Last week when I was at a GST Registration conference, I met classmates I haven’t seen in 19 years. We have been planning this two-decade reunion and to be honest, I have not been overly enthusiastic about it. It’s just that after 20 years, we are not the same people anymore. We made our decisions to live life on our terms and we are happy – or trying to be – about the choices we made and the people we have become.
The second – and maybe most important – reason why I don’t want to be part of this reunion is my stance on children. I am a successful career woman who chose not to have children; not because it would halt my pace at chasing the corner office, but because I have never really been much of a baby person.
Even before I hit 18, I knew I wasn’t destined to be a mother I just didn’t get all mushy when someone announced their pregnancy and I was also not so keen on babysitting. Interestingly, I preferred mowing lawns and cleaning swimming pools to make the extra dollar during summer than to babysit. My mother thought I was too young to know what I wanted and so the phase would pass, she said. Well, 20 years later, it is yet to pass. I am more convinced that I made the right decision and mommy dear is finally coming to terms with it.
Where is your Child?
Now, I have met a few people after high school as well as those who went to college with me and they all want to know how I am dealing with motherhood. They always act so surprised when I tell them I am not a mother and have no intention of being one. Married, yes, happily – for 8 years – but I choose not to bring life into the world.
Despite the fact that my husband and I are happy with this decision, I still get labeled ‘selfish.’ Most people who hardly know anything about me conclude that I chose my career over giving life, which they conclude is pretty selfish. When I got my current promotion at work to head one of our branches, one of the partners asked me what the glory was for if I had no one to share it with. Well, they were wrong as I have plenty of people to share it with and most importantly, I am happy with my choices. Sad that this would never be enough for them.
Let People be
So, for my reunion, I am probably going to answer lots of questions on why I chose not to have children, and I am okay with it. I will smile graciously and gently remind those who feel like I am doing the world injustice to kindly refrain from giving unsolicited advice. I will, thereafter, join my husband on a trip to Bora Bora to celebrate his company’s mega investment deal and milestone. In short, I will mind my business.