Tuesday, March 4, 2014

No Kids Allowed

When I decided I wanted to write a column I made the mistake of asking on Facebook if anyone would read a column about a single, childless woman in her 30’s. It was a mistake only because I offered a lousy, base description of what this blog would be all about.

One concern I received from my semi-public Facebook announcement was that I, as a swinging single, might be inclined to speak negatively on marriage or raising children. Sure, I could proudly state that I am secure being alone; that I don’t need a man rescue me; and bearing children in an overpopulated world is an act of ego and not of love. I’ve come across plenty of commentaries criticizing “breeders,”  “stage moms,” and the single parents who work long hours while others are left to raise their latch-key kids. In reality I don’t know shit about parenting or marriage and hope to avoid both for the immediate future. But the topic of family always creeps up; even in the minds of the most devoutly single.

Recently I was having lunch in downtown Bakersfield with a favored (and rather attractive) friend. His relationship stats are nearly identical to mine: 30-something; divorced; no children. After several years in a relationship he shared his experience of being fresh on the dating market.

“Since word got out that I’m single, I’m being hit on by nothing but baby mommas,” he told me. “Seriously, it’s been all baby mommas.

It’s not that he doesn’t like kids. He loves his nephews and is delighted to have another on the way. There is a great joy for single people which comes with their siblings bearing offspring. We love to spend time with our tiniest relatives and more than that, we love feeling relieved of the pressure to produce grandchildren for our aging parents.

“I don’t think I’m going to have kids,” he said. His slight shrug reflected a figurative weight that had been lifted from his shoulders.

I agreed that I had come to the same conclusion and together we exalted in our freedom to avoid reproduction without guilt. As I took a drink from my glass of beer I felt steeped in confidence that I could continue to enjoy alcoholic drinks for the foreseeable future. And that, dear readers, is when biological instinct dropped a tiny seed of remorse into my psyche. My enthusiasm tempered and I lowered my glass to look across the table at my friend.

“I want to clarify, I do think I would make a great mom,” I told him.

We looked at each other and I could tell that in his head he was now assessing his own potential for parenting. After a thoughtful moment of introspection he concluded:

“I think I’d be a really great dad.”


  1. Your words sound like something my 30 something daughter would agree with.

  2. I always like to hear a different perspective on this. I've been adamant about my decision to be childless since pretty much 5th grade, maybe earlier. Apparently when you make up your mind so early no one believes you're serious. I think my point of view is a bit more jaded because I've been hearing for so long how I'll change my mind and life isn't worth living without kids. I too take comfort in my glasses of beer and sleeping in when I want. Great article. Can't wait to see what you write next. :)

  3. People change. They change if they have always wanted children. and they change if they have NEVER wanted children. I know several people who wanted children so badly that they went ahead and had them in spite of the complete inappropriateness of their situations (ie, no partner in view, no job, blah blah blah). I know others who don't want them at all and are fine members of society.
    In other words, it's your own choice, and nothing about HAVING a child makes you a better person.
    On the other hand, I have two VERY close women friends (my college roommate and a high school friend) who had very interesting, exciting, enviable lives. One married at 20, and 21 years later had a child, and then, 3 years later, another child. The other just led this exciting, adventurous life, married at 39, and also, had one child at 41 and the second at 44.
    My point is, don't let down your guard if you REALLY don't want children. The potential actually lasts a long time.