Sunday, November 16, 2014

Respecting other people's life choices.

While this is a very broad statement, one which I could go on about for days, I'm going to stick to one particular invasive judgment I've seen thrown around a lot lately, especially in parent circles.

How many times have you seen someone say, "I don't want to have kids" and then a flood of "you'll change your minds" and arguments as to why said person SHOULD have kids. There are a range of reasons this bothers me so much.

One: Whether someone does or does not have children is 100% theirs (and their partners) choice. It's not for you to decide or even have an opinion on. Just like a million other things I will get to at a later date.

Two: They aren't saying it to insult you. Just because you have kids and you're happy does not mean this is a personal attack on your familial life. You can in fact continue to be happy (or unhappy) with your decision to procreate regardless of whether or not all your friends want kids just like yours. It doesn't necessarily mean they don't enjoy your children or that they aren't happy for you and your family. It just means THEY DONT WANT KIDS.

Three: In the U.S. 397,122 children are living without permanent families in the foster care system. 101,666 of these children are eligible for adoption, but nearly 32% of these children will wait over three years in foster care before being adopted. That's almost 400 thousand kids without permanent families. I dare you to tell someone to have a kid they don't want again. It is beyond ignorant.

Four: I have wanted children since approximately the first time I saw a baby. I've been going on about wanting babies since an alarmingly early age. I love kids. I nannied for years and have always known without a shadow of a doubt that I want to be a mother. I STILL have bad days. There are still days I question my decision, times when I have to count to ten or walk away. There are moments that my children test the limits of my patience. Now imagine if I had not wanted them, if I did not view my children as the very best gift life could give me. I don't think life would be very pretty for any of us.

Five: Every child deserves to be the light in their parents life. To tell someone who knows in their heart that they are incapable of giving a child that level of love is despicable.

So stop. Stop telling young women that they'll change their minds. Stop sticking your nose where it doesn't belong. Resist the urge to ask if someone's mom wants grandkids. Their family dynamic is THEIR choice. Do not ask every single young married couple when they're gonna have kids. It's not your business.

This goes both ways might I add. Do NOT ask the young parent if their child was planned. Don't inquire as to how much they miss the nightlife. Don't make judgments about their financial situation and whether they should be bringing a child into this world. Stop looking at the mom with 6 kids paying with food stamps with such disdain. IT ISN'T YOUR BUSINESS. You don't know their story, situation, or heart. Live and let live ladies and gentleman.

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