People Assume Crazy Things About Childlessness

Is your home perfectly clean because you don’t have children? Do you dare to buy white sofas? Is your schedule wide open? Do you have lots of money to spend?

Somehow parent-type people seem to think those of us without children luxuriate in quiet, neatness, freedom and money. Ha. Not me. How about you?

I just spent a few minutes standing in front of the pellet stove looking around my living room. What a mess. Dog blankets. Laundry waiting to be carried to the laundry room. Grocery bags I didn’t put away last week. Books and sheet music everywhere. The carpet is stained, the old green furniture is coated with dog fur, and this pellet stove I depend on for heat needs cleaning and servicing. Ashes fall out when I open the door.

I do display pieces of my antique glass collection where a child might be able to reach it, but there are many things I don’t dare leave lying around because my dog will eat them: Eyeglasses, pencils, paper, food, paper clips, or anything small and plastic.

Lots of spare time? Nope. Why do you think my house is such a mess? Work takes priority over cleaning.

I’m rich, so I can afford a maid, right? Well, way back in San Jose when my husband was alive and working, we paid someone to clean, but we weren’t childless then. His son lived with us full-time. So what am I saying? I’m trying to say that people assume things about childless folks, most of which are not true.

Have you heard that people who decide not to have children are selfish, career driven, strange, or immature? That they’re no good with kids, so you wouldn’t dare let them babysit? That they don’t want to be around children? Otherwise they’d have them or they’d adopt some kids.

That if there’s a fertility problem, it’s always the woman whose parts don’t work.

Here’s a good one: If you really wanted children, you would have tried harder and made it happen, so you must not have wanted them that bad.

For more ideas about the annoying things people assume, check out these articles. You might find a few things you identify with.

Melanie Notkin: 4 Unfair Assumptions About Childless Women

Ruth Sunderland: Childless is Not a Synonym for Weird

Charlotte Latvala: Ten Things Never to Say to Childless Friends

What about you? What do people assume about you that makes you nuts? Please share in the comments.

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