You see this phrase more and more these days. There are websites called “childfree by choice”, or “Childless and loving it”. The reasons are varied. Some think the world is already over-populated and don’t want to add to it. Some people don’t want their lives disrupted. There are many other reasons I won’t go into. I have been thinking about this lately. My husband and I are childless. The phrase itself denotes a life that is less than complete. Child-less. I can see why people who don’t have children for reasons other than most might find societal pressures frustrating. This is no more evident than in the Church. Couples that don’t have children, though they are accepted into the fold, are somehow set aside as different. This would also include adult singles, to a degree. Let me say at the outset, we have never been treated differently at our church because of our lack of children. But this hasn’t always been the case.
Why am I bringing this up now? With my mother’s death, you begin to think about your own mortality. I have no children to look after me when I am old and sick. I won’t have someone to look after my affairs when I become infirm. Not a reason to have children on its own, but makes you think. So I began to look at the our choices in this area a little more closely. My husband and I never made a conscious decision NOT to have children. It was something we discussed at length several times, but could never decide when the time was right. I also don’t think we are able to have children, but that is for another discussion. But that aside, now its more than likely too late.
I will state plainly that I never yearned for children like some women. I didn’t even play with baby dolls as a kid. I liked Barbie and Hot Wheels. I enjoyed playing war with my male cousins and “Dallas” and “Dukes of Hazzard” with my female cousins. I wasn’t what you call, maternal. My mom always said that I had it in me, the way I took care of her foundling kitten and other animals. But even she agreed, it wasn’t in my DNA.
So as I drove to work this morning, I was listening to Moody Radio and there was a lady on there talking and she sounded just like me. The difference was, she had children, and was still not acting very maternal. She said God changed her desires when she started acting more like a mother. It made me think, if I had acted more maternal growing up, would I have wanted children more? Would I have tried when my husband and I were younger and probably more able to conceive? But then I thought, what if I had children and I realized it was a mistake? You can’t take a child back to the pet store. Its a life time commitment. When I was younger, I know it was selfishness, but when I grew older, there were other concerns. Genetic disease is a real factor in my family, societal concerns, etc. God knows best and I feel now that if I had been meant to be a mother, God would have made that happen. Who knows, he still could. Look at Abraham and Sarah. Yikes!
Wow, what a thought. Please God, don’t give me a child when I’m 100!
But something to think about. Don’t pre-judge someone who doesn’t have children or is single. Don’t assume they are driven career people who just didn’t want the hassle. Don’t assume things about anyone.
One more thing. Don’t assume its ok to ask people about it either. Sometimes people are happy tell you. But sometimes, its a sore subject.
Food for thought.