Inspired by the recent discussions on abortion and sexual mores, I'm curious if there are other Child-Free by Choice Pagans out there?
I've never had maternal feelings, and I'm certain that the gods forgot to put a battery in my biological clock. I was voluntarily sterilized almost five years ago using Essure. I was so happy my doctor would sterilize a nulliparous woman that I nearly kissed him on the mouth in gratitude (and he was damn cute too!).
What's kind of funny is that I could be walking down the street and I'll see someone with a dog - maybe it's a small family and I'll smile and ask about their pet. They'll get this really perplexed look on their face - and then I realize that they have a baby in a pram that I've completely ignored! I guess they're used to people noticing their baby and getting the googly-eyes. I notice dogs.
I saw some recent studies in some of the APA literature that found that once children become adults and "leave the nest" marital satisfaction and overall happiness of the parents is restored to newlywed levels.
I know my own parents were very happy when the last of us moved out!
Those of us who identify as ChildFree make a sharp distinction between ChildLess and ChildFree.
ChildLess individuals are those who desire to have children, but for whatever reason, don't. They may be looking for a mate, infertile, waiting for a more auspicious time to conceive, dealing with current health issues, etc.
ChildFree individuals are those who do not have children and do not desire to ever have children. Most CF individuals seek permanent solutions to their fertility: sterilization, hysterectomy, etc. ChildFree individuals are also strictly defined by the fact that they have never given birth. In other words, someone who has fathered or birthed children that they don't have custody of - divorce or adoption - are not childfree. There is however, some debate within the community about the status of step-parents.
I love the distinction between the two groups. I know of a few that are ChildFree and happy with the way things are.
With the step parent issue. Anyone that has dealt with the day to day mundane, laughed through the happy times and held the hand of a scared child, being nervous the first time a 16 yr old takes the car, or smiles when they wipe puke off of their shirt........they have earned the right to be called a parent.
I think I can count on one hand the number of children that don't give me hives. Even then, I hit my limit after a few hours. I'm normally a pretty extroverted person, but after a few hours with children and I'm completely worn out!
I tend to tolerate older children/teens a little better- at least they can carry on an intelligent conversation about music or film or something.
Yeah, I'm the same way with Natalie and Oliver. I've been barfed on and peed on, I've had to hand feed them when they're ill, but for some reason, it doesn't bother me. I spend obscene amounts of cash on their Yule presents and dote on them.
The lizards are cool too - I talk to them all the time, but they're not nearly as interactive as my doggies are.
Leopard geckos aren't really cuddly - they have nails on their feet which help them to climb stuff and it isn't really comfortable on the skin. Our female is more gentle and easier to handle. Our male is rather skittish as I believe he was mistreated at the pet store. He snaps a lot - but he responds to my voice and will come to the top of his tank when I stop by to chat with him.
I don't let my dogs anywhere near children. It doesn't seem to matter if the child was teasing the animal or being cruel; when children and animals collide, animals pay with their lives for having the temerity to defend themselves. I will never put my animals in that position. I've had to physically place myself between my dogs and free-range children who seem to think that the world is their playground and never seem to be familiar with the word no.