.” will guarantee a harsh rebuff.