Friday, September 24, 2010
Parents want it (a Child-Free Zone)
You may, or may not, be amazed at how often parents say to us "I want a child-free zone" or "maybe I should never have had kids".
Usually this is in jest. Mostly they want our stickers on the bedroom door :-)
But on occasion, during our CFZ journey, we've been approached by people who wish to remain anonymous and who want no reply from us (just in case someone sees it).
We've had quite heartbreaking correspondence from people about how they feel tricked, trapped and very alone because they have kids now, but never wanted them.
If their families found out all hell would break loose...of course!
They tell us amazing stories of kids off the rails, drug addicts, family struggle, illness, child related divorce and anything else you can imagine.
They tell us they love them because they have to but if they had their time again they would not have children.
Every one's story is unique and one thing I've learned is that there is no "right" answer.
If you've got no kids people tell you that you are wrong, if you've got one they tell you that you are wrong, if you've got 17 you still get told.
Despite our constant endeavours as a species to see into the future it remains unpredictable. I'm pretty sure it always will too.
There are, however, some things we can do to influence it.
I was pretty damn sure I wouldn't make a good parent for a lot of reasons. I am not a bad person, I don't think, but I would not be a good parent.
Did I go out and find a partner who'd force me to reproduce? Did I have a kid anyway? Did I take the risk of screwing up another person's life with my bad parenting skills? Did I then regret the f***ing thing?
I think you know the answer.
In the past I have been accused of being conservative and avoiding risks. Maybe too much so and maybe to my detriment.
Putting myself in my hypothetical kids shoes, I wouldn't want to work out one day that my Dad had gambled with my life. Bloody hell, it is easy enough to blame your parents for your shitty life without it actually being their fault.
A life is a pretty big thing to screw up and when you are doing it to someone else that is a crime.
You can't get 6 months or a year into parenthood and say "nope, not for me, I am pushing this sucker back where it came from".
If I ever catch anyone encouraging someone else to breed instead of just listening to their reasons, their fears and their excitement I'll slap them!