Why don't I have kids? Because I never really wanted 'em. They're not for everybody, something I tried to explain to a woman I met recently. She looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language that she didn't understand. And I guess I kind of was, because she has four kids and couldn't seem to shut up about them. And, actually, she was more than just "a woman", she was a client so I felt it important that I be clear but oh so polite. I would like her to hire me again…even though she probably thinks of me as 'that strange woman with no kids'.
So on my walk home from the meeting, I started to think about what difference it makes in my life that I have given birth to no one. A few things occurred to me but first, I need to caution that most of my friends have children and I love their children. I have to say this because people with kids are so dang touchy about anything you say that sounds like 'your kids aren't fabulous all of the time.'
Anyway, here's what not having kids has meant:
I've had to learn to hold a conversation that isn't dominated by what my kids are or aren't doing, seeing, wearing or thinking. I know lazy people use 'my kids' as a default topic because it's so easy, but I want them to stop taking the easy route and figure out something else to talk about.
I've learned to smile and act interested when they go on for much too long about their kids. I'm pretty good at it. Most people have no idea that I'm rolling my eyes in my mind.
Here's something no one has been able to explain to me satisfactorily. I have to tread lightly on this one, too, because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. And I'm not trying to; I'm not being sarcastic or flippant, I really don't understand this one: every year at Christmas, I received cards with photos of someone's kids. Not the whole family, just the kids. Where are the parents? Read more…