Childless Can Enjoy Other People’s Kids

Last week I expressed my discomfort around other people’s babies. Lots of you agreed with me, but not every person without children feels that way. Many are fabulous aunts, godmothers and friends to other people’s kids. Others are teachers, caregivers, music directors, or coaches who interact with children all the time. 

Yes, some of us are more at home around puppies than human babies, but a great article posted at Christianity Today called “I’m Childless, Not Child-Incompetent” tells the other side of the story. Please don’t let the Christian setting scare you away if you’re not religious. It’s really about the divide between parents and non-parents and the misconception that all childless people are clueless about babies and don’t want to be around them. Author Gina Dalfonzo talks about her relationship with her godchildren and about how people who don’t have their own children have special gifts to offer those who do.

I know. Some of us have so little experience with children that we just don’t know how to act around them. Others feel so bad about their inability to become parents that they can’t look at a baby without bursting into tears. But many childless people jump in and help with kids, and I suspect doing so helps lessen their own feelings of loss or grief. Hey, how else can you get to play with Barbie, sing silly songs or watch the latest Smurf movie?

Read the article and let me know what you think. 

2 thoughts on “Childless Can Enjoy Other People’s Kids

  1. That was nice read. I liked her comment that being childless didn't mean her life was child free. Hubby and I took three of our nieces and nephew on an outing this weekend. We had a blast. I was fully aware that there was a difference between being in charge of a child and actually having one of your own. Maybe it was because we don't often do outings and I was worried, but I was super, super cautious in everything, whereas I suspect parents of young kids are more relaxed. I joked about how we were the aunt and uncle and we needed to bring them back in one piece. Keep them alive, so to speak. I didn't fully enjoy them because of that pressure of knowing if something happened on my watch I wouldn't be able to forgive myself.A few times people talked to me like I was the mom and I was genuinely shocked by their assumption. You mean I look the part? I could do this?As an aunt, I experience the fun part. Before we left, the oldest got yelled at by her parents. By comparison, we were rock stars the second we let her sit up front with her uncle, and the other two cheered when they knew I was going to sit between them. We played music loud, opened the sun roof and WOW, we were the best people ever.But when we got home . . . those kids quickly bounded out of the car and into the arms of their mother. They tripped over themselves telling her about our adventures. Uncle and aunt were forgotten. Sure, there were hugs all around when we left. But on the way home, we didn't open the sun roof, and I asked hubby to turn down the music. Sigh. The party was over.Anon S


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