Earlier this summer, my family was having a gathering “back home.” We live a few states away and aren’t able to attend most family functions, so we get regular updates from those who are able to go.
So out of the blue my aunt (by marriage) blurts out to my grandmother, “I still don’t understand why Kim and Chris don’t have kids.”
My grandmother defended our decision, saying that we just don’t want to be parents.
To which my aunt responded, “Well, I feel the only reason to get married is to have kids.”
You can imagine my reaction when my mother relayed THAT little gem to me.
First of all, I have never understood why other people care so much about my life. Imagine the world we would live in if these people focused their attention on real issues, like poverty, education, crime, the homeless, raising money to cure cancer, and a host of other worthwhile causes. Lobbying for us to have children is simply a colossal waste of time and energy.
Second, there are THOUSANDS of other reasons to get married, first and foremost being that YOU LOVE EACH OTHER. Chris and I are truly best friends. We got married so we could spend the rest of our lives together, doing things that we enjoy.
Third, the idea that marriage equals parenthood should stay in the 1950s where it belongs. Women were expected to get married and quit their jobs (if they had one) when they got pregnant. There wasn’t much room for choice, since the social climate of the time dictated that a woman had to be dependent on a man for her very survival.
Times have certainly changed. Women are present in just about every field. We are world leaders, astronauts, CEOs of companies, and a host of other positions previously reserved for men only. Women have choices, and one of those choices is to remain child free.
I know not everyone will understand my decision. But in the grand scheme of things, that doesn’t really matter.
What matters is that Chris and I agree that our marriage doesn’t include parenthood.
End of story.