If you’re childless, you will never…

Got your attention with that title, huh? Well, good. At 4 a.m., I started making this list, and I encourage you to continue it in the comments. Before you say it, I will note that some of these can become you WILL via stepchildren, nieces, nephews, friends’ children, jobs and volunteer gigs.

If you don’t have children, you will never . . .

  1. Have to worry about the school schedule (unless you’re a teacher)
  2. Have to find a babysitter in order to go out to dinner, a movie, a party, or a trip around the world. (You might need a dogsitter)
  3. Have to share your cookies with a child.
  4. Add any names to your Christmas card signature.
  5. Have anyone come after you on your family tree.
  6. Show off pictures of your own children on your cell phone or post them on Facebook.
  7. Have grandchildren or great-grandchildren.
  8. Have sons- or daughters-in-law.
  9. Have to worry about paying your children’s college tuition.
  10. Have children to list as your next of kin.
  11. Have to attend Little League or soccer games.
  12. Learn the latest kid songs (unless you work at a preschool)
  13. Be required to hang out in a roomful of sugar-crazed children.
  14. Have to be careful at cussing in your own house.
  15. Have an episiotomy. (Thank God!)
  16. Have to watch cartoons before breakfast.
  17. Share your pregnancy story at a baby shower
  18. Be a full-fledged member of the Mom or Dad Club.
  19. Have someone who looks like you call you Mom or Dad.
  20. Stop answering questions about why you don’t have children.

That’s my list for now. I know you can add some more. And yes, I know you can do all this stuff with other people’s kids or with adopted children, but it’s not the same, is it?

***

This has been an insane week, another one in an insane year. Having my father die would have been enough. But on Tuesday, I was forced to give notice at my job, a job I loved. Our priest has banished half my choir because they dared to hold hands during The Lord’s Prayer. No warning. I can’t live with that. I will be taking my music skills to another church in the area. Meanwhile, today I have learned that my poetry chapbook, Gravel Road Ahead, has been published. Hallelujah. Info here. All of this may have something to do with me being up at 4 a.m., writing with this light-up pen I got from a charity for blind people.

11 thoughts on “If you’re childless, you will never…

  1. Ok, I had to laugh at #15. There are lots of “nevers” that are very beneficial. I’d add:

    Never have to travel only in school holidays (unless you’re a teacher)
    And also that we never have to attend a baby shower. (I’m so lucky it’s not a big thing here.)

    Though there are plenty of childless women who can share pregnancy stories. Just not ones that resulted in a child. And lots of parents whose children don’t look like them, but still call them Mum and Dad.

    I’m really sorry you had to give notice at your job, and at the same time quit your choir. Congratulations on the chapbook publication. I’m off to check it out now.

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  2. I could add a few you will nevers . . . such as “breastfeed” “hold a crying baby for hours during the night” “tuck a child into bed with a loving heart” and similar.

    I did also think it is worth highlighting that there are a few on your list thst aren’t givens for parents. Such as many of today’s parents will never be grandparents, due to greater numbers of people not having children or because they had children so late in life they may well die before their children get around to reproducing. Surely that’s parents missing out on one of the greater joys of life, children who you are related to and (probably) love but for whom you are not 100% responsible.

    Your lightup pen sounds fun. Xx

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    • You’re so right, Jenny. Grandchildren are not guaranteed for anyone, but they’re a lot harder to get if you don’t have children in the first place. Yes, the pen is fun. It’s a nice big one that feels good in my hand.

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  3. If you don’t have children, you will never . . .

    – have to pretend to like another adult because your kids are friends
    – get to help pick out a prom dress
    – know the heartache of losing a child
    – have the opportunity to save your child’s first pjs, the hair bow from her first day of school or her Girl Scout patches
    – have the pleasure of receiving handfuls of weeds that you are expected to pretend are flowers
    – have the obligation of feeding a child a healthy meal at least 50 percent of the time.
    – have bathtubs full of tub toys
    – be able to connect to certain people who walk this world and simply can’t imagine a life without children

    I could go on and on. Many good and bad things about not having children. Many.

    I’m so sorry to hear about your shocking work situation. As a Catholic, I’m stunned that with all the terrible issues going on in the church, THIS is what your priest makes a stand upon? I’m finding it harder and harder to relate to organized religion. I hope you land in a better church community that values you.

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  4. I’ll add….

    No projectile vomiting.

    No nuclear diaper blowout.

    Thank you…I needed a little “pick me up” after having all the small people saying twick er tweet tonight.

    Banished people for holding hands…..wow. I would run that past the diocese. Just wow.

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  5. Worry about them taking the car out for the first time by themselves.

    Worry about them drinking and driving.

    Make cookies with grandchildren.

    Get a call saying “Hi, Mom, how are you?”

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  6. Some of these “nevers” are heartbreaking, while others are a relief, lol.

    I am sorry about your church choir… I know how much you love your music ministry. I hope you find a more accepting church home soon.

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