I have been watching. “This is Life LIVE”, and I am now faced with the fact that my parents’ have never been remotely like these people. For some reason, we all fantasize that our family could be on a tv show, and that doesn’t mean it would because we love each other. Which is certainly not be the case for my own family. I only hope that one day my parents’ will understand, appreciate, respect, and just “get” me. Yet there is a fading chance of them changing.
There is no question that my parents’ would have been resistant to be on a show, about their love for me. What I’m looking for is that ideal unconditional love, much like I hope for my future marriage. But, that has never been possible for them. Which has got me thinking, why do people have children? I understand those that have truly longed for them, or even couples that discuss it, but what if the societal pressure was so strong? That once married, it was just expected, and so that’s what you did.
At that time, they followed the norm, and did what was expected of them. “They were taught that the best possible life for them was to be married with a house in the suburbs, 2.5 kids, maybe a dog or a cat, and a home to keep them busy all day.” (my.vanderbilt.edu) Even though, women were getting more freedom about how to raise their children. There has been very little change in this expectation. In fact, I am not planning on having any kids! It’s just not something that I have ever taken interest in. And it’s not as if, I don’t like kids. I just can’t fathom putting a child through what I have.
And I have always been the defiant daughter! Just ask my mother to send you the Christmas letter from 1996, where she let everyone know, “Even harder than having cancer, is having and independent minded, teenage daughter.” Enter my angst and sadness. And I can honestly, only recall two times in my life, that my father has been incredibly sweet to me. With the simple words, “I’d do anything for you” or “I’m proud of you.” Both during the years I was away at college. Yet, I’m starting to see and understand that there are some parents that show their love and affection, EVERY day.
I’m almost 40, and this has been news to me, even felt crazy, to some sense! Their are parents that feel such love for their children, and yet I have felt jipped. Because that is something I have never felt or understood. They were judgmental and degrading to me all my life. Even now, that I’m engaged, my fiancé is getting more love from my parents than I have ever known. As they often treat outsiders better, than their own flesh and blood.
How could people think that having children was what was necessary? Yes, I am challenging the norm. Having children is not for everyone. I met my best friend in college and she was desperate to have kids. She has three, one of her own, and she is an incredible mother. She knew her calling and has followed it. I am so proud of her! Yet, the “clock ticking” was never something that I had really felt. The only time that I could relate to it, was when my nephew what born. I had finally heard my biological clock ticking! And it was so loud!
That was the only time, I felt, that I wanted to have a child. But now, that I’m finally getting married, I had to have a talk with my future husband, about the fact that I was not willing to have a child, at my age. Despite the fact that I have never really wanted to have kids. That was a big and ongoing discussion that we have. Because, he feels about babies, the way that I feel about dogs. (They’re so cute!)
The final note, is that, children are not for everyone. And don’t feel like you have to have one, just because, that’s what you’re parents did. Because, love is what is truly needed. To do more than just satisfy your parents or elders, to be able to give them all they need and more, and give them the room to be their selves and love them still. My parents’ are one of those that, simply, gave in to the norm. And there is nothing that I can do to change them. So, I hope that you have the ability to make you’re own choice in your life. It is not necessary, to have children, so make that choice for yourself.