I’m reaching the age where most of my contemporaries are settling down, getting married, and having babies. Not necessarily in that order. A lot of them have terrible jobs. Some of them have decent jobs. And a small grab bag of individuals have their dream jobs. Needless to say I’m a little behind on the whole thing. Not married, engaged, pregnant, a parent, and my job is in no way related to my field. I’m generally okay with this. I never want to have children, my pets are enough. The boy and I would like to get married some day, but we are also perfectly content with being in a committed, long-term, relationship for now. I am hoping to figure out the whole job thing this year.
A brief discussion about parenting with some customers prompted me to really start thinking the archaic belief that we all have to get married and procreate. Apparently, according to the several women, I am entirely too young to make the rash decision to not have children…I’m old enough to have a degree, drink, rent a car, go to war, buy a gun, and smoke. But not old enough to make personal choices about giving up a huge chunk of my life to a child. But, I can see where they were coming from. A lot of people seriously feel that having children is the most beautiful, wonderful, and rewarding thing a couple can do. I just happen to disagree.
A post on Facebook further prompted me to write about it at more length. There’s been a picture of a fetus pressing it’s foot against the inside of a pregnant woman’s stomach. It’s accompanied by a story about a woman who has a child and wants to terminate her latest pregnancy. The doctor then suggests that she simply kill the child she already has since she has no problem with murder. This story has a number of flaws and makes a number of points that I disagree with. But what really gets me are the comments left by most people. They go a lot like this “If u aren’t ready 2 have a baby then u need 2 keep ur legs closed until ur married!”
So. If you’re married you have to have a baby? You’re automatically ready to have a baby when you’re married? You can suddenly emotionally deal with pregnancy and support a child financially? Why do people always assume that marriage equals children? Why do people always assume that if you have a baby while you’re married everything becomes magical and perfect and you’re three times as in love as you were before? Because divorce never happens when you have kids. Children are never abandoned, abused, or malnourished when the couple who conceived them are strapped together in marital bliss. I see their point, kind of, that until you’re ready to deal with the ramifications of child rearing you theoretically shouldn’t have sex. But what if you don’t want kids or can’t support kids while you’re married. Do you just not have sex? Do you get your tubes tied/balls snipped? There’s always contraception, of course. What do you do when that fails? Continue with the pregnancy even though it goes against your beliefs and desires?
I just don’t understand our society’s obsession with procreation. With the world population going up every day we are in no serious danger of the humans dying out. There are thousands of children in this country and around the world without families, food, homes, health care, and other basic needs. Do we just keep adding to those because marriage somehow equates to babies? It just doesn’t make sense. I, for one, resent being made to feel like my life is incomplete if I don’t spawn. Or that something is wrong with me. Or that I’m never supposed to enjoy the throes of sex. I really just wish that humans could accept that we all want different things, have different needs, and make different mistakes.