Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Yee hah, the things I’m doing because I don’t have kids


Let’s face it.  We often feel guilty because gradually, we find that we enjoy our life without kids.  We might question ourselves – “how much can we really have wanted children if we are happy in our lives without them?”  And, we might feel that enjoying the good parts of being childless/childfree means that we don’t deserve to feel bad when we notice what we’re missing.  But perhaps that’s because we beat ourselves up as often – no, more often – than anyone else.  But this is the life I have, and I think we’re allowed to embrace it.  I for one think I should celebrate the good things in my life, the things I can do now that I wouldn’t be able to do if I had children. 

So pop a cork, (or screw a top)  pour a glass, and gloat with me.  These are the things I love doing, because I don’t have kids:

Blogging.  I love blogging.  I doubt I’d have time, I doubt I’d be in the mental space where I can sit, think quietly, contemplate issues.  Not to mention have the time to read others’ blogs.  Which leads me to ...

Writing.  I have a few projects on the go.  I enjoy writing, but I need the time and mental space to do it.  And of course, for every writer, it is important that we do enough ...

Reading.  I’d probably read.  I can’t imagine not reading.  But would I, could I, do as much as I wanted?

Volunteering.  Again, I might have time, as plenty of people with children manage to volunteer.  But I’m not sure I’m one of those with the energy to focus in all those different directions.  I know I wouldn’t have AS much time to do what I do. 

Eating out.  My husband and I love eating out.  We don’t like “family” restaurants – they hardly deserve the label “restaurant.”  We like all sorts of food, and wine too of course.  We eat out spontaneously.  Last night, we went out because Monday night is half price champagne night at a good bistro.  We decided at about 4 pm.

Movies.  We go to the movies regularly, trying to compromise between his choices and my choices.  We go on the weekend, after work, if we’re bored.  We decide usually about an hour or two before we go.  No babysitters required thanks!

Sleeping in on the weekends.  Not just sleeping in, but lying in, with my iPad and a cup of tea, reading books, checking emails and blogs or magazine sites or the news.  And if it’s raining out – I’ll be there all morning.  Bliss.

Enjoying our home.  Our house is not child-proofed.  And we don’t intend child-proofing it.

Drinking.  We can drink, and over-indulge, any time we want to.  (Age may stop us, but kids won't!)

And last but not least:

Travelling.  Travel is a great interest, and a very important part of our lives.  We know we wouldn’t be indulging if we had children.  In many ways, our frenetic travelling the last few years has been a consolation because we couldn’t have children.  We’ve always liked travelling, and now we’re not paying for private schools or school uniforms or doctor’s visits or sports subs, we’re investing in seeing the world.  We know that:

  • It would be a struggle to afford to travel with children.
  • It would definitely be a struggle to get on a plane and go anywhere with children, especially as New Zealand is so far from anywhere else.  I can cope with 12 hour flights to Asia, and although I grumble about longer flights to South Africa or the northern hemisphere, I do them without thinking.  I couldn’t do that with children.
  • I wouldn’t get to have trips away on my own (like this one) in the same way.
  • We wouldn’t be able to go to civilised Adults Only destinations like Bedarra.  Or consider the particular cruise we’re planning for later in the year.  Or go on safari – well, not till they were 12 or so.
  • Unlike a friend of mine, who manages to do much of the above, our parents are not young, and we couldn’t farm the kids out to them while we jetted off overseas.  Now though, we can just go.
I’m sure I’ve forgotten a lot of stuff.  Anything you want to add?

5 comments:

  1. I rarely go out. I see movies on netflix only. My parents refuse to babysit except in emergencies (literally emergencies, like when Leo pulled his arm out of socket and we went to the ER). Haven't been on a plane since before 2001. I hardly ever read.

    But I do sleep in on the weekends when I can, and my house's problems have nothing to do with my children.

    The one I have you might have forgotten: speaking frankly with my husband about anything. Everything must be in code, or explained ten thousand times over to the people listening to us, or whispered to each other in the dark...

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  2. I agree with all of the things you listed in your post. I personally have no guilt feelings in enjoying them to the fullest. We have been through so much trying to achieve motherhood that atleast there should be some reward for being childless.

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  3. This post makes me very happy, for you and for me and for other childfree people. It's great to be reminded to take better advantage of some of my opportunities!

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  4. I love this list! I can't think of anything to add right now, as it pretty much sums up everything that I enjoy about being childfree/less.

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  5. I admit I feel a little guilty.. But this is a very good list to have. Thanks!

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