A lot of times I tend to compare my babies (dogs) to actual kids, and parents hate when you do that. I don’t care. But kids and dogs do act alike, but unlike kids, you can at least leave your dog(s) at home without the expense of a babysitter or nanny and you can work 9 to 5 without the worry of neglecting your dogs.
Being a dog owner, there might be an indication of what type of father I would be to actual kids, I would spoil them a bit, be a little..okay who am I kidding, I would be very strict with lots of discipline and I would be the father I wish I had.
And like ‘real parents’ I take my dogs to the park in the summer time to play with other dogs, and in the winter I even dress them up in sweaters because of the harsh cold temperatures. I wouldn’t do that with a large breed of course, but I don’t have a large breed dog. And when they get dirty I take them to the bath to clean. See, just like kids.
A lot of times I like to say things that stands out in public, and rarely I say “Come on my babies” to my babies, my baby dogs. Quick, put me into the mental hospital. And Nooooo, I don’t put them in a doggie stroller. I am a bit crazy not full blown.
My dogs listen and respect me and welcome me every time I come home. A lot of kids don’t.
And they even play with each other like two siblings. My living room looks like a doggie playground, with 4 beds, bones and toys scattered everywhere. Kinda like a child’s room, but they only get one bed. And yes it gets cleaned up when people come over.
They just hate it when they watch me eat my food because I don’t share. With kids you can, so bonus point there.
At this time and in my mid 30’s, I have no desire to have kids. I visit my sister and her kids and I think they’re the most adorable kids, they’re a bundle of joy and I get to leave. (my brother has 3 and soon 4 kids (he does the Judaism thing, so he’s got to have plenty of kids around even though he can’t afford them, when he had girl #2,man was he ever pissed off, I wonder what he’ll do when his wacko wife pops out girl #3) , but I stay away from him.)
I tend to give a lot of advice to my sister and that includes raising her kids, just because I don’t have kids doesn’t mean I am not logical.
I don’t want kids. Never did. Never will.
There, I said it. Though I feel obliged to follow up such an unpopular statement by clarifying, “It’s not that I don’t like kids . . . blah, blah, blah.”
But the truth is I’m not a big fan. Okay, I guess I like some kids, just like I like some people. But somehow, while it’s okay to not go gaga over every person you meet, I feel obliged to at least pretend I like people’s kids when I meet them. Even as they’re drawing on my couch. Or getting their mother’s attention by shoving a crayon up her nose while I’m trying to have an adult conversation with her.
People can say they don’t like cats and I don’t take offence, even though I have two. But say you don’t like kids and most parents look at you like you have two heads.
Luckily I married a man who feels the same way.
When I once expressed my point of view in an interview, I was accused by an online parenting group of being anti-children, egocentric and selfish.
And your point is?
Yes, we like the freedom to work and enjoy life with just us to think about. At least we’re honest about it. The author of the criticism said that having a child is the most selfless act possible.
Really? Why? Because people have kids to . . . what? To further the human race? With a projected world population of 8 to 10 billion by 2050, I don’t think the human race is in any danger of extinction.
For the kids’ sake? Trust me, they’ll be the first to tell you they didn’t ask to be born. More likely it’s to make you happy. I’m not saying that’s bad, but you can hardly say it isn’t a wee bit selfish.
People with kids also feel sorry for me because I won’t have someone to take care of me when I’m older. Overlooking the fact that having a kid so you have someone to change your diapers when you’re older is pretty selfish, this is also unrealistic. Chances are your partner and/or your friends will be more reliable in old age than some kid who will no doubt grow up and move to Australia. And there are plenty of old people in nursing homes whose children never go see them.
Still, I’m constantly required to defend my choice. And being selfish and not liking kids doesn’t usually cut it with most folk. People prefer it if you have a loftier reason, maybe something along the lines of: “With all the unwanted children out there, I couldn’t bring another child into this awful world, etc., etc.”
Frankly, I wish people with kids had to defend their position as thoroughly as those who don’t want children. Because heaven knows plenty of folks are having kids for the wrong reasons.
I’ve also been told many times that I’ll regret my decision. There are plenty of things I could regret if I let myself. I certainly don’t want to have a kid just in case I regret not having one.
Obviously, reproduction is a biological imperative for us humans. I’m glad there are people out there eager to fulfill this imperative. I’m just not one of them, and I don’t appreciate being made to feel inadequate or less of a complete woman for not popping out a kid. If I sound a little defensive, I am.
You would be too if it was always assumed that because you don’t have kids to rush and pick up from daycare, you’re more available to stay late at work. Or if you were automatically expected to be more flexible with your holiday plans than siblings or relatives who do have kids.
Oh, and while I’m on the subject of holidays, if you get “Family Day” in February, I want “Childless Couples’ Day.” And, while you’re at it, how about some childless couple restaurants along the highway so I don’t have to dodge projectile peas when I stop for lunch on the road?
I’m not the only one piqued by all this preferential treatment. The aim of The British Childfree Association (kiddingaside.net/) is “to ensure that those who want children accept being childfree as a valid and acceptable lifestyle choice which should not be vilified or discriminated against.”
A study in Britain last year reported on in The Telegraph found 74 per cent of women would be in favour of all adult females being allowed to take a six-month break, or even longer, as mothers are allowed to do when they give birth. More than two-thirds of those in favour were mothers themselves.
Having children is no doubt fulfilling, joyous and satisfying for those who decide to have them. Not having them can also be fulfilling, joyous and satisfying. (I know you parents out there don’t believe me, but it’s true.)
As noble as our society makes the decision to have children, I think the decision not to have children should be considered equally noble and deserving of support, maybe even a cigar.
Josey Vogels is a columnist and author who has given birth to five books on sex and relationships