I’m selfish

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Or at least that’s what I’ve been told recently.  Apparently my and my husband’s joint decision to not procreate was purely about our own selfish needs.  Never mind if we donate time and money to charities.  Never mind if we have great relationships with our younger family members.  Never mind if we didn’t think we’d be good parents. Never mind that I’m not physically capable of getting pregnant. Nope, none of that matters.  We are fundamentally flawed people because we are childless.

I am extremely thankful that no one in my family or circle of close friends seems to feel this way, but the sentiment is out there strongly enough that I come upon it rather frequently.  Usually I can just brush it off, but sometimes it really sticks with me and aggravates me for a while.

What is it about parenthood that can turn otherwise intelligent people into actively recruiting cult members?  I happen to love playing clarinet in my local municipal band.  But I don’t declare that anyone who ever played a musical instrument HAS to do the same or they are lazy.  I happen to love watching the Food Network.  But if you prefer Lifetime I’m not going to come to your house and reprogram your remote so you have to watch all my favorite shows too.  Just because you believe your kids are the greatest thing that’s ever happened to you doesn’t mean I’d feel the same, or that I have any need to find out.

So take your Kool-Aid elsewhere.  I’m going to stick to spoiling my niece and nephew, always finding things exactly where I put them, and never having to haul dirty diapers to the trash.  This works for me.   My mother said something years ago that I use often, and truly believe is the spot-on, 110% best way to sum it up.  She said “We are not rabbits, God gave us brains”.

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