Thursday, February 21, 2008
What is the world going to do with us? Iâ€™m talking about a new demographic of which Im proudly a part. Thirties, single, educated, no children, with a little cash in my pocket. And loving every minute of it! I will admit that sometimes I feel conflicted. We live in a world that says if youâ€™re not tied up in a marriage with a baby on your hip by 35 then youâ€™re clearly just immature and fleeing grown up responsibilities. To that I say: are you fucking kidding me? I am so sick of self-righteous (and probably miserable) parents trying to make me and my ilk feel guilty because weâ€™ve taken a different path. Not settling down with a husband and kids makes me immature? Makes me less of an adult? I have an education, a home, I pay my bills, run a business, got good credit and no STDâ€™s. I think im doing damn fine thank you. Just because Iâ€™d rather sit with a cocktail talking about real estate, politics or American Idol with my friends as opposed to being home with my stretch marks, cooking dinner for my pot-bellied husband and helping a kid with multiplication tables, does not make me a villain. It doesnâ€™t make me irresponsible. It makes me a human being.
Now donâ€™t get me wrong, Iâ€™m all about age appropriate behavior. NO, you wont find me in clubs with 20 year olds, I donâ€™t wear daisy dukes, donâ€™t have a tattoo. I donâ€™t have a popular song as a ringtone, I donâ€™t have shiny rims, I donâ€™t have my name in my earrings. I am 100% adult but the question is what does that mean anymore? In an age where generational lines are blurred, where I see 50 year olds in throwbacks and grandmas in the club, parents and kids listening to the same radio stations and everyone wants to be 21, its hard to know what to do and when. But I will say this, my thirties have proven to be the highlight of my life.
Although I have experienced great tragedy in the death of my father, his death made me realize that life was too short to march to the beat of anyoneâ€™s drum but your own. I refuse to let a bunch of soccer moms and dance recital dads tell me that if I donâ€™t have kids then its somehow an unconscious attempt not to grow up. That my self-indulgence is a crime. In fact, I think the serious weighing of the gravity of having children and what that will ultimately do to my life, is one of the most mature decisions I have ever made. I think the world would be a better place if more people had kids as a choice rather than a default. Seriously, if you ask most people why they had kids, what is their answer? â€œWell I wasnâ€™t getting any younger,â€ â€œwell I had a good job and a husband so I figured this was the next step,â€ â€œwell, I didnâ€™t want to get an abortionâ€¦â€ â€”when do you ever hear someone say â€œI had gotten to the point where I looked at my life and thought it would be greatly enhanced by the creation of another lifeâ€, â€œthat I had gotten to the point where I had an overwhelming desire to raise and mold another human being.â€
Now I definitely look forward to marriage, and a great husband who is a partner. I love quality male companionship. But kidsâ€¦not so much. I may just get long-term care insurance and call it a day. But who knows, maybe one day the urge will kick inâ€¦. But it sure aint today. And I want people that are in similar situations to know thatâ€™s OK. Besides, most people that look down their noses at you because you donâ€™t have kids would probably sell theirs to the gypsies if given half the chance.
I find that in my thirties I finally have a modicum of common sense, my health, some disposable income and, most importantly, the wisdom to know that I will probably never have another period in my life like this so I better make the most of it. This is a period where I have the energy of my youth, a semi-hot body, some cash in my pocketbook and the world ahead of me. To me this seems like the best of both worlds. Youâ€™re not in your dumb twenties, yet you can still rock a two piece. Plus, have you seen how men respond to women without kids? You tell them you have no children and their eyes light up like they hit the lottery. Sorry that I donâ€™t want to give this up just yet. Not having children is a choice, not a dysfunction.
And Iâ€™m not alone. I have so many friends that are in my same position. Weâ€™ve all grown up on Sex In the City and realize that there are many roads out there to oneâ€™s own individual happiness. Perhaps yours is having a brood of kids and spending your Saturday doing arts and crafts. I happen to know that I donâ€™t want to wake up on Saturday or Sunday morning to play SHIT. And thatâ€™s OK too. We can co-exist peacefully. But whatever you do, donâ€™t pass judgment on those of us who feel like we have more living to do before we commit to another life. Weâ€™re not immature or Peter Pans, or avoiding adult responsibility. The folks I know who have chosen not to have kids are some of the most responsible, successful folks I know. The most amazing females I know took this time in their lives explore their potential and their opportunities rather than have children. That should be applauded not marginalized. We are re-defining adult responsibility. Adult responsibility is no longer just a nuclear family with 2.5 kids. It can also be taking care of business, contributing to the world and living every moment to the fullest without limitations. You may make cookies with the little ones in the evening, I may do karaoke or hot yoga or play soccer, see a play or do happy hour or just sit on my ass, drink wine and do nothing at all. And thats cool.
So like Obama says, lets bridge the gap and come together, the parents and the childless. Im sure thereâ€™s a lot we can learn from each other. You can teach me to be more patient and I can teach you how to let your hair down a bit. Weâ€™re all just out here trying to make it the best we can. Donâ€™t look down on my path and I wonâ€™t look down on yours. As we become a more diverse society, we have to accept that everyoneâ€™s journey isnâ€™t the same. So please, stay up out of my uterus and I wont talk about your C-section scars. I know society (and the Lifetime channel) makes it really hard to believe, but there are some of us women who are just fine not having children. We want to sleep-in, travel on a whim, hang with friends and eat out 4 times a week. So let us be! And in return we wonâ€™t give you dirty looks when your kid disrupts the restaurant or causes a ruckus on the damn plane.
So for all my sistas who are out there, living their lives and aint THINKING about having any kids no time soon, this is for you. You are now offically a member of the Child-Free and Fabulous Club. Welcome!
Whewâ€”had to get that off my chest. Thanks for listening.
A grown ass woman.
A grown ass woman.