No Kids? She Says, ‘Hit the Road, Jack!’

I received this comment from Amanda yesterday on a post published here in July. It’s so powerful I’m sharing it here so you don’t miss it. I welcome your responses here or at the original post.

Amanda wrote:

I asked my partner if he was on the path to marriage and children. He was my partner of 2 years. I was nearly 31.

He said no and, though I loved him dearly dearly dearly, I ended it instantly. “It’s done,” I said. He vomited and cried. He did not ask to have my back though.

I was one of those women who had an excruciating yearning for a child. At the very innermost place. I cried tens of thousands of tears over the years when friends, sisters and celebrities were pregnant or had small kids. I was green with envy.

I knew I would rather have a sperm donor than a husband if it came down to it.

I then threw myself into dating and talked about having children very very early in dating. Cut, cut, cut if they didn’t want kids.

My now husband ‘sort of’ wanted kids ‘eventually’. I told him there’d be no second DATE if there’d be no kids eventually.

I’m not going to hurt anyone by mentioning if/how many kids we have. Just to say–speak about it frankly and early. Please don’t waste your time “not talking about it” for several months into dating.

Make it a non-negotiable EARLY if it’s THAT important to you.

And really live it. Don’t be swayed into dating ANYONE who says they won’t have kids (if it’s that important to you).

Hope my post wasn’t offensive. Please please have the guts to call time on a relationship if you have that innermost painful yearning for a child.

What do you think? I welcome your comments

*****

Saturday night, with most of America, I watched U.S. President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris give their victory speeches before a crowd watching from their cars due to the pandemic. Then their families joined them on stage as fireworks filled the air. Watching them hug each other, I felt that giant emptiness again. Why didn’t I have kids???

But wait. I just did some research. Kamala—I should call her Vice President Harris–has not given birth to her own children. She has two young adult stepchildren, Ella and Cole, offspring of her husband Doug. The other kids were her niece and grand-nieces, whom she obviously adores. So . . . in some ways, she’s one of us.

If you check her out on Wikipedia, the list of her achievements–senator, California Attorney General, criminal prosecutor, activist, children’s book author–is crazy long. She did not marry until six years ago, when she was in her late 40s, so the opportunity to have children slipped away. Harris clearly adores her stepkids, who call her “Momala,” as well as her sister’s children and grandchildren. We all know how difficult stepparenting can be, but she seems to be making it work.

Whatever your political views, you’ve got to give a shout-out for Kamala as the first female VP and for what a childless woman can accomplish.

Interesting reading: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2020/11/09/doug-emhoff-kamala-harris-marriage/

Comment, comment, comment. It’s too quiet out here.

4 thoughts on “No Kids? She Says, ‘Hit the Road, Jack!’

  1. I think Amanda’s advice is very sage but tough. I have a cousin who told her prospective boyfriends on the second date that she wanted to have children soon. She had been with her first husband since they were 15. He’d been putting off having children with her and then she found out why – he’d been cheating on her. She found herself unexpectedly single in her early 30s. It took her a while but eventually she found her second husband and, after at least six miscarriages, she now has two boys.

    When I met my partner, I was 27 and thought I didn’t really want children. He was the one who played with every child he met, whether it be a stranger on the bus or his cousins’ kids at a family party. They loved him. Seeing him with children made me change my mind. How ironic.

    He’s been working from home for eight months now. Today he had an online meeting with colleagues. One of them has the same name as I wanted to call my daughter. It was hard to hear him repeatedly say her name on the call so I left the room. I’ve never told him my secret names.

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  2. I agree that someone probably needed to hear what Amanda said. Hope it pushes a person to end a relationship that might not be suited to them.

    On the flip side of the coin, I have a friend of a certain age. She wants children of her own but refuses to date any man who already has children. She’s at an age where the bulk of her peers are on their second marriage and children are part of their package. I feel she’s missing a lot of great opportunities by having this boundary, but she’s confident that she doesn’t want to handle the baggage that children bring (ex-wives, child support payments, etc.). Not even with the idea that these children could potentially bring a LOT of joy into her life. I guess you have to go with your gut feeling.

    Politics aside, I agree with what you posted about Harris. When I see a woman who has built this sort of family, I am a bit jealous. My family and my in-laws just aren’t the type to share their children to the point that they would have a place of importance on any special event of mine. I’m not going to lie, that fills me with sadness, especially when I see mothers get to have the special bond with other children. Which is so unfair because they already have children. Why do they get to say, “I’m practically his second mom.”

    It’s so much easier for them. It’s easy to bond with another child when you are babysitting them, having play dates, sharing school functions. They will remember nephew G’s funny antics in the class play because their kid P was also in the class play. I’m not included, and I’ve recently given up trying to figure out how to worm my way in. I spend my time these days practicing true acceptance and love and getting on with my life as it is – wonderful and lovely.

    Just childless.

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  3. I’m the other way around. I’m so upset at not having children that I can’t bear being around the nieces and nephews I have through marriage. I feel uncomfortable being around my sister- and brothers-in-law and watching them and my parents-in-law with their children/grandchildren. It feels like getting the crumbs off the floor. And like they think I should feel the same way about those children as their parents and grandparents do. I don’t feel anything for them, I just feel like an observer of their family, not part of it.

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