One Man's Mindset

Living along the U.S. East Coast, one man writes about those beliefs, hobbies and ideas that mean to most to him. This is not a daily blog - new posts usually only appear when inspiration hits.

Monday, February 20, 2006

No Children? No Problem!

Hello All!

Well, here I am trying out my first public blog. I've seen other posts on maybe a dozen other blog sites and, after wrestling with the idea, have decided to try my hand here. I've found most bloggers to be a pretty hardy bunch, so if you consider my first subject to be too controversial or somehow offensive, feel free to move on to another author.

Now, let's see...

Personally, I'm doing okay with my single life, but would really like to be able to share it with my future wife, whomever that may be. However, I've endured many days when one decision can turn into a seemingly monstrous roadblock on the path to Shangri-la. What was my decision?

I do not wish to have children. Yes, I can hear it now...
"Awww, you poor thing!"
"You’re a monster!"
"What’s wrong with you?"
"Why do you hate children?"

I've actually heard similar phrases, but have also seen it in some people's eyes and body language. Now before you start typing some choice words in a return post, let me just say that I do not hate children – in fact I get along with quite a number of them. I simply choose not to have the parent lifestyle. I have other priorities and it just isn't for me. (And we've all seen instances showing why some people shouldn't become parents, yes?) I know, I know – I've heard lots of great stories about parenting and I wholeheartedly applaud those of you who undertake that noble life choice. But me? I have a job and outside of that, I'm a writer and musician (two very fulfilling activities), so there are plenty of other ways I can leave a positive mark on society and still:
1) get decent sleep
2) be financially comfortable
3) not have to deal with a gazillion after-school activities
4) not have to worry about where someone is late at night
5) have time to myself (which I believe everyone truly needs)

I am not saying that parents can't achieve all these things as well. I know quite a few parents who schedule some "me time" or "us time" during their week, or maybe they are financially comfortable enough to go to Disney World with the twins and not worry about the credit card bills later. There are all sorts of families and all kinds of situations out there, but it seems to me that they have a much tougher time, in general. That is their choice, and this is mine.

Okay. Here's the crux, then I'll shut up:

Q1) Where are all the other single, child-free (or "child-less", if you prefer) people? How many of us are really out there? How active are you in looking for your future "other half"? Some of you readers may now be thinking: "He's writing this just to get a date! What an idiot!" Well, as I mentioned near the top, yes, it would be great to find someone. However, this is not some strange, self-induced pity party: These thoughts and questions are intended to bring together a collection of world-wide views on the subject – basic research. I would really like to help others who've made the child-free decision, not just myself. I'm especially keen on those opinions from around the cosmopolitan mixing-bowl known as Washington, D.C. (or other world-centers like London, Tokyo, New York, etc.), but all global replies are welcomed.
A1) In an attempt to prove that I've done at least a little homework on the subject, I'll partially answer my own question. I am a member of the world-wide child-free group "No Kidding!". They have a growing membership with chapters scattered across the world, and I've met some great people (single and married), but I still can not help wondering what the general populace is thinking.

Q2) For my brethren child-free people out there (Please note that there is a difference between "not wanting" children and "unable to have" children. I am focusing on the "not wanting" people here.): How and when did you come about the decision? If you're one half of a couple, at what point in your courtship did you find out that neither of you wanted children? How important was that in any long-range plans?
A2) I do not have my own answer, as this is purely a poll-type of question. I will say, though, that I am dismayed by the number of people who either don't plan ahead, or are too lazy to use protection. There's a reason it's called "Planned Parenthood".

At this point, I expect that some of you parents out there may be thinking about writing back and expounding on the joys of rearing a child. I've heard it all from friends and relatives. Some of you might even be tempted to "open my eyes" to your religion's teachings regarding children, but I am not religious. I know you mean well and I don't mean to offend, but please keep your mini-crusade to yourself. If you write anyway, I will probably not respond. Thanks.

All (secular-based) responsible replies are more than welcomed – I'm looking forward to reading your posts and possibly chatting with you!