The single, childless life of the 30-something female has been a romantic comedy focus since at least Bridget Jones Diary, perhaps earlier. As I get older and find myself in that category of women, I am pressed with a mixture of feelings. On one hand, I am secure in who I am, proud of the life I have established for myself, and content to never have to worry about a little grubber eating my cookies or getting into my porn. On the other hand, it's hard to deny the biochemistry of hormones and the strange fantasy of wanting a "little me." I have learned that I will only know many friends through the growth of their children, as our communication is more or less limited to the Christmas cards that only show the little grubbers, and as each one gives themselves over to the breeding lifestyle I know that is one less person I can call on a whim to have a cocktail and watch a rated-R movie.
I don't judge anyone's life or decisions to have children. It's a respectful and wonderful thing and I often wonder if I am selfless enough to raise them at all. But there is sometimes an attitude out there that those of us who have not begun to breed somehow have nothing to do and our lives and comittments are of lesser importance than those who have. Case in point: a rather snotty co-worker of mine and I were chatting one day and I was telling her about some of my life's activities outside of the office. Her reply was a very short, chippy "Well, you must not kids then." It wasn't so much the words as it was the tone. It was a tone that implied that if I had children, I would have better things to do than run distance and practice martial arts. A tone that implied I could have better things to do than enrich my own mind. A tone that implied it was silly for me to dip out at four when there was no smiling face for me to pick up from school, or dance, or hockey. A tone that carried a mixture of judgement and pity.
For what totally eludes me. Obviously, my choice to not have children has been rather deliberate. With my relationship experience, I could easily have made a baby by now, but the choice to the negative was because I am not willing to raise a child alone. And despite my hormones, child rearing is simply too much work to go at it solo. So why judge my ability to use birth control? I can't even reason out the pity, except to say perhaps someone like her who had a child at a very young age has never known her own life and maybe she thinks I'm lonely or something. I admit, sometimes the house is a bit quiet, but it's a quiet I enjoy.
This little rant is not to say I will never reproduce. If the right man came along and it felt right, I'll go for it. But in the meantime, I love my life.