Those of us who don’t have children (for whatever reason) get asked all the time whether we have kids, and if not, why not.
So it was sort of nice to see the tables turned for a change, & parents being asked to justify THEIR decision to have children (if, in fact, it was truly a decision, & not an "oops" or "because that's just what you DO" reasoning).
Most of the comments were (surprisingly) thoughtful, detailed & well-reasoned, both pro and con. There were even a few (very few) that mentioned fertility & loss issues.
I found myself nodding in agreement with commenters #14, 30, 58, 79 & 345, whose comments were some variation on this one, from #235:
- "I wish that people who choose to have kids give it half as much thought as the people who choose not too." [spelling theirs]
- "I feel that those that do not have children are missing a big part of what it is to be alive."
- "I never knew joy before I knew [my baby]."
- "Having children is the only thing in my life that really matters."
- "I don't know what else I'd live for now."
- "My life really began when my sons were born."
- "I do not want to be the sad looking 45 year old still hanging out at the bars while all my friends grow adoring families and begin to shift focus." [I don't hang out in bars, & I'm over 45, and yes, my friends have adoring families & have shifted focus -- but I sure hope I'm not sad looking...]
- "At the risk of being flamed alive [she wasn't], I will tell you, both my husband and I… secretly feel sorry for people who don't have kids. Having our kids is, quite simply, and by far, the best thing we've ever done."
I do think those of us who go through infertility probably find ourselves thinking about these questions & our motivations more than your average clueless fertile person on the street. You have to really want to be a parent to jump through all the hoops that we do in trying to reach that goal.
And those of us who opt to remain childless after navigating all those hoops (& still not being able to grasp the brass ring)(sorry, mixing metaphors here...) probably do the most 'splaining of all. (Or at least, we try.)
(I initially typed our "hopes" in the paragraph above, when I meant "hoops." Freudian slip?)
Not that (thoughtful, philosophical enquiries aside) it's really anyone else's business anyway.
*** *** ***
In the "yay me" category: I finally wrestled my Google Reader back down to zero this week -- a level it probably last saw sometime in early December. At one point, during the week between Christmas & New Year, despite my best efforts, it almost reached 1,000 posts, a new record for me. I did read or at least skim through every ALI-related blog post, although I didn't always comment. Some in other categories (politics, scrapbooking...) did get the "mark all read" treatment.