Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Why are People so Disrespectful of My Choice not to have Children?

In approximately a week, I get to pick up the conversation I started with my doctor a few years ago: sterilization. Realistically, and having been a member of childfree forums for years, I know that, while my doctor is cool with it, the OBGYN she refers me to will probably put me through a battery of questions including "what if you change your mind?" "what if your partner wants them?" and so on. I expect that from a medical professional (as shamey as they sound) because they're just trying to cover their ass in the event a woman changes her mind post-procedure and tries to sue. While I think the questions can be a little archaic and too gender-biased, they're still appropriate to ask. What's not appropriate are for non-medical people to constantly ask and question my decision.

One of the things I come across a lot and very recently is the "you don't like kids? You'll like my kids!" mentality of people around me. Listen. I don't like kids. I have never liked kids. I don't want them, and I don't want to see yours. You show me a picture on your phone and I will find something else more interesting in the photo to comment on. You insist constantly on showing me pictures after I'm clearly not interested and I'm going to be less polite. But when I say "I don't like kids" and your response is to force images in my face in order to "fix" me, to convince me that your kid is the special snowflake that will change my mind, that's just disrespectful and rude. Your kid is cute to you and not me. Nothing will change that. Ever.

Listen, I'm 34 years old. I've known I don't want kids since I was 10 years old. Nothing is going to change me and it would be a whole lot nicer if, instead of being so completely shocked that I, as a woman, don't want kids and trying to change my mind, you supported me instead. I am grateful that I have the reproductive rights that I do, that I am able to make my own decisions about my body, up to and including abortion if I ever got pregnant, and sterilization so I never have to worry about getting pregnant (never mind that I'm reaching the cut-off date for safely taking hormonal birth control). Any woman who is open about not wanting children shouldn't be made to feel as though they are less a woman, that they won't know true happiness because they won't have the love of a child in their life (don't even get me started on that one), or that they are being selfish in their decision. Instead, they should be supported and encouraged. Knowing you don't want children and dealing with the social stigma and the bullshit comments people make is difficult. Don't be an asshole to people whose life paths are different from yours, even if it involves not reproducing.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Running Away

This weekend was... not good. Anyone that knows me knows that I run away from my problems, and I felt like I had nowhere to run to this weekend. One of the signs that I have an amazing and supportive boyfriend is that he recognizes my need to run away, so we got in the car and he just started to drive. We'd gotten about an hour away when he asked if I wanted to go back. I wasn't ready. So we just kept going, riding in silence while I stewed and processed and vacillated (and at times nodded off) until we found ourselves in northern New Hampshire. We stopped at a shitty Irish pub for dinner and made our way through the White Mountains National Forest on our way home. It was exactly what I needed, to be surrounded by mountains and trees and silence. By the time we reached somewhere around North Conway (and we still had a couple hours ahead of us) I was ready to talk.

We came in on Rt2, went through Gorham, Berlin, Lancaster, then down 302 and got back into Maine via Freyburg. Had we just kept going west for 10 miles, we would have made it to Vermont.