Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Am I Selfish?

So a few weeks ago at work, someone said something along the lines of, “oh well when you have kids”.  I responded in my usual, “I’m not having kids”. Then, I got approached with a question I have never been asked before, “Are you selfish?”



Now, I have been asked the question easily a million times, with the same exact response, but I have never been called selfish for my response. So, for the past few weeks, I've been trying to wrap my brain around the thought of not wanting kids as being selfish.





Let me start by saying, I respect all the moms and dads out there that can handle the responsibility of another life. I am not one of those people.



I guess I should take a few steps back. The best way to start this would be when and why I made this decision. You see, I am an oldest child. I have TONS of cousins, only one of which is older than me. I have dealt with little kids most of my childhood. I was the first to get married. I was the first to finish college. I was the first, and only, to move away. Me and my brother pretty much hated each other until I moved away, now we can tolerate each other.


See, we kinda get along.


My parents divorced when I was a kid, and we never really went on trips or did a lot. They both had a lot to take care of as single people. I admire what they both did for me and my brother. When I left for college, I left. I didn’t want to have my parent take care of me anymore. I wanted to do things on my own.


I look like my Dad.
And act like my Mom.


I have zero patience, absolutely none. I get very annoyed at adults who know better but think its “cute” to act like children. I also have a very short attention span. Ask anyone who has spent more than an hour with me. Bet we had 10 different conversations in that hour.



I also do not deal very well with people “needing” me. Example: my husband and I do our own laundry, we sometimes go on vacation without each other and we have separate bank accounts. Even though I am married, I like to know that I still have the ability to be me. That I can take care of myself if I needed to.



Okay, so before we got married, I made it very clear that I did not want children. I wanted to travel and focus on a career. This was hard for my husband to accept, until he saw my side. I owe A TON of money for college and will continue to pay for it for the next 16.5 years. Yes, I’m counting. We love traveling, even on day trips. I could never imagine not being able to pick up and go. It is one of my favorite things to do! I also couldn't imagine not being able to run some races because we couldn't travel with kids. Sorry, I have things to do!



I am in my mid 20’s and I have never regretted my decision to not have children, and I am not alone. Most of my friends are childless, and will continue to be. I took it a step further about six months ago and made it impossible to have kids for the next five years. It was a great decision for me and my husband.



Let me also mention, I have a few nieces and nephews, and I love them dearly. I really do. It is the kind of love that you can look at pictures of them, talk to them on the phone and hear stories, but please do not ask me to baby sit. I will not know what to do. I will not change a diaper. Case in point, when I was with a friend of mine her son started screaming, I asked if you could give him Nyquil to put him to sleep. Not kidding, I don’t have this instinct.



So if this all makes me selfish, then yes, yes I am. I’m selfish because I work really hard for things I want to enjoy as an adult. I’m selfish because I am giving myself things as an adult that my parents couldn't give me as a child. I’m selfish because I have an incredibly supportive husband who goes along with all my crazy ideas and we like to spend time together having adult conversations (yes, about the cat).



Again, this post is not meant to offend anyone. I actually feel more offended that I got asked this question. I’m pretty sure most parents would agree with me. I guess this is my attempt at a public service announcement. Everyone has different paths in life. Your path is no better than anyone else. There is no need to judge people who believe in something different than you do. Who knows, you might get a rant like this.




Have you had an experience like this before? What was it about and you can rant to me! You listened to my rant, it’s the least I could do!

16 comments:

  1. I don't think you're selfish at all. Kids are NOT for everyone and you're perfectly able to have a very fulfilling and wonderful life without them. I think it's actually more selfish to have children because "everyone is doing it" and not be the person you were meant to be. Honestly, I can't believe someone said that to you...WTH?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right!?! I could not keep it bottled up anymore. Thank goodness for blogging!

      Delete
  2. Not selfish at all... I am 35 and my wife is in her mid twenties and we both agreed we are in no rush and if we don't have kids it's fine by us.. We both like to travel and both have demanding careers that leave us little time. It would be more selfish to have a kid and neglect them. Kids aren't for everyone. I am content with visiting my nephews.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love being able to FaceTime with my nephew! It's awesome! It's even more awesome that he lives 300 miles away and I don't have to be responsible for his daily life!

      Delete
  3. I can't believe someone would say that to you! While, like you, I have total respect for parents and love my nephews and nieces, I am very happy to be child-free. I'm 40, and my husband and I have never regretted for a second not having kids. If anyone asks me why I don't want kids, I ask them how much time they have and proceed with my list of approximately 100 reasons...they stop me after a few minutes when the start to get it. This has a green angle, but is a great article about feeling proud to be child-free. http://grist.org/article/2010-03-30-gink-manifesto-say-it-loud-im-childfree-and-im-proud/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a fantastic read! Thanks for sharing!!!

      Delete
  4. That person's reaction/question is awful, reeks of judgement and their own insecurity or doubts regarding their own decisions/path.

    Live your life, you don't need to defend. (A) You're not selfish for this decision (B) Even if it was, who gives a hoot.

    My wife and I are very similar to what you described. She's my best friend and soul mate, so I need her in my life, but for day to day stuff we stay independent. We actually have a monthly household financial invoice where we track who paid for what, whether the charges should be shared or individually responsible, and then who owes the other a reimbursement to square up for the month. Who knows how that would work for other families, but for us it is perfect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We kinda follow the same thing. One person pays for dinner one night, the other buys cat food. It's so easy and wonderful!

      Delete
  5. No, not selfish at ALL! This is something that really bugs me - first, WHY is it anyone's business? Second, why would someone even poke/push/prod someone that knows they don't want kids to have kids? That (to me) just leads to a lifetime of resentment both on the parents part and the kids. I'm a mom of 3 and I wouldn't trade my kids for the world but they are a total life sacrifice and commitment that *I* willingly made. My choices aren't for everyone nor should they be. People just really need to focus on themselves and not worry about why someone isn't doing what they think the "norm" is... sheesh. You're not selfish, girl, you're awesome. You do you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I can't imagine how like could function with three kids! You are a rockstar!!!

      Delete
  6. It really pisses me off when people say shit like that. "are you selfish", WTH, people are so rude. That person is lucky that they didn't ask me that question.
    I could go on and on, on this subject. Bottom line, I'm not having kids either, I've never wanted them, I'm 35 now and still have no urge to have them, ever. I think more people should listen to their hearts about kids, and not just do what society thinks we should do.
    Nope, you're not selfish. I'd say you're smart!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could visualize you typing this lol. It's so awesome to find people who have the same views that I do. Ain't nobody got time for that!

      Delete
  7. Wow! Personally, I don't hear the "are you selfish" so much as I hear the "you'll change your mind." Nope. Not gonna change my mind. It's funny to me that people have the need to be so much up in other people's business about this. Every person has the right to decide to have no kids, an only child, 6 kids, etc. It really is nobody's business but each individual and his/her significant other!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People have stopped telling me I would change my mind. I could not imagine asking someone with kids a stupid question like that!

      Delete
  8. Lmao, what a bitch. Sorry, but that's completely offensive to me that someone would ask you that. Would she rather you bring a child into the world, knowing that you have no desire for that child? Parenting is not for everyone, and I can say that because I am a parent. It's hard as hell and you can easily lose yourself in the process. Thus, why I run. I applaud you, and my other friends that have made this decision.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Steff I just saw this post and loved it - we should talk in OH about kids vs. not kids. I've heard everything from I'm selfish to I'm too irresponsible to I'm just not that nice of a person :D.

    ReplyDelete