I mentioned in a previous blog entry that there are some crazy assumptions about people that don’t have kids. I’m not sure where people get some of the ideas from. I can’t personally speak for every childless person/couple, but I can say that some of the things people think are just crazy. For example, people believe that if you don’t have kids then:
1. You don’t like children. I find it interesting that people make this leap that not having = hate, and yet they don’t do it in other areas. I’m not a good cook, and yet not a single person has ever accused me of hating food. I can’t explain it. I won’t deny that I’m ignorant in this area. Heck, I didn’t even know that diapers came in sizes until a few years ago, and I admit that walking into a Babies ‘R Us store is the fastest way to induce an anxiety attack in me. But no, I don’t hate kids and would help one in need without a second thought. It might not be graceful or “proper” but I’d do my best. I can’t speak for all childless people and certainly it’s possible that there are some people that don’t like kids, but this is a conclusion it’s not wise to jump to. Having children is a personal decision and the reasons for not having them (at the present time or ever, depending on the circumstances) can be more complex than the reasons for having them.
Do you want to know what I don’t like? Sushi. It’s nasty and I can’t understand how it can be considered refined or high class to eat raw fish like Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. I know many would say it’s not the same, but I don’t follow the reasoning so just call it a crazy “me” idea. But no, I don’t hate kids.
2. You’re rich. People think that Rick and I must be loaded because we both work and have no children, but the truth is that the cost of living is astronomical whether you have a household of 1, 2, or 10. Everything’s expensive and the cost of living is rising much higher than salaries are. While it’s true that we might have more discretionary income, we do have to watch our finances and make sure to live within our means.
I wish this stereotype were true because it would thrill me to no end – but alas, it is not.
3. We have no family. The truth is that all of our parents are alive. Likewise, I have a brother that’s married, Rick has a sister that’s married and has our 2 nieces, and this isn’t counting aunts, uncles, and cousins. Somehow, though, it seems that doesn’t count because people raise an eyebrow when we say we have family functions or visits. But go ahead – tell them all that they don’t count as “family” since we haven’t reproduced. I’d be greatly amused to see how it goes.
4. We have nothing to do once we get home from work. Folks, this is another one I wish were true. I’d love it if I could come home at the end of the work day, retire to my recliner behind the TV, and that was my life – but it’s not. See, while we’re at work, nothing gets done at home. This fact remains whether you have kids or not. That means that supper has to be prepared, consumed, and cleaned up. Dishes must be washed. Laundry must be done. Birds must be fed and cages cleaned. Bills must be paid. Trash must be taken out. Kitchens and bathrooms must be cleaned, furniture must be dusted and polished, floors must be swept and mopped, and the grass must be cut on a regular basis. This all has to happen after work or on weekends – and that doesn’t include the time I need for my writing, the time Rick needs for his website work, church activities, visiting that family we supposedly don’t have and trying to squeeze in time to spend together. And all of that doesn’t factor in time with friends, repairs and maintenance on home and car, or spending time doing things we like on our own. *Gasp!* I’m lucky to have an hour a night to spend to myself. In fact, I only watch 2 TV shows, both come on back to back on Wednesday nights, and often I have to move Heaven and earth to MAKE time for that.
The truth is that the older you get, the more life tends to fill up. I get up by an alarm clock 6 days a week and my iPhone calendar looks like it needs ProActive (or a measles shot). Frankly, I don’ t know how people with kids keep up with it all. You guys must be heroes because I barely keep it together sometimes. Now if that rumor of being rich were true then I could hire out our housework but alas, the falsity of that lends to the falsity of this.
5. We think having pets is the same as having kids. I’ve never presumed to say, compare, or even think that having three birds is the equivalent to having three children. It’s not and I know it, so don’t even try to project that insanity on me. Have you ever noticed that when I talk about our birds, I refer to us as mommy and daddy with no capitalization? That’s on purpose because I don’t want people to make the mistake of thinking that I’m trying to equate Zack, Chloe, and Ollie with children. They’re birds. And birds are, obviously, very different from humans. I know. Remember, I worked in day care during my college days, before graduation and switching to being an office drone.
That being said, I do love my birdy-babies. Humanity was given dominion over animals and it’s our responsibility to give our pets the best life possible because they are entrusted to our care. An animal is just as alive as a child and deserves respect. In fact, it’s my personal belief that only the lowest of the low human beings would harm a child or animal. The penalties for animal abuse should be equivalent to the penalties for human abuse because it’s disrespect of the sanctity of life and taking advantage of those that can’t defend themselves. People that would harm a child or animal are a waste of existence if you ask me. I dare them to pick on somebody their own size. That would clean their clock faster than Zack can bust out of his cage when the door latch is loose.
I’m not sure where these ideas come from about childless people, but I hope you see what a good chuckle we get out of them. It’s silly, really, isn’t it? And thankfully, now you know that. Our lives may be different, but is it easier? I don’t know. I think it would be most accurate to say that we all face challenges in life. I don’t know if anybody has an “easy” life. I think it all boils down to being thankful for what you have and doing the best you can with it. Not every life follows the same “socially acceptable” progressive pattern. Life isn’t a puzzle, after all. But if you do the best with what you have then you have fullness of life – whether the pieces seem to fit or not.
That’s all today. Take care.