Dear readers, I’m feeling a little brain-dead today, so I’m sharing these links to articles about being childless.
In this BBC piece, the writer discusses how hard it is for parents and non-parents to understand each other sometimes. “A Point of View: Can Parents and Non-parents Ever Understand Each Other?”
Then Dear Abby tackles those stupid nosy questions people are always asking us. You know the kind: Why don’t you have children? Don’t you like kids? Why don’t you adopt? Etc. Dear Abby: Nosy Questions Hurt Childless Woman
And finally, if we can laugh about this, we’re on our way to healing. Marion L. Thomas’s new book Living the Empty Carriage Way of Life will have you nodding your head, saying, “Yes, yes, that’s how it is.”
Please keep commenting—unless you’re one of the dozens who write about spell casters and magical potions. I will continue deleting your comments as the spam that they are.
4 thoughts on “Writers tackle misunderstandings between those with and without children”
The author of the Point of View article still does not understand people who do not have children, whether by choice or not. He claims what makes us different is that people without children can and do reinvent themselves because they don't have children. He suggests the reason for that is because when you have children, you must assume the role of parent, which is inflexible. That's a nice assumption he makes for parents, and it goes right back to the assumption that parents are more mature than non-parents because they must be grounded for the sake of their children. I can point to plenty of examples of people who have remained mercurial, flighty, and irresponsible, notwithstanding that they are parents. I have no children and have been the most grounded and mature person in my family and the person my siblings' children gravitate to because of it. I think each individual is born with a certain nature. It defines who they are, and that is generally who they remain as they age, whether they parent or not. Because people are drawn to me for my stability and maturity, I've been mothering others (without being a parent) my whole life, and I found this author's article a little insulting. Maybe the author was an irresponsible, non-attentive, mercurial individual who was forced to become mature for the sake of his children – but if that is the case, that is unique to him and cannot be a basis to support his theory.
I thought the author of the BBC article was brain dead, Sue, certainly not you. Week after week, you post thoughtful, relevant and heart-touching issues and questions. That BBQ author was quite narrow-minded to presume childless by choice (or marriage) and not factor in possible and extremely private (not open for discussion) infertility treatments and the vast array of infertility challenges the director and his wife may have faced. This is probably due to the fact he has four kids with little effort on his part–unless the BBC author isn't sharing details of infertility, which is understandable. Some people who have kids with no 'effort' other than the usual procreation route tend to take their kids for granted, oblivious to the maddening stress those who would love to have their own child but can't for whatever reason go through. His article reinforced that to me.Abby hit the nail on the head with the reminder that the letter writer *IS* a mom. eighteen years stepmom to a stepson is nothing to minimize.And the book didn't look like my cup of tea, but hopefully it will shed light for those who are in the dark on the choice to go childless by personal preference. Have a great rest of the week :)I'm trying to get better about not lurking and posting my thoughts. lol.
Ruthie and Anonymous, you are both right on. Thank you for your comments.
I'm always looking for additional points of view from married women who are childless by circumstance b/c of their partner's fertility challenges. I think it is often assumed that infertility issues are centered on the woman, and that makes the situation doubly difficult to bear. I still wonder how I am going to reinvent myself if our dreams for a family don't come true, because I haven't yet been able to allow myself to think about what's next, really, probably b/c the biological difficulty doesn't originate with me. However, I am happy to carry the burden of misunderstanding out of respect for my husband. I am okay “allowing” people to assume that our difficulties (stereotypically) lie with me. In my own way, I guess I am reinventing myself as the protector of the small family of two that we are, but of course, it is confusing and so very difficult. Blogs like this comfort me, so thanks very much.