Hi folks, it’s been over a week or so since I last posted, time does seem to get away from you. What with the lovely wedding (thanks Lizzie) of one of Jo’s cousins and jury service, sickness and holiday of just about all my colleagues, (bar the ones who have been working ten times harder) its been hectic.
Anyway I have decided that I’ve delayed long enough. Its time to start writing a new book. For those of you who are newish to the blog, I published one last year, but have written a number of others which are somewhere on the chart of ‘never destined to see the light of day, to needing some work.’ I’m mulling over two options at the moment but aim to make a decision today and start on the book tonight!
Aside from this shennanikins, I have been thinking about having children, specifically relating to a previous post about donation which some people got the wrong end of the stick on (can’t think why). Having children seems, on the surface quite an odd decision. They completely restrict your day to day activities, you have to literally work around them. They keep you up at night, they worry you endlessly that something might happen to them when you turn your back for ‘one second’. Then there’s the whole rearing aspect. The teaching to eat nicely, manners, rules, work ethic, reading, and all manner of other things which it turns out you somehow know (probably your parents).
Ultimately they take twenty years of your life to raise (charitably, I’ve seen some which are still at home aged thirty) and don’t actually give anything back to you. Sure they then do the same for their kids (or don’t, that’s an option to) but you don’t personally benefit from all that heart ache and effort unless you have children who are happy to nurse you in your dotage (although it’s often off to the home with you).
And yet, and yet. Wouldn’t it be lonely without them? Whether you adopt or have your own, is the trade off of a sense of pride and warm fuzzy feelings enough for all the hard work? Or am I missing another reward which is more tangible? Is it just that if you don’t raise kids (your own or otherwise) you feel like you’ve missed out? That seems a pretty poor reason to shape new life.
Obviously all of our parents thought so (well most, let’s ignore accidents and Catholicism) whether they were suited to be parents or not. Equally their parents thought the same and their parents and so on and so forth.
A lot of it has to do with people’s life partners too. If you are with someone dead set against kids, that leaves two options. Likewise someone who really wants them. Compromise only exists in the middle.
As someone without children I wonder if some great curtain gets parted when you have kids and you see the real value to them then. Before that you just see all the sacrifice made for them and not the reward. It’s amazing if this is the case that each generation is persuaded to have them, although our parents generation with their bra burning are the first to have the option not to, most people in the past did what society deemed, to writ.
Grow up, men get job. Women maybe get job but probably not. Get married. Have kids. Have more kids. Grow old. Give up job. Die.
Now we can, grow up, get job. Trade it in for a different job. Pack it in to go travelling. Live in sin for a bit with your partner. Start own company. Leave partner and company. Work in opium den in Cambodia. Write a book. Have a string of illicit affairs. Maybe have a kid. Go into politics. Do whatever you want. Die.
Now the latter still has the same ending but we are so much more free in these heady days of low cost travel and loosening moral restrictions to go where we want and have any lifestyle we choose.
But most people don’t decide to upsticks and join a commune or live with two partners in a three way marriage. We still follow, by and large, the first option. (Although in modern times the women almost always gets a job). Most people seem happy as well. Or at least content. Maybe its because having kids is actually fun, and the first set of options is what most people want to do.
I’m really glad the second set exists too. As a person i have never been more free to be able to make decisions as I choose. I appreciate a lot of people aren’t in the same situation as I am, for myriad reasons, but for me I have the choice, cancer permitting. And maybe, having seen all the low cost holiday airlines can offer and having lived how I have chosen for many years, it’s time to come back to the biological imperative. Because, for me, it’s all about what I want, but maybe what I, and most others around me, want isn’t so different to fifty or five hundred years ago. For those who don’t want that. Enjoy modern day life and feel lucky you were born when you were.
Ultimately life is what you make of it and you could lose it at any time. Do what makes you happy. Or at least what makes you the least unhappy!