what? multiple blog posts in one day? yes. i have a lot on my mind. all summed up in lyrics written by the talented eminem.
before i begin, i want to make it known that i have nothing against people who want children. or who have children. mkay.
i don't want children. i can picture myself as a mom. i have the mormon-mom hips that are great for supporting boxes as you carry them across parking lots, as well as holding little kids. i have this need to be nurturing. but, i don't want kids.
i've been thinking a lot lately about the reasons why i don't want children. are they selfish? yes. though, i'm more than happy to argue about the selfishness of child-bearing and rearing, if you'd like to listen, sometime.
these reasons are listed in no particular order.
first reason: i've already helped to raise kids. my dad died when i was nine. my mom was six months pregnant with my youngest brother, at the time. my other two brothers were six and 21 months. i stopped being a kid the summer before my dad died, and was suddenly this sibling/parent hybrid. my relationships with my brothers have become increasingly more complicated as they've gotten older. but, for awhile, i was the other 'parent.'
second reason: i don't want to bring more children into the world. yeah, sure, it'd be great to look at my kids and be like, hey. those are my cute shoulder dimples. but, i don't want that badly enough to bring more children into the world. there are so many kids, already, who are in need of loving homes and families. my bleeding heart can't justify bringing more children into the world instead of helping out the children who are already here. thus, if i ever do decide that i want kids, i will probably adopt.
third reason: i do not want to be my mom. i love my mom with all my heart. i do. but, sometimes, i see bits of her personality surface in mine. my childhood was filled with a lot of guilt and manipulation. i don't want to pass that on to another generation.
fourth reason: i have my heart set on a career in academia. there are women in academia who manage to do it. who manage to be both mothers and professors. but, i don't want my children to grow up angry that i was giving a lecture on Foucault's Panopticism and missed their soccer game or choir concert. i'm not going to bring children into circumstances for which i know they will grow up resenting me.
fifth reason: this is probably the most important reason, for me. i have an aunt. lynn. lynn is one of my favorite people on the planet. my liberal beliefs were founded at an early age, with influence -- albeit unintentional on her part -- from lynn. lynn is the only other member of my family, on either my mom's or my dad's side, who is not an active member of the lds faith. she has two kids. for a few years, she raised them as jewish. as in, the kids went to hebrew school and whatnot. now, she's implementing ideas of openness toward and respect for all religious beliefs, though actively advocating none. yet, my grandparents are trying to teach lynn's boys the 'right way.' whenever they're alone with the boys, they teach them primary songs. about various tenets of gospel doctrine. they were teaching the youngest how to pray, last time i was with them.
the lds faith is one that instills into the hearts and minds of its believers that eternal sadness and disappointment awaits those who do not obey. the biggest threat? that you will not be able to be with your family. the way this is most effectively carried out is by telling you that the rest of your family will make it to heaven -- well, technically, the highest degree of the celestial kingdom -- and your unfaithfulness will result in you being separated from them for eternity. won't that be devastating? i fretted for years and years about not being a doubter because my dad was dead, and i really wanted there to be another life in which my family was whole, once again. my grandparents have the same desire -- that is, for their family to be whole. however, they recognize that, according to their faith, their daughter will not be able to join them. but this doesn't mean that it's too late for her kids.
i don't want that. i don't want to take my kids to family gatherings and have them bombarded with propaganda from my grandparents, my mother, my siblings, and whomever else. i don't want to have to explain that i am the cause of a large amount grief in the lives of the people i love, because they don't think i will be able to spend eternity in joyfulness with them. and, moreover, i don't know that i could handle it, if my children did decide that they wanted to join the faith. i don't know that i could bear that look of sadness in the eyes of my mom, when i tell her i'm not currently interested in attending the temple, appearing in the eyes of my children, as well.
finally, i feel like bringing children into the world is about leaving the world a little bit better than it was when you entered it. and, i feel like i can do that most effectively through means other than being a parent.
there you go. my diatribe. all selfish reasons. perhaps paltry, as well. but my reasons, nonetheless.
bye for now.