Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Lynn T., Age 42

Is the idea of having children something that you are open to, or were open to at some point in the past? Is the fact that you don’t have children the result of a deliberate decision or just the way your life happened to work out? If it was a deliberate decision, can you tell me something about how you made this choice, the circumstances, your reasons, whether it was easy, hard, etc.?

Having children was never in my game plan. I am a child of the 80's, and saw alot of unwed teen age mothers at my school, all of whom are now grandmothers. I saw what a hinderance it was, sure the kid was cute as an infant and everyone wanted to hold it, and snugle it, but then it got older and the same people that thought it was cute came to see it as an inconvienence, including the mother.

What are the three most important factors that influenced your decision to be childfree? Do you enjoy being childfree? If so, why? If not, why not? Are there any bad things about being childfree? If so, what are they?

More money, more time and freedom, no responsibility for someone elses life. Yes I do enjoy being childfree, See answer to first question in paragraph. There aren't any bad things about being childfree.

Please describe the kinds of reactions you have received from others in response to your not having children. How supportive and accepting have your friends and family been? How accepting do you feel society as whole is of the voluntarily childless ("childfree") lifestyle? Do you feel childfree individuals suffer from unfairness, prejudice or discrimination in society? Do you feel there are common misconceptions about childfree individuals or the childfree lifestyle?

I haven't had any bad reactions to being childfree, it's offset I think becasue I like children, I just don't want any of my own, bio or adopted. I work with the kids in my church and always volunteer to have some kind of activity or outing for them. As for society as whole, that's another story but I think they are starting to come around. It's kind of like the civil rights movement, you see little glimmers of hope here and there and realize that there is a change going on.

In retrospect, how do you feel about your decision to be childfree? Do you still feel the same way as always on this issue? To date have you had any regrets? Do you think you may have regrets later in life? Is there any possibility you may change your mind about having children at some point?

No regrets, no change of mind.

Have you had any childfree role models during your life? Please explain.

No, I guess that was one of the things that sold me on being childfree, it seemed growing up that most of the people in my family wished that they had not had children at one time or another.

When you compare your life to the lives of women you know who have children (family, friends, co-workers), how would you evaluate the advantages, disadvantages, and overall life satisfaction associated with each kind of lifestyle?

I am so happy with my life compared to that of co-workers. Most of the people here at my job have children, or are either just married and about to start breeding, it comes in waves here, there were five this year along with two babies and another due soon. Then there are the times that I have to fill in for those people taking off to be with their kids or grabing all the holidays, that pisses me off, but I have a feeling that things are going to get better this year.

Do you perceive that there are any dominant messages expressed in our culture about having children? If so, what are they?

Not really. I tend to ignore the Kodak Moments.

Do you feel these messages are for the most part accurate, inaccurate, misleading or something else? Please explain.

They are inaccurate. Becasue the kids you see are actors, even the babies in diaper commercials are twins, when one gets fussy, they sub it out for the other one.

Have any parents ever spoken to you about the "downside" of having children or told you if they had to go back and do it all over again, they wouldn't have kids? Have any parents expressed that they are jealous of you for being childfree? If so, please describe the conversation(s).

No one has said anything outright, but you can kind of hear the wistfulness in their voice when they (I work with mostly men) when it was just the two of them. there is one guy here that refered to his infant daughter as "it" for about two months after she was born, now he calls her the "kid", I don't think that I've every heard him refer to her as "my daughter". Personally, I think he wanted a boy, he wasn't too happy when they learned the sex.

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