Next Life, NO Kids is doing this cool #Mommitment (dang, I have to get on the Twitter now, don’t I?) thing to end the Mommy Wars. Whether you have kids or not, the idea behind this movement impacts us all. Check it out–it’s smart and there’s likely going to be a lot of swearing, so you know I’m in. To that end, here is my humble contribution:
There’s no doubting the existence of the Mommy Wars. What I sometimes see and hear mothers doing to one another both online and in person turns me WHITE. Happily, there is a growing chorus of voices saying, in one form or another, that it’s time to cut that shit out.
I submit that there is a broader conflict, the Uterine Wars, if you will. Heated battles include, but are not limited to:
- Who’s using theirs?
- Why or why not?
- HOW DARE SHE?
I think we’ve all seen this, including smaller but no less nasty skirmishes about breast-feeding, co-sleeping, baby-wearing… the list goes on. But if you think you’ll avoid this kind of BS simply by not having any kids, think again.
After a great deal of time and consideration, my husband and I decided years ago not to have children. Making that choice has brought its own brand of shitstorm.
People think they can say the most amazing things to you when you are a woman who does not want children of her own. Here are just a few cherry examples:
“Well, what’s wrong with you?” (This immediately after I said to the woman, “Some people actually come out and ask what is wrong with me.” Brilliant.)
“Some of us never grow out of that ‘selfish’ phase.” (PLEASE don’t make me enumerate the reasons this is obnoxious, condescending, and simply wrong. I don’t have the bandwidth. Some other time.)
“You should have them anyway. You’ll regret it later if you don’t!” (1. No, I shouldn’t. 2. Now, THERE’S a good reason to reproduce: fear of possible future regret. Way to possibly ruin everybody’s life there, genius. “I call this one ‘Fear and Regret Insurance’.”)
“Oh, that’s probably because of your childhood/broken home.” Not all women who don’t want kids are broken, PERIOD. Parenthood is not for everybody. Yes, I have a uterus; no, I’m not using it to have kids. I also have legs; I’m not using them to run marathons but no one’s giving me any shit about that. YET.
“I’m sure your husband would love to have kids if you wanted them.” Nope. No, he wouldn’t, not even a little. The man gets downright nervous about my motives when I show him cute pictures and videos of my friends’ kids.
I love my nephews and my friends’ children. I love seeing their pictures and hearing about school and their latest tot obsessions. I don’t have a problem with kids; it’s their parents who are sometimes insufferable.
My point is this: whether or not you choose to have children, there is enough insecurity and emotional baggage in the world so that everybody gets a turn in the Uterine War trenches.
But wait… what if we just… didn’t?
Bear with me for justasec. What if we decided to make an effort to just CALM OUR COLLECTIVE BALLS? Your decision to have kids or not, how they sleep, what diapers they wear, etc., actually has no bearing on my life whatsoever. The odds are great that the woman who is doing things differently than I would IS NOT HARMING ME. Or (and most importantly) her kid. So… how exactly is it productive for me to shoot my mouth off about how she’s doing it wrong?
Before we get too het up about another person’s life choices, let’s first pause and ask ourselves: Is this any of my business? If the answer is no, AND IT USUALLY IS, then don’t worry about it. Truly. It can actually end there.
I’ve got about a million other things to do besides worry about what the next person is doing, and how that somehow detracts from what I’m doing. It doesn’t. It’s time for us to cut the shit and keep our eyes on our own papers. Who’s in??