Tuesday, February 21, 2012

No Kids Allowed

i joined an online book club recently and the february book was 'we need to talk about kevin' by lionel shriver.

if you haven't heard of it before it tells the story of a family whose son kills other students in a columbine like attack. the book is told from the perspective of the mother, eva. she mostly writes letters to her husband. you get the sense from the letters that she is separated from him in some way. it's not for everyone, but i found it very addicting once i started reading. she calls what he did the worst fear a parent never knew they had. parents worry about many things i'm sure but whether or not their child will grow up to be a mass murderer is usually not on that list. 

we learn quickly after starting the book that eva was unsure about becoming a mother. but, it's the social norm  to have children, right? her husband desperately wants a child and really doesn't understand where eva is coming from. everyone wants a child, right?

reading this book just happened to coincide with a recent episode of how i met your mother **SPOILER ALERT** if you haven't watched the most recent episode please skip this paragraph!

kevin proposes to robin, but she doesn't say yes right away. she has something to share. she found out a few episodes ago she can't have children. but the truth is she doesn't even want kids. she eventually tells kevin and he un-proposes.

Source: google.ca via Melanie on Pinterest

first thing we learn from this by the time you are to the point of getting engaged PLEASE PLEASE talk to your significant other about whether or not you want children. also, PLEASE realize that you cannot 'fix' or 'change' someone. if they say they don't want kids, they probably mean it. obviously some people do change their mind on this, saying at one point they don't want kids and then later on deciding they do. but, if having kids is your dream DO NOT assume that they will change. this will only cause heartache later on.

Source: etsy.com via Colleen on Pinterest

if i seem kind of passionate about this it's because i don't want kids. i love being an aunt and a pseudo aunt to my friend's kids. i love it. however, i have no desire to be a mother. at one point matt and i had talked about adopting but realistically i don't see that happening. you never know we may change our mind and decide to go down that road one day. i think we both envisioned more being foster parents to older kids. it's not something we're really ready for right now. two dogs is ALL i can handle. 

so the reason behind the passion on this issue is the way i am treated because of these feelings. people think you're weird or broken. you must have a fatal disease you have a chance of passing on. you're selfish, you're this, you're that. and i guess i am selfish in a way. selfish enough to know that i would not be good at being a mother. maybe i would gain patience and if it was my child i would be attached to it. but, when i hold my nieces and nephews i don't get that maternal instinct. i've never had baby fever or felt my biological clock ticking. 

my point is, not everyone is meant to be a parent. i know there are people who might read this who struggle with infertility who don't understand how i could be so cold. they want a child more than anything. and all i can say is that feeling you have that desire is absolutely absent in me. it's really hard to explain really, the difference between wanting a child and not wanting one. but, i think the important thing is not to judge the other side. i don't judge people who want 5 kids, i know i couldn't do it, but i don't judge them. just like i would hope they would not judge me. 

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