Friday, February 20, 2009

As a contented, settled 42-year-old, Kate Johnson wonders why she still has to explain her decision not to have a baby .

Why I’m happy to be child-free
. . .There’s a tacit implication that you can’t know real love (or even real fatigue) until you’ve had a baby. The love I have for my family (including nephew and nieces), my close friends and my boyfriend doesn’t feel less than whole. Maintaining those relationships takes time and mutual effort, patience, love, generosity, good humour, understanding and selflessness. At 42 I find my close relationships satisfy any and all nurturing urges. I agree that my fatigue isn’t remotely noble, because it’s due to late nights and red wine, rather than early mornings and baby duties.
. . .
I’m child-free, not because I’m an ambitious high-flyer, a self-obsessed consumer, a feminist or anti-children in any way. There are lots of children in my life; they’re adorable. And it’s not because I’m selfish; in fact, I can’t see what’s so selfless about people choosing to have children. But that’s their choice, and I accept it. And this is mine.
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