I’m doing something today I have not done the entire time I’ve owned a business and blog. I’m sharing something incredibly personal and not quite on topic. It’s not really about design or photography but it does relate to my business regardless. Keep reading to find out how.
I’m taking a break from talking about pumpkin patch photos and fall decor to share a personal fact about myself. This fact as you may have guessed from the title is that I don’t have kids and have no plan to have kids. Now, I never thought this would really have anything to do with my business but believe it or not, it actually does.
See, I have had clients in the past that did not think I would be able to connect with their kids because I’m not a mom. They thought how could I possibly be able to create their kids first birthday invite if I don’t have one myself. Honestly, it reminded me of one of my favorite quotes from Steal Magnolias below:
I promise, my personal life will not interfere with my ability to do good hair.Annelle, Steal Magnolias
Now as silly as that statement seems, it’s equally silly to think I can’t connect with kids or be able to create designs based on what they like. Maybe if I had never been around them I could see how one might think this, but I don’t live under a rock, and quite frankly, I still have a lot in common with kids. No joke. We even eat similarly. I love playing with kids at photo sessions and I think I’m pretty good at it. But don’t take my word for it, you can read about it from past clients. Regardless, not having kids doesn’t mean I can’t play. It doesn’t mean I don’t “get” what they like or what’s popular. I’ve seen Boss Baby, Paw Patrol, and many, many, more delightful kids shows.
This brings me to the topic of this post. Because I have had these experiences relating to my business and not having kids I’ve decided to lay it all out there for you. I’m not targeting anyone specific, I’m simply sharing my experiences in hopes that it assists someone somewhere. I’m sharing 10 statements that have been said to me and that I really wish we could all just forget and know they are not true.
My hope is that one day we can live in a world where these myths I’m sharing won’t be said. Women everywhere need to stop being questioned for their choices. Kids, no kids, work, no work, cats, no cats, it’s all the same. It’s all a personal choice.
10 Myths about Childfree by Choice Couples
So without further ado, here’s 10 myths about childfree by choice couples I’d love you to forget.
1. Childfree couples don’t like kids
This one is always kind of funny to me. I mean, in a way, I can see why you might think that, but it’s not true, at least not for us. Our decision not to have kids has nothing to do with liking or not liking them. Childfree by choice doesn’t mean we avoid all children all the time and hide when we see them on the street.
2. Choosing not to have kids is selfish
Personally, I believe we are all at least a little bit selfish. I would hope that people who choose to have kids did so because they wanted them and not because they think they have to. Please God, I hope you’re a little selfish on that matter. Having children doesn’t make you a martyr. I’m sorry, but it doesn’t, and I really hope you don’t think it does.
3. No one is childfree by choice, they can’t have kids and just don’t want you to know
When this was said to me I was truly shocked. First off, I have friends and family that I’ve watched struggle to have kids, I know that a lot of couples struggle to have them or struggle to adopt. The road to parenthood is not always easy and by saying this to someone you are not only asking getting extremely personal, but belittling those who are struggling. So, please, don’t say this, ever. I promise, there is a such thing as childfree by choice.
4. Their lives must be incomplete
Okay seriously, kids aren’t the only thing to make your life complete. My life is not missing anything. I mean I could use more donuts, but other than that, I feel pretty complete. Now if I wasn’t around any kids at any time in my life, then that might feel incomplete, but as it is now, no.
5. They must be judging my parenting, my house, my life, etc
Nope, I’m not. Pretty much all my friends have kids and they all do things different from each other but I’m definitely not one to judge their choices. Quite frankly, I don’t really care how other people parent, or how many toys their kids own, or whether they work or stay home, or whatever. Childfree by choice couples also have messy houses, too much crap, and watch more t.v. than is probably healthy.
6. Childfree by choice couples do not want to be invited to “kids” events
This one actually goes even further. I’ve had people tell me they know I don’t care about what their kids are into. The funny thing is we are actually more likely to donate to the girl scouts, your baseball team, or band because we don’t have kids of our own. We don’t have to raise money or sell the same crap so honestly, we don’t mind. Now, do I want to go to every birthday party ever? No. But am I offended when invited? No, definitely not. I very much appreciate being thought of. I may not be able to come to everything but who can?
I’ll be honest with you, it does hurt my feelings a little when I’m intentionally left out. Now, that’s my personal issue and not anyone’s fault. However, if I care about you, why wouldn’t I care about your kids? And if you don’t think I’d care about them, then how can you think I would care about you?
7. They must not be close to their own family
I’ve got a story for this one. I was traveling in Africa with a friend of mine on a group tour to the desert. Now, we were all having lunch and this mom and daughter asked me if I had kids. I said no and somehow the conversation got to where they learned it was by choice and not planned for the future. They couldn’t understand why and kept asking question after question regarding this issue. They finally said to me “you must not like your family very much or aren’t close to them.” That’s when I lost it and told them they were being rude.
This mom and daughter are Mormon and while I’m not trying to make this a religious debate, I do have a major problem with someone’s religion being used against me. Yes, I do have a problem with the Mormon religion and their insistence on procreating. It’s just not okay to use your religion to attack people. Later on, I heard these two women talking about me again and how I was a “missed opportunity” as if my choices are their right to “correct”. Alright, I’ll end my rant there. Just to clarify: I am close to my family and I have siblings I’m close to and no, I wasn’t mistreated growing up.
8. Must be nice, not to have any responsibilities
Right, because I’m not paying bills, running a business, owning a house, etc. Now, I can definitely admit there is another type of responsibility that comes with having kids. Nevertheless, it is not and will never be the only responsibility. I’m not over here having wine for breakfast, sleeping ’till noon, and using dollar bills to wipe my ass. I’ve got responsibilities. I promise.
9. You’ll change your mind
Yes, this is certainly a possibility. People change their minds all the time. While this might have been reasonable to believe when I was 19 and said I didn’t want kids, at 34, not so much. I have been asked if I think I’ll change my mind when it’s “too late” and the answer is no. I don’t mind this question, but really, there’s a lot of regrets you can have in life. This is who I’ve always been, so no, I doubt it. I would regret it if I had no kids in my life. But again, that isn’t the case.
10. How sad, don’t you want there to be meaning in your life? You don’t have a family?
Quite frankly, if you’ve said this to someone then you really need to take a long look at yourself. This is a horrible, awful thing to say. The person that said this to me was in fact a family member and I don’t speak to them anymore. That’s how horrid I think this statement is.
First of all, I do have a family. I have a husband and he and I make a family. I also have sisters, parents, in laws, nieces and nephews that are all my family. They all add meaning to my life. They aren’t the meaning, however.
Secondly, I’m not quite sure why anyone would think my life doesn’t have meaning just as me. In fact, what it makes me think is that they don’t believe I’m enough. That my life, as it is, isn’t meaningful. They were saying to me “your life is worthless unless you procreate.” That’s sick and awful and really just wrong.
Final Thoughts on Childfree by Choice
I want to reiterate that this wasn’t meant to target a specific person. I’m really sharing this because I truly think these myths need to be forgotten. It’s my hope that someone maybe learns something about couples who are childfree by choice.
What do you think? Do you have kids? Do you expect others to feel the same? Let me know in the comments. I am honestly super curious.