I went over to my grandmother’s house a few days ago to catch up and chat, and we somehow ended up on the subject of her cleaning up her basement and getting rid of things. I try to just lead by example when it comes to minimalism and zero-waste, and I have noticed certain aspects rubbing off on the people I see the most. (For example my grandfather showed off his new soap purchase of a castille bar made with coconut oil as opposed to his former chemical-ridden soaps, yay baby-steps!)
Anyways, we got to talking and she mentioned that she still had the old plastic kitchen set that I played with as a kid. It has been sitting, unused, in her basement for the past 15 years. She asked me what I wanted to do with it, and she seemed surprised when I said “Get rid of it, reclaim the space in your basement for other uses.”
“But I was keeping it for your kids someday”……
I love my grandmother, but I have told her for years that I am not going to have any biological children.
I made up my mind about 10 years ago that I never intend to have biological children, I may end up fostering or adopting, nut they would be older children, not babies. I haven’t changed my mind in the past 10 years, if anything I have become more firm about the fact.
Now don’t get me wrong, kids are awesome, and for those women out there who want to birth their own, that’s great. I just have no intentions of doing it myself, I plan on getting “fixed” before I turn 30.
My grandmother knows this, but she insists that I will “change my mind once I meet the right guy”. (cue eyeroll please)
According to her, and many other people on the planet, a woman is supposed to have the “motherly instinct/urge” to procreate, and if she doesn’t then there must be something wrong, or she is a lesbian.
I am not, nor have I ever been into women. I can’t believe she even asked me that.
What I find completely ironic and kind of sexist is that if a man says that he doesn’t want children, it is considered perfectly normal, but if a woman says it, all hell breaks loose.
Here are some of the reactions I have gotten:
“But you would be such a great mother!”
“Don’t you want to pass on your genes?”
” Are you into women?”
“But that is what a vagina is for!”
“Aren’t women supposed to want kids?”
“You will change your mind”
Here are my responses to each:
1. I have worked at a daycare, babysat, and am a teacher. I “mother” all day long. When I get home at the end of the day, I am exhausted, and finished taking care of kids.
2. I have no persisting desire to pass on my hair color, my height, or my lactose intolerance thank you very much.
3. No, just no.
4. Really? REALLY? Just because I have the capability doesn’t mean I have to use it.
5. That’s incredibly sexist. And if I foster or adopt I will still have kids, just not biological ones.
6. There are 7 BILLION people on this planet, 400,000 kids are in the foster system just in the US every year, so tell me again how I’m being selfish…
7. Nope, I won’t. Thanks for trying to imply that I don’t know what I want….
Tying this back to my visit with grandma, I tried explaining all of this to her, and I think it might have sunk in. She decided that she will try to sell the kitchen set, even though it would be much easier to donate it.
Now before you think I am completely unsentimental…..I did get rid of most of my childhood “stuff” , but I kept the first stuffed animal I was ever given, and I kept 1 baby-blanket….for me that is enough.
I might eventually meet “the perfect guy”, but for me, if he is “the one”, he will support my decision.
Every person has the right to decide what they do with their own bodies and their lives. Minimalism, zero-waste, eco-friendly, paleo, cruelty-free, and biological child-free are my choices for how I will live mine.
What are your choices?