The older I get, the more I think about my parenting decisions, or my lack thereof. Facebook offers me perspective as one after another of my friends from all parts of my life have children. I’m happy for them, but I do not want children of my own.
There are many reasons for this, but the most basic reason is that I don’t want them. And DP doesn’t want them. His reasons are a little more complex than mine. I don’t have the burning drive to have children that I have heard many people describe, and also I am afraid that if I had kids I’d never write again.
Many of you dear readers have children and write, and I salute you. Some of you have written after children. I salute you too. My recent writing residency was all about figuring out how to set up my daily life and psyche so that I am ready to write. It reminded me that I have made choices in my life that have helped me be in a place where I can write.
I have a job but not a career. Or maybe I have a career but no career ambitions. All my professional ambition and drive goes toward my writing. I have a friend who wants children very badly. But she quit her job and then had a hard time finding a new one. She was too busy job-searching to date and so she is still single. That was not setting up your life to have children, or a relationship.
I continue to try to make choices so that I can write. I have been making these choices for years. I’m privileged in many ways that I am in a position to make my own choices about my life. I began this post in my favorite bar/cafe, where DP and I were writing on a Sunday morning. I watched other people around us with children.
One woman held her daughter as she waited for a sandwich. Another couple drank beer and played games with their toddler. Another woman sat across from her seven-year-old daughter, staring at her iPhone while her daughter tried to make conversation. I was glad to be at my own little table littered with water glasses and MacBooks sitting across from DP, I did not want to be anywhere else.