Childfree AND a Kid Person? It’s Possible!

{originally posted June 24, 2014}

Sometimes the childfree stories we share teach us a totally new perspective from our own. Sometimes it feels like we’re reading our own story! Courtney’s is a case of the latter. We too assumed we’d have kids one day and lucked out when we later realized it was a choice and that we were on the same page. Read how Courtney – a self-professed kid person – decided she was {not} having a baby!

Courtney’s Childfree Story

CourtneyI love kids. I have always loved kids. I am not repulsed by dirty diapers, vomit, mud, or jam hands. It is nigh impossible to gross me out. I like science museums, amusement parks, fairs, and I don’t even mind the occasional skating lesson. Kids are (mostly) adorable, and fill me with joy. I don’t want kids. I know what you’re thinking: “wait..what?! Didn’t you just get done telling us how much you love kids?!” I did, and I do. That doesn’t mean I feel the need to make one, own one, or pay for one. Let alone two or three.

When we got married my husband and I assumed we would one day have children. When we were first together I was always asked (by strangers) when we were having children.  I would inevitably laugh and say, Oh give me 10 years! I got to the point where I had been using the “10 years” line for about 5 years, and I looked at my husband and asked if he actually wanted kids.  His answer? No..not really. It was like a light bulb went off. We don’t HAVE to have children. I am not required to procreate. Amazing. So of course, scientist that I am, I did the research. I read books, websites, blogs, and studies. I began to consider all the ways that having a child would alter our lives: our marriage, our home, our careers, our finances. I have little interest in any of those alterations. Turns out I do love kids. I love other people’s kids. Yes, my husband and I absolutely should have had this discussion before we even talked about getting married. Assuming you will have kids without any major discussion is absurd. It’s irresponsible and frankly unintelligent. I got lucky. We both got lucky. We had the conversation late and came to the same conclusion. We like our lives. We like our marriage. We don’t need anything else to make our world complete.

I have to admit to feeling a little alone in the childfree community, because I do love children and I didn’t know at age 14 that I didn’t want to have them. In fact I was a part-time caregiver to a friend’s child in my late teens. I took care of her as if she were my own child. I have views on parenting based on these experiences. I can even tell you what kind of mom I would be, if I were going to be one. I even think I would make a pretty good mom, based on my extensive experience early on (although I openly admit that teenagers terrify and dumbfound me). So what’s the rub? I don’t want to be a mom. I am absolutely a kid borrower. Give me your kid for a weekend, I’ll take them to Disney World, spoil the crap out of them, and return them. I’ll even feed them properly and not let them stay up all night or ride the teacups after a churro.

My husband and I have had numerous discussions over the last few years about this. We are an interesting pair. I’d be a good mom, I think, but don’t want to. He’s confident he’d be a subpar dad, and I’m totally okay with that- because he’ll never have to test that theory. He’s open an honest with me about what he feels his shortcomings would be. He hates crowds, doesn’t like to be embarrassed in public, and has a hard time feigning interest in things that don’t intrigue him. I don’t blame him for this at all. I love him for all of who he is. I love him dearly for being honest with me, and allowing me the time and the space to explore my true desires. I appreciate him for the numerous times he has put up with the many conversations it has taken to get to this point. I came to my conclusion pretty early on in my research, but I’ve needed a lot of reassurance that it’s okay. I’ll occasionally ask him what would be different about what we are doing in that moment if there were a child. Neither of us seems capable of picturing it. We don’t want to picture it. I’ve asked this while watching TV with the cat draped over my lap, while out to dinner, in the middle of a hike in Colorado, and halfway into a cross country road trip. The answer is always the same. It would be too drastically different to resemble our lives, our choices, or our desires. We travel, we are busy professionals, we have a strong, loving, supportive marriage. I wouldn’t change any of that for the world. Sometimes when people ask me why I am not having children and I am tired from a long day at work or simply exhausted by the question I’ll answer: “Why throw a wrench in?” It’s simple. Life is beautiful, wonderful, enjoyable, and full…just as it is.

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