written by Carrie Alexander, The Tired Girl
Originally posted on The Tired Girl (http://www.thetiredgirl.com/p/thank-you-hormones.html) on 6/22/17
I'm okay. Not like Britney Spears in 2007. But like Britney in 2017. We have both gone to dark places and seen some shit, but we are definitely on the upswing. She is good* and so am I.
I have rarely hesitated spilling my sad guts here, but I have had pause to share that I am okay without children. And it's because people with children feel sorry for me when I am sad that I don't have any, but as soon as I am okay I can envision the judgment.
People may think we didn't try hard enough, didn't want it bad enough. We could have adopted a child from the state, we could have gone to Russia, or Ethiopia. Could have fostered. What about surrogacy? If we had REALLY WANTED a child we could have one, some people think. So that means we must be selfish. We wanted them, but only kind of.
And without discussing each individual option with people it can't be understood from the outside. I don't feel selfish. I will never be able to explain my actions to anyone that wants to challenge me. Everyone has to forage their own path through reproduction.
I am plenty judgmental about a lot of things in life, but weirdly not in the realm of child rearing. You want to hoard babies from China? Great - thank God for you! You want to go into debt with surrogacy? Fabulous - I wanted a baby that looked like my husband too. Abortion? It seems pretty traumatic to carry a baby you really don't want. Keeping a baby you thought want to give up adoption? I'd want to keep my baby too. All judgment falls away when it comes to the reproductive choices people make. But for some reason I assume people with children don't have that - I don't have proof, it's just something visceral to me.
There are many reasons I am okay, and the biggest reason is because I don't know what I am missing. I had Ralphie the dog and now Teddy the dog and they give me a place to put my momness and love. Everyone needs to talk baby talk at some point.
But otherwise I don't know the joy I am missing by not having kids.
I don't know what it's like to look at a small version of my husband that I grew in my body and felt kick. I don't know what it's like to be so sleep deprived and still feel a thud of love when a little person clings to me for comfort.
And those of you with kids don't need to convince me - because the best thing I have going for me is that I don't know. I can't miss the Porsche I don't have. Or the taller height I don't possess.
I have filled my life up with other things. Things that probably seem shallow or selfish or lazy to parents, but have meaning to me. I gave this process all I had and I don't have children to show for it. My life feels full and happy and meaningful. I'm okay. #thankyouhormones
*Britney's "good" seems slightly more tenuous than mine. But she can comfort herself in millions of dollars, so she's got that going for her.