I was feeling down the other day when I read on Facebook about this Blog called Daily Signs of Hope, so I went there. Right away, the blogger started talking about the greatest joys of his life: his children and grandchildren. Not helpful. I sat there talking back to the computer, saying, but I don’t have any children or grandchildren. I just have Annie, my dog.
Sigh. I went back to Daily Signs of Hope this morning and discovered that once you get past the bit about the author’s beloved children and grandchildren, he offers some wonderful advice for everyone about how we influence the generations that follow us. His other recent posts do not even mention the kids. Sometimes we childless folks are blinded by our own emotions and freak out unnecessarily.
However, many people who have children, who have a so-called normal life, don’t even begin to understand what it’s like for those of us who have no children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren. Their lives revolve around their kids. How many times have we heard people say things like, “I never understood what life was all about until I had children” or, “I never really grew up until my son/daughter was born” or, “Having children changes everything”?
I believe them. I know there are lots of voluntarily childless people out there who feel they don’t need to have kids to fully experience everything they want out of life. I disagree. We ARE missing something. As we age, and the older people in our lives die, it sure would be nice to turn around and see someone younger coming up behind us. But if I open my eyes to it, there are young wonderful people in my life, even if I didn’t give birth to them. I think my two favorite words are “Aunt Sue.”
Both parents and non-parents need to work harder at understanding each other. The numbers of people without children, for whatever reason, are growing. Perhaps future generations will be more understanding about how some people have children and some don’t.
5 thoughts on “But I Don’t Have Any Children”
Everyone wants to feel important. I try to think of all that I have accomplished except for having kids. In my case, not having kids was a natural thing — I'm married, we tried, but it just didn't happen. I thought I would be a good mother, but I guess being a good mother has nothing to do with getting to be a mother. But most people can have kids. But most people can't get a college degree, most people can't get a high paying job, why, most people can't even care for a dog properly. The people that are having babies today are the same people that are over-populating our animal shelters with unwanted litters and unwanted companions — something to be really proud of, eh? Can't potty train a dog, but apparently fit to raise a child.
Also, not all of those kids are going to be super stars or politicians or doctors or lawyers. Most will be ordinary, boring, unsatisfied with life adults. They will find that the only thing they can do is have children, because they don't have the drive or the ambition to do anything else. Yeah, Obama's mom was proud of him, and rightly so. But how proud do you think Jared Loughner's mom is?
Anon, I don't think we should assume all parents are uneducated and irresponsible. I know some great people who have children–and great people who don't. I also know idiots in both groups.
I'd love to hear what other people think.
But what a burden to place on a child if you're not prepared to be a great parent.
I agree with Sue.
Don't be concerned with people who have kids and are also accomplished in their education and careers – as there are many. I know tons myself. They also look after their dogs just fine!
The point is that there are many many other accomplishments to be had in life besides raising kids.
Sue is very accomplished whether she realizes it or not. She's a great lady.
Aw shucks, anon.