For quite some time now I have been at a loss as to whether or not I ever want to have children. Everyone older than you wants to blather away about how selfish childless adults are, but is that really the case? Is it really that horrible to be different from the status quo? To be honest, there are times when I wonder if it is not really rather selfish to have children. What I really mean is there are tons of children in the world that need love and homes and with this planet being such that it is (a war, poverty, crime, greed zone), why would anyone want to intentionally bring a child into this world? Nay, adopt.*
But then that costs money. And everything is always money.
But Liz, you say shaking your head, children will always cost money.
Well, of course they do, and that will always be the case, but there is really a distinct difference between paying sums here and there and dropping thousands and thousands of dollars into legal fees or a hospital. Clothing and toys can be purchased second hand for minimal costs, but a hospital bill is a terrifying creature looming over you….. for years. And, of course, legal fees are typically paid up front.
When I was younger, I desperately wanted to have that stay at home mom life – 3 kids, large house, a homework helper and cookie baker. Let me be clear: the is nothing wrong with that. But I have changed – at that age I really had no clue what I wanted out of life. Being a mom sounded like an honorable default position. As I enter into my 30s, I crave something more out of life, as if I was running out of time for… everything.
I know it is just a feeling, and probably everyone goes through this phase at some point, but that is where I am now. This feeling of restlessness and wonderment is painful. The thought of making the wrong choice rips through me. The only thing I know now is that I could not be someone who’s life only revolves around her kids, like I once imagined for myself. There are people who’s televisions only breath child-friendly materials. Their radios blast only children’s songs. Everything they do in life is a game involving that child. Now, at this point in my life, the thought of being one of those people turns my stomach. I am glad they are happy and wish them well, but I still feel queasy placing myself in their shoes. For that, I feel selfish, but it is true.
However, before this gets out of hand, let me clarify: I would absolutely sacrifice and engage with a child if we had one. But to be the center of everything all day every day? Nah. I am also a human being, and I have needs. I need to have time to focus on art, to read, and to love myself.
Nonetheless, if we had a feasible opportunity to adopt a child, I know in our hearts that we would. Helping someone who cannot help themselves is one of the most fulfilling things in life and I would absolutely cherish that opportunity. To fuse our genes and create our own child? Well, I really don’t know. I feel like if I was going to have had biological children, it should have happened years ago, when the mind was young and innocent. Less riddled with evidence of war and inner human filth.
At the same time though, if we had an “accident” as they are so aptly called, I wouldn’t shed a tear in this day. It’s an opportunity to create one more person to share the life philosophy of love each other. Love instead of war. Love of people instead of money. A desire to do better for the animals and people we share this planet with. Typing that out, I honestly feel a little obligated to have a child in my life, but somehow I have gotten 500 words into an essay and I still have no idea what my decision will be.
Only that it will need to be made soon. As one enters each decade, one’s own mortality stares at you with cold eyes.
How do you feel about this sensitive topic, dear readers? Do you want a family someday? Do you care if they come from your own flesh and blood? Or do you want to find fulfillment in something without a beating heart? There is no crime in any of it, only the source of love.
*I feel I should point out that this is not really a preachy moment. I do not mean that you are selfish for wanting children, only that sometimes I feel I would be selfish.