“But you’re so good with kids…”

A few weeks back, my brother commented “You’re so good with kids.” It came a bit out of nowhere, but I said thank you and genuinely accepted the compliment. Something I’m not normally that good at doing. I went back to playing ‘tea party’ with my nieces and felt satisfied. HE GOT IT.

I’m tearing up right now, writing this.

You see, normally when people give you such a compliment, they have to go and ruin it by adding “You’d be such a good mother…” or “When *are* you having kids?” or my personal favourite: “You’ll feel ready / change your mind one day…”

I can’t tell you how frustrating it is.

I am child free, by choice.

If you’re good at cooking, no one bangs on about how you MUST be a chef. (Unless you’re like reaaaaaaally good, Masterchef standard, and then they’ll just send the application off for you! Bastards!) Anyway, just because you’re good at cooking doesn’t mean you want to dedicate your life to it, to spending your evenings and weekends in a hot, sweaty kitchen. The long hours, the pressure.

Maybe you just want to cook in your own kitchen on a Sunday afternoon, at your own pace, with a glass of wine.

I’ve got plenty of other metaphors and I could bang on for another few paragraphs, but I’m sure you get my point.

I’m 35 now. Almost 36. Most people have stopped asking me if/when I’m going to have kids… thank god! I think about 90% of my close friends and family now understand and accept the fact that it’s not going to happen.

But maybe you’re not so lucky – and I feel for you. Really I do.

I’ll just wrap up by saying another thank you to my brother. You are a legend in many ways, and this is just one of them.

Hayley x

 

Are you child free? What have your experiences been? Please do share – if you feel able. It’s good to talk! πŸ˜€

 

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7 comments

  1. Other than the being good with kids bit (because I’m really not) I’ve heard all of those things so many times. My Mum’s friends even used to say it. Not to me personally but to my Mum. One of them once said, “She’ll change her mind when she’s older.” I was in my late 30s at the time and when Mum told me I asked, “How much older do I need to get?”

    I understand that some people want children – my sister has four – but it’s never been something I’ve wanted for me.

    In short… I understand where you’re coming from.

    Dx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have kids with my first husband (r.i.p.). When I got married with my current husband, lots of people asked when we started a family of our own.. Errrrr, what?!?
    We have a family of our own! I call his kid my son and he is a father to my daughter and son. My grandson calls him ‘opa’, because he is..
    The questioners didn’t understand that we don’t want any more children. Their problem, not mine.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. No one asks me that, just like no one asks me about getting married. You’d think a pregnancy with a father that ran off a couple of months in would fit their narrative of me being a loser quite well, but eh…I’m not going to complain for their lack of assumptions!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just because you are good with kids does not mean that you want to make the necessary sacrifices it takes to be a good mother. I chose my career over motherhood, and never regretted it. Don’t think I would have had the time or the stamina to do both.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yeah! You are amazing with kids! Mine love auntie Hayley. And maybe I once asked you why you won’t have your own. You explained and sometimes I’m would have your live. Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids to pieces. But sometimes…

    Kids, no kids. It should be out of the question. You are just you and that should be enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Big up to your brother for just leaving his comment at that! I can’t imagine how intrusive some people’s comments can be. It’s such ‘the norm’ for people to have kids, that people don’t really know what to say when someone goes against that. I don’t think people mean to be insensitive but there comes a point where people should just really understand that these kinds of questions make others feel awkward. You do you! Hopefully the other 10% of people will finally get off your back! x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hayley – I love this post. when I turned 35, I told my (Dutch) mother to “stop – there will be no grandchildren from me!” However, at 38 I gave birth to my awesome son. That said, having children is absolutely NOT for everyone and I think you are perfect as you are! Your brother as well – nothing like the support of a brother. I hope others stop bothering you about having kids. I once was talking to an older couple who didn’t have children – the husband said “I guess we were being selfish”, but I feel they were being the complete opposite of selfish. They were the thoughtful ones in chosing not to have children – they have a wonderful life and are happy – just like you. Enjoy!!!
    Cindy

    Like

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