Have you read the new issue of Time yet? It arrived earlier this week at my office, mixed in with my weekly delivery of TV Guide, Us, Star, Entertainment Weekly, SI and People (yes I’m super cultured in popular culture). As I opened my bundle of magazines and started perusing the covers, one really caught my eye. Surprisingly it wasn’t one with flashy photos of Kim Kardashian, Teresa Guidice and Matt Damon on them but Time magazine, which features an idyllic photo of a smiling couple lounging lovingly alone on a beach below the boldface headline “The Childfree Life – When having it all means not having children.” I was both intrigued and angered by the insinuation – and immediately stashed it in my purse so I could read it on the train ride home that night.
The gist of the Time Magazine piece is that according to a Pew Research report there , has been a recent uptick in voluntary childlessness across various racial and ethnic groups in America where women/couples are making a conscious decision not to have children because it will allow them to lead a more meaningful life. The feature also points out the trend’s precarious footing in a world that is obsessed with parenting.
My opinion is who is anyone to say whether another person is or should be fulfilled just because they have children or not? The same goes for women who want to have careers vs. be a SAHM or couples who get married vs. those want to just live together forever and any other either/or/vs situation. It’s up to each individual to decide their own sense of happiness and fulfillment…and in an ideal world; we wouldn’t be judged for it.
But this post isn’t meant to debate this issue, it’s about something else….
See, after reading the article, for just a few brief moments, I dreamed about what my life with The Hubs would be like if we were voluntarily childless. Sort of like what our lives were like “BC” – before children. Ah, I remember those days fondly. The days when we could buy an extravagant item on a whim, go to a music concert, have an impromptu drink with friends and go on a trip/vacation on the spur of the moment without having to think about the impact of our actions on anyone else. Now those are luxuries we can’t afford.
Please don’t get the wrong idea here. I love being a mom. I love my kids. I LOVE having a family. But am I a bad mom for even having a fun, fleeting thought about life without kids?
At first I thought I was, but after a really long day a work, coming home to a messy house, kids who are clamoring for your attention, jam-packed activity schedules, a long list of bills to pay and household chores to complete, I thought it’s only natural to daydream about a more carefree or less obligated life.
Thinking about it is one thing, but would I want trade my life for childless one? No. For me, the essence of being a mom is at the very heart and soul of who I am as a person. That doesn’t mean that all I am is a mom. I’m a wife, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a confidant, a career gal and a million other things depending upon the day or situation. Being a mom doesn’t define who I am, but the values of loving, caring and nurturing of others is very much who I am…and that’s what fulfills me.
Now it’s your turn to share. What do you think of the Time magazine story? Have you ever thought about a life without your kids?
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