We realised over the weekend that our decision not to have kids baffle a lot of people on many levels.
At the most basic level, many don’t understand why we don’t want what seems to be the most natural thing to do. Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it. Getting married, having kids – it’s all part of the natural life cycle. So why aren’t you guys getting on with the programme?
Then we have those with kids. They feel that we’re missing out on a big part of life. They tell me of the joy and the incredible adventure of parenthood, and they cannot understand why we would choose to walk away from such a wonderful experience. What if you wake up one day and regret your decision?
And then there’s us. We don’t hate kids. And kids don’t scare us. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. We love kids, and kids love us. Friends tell us we would make great parents. I’m flattered, guys. 🙂
To kid or not to kid?
I’ve given more thought to having children than most parents (and educated fleas). I’ve dug deep within my heart, prayed about it and discussed it to bits. And the truth is this: we’re just not interested.
There is no deep yearning within me to have a child of my own. There is no desire to create a human life. The best I can muster is a vague curiosity of what our kid would look like. The Hubs and I are already at equilibrium. We don’t feel like there’s something that’s missing in our life. Right now, what we have feels complete.
Some tell me that I will feel differently when I have a child of my own. Erm … what if I don’t? Having a child is the single most irreversible decision anyone can make. There is no return or exchange policy. Being a parent is a huge selfless responsibility. And you need to give it your all – lock, stock and barrel. And I’ve had enough experience with kids to know that it’s really something I’m not interested in doing. I’ve raised a baby brother ten years younger than me. I’ve gone through the coaching your kid through PSLE, O Levels and A Levels. I’ve done the cute babyhood stage, laughed through the cheeky schoolboy stage and pulled my hair out during the angsty teenage years where they question the most fundamental values you’ve raised them with. Raising kids is an adventure, and you need to hang in there for the ride, even during moments when it’s difficult to love. With my brother graduating from university this year, I kinda feel like I’m ready for retirement. I don’t have the energy to go another cycle. And this wasn’t even my kid.
I think we would make good parents. When I look at The Hubs playing with kids or see how much effort he puts in to spend time with the nephews, I know I married the right man – someone who is kind, loving and makes me laugh. Fatherhood material? Totally. But there’s really no need to force it.
Honestly, I have no idea. All I can say is this. I believe that to be happy, you need to live in the present. And right here, right now, this is our decision. I cannot bring a child into this world "just in case". So long as we continue to embrace life, and trust in the Lord, we should be okay.
Till then I’m going to just enjoy other people’s children. Call me if you need a babysitter.