Snippets on the childfree choice #keepsake

I’ve got more readers on my blog now than a few years ago when I posted a bit on the choice to be childfree – haven’t much lately – perhaps that’s because I hope everyone’s accepted it by now or at least accepted it’s none of their business. But judging by some ramblings on a little folded up note I found in our storage locker, I didn’t post everything. However, now, for #keepsake’s sake, I am. Usual disclaimer – these are my own thoughts (probably should be private and not shared but why shouldn’t they? it’s my blog) and doesn’t mean I think any less or want to spend any less time with those who’ve chosen or got children and yes I know the world wouldn’t go on if there weren’t future generations. If you don’t like what you’re seeing, judge for yourself if I am a horrible person and de-friend me although I reckon if someone raved on about having children they wouldn’t come under any such scrutiny … hence my ramblings!

Random yet fairly serious thoughts:

I get irrationally annoyed at societal norms surrounding people with children – things like: wide carparks near the front door of the supermarket – I know I should be grateful that people with kids park there because kids won’t open and bang their doors into my lovely car or scratch their toys or greasy fingers down the side of it (a lovely car by the way that I am “so lucky” to have because I am “so lucky” I can afford such ‘luxuries’ because I don’t have kids); work compromises and acceptance to accommodate children – long phones calls with the partner who is at home with the child, timing of meetings, domestic leave, job share, lateness.

Do you have to produce medical proof that you are pregnant in order to qualify for maternity leave? Despite being necessary, this is time and money for people who make this choice, and there’s no equivalent for those who make a different choice.

Many women take 1, 2, 5, 10, 15 years out of their working life to raise a child. No-one questions their decision. If I choose to take 1, 2, 5, 10, 15 years out of MY life to *live* or do something that’s important to me, I can guarantee you I will be questioned. No-one asks a mother ‘Why aren’t you working?” Other than the question of who will support me financially, I wonder if I’ll ever be brave enough to do this? And for those who think about when the best time is for them to have a child, I wonder when the best time would be for me to be out of the workforce. My 33rd year? My 35th? 35-40? Entering the workforce again at 40 could be difficult, especially in these technological times when everything is changing so rapidly. I’d face similar difficulties to people who’ve taken time out to raise a child. Whilst age is no employer’s business I bet they’d more readily accept ‘I raised my children’ over ‘I took some time out for myself’ as a reason for not working for an extended period. They’d probably think I had mental issues.

5 February 2003

Hmmm, as I’m now closer to meno-pause years than I am to prime breeding years I think my time for a ‘life break’ has passed me by!

1 comment so far ↓

#1 Mariette on 07.11.11 at 12:10 pm

Nope, employers don’t like “I took some years off to have children” any better than they accept taking time off for travel or anything else. That’s why I’m self-employed!

And people most definitely do ask a mother at home “Why aren’t you working?” No matter what you do, someone’s sure to make it their business to criticise it.

No one should ever question such a personal decision. Having children isn’t for everybody, and there are many reasons why people choose not to. And it is VERY difficult re-entering the workforce again.

And I didn’t even get the wide nearby parking spaces!

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