I am currently childless. It doesn’t bother me that I am. I believe that I am leading a fairly fulfilled life without children. My husband, on the other hand, is troubled. He knows that my clock is ticking. Interestingly enough, I was reading a book about the childless revolution and a book about becoming pregnant after 35 at the same time.
I have a freedom that other women who have chosen to be mothers don’t. My husband and I can have dinner late if we want. We don’t have to hire someone so we can have a date night. We can chose to have quiet afternoons and evenings together when our work schedules allow. We can decide to go to a midnight showing of a movie without worrying who can take care of our child. We can decide to go on road trip whenever we choose. When we choose a new vehicle, minivan isn’t in our vocabulary. We don’t care about stow and go. As we advance in our careers, we don’t have to think about schools in the new city. We don’t have to balance our personal enrichment endeavors between sports practices, church activities and music lessons. We can have topical adult conversations about politics, literature, sports, music, religion and the alike. Not that people with children can’t have these types of conversations but we can chose to have them whenever. We are supposed to have disposable income but we haven’t quite reached that point yet. We don’t have to figure out how we are going to help pay for our child’s college education. We don’t need to plan a vacation around an amusement park in Florida. When we purchased our house we knew that as long as our careers kept us in this city we would never have to “upgrade” to a larger house. We might just be lucky enough to be able to retire early.
It’s not that I’m a child hater but being around children, no matter how well behaved, for more than two hours makes me very uncomfortable especially with children under 6 years old. I have no idea what to do. It is as foreign to me as understanding competitive rowing. It is like I am missing the the nuture gene. I’m not sure where it went or if I ever had it.
I remember a very long time ago when I just started to babysit. I went to the YWCA and took the babysitting course to be certified. It was at the time very important to me. I babysat a couple of times and realized that I didn’t like it at all. So, I decided with the help of my dad to mow lawns all summer to earn money.
Yet, I am still drawn to children. I majored in education in college. I did my clinical and realized that I wasn’t connecting with them at all. No matter, how creative I chose to make my lesson plans they just weren’t getting it. I tried to connect with visuals. I tried to connect with little hands-on projects. I tried lecture. I tried with computer games. I tried. The only thing they really enjoyed was board drills and the current events game. You can’t measure success or failure from board drills. Just because it’s fun doesn’t mean there is learning. I had very bright kids in my class and not many of them were easily bored. I failed my students. I couldn’t give them what they needed to grow as students and citizens of our country. I doubt any of them were touched by anything I did in that classroom.
I chose to teach a Sunday School class. It was a disaster. The kids were bored. They didn’t want to be in class. They would have much rather have been home watching FCO (For Children Only) with Morty Mouse on TV. They might have thought that their parents dropped off from an hour break. Really, the kids seemed to be more happy about Kool-Aid and cookies after class than the word of God. It was troubling knowing that no matter what I said or did that few if any were going to remember anything I said by the next week especially their bible verses. No matter how hard I tried I just could never connect. I’m not sure why. Maybe because I’m missing the nuture gene.
I have pets. I have two cats or probably more appropriately put I am owned by two cats. I can tell you just about everything about my “kids”. I know their favorite hiding places. I know how much my oldest enjoys “deck time”. I know how the youngest enjoys catching and eating bugs. The oldest is a very vocal cat. The youngest is the opposite. I wouldn’t even know she lives here she is so quiet. The youngest loves to sit on laps. She doesn’t like loud noises. She gets upset when I watch sports on TV. I have a tendency to yell at the TV. The oldest is a near cat but not an “on” cat. She is petrified of children. The oldest thinks with her stomach and loves people food. The youngest isn’t the least bit interested in my food. She just wants her dry cereal. The oldest becomes jealous very easily. They will both tell you that the hired help around here stinks. I dote and spoil them rotten. I love my pets but I know it’s not the same but it is the closest that I will ever get.
In the next few days, I’ll be writing more about my childlessness. More blog therapy for Jill.