Among the many words that humans choose to use to describe situations, unmarried and childless are words that bother me. Why a person would describe another without kids and not married as being Unmarried and Childless annoys me because it implies that one desperately wants to get married and have kids which are not the case for all humans. I am pretty sure that married humans with kids do not like to be called something like Unionized Breeders. No one likes labels, let alone critical labels.
Last year, my SO and I attended his niece’s 4th birthday party. The kids were having fun running around screaming at the top of their lungs and putting cake all over the furniture while the adults pretended to keep their cool while trying to have grown up conversations. Needless to say, it was pretty chaotic. The chaos didn’t bother me as much as one of the mothers and her questions. We were sitting at the kitchen table with my SO’s mother and other people I did not know, conversing about work and such subjects. Small talk it was until a lady decided it was a good time to ask me about my mating ritual. Here is how my interaction with this complete stranger went:
Lady Stranger: How long have you two been together?
Me: (Slight panicked face as we actually don’t keep track of how long we’ve been together.) About 5 years or something like that…
My SO: Yeah that’s about right.
Lady Stranger: Kids? Are you guys married? (The excitement in her eyes was strong at that point. The twinkle grew with anticipation as she waited impatiently for my response.)
Me: I don’t want kids. (I was taken aback by these very personal questions with someone I had met literally 15 minutes ago. Seeing how uncomfortable I got, my SO made a joke.)
My SO: Pfff, I wouldn’t marry her! (He touched my hair and winked at me.)
Me: (Only one laughing at his joke.)
Lady Stranger: Oh… (She looked defeated for a second but her excitement suddenly came back.) I LOVE weddings! I love talking about weddings! If you want to talk about it, I’m your gal!
Lady Stranger’s Husband: (Chuckled) It’s true, Lady Stranger gets VERY excited about weddings.
Me: (Unimpressed look on my face.) Yeah, I can see that. I do not want to get married nor have kids. It’s not my type of lifestyle. (Looked over at the kids being little shits.)
Lady Stranger: Oh….
And that was it. She never spoke to me again that day. There are many people I encounter that only ask two questions and if the questions come with a “No”, they move on to another person. They lose interest fast and that bothers me. It’s almost as though there is nothing else to talk about. We could have so many things in common but you will never know because you were concerned with my life choices that frankly are none of your fucking business. So many things define a person other than kids and a ring so never limit yourself to such questions!
You’ll Change Your Mind!
I have known since the age of 5 that I didn’t want kids. I grew up saying that I wanted a career and so I grew up being told that I would “change my mind one day because I’m still young.” If I would have said that I wanted a big family, no one would have told me that I would change my mind eventually so why is it appropriate to tell a person, no matter their age, that they will change their mind? It’s not! I’m 28 now and the feeling of not wanting kids’ increases each day.
I was so certain I didn’t want kids that I wished that I was infertile. I would pray to a God that I did not believe in to make me infertile. Bad thing to wish for, I know but then when I was 19 years old, my doctor confirmed that I had Endometriosis. After she explained something about damaged ovaries and growth of some kind outside of something, I understood that I was infertile. I still remember the smile that stretched across my face and the dance moves à la Elaine Benes upon realizing that wishes DO come true. My doctor was a bit shocked by my reaction but was relieved I took the news well. She proceeded to tell me about surgeries available to help with future pregnancy since I was still young. I asked about getting the baby making machine removed completely and she said I had to wait until my 20’s were over, just in case I changed my mind.
Mind still not changed and I cannot wait to turn 30 to tie those tubes up forever (Only 2 years left!) No brats aloud in my personal space!
Childfree Not Childless
If you ABSOLUTELY feel the need to put me in a category for not having kids, call it Childfree. I am free of tiny humans not lacking tiny humans in my life. I don’t have something missing because I don’t wipe a tiny human’s ass. I want you to understand that not all female humans are programmed to want another human to grow inside of them. Stick to childfree and we will get along.
Now I do understand that the actual definition of childfree is for fertile humans who choose not to have kids so that puts me out of the group because of my infertility. I could not find a word for such a group but I did find that most people still call it childfree even when infertile. So I’ll stick to Childfree.
You’re being selfish; it’s your womanly duty!
I don’t like to tell people that I am infertile because some just assume that I convinced myself that I didn’t want kids. That would be a very sad way to live if you ask me and it’s not the case at all. I’m following my dreams as I always wanted and that makes me extremely happy.
I had a friend a few years ago who called herself a Christian and had a life goal of getting married and having kids, which was alright with me. Apparently not wanting kids of my own and not wanting to get married was a huge deal breaker for her and our friendship. She told me that there was something very wrong with me and that I was selfish for not performing my duties as a woman. She then completely removed herself from my life which was alright with me. If you can’t support my views on life when I have been supporting yours, we should not be friends. The fact that she faked a bunch of pregnancies with a bunch of different men, got engaged to at least 2 different men and faked a terrible illness in the short 5 years that I knew her, made the situation a bit ridiculous. I had a giggle and moved on.
There’s a pressure in our modern society to follow the same route as everybody else. Find a person, date them, couple with them then get married. The progression seems natural to most humans but not to me. I always felt as though love could not be measured in time. I, as a human being, cannot promise a feeling will remain for the rest of my life. It’s a beautiful sentiment, a wonderful idea but a very flawed one at best. Feelings, to me, are illogical and a contract isn’t romantic. Paperwork and sparkles are not proof of love. They are just things you call your own. No matter how big the rock, how extravagant the wedding, compassion, honesty and being supportive are among the many things that actually matter in a relationship: Not signatures and jewelry.
When I choose to be with someone exclusively, that’s proof of love to me. I CHOSE you. There’s the magic word: CHOOSING. There is no need for a contract. There is no need for a piece of shiny piece of carbon nor is there any need to alert friends, family and Facebook.
It’s been 5 years with my SO and since we hit the 3 year mark, the pressure for us to get married seems to have grown. Some humans even commented on my “flakiness” because I didn’t want to get married. So because I refuse to sign a contract and wear a piece of shiny carbon alerting others that I am “seriously taken,” you believe I’m not in love or looking for a way out of the relationship? Insecurities are not sexy.
If one is not able to feel secure in a relationship without a marriage license, then perhaps one needs to evaluate themselves. I always found that demanding such a thing from a person is highly irrational and makes one look like a jealous, possessive asshole. Some tell me that during hard times, married people would work harder to make it work than non-married people. That is fucking bullshit. I know amazing couples who are not married and worked hard through the shitty times just as much as married couples. It happens all the time just like divorce also happens all the time.
I personally would not stay in a relationship that makes me unhappy, signed contract or not. If what keeps me around is the fear of divorce, then that’s not love to me, it becomes a simple signature that retains me somewhere I do not want to be. Some tell me it’s for peace of mind, which again, if one feels insecure in a relationship; a contract will not change anything. It’s delusional to think so, it’s a fake sense of security but I guess some like that which is cool with me.
Society is set up in such a way that it will penalize you for not following what everybody is doing. Yet, just look at how much homosexuals have to fight to have the right to get married like it’s some kind of fucking private club. What they have to go through in regards to that one specific thing is disgusting. Are we such petty organisms that we actually believe marriage is reserved to a few humans only? Of course we are. When it comes to marriage, people like to claim it’s about love. If it was only about love, we wouldn’t force young girls into marrying old men, we wouldn’t make those who are not married feel like they failed in life and their relationships and we would certainly not stand in the way of same sex marriages. Marriage would also not be an institute that comes with a membership and we wouldn’t have exchanged goats and cows for our daughters. Love has no gender and no limits and trying to contain it and force it upon some humans extinguishes the fragile flame.
I am not unmarried; I am in a loving relationship with a partner who is building a life with me. It’s simple, wonderful and has no pressure. A stress-free life is what I’m all about. At the end of it all, marriage is a very private decision and whatever makes one happy is what one should do. Get married, don’t get married: whatever makes you the happiest. Just make sure it’s out of love, not out of pressure to somehow fit it.