There's a train rolling by, and I'm not on it.
It's filled with pacifiers and dance recitals and an endless supply of shoes.
This train is packed with responsibility and life-long commitment.
The train is ever present. And yet, I do not get on.
It runs beside me, filled with close friends and family members.
I'm often asked when I will be getting on. But I know that answer, I wont.
Because I know that this is a ride that never ends.
And though it may look exciting, I rather enjoy my leisurely strolls.

I have plenty of friends (real and cyber) that are moms. And they enjoy it. There are new moms, old moms, moms of twins and multiple children and moms of only child's. Moms who have adopted. And moms who have struggled with infertility. I know that for some, being a mother is their life's goal.

And yet, because of this, I feel as if maybe I'm missing something. Even though I know the thing I'm missing is something that I don't want. Like when a friend orders something off the menu that you would never in a million years choose, and yet, you can't help but stare at their plate. And while I'm perfectly happy with my order, I can't help but wonder.

Would I be a good mom? Would our kids' friends like us? Would I buy a ridiculously oversized camera and trot my daughter out like a show pony while she stood in an over-priced, bedazzled costume that barely covers her baby bits in front of a sea of strangers? Would our house be the 'party place,' where the kids think that we just might be cool enough to buy them alcohol? (which, we totally wouldn't) Would I find that being a mom is more important than being me?

Would I be a too dedicated mom? Would I look up one day and realize that my husband and I are nothing more than grown up sister and brother? Would I lose my obnoxious charm, only to be replaced with plain obnoxiousness? What would I look like behind the wheel of an SUV, or God-forbid – a minivan? Would my dinners turn from made-from-scratch enchiladas and pasta to bowls of cold cheerios?

I think about these things and it makes me sad. Not because I want them. But because society makes me feel as if I should. That I'm not 'doing my part' because I'm not populating the earth. But last I checked, there were too many of us anyway. And frankly, I like my vacations. And I love my two-door car. And I couldn't really imagine kids brushing their teeth in my spare bath, tiny feet planted on cold slate, reaching up over the decorative lip of the sink. I just don't see it.

Last night, I went to my Little's dance recital. And the experience made me hyperventilate a bit. These tiny girls, so unsure of themselves, wearing more glitter than I have ever worn in my entire life. Dancing on a stage where I have seen my favorite band play. Parents pushing by to get a better view, to point cameras bigger than those toted by paparazzi. Many of these girls were too young to even know what was going on. Their 'handlers' stood off in the wing, showing them the moves. Much of their dance was spent facing the side of the stage, only mimicking what was being done at that moment. The whole thing made me queasy.

I just don't get it.


  1. But at least you know how you feel about it. There will always be curiosity but I know you're confident in your decision not to have children. The gray area where I find myself really sucks sometimes. It's not that I worry because society thinks I should have kids... it's that part of ME thinks I should and part of me thinks I shouldn't... and until both parts of me can agree, one way or another, I will continue to feel queasy. Stupid trains.

  2. I think it takes courage to look at something society tells you you are "supposed" to do and say, "nope, not for me." Much, much better than becoming one of the people who feel pressured into having children and end up hating being a parent.

    I won't be a mom until the fall but I can already tell you that-- although this is something I want-- I will be jealous of your tiny car, exotic meals and awesome vacations!

  3. Kelli - all I can say is that many of those of us who are parents don't get it either...for sure the dance recital part of it anyway...

    Seriously though - no matter what your choices are in life, you are always going to wonder what it would have been like had you made different ones. There are plenty of times I wonder about what life would be like without kids. For me, I knew I wanted them. For you, you know you don't. That's what matters.

    I also personally love that you are using your time and energy (that you might not have extra of if you were raising kids) to invest in a child that needs it. It would be easy not to choose to do that - I for one am glad you did.

  4. I think it's a good thing that you are so clear about your decision to not have children. It's important to honor that in yourself rather than bend to what it seems you're "supposed" to do.

    My sister-in-law has never wanted children, which is something her mother has never been able to understand or accept. She tries to rope me into convincing SIL to have a baby. She'll say to me, "She would be so happy if she only had children." I point out that maybe she wouldn't be happy. Maybe she'd be miserable, and maybe kids would destroy her marriage. There's no way to know. Then she throws in my face that I have three kids, and could I imagine life without them? Of course I can't imagine life without them - but that's MY life. It's not the same for everyone, nor should it be. And I think it's really a shame when anyone is made to feel like they're lacking in some way just because they don't follow society's trend.

  5. It would be nice if you could test drive being a parent. You know, I was really on the border about having kids for quite a while. Really, if my husband had not really, really, really wanted them, I would have been totally fine not having them. But he did and I was on the fence until one day I wasn't and I was like let's do this.

    And wow, yes, there are some days I am crazy envious of those without kids. The thing is, your kid is not everyone else's kids. I still don't really like (other people's) kids. I would say I have more patience for them now. But it is so entirely different when it's your own.

    I think it is great that you know what you want. It's no one else's choice but yours (and your husband's).

    I was in dance when I was little and yes, recitals can be ridiculous but it is the only event of the year unlike in sports where you have multiple games, etc. So that's all I can think is...they try to make up for that.

  6. I love your blog and I love your honesty in this post. I have been happily married for 11 years and we are currently child free by choice. Not sure if we will always be that way, but we've never felt like getting on board the train you mentioned.

    Sometimes I wonder if "I" am missing something genetically bc I feel this way. Or is it the pressures from society. I think the kicker is we LOVE kids. Love other people's kids. Others comment on how much kids are just drawn to us. We are "that couple" at church that the kids want to sit with. We are the favorite aunt and uncle. But, just not sure we will be mom and dad.

    I love your analogies (trains, ordering off the menu). We use the analogy of a boat. We love boats! Going for a ride on a boat for the weekend in a blast! Going fast, going slow, whatever. Holiday weekends are so much fun with a boat! But, the rest of the time, buying the gas, paying for the insurance, repairs, driving up to the lake for maintenance, etc... We like to have friends with boats, just not sure we want to be a boat owner ourselves!

    Glad you have decided and have peace with your decision.

  7. I wish there were more people like you. There are so many people out there who feel exactly as you do, but still succumb to those evolutionary urges to procreate. You know those people, the ones who lovingly neglect their children. They still want to have the freedom they enjoyed before the little ones, so they buy them everything they want just to shut them up. I see too many people with children who continue to live their lives like their kids don't exist and it makes me sad and a little angry. Children deserve better.

    I am glad you understand what your responsibilities would be if you were ever to have children. That makes you a responsible adult. Good for you for knowing what you want in life. Don't let anyone ever let you feel like you are somehow a second-class-citizen for not wanting kids.

    -Jody (with and 'i')

  8. i think 1. it's great and 2. you need to do what works for you and your husband and it sounds like you are both in agreement about it!

    As a parent of a young one (and wanting to have more children), I will say that I often DONT GET IT either! i am beyond terrified of having a little girl (or boy) that is into dance recitals and/or pageants or cheer or pretty much anything that requires makeup or costumes for children under, um, 18?

  9. You are amazing in this whole journey. I love that you made the choice right for you, and NO person should question you.