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To have kids or not to have kids

No, I am not thinking about having kids. Just wanted to clear that up right away. One of the forums I frequent for lampworkers, recently had a discussion on to have children or not. In particular a woman about my age was asking older women who never had kids what their life ended up to be and if they ever regretted their decision.

It turns out only those people who really wanted kids and ended up not being able to have them, regretted the outcome. Though it wasn’t really their decision to make. What I found interesting about the discussion were the implications made on both sides of the debate.

I have heard many parents say that after having kids they discover this whole new wonderful side of themselves they never knew existed.  That they grow into a much better person and tell all of us with out kids we are missing out on the worlds greatest miracle.

Then there is the other side.  Those of us without children, free to do what we please, go where we want, free of the financial burden of raising a family.   We tend to flaunt our freedom in the face of others, telling them how wonderful our lives are and feel resentful when people tell us we are somehow “missing out”.

The thing is this:  We all make choices.  Life is just life.  The best thing to do is live it to the fullest and not look back and wishing we did things different.  Live for today.

As women I firmly believe we should be supporting each other.  Isn’t it wonderful we have choices in this day and age?  I hope I never make someone feel bad about their choice to have a family.  Family is a wonderful gift.  I feel fortunate that I have a large extended one, with plenty of nieces and nephews to go around.  Just as I hope the women in my life will respect my choice to remain childless.  That doesn’t mean I don’t have love to give.  Quite the contrary.

I hope we someday evolve as a society, so that women with careers are not made to feel bad that they are depriving their family of something, and that women who are stay at home moms are not looked down on for not having the career.  What a double standard we set for ourselves.  The saddest part is that we women do this to each other.

Again it is all about choices.  The choice to not have a family, the choice to have one, and the choice to do it all with a career.  I have the utmost respect for the moms in my life.  I am not sure how they do it all.  I am certain, I wouldn’t handle it nearly as well.

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Well said, my friend…tolerance and support for all of our decisions (even when they don’t always turn out as we planned) is what we should strive for. And I’ve never felt that you flaunt anything (except for that near perfect husband…just kidding).

And we do it with smoke and mirrors (and the support of our friends)…

I couldn’t agree more, Deanna! I was one of those people who never felt like my life would be incomplete without children. When Bubba came along, he definitely added a lot of joy and fulfillment to my life, along with a lot of struggles and at times, heartbreak! Having children is a double edged sword. But you stated so eloquently exactly how I feel about the issue. None of us should ever question the decisions that other women make about parenting, working or anything else. We have to answer to world enough as it is. We shouldn’t have to justify… Read more »
Barbara Kelley

Yes, women are lucky to have so many choices open to them now, but sometimes with choices comes a lot of angst, especially for younger women. Your post touches on the essence of what we are doing with our blog
As i noted in today’s post, linked to Jack Welch’s recent comments — women have clearly come a long way. But we’ve also got a long way to go. espeically when it comes to work-life balance, and all the choices carving that out entails. bk