Last week, loribeth left a comment that struck a chord with me. She said:
“Sometimes I feel like my life should be more “exciting” than it is. It’s like if you’re childless, people think you should be constantly travelling to exotic places — or feeding starving children in Africa — or giving up your job to run away & live on a beach in the South Pacific — because you don’t have kids to think about or send to college. When really, I am, for the most part, perfectly happy spending a quiet Saturday night at home with dh and a good book or my laptop.”
When I first realized I wasn’t going to have children, I did a lot of soul-searching about what I was going to do with my life now I wasn’t going to be a mother. Eventually, the answer came to me: I’d be doing pretty much the same as I was before. The upside now is that I still have the time to pursue things I love and I’ll most likely still enjoy that freedom ten years from now when my children would have been hitting their teen years and I would have been seriously considering running away to live on a beach in the South Pacific.
Mr. Fab and I are heading off on vacation this week—for a whole week! We’re going to the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington, where we plan to spend the week doing not very much. We’ll take our backgammon and dominoes, some good books, and our hiking boots for some long walks. I’ll pack my binoculars for whale watching and bird spotting, my waterproof jacket in case I decide to brave the water in a kayak, and my Pajama Jeans (and, by the way, believe the hype. I wear mine every day) for lounging around and relaxing.
In other words, we won’t be perpetuating the stereotype of the jet-setting childfree couple, galloping around to the most exotic corners of the world, but we will be doing something important; we’ll be making the most of what’s turning out to be a very pleasant, if not especially glamorous, life.
olivia reading says
I think a Saturday night with a loved one and a good book/laptop is a night well spent and your vacation sounds completely gorgeous to me! I hope you both have a wonderful time, glamorous or otherwise 🙂
Kate B says
I think that we are doing some things we wouldn’t otherwise be able to do. The thing I haven’t done yet though is get my Mercedes. That is the top of the list of “things I can do/have because I don’t have kids”. So far I’ve just been too practical about other things we should spend the money on – but in a couple of years – maybe – just maybe – if the City of New York ever gives hubby’s union a contract with a raise again….maybe.
It’s not about excitement, it’s about opportunity. You have the opportunity to do what you want, including nothing at all, without the added financial and time responsibility that people with children have. Some people go 20 years without a week to themselves, because of the financial and time restraints of having children.
Thanks for responding to my comment, Lisa! I hope you have a fabulous time on your trip. About 20 years ago, dh, my mom & I got on a bus in Victoria, B.C., and rode the bus onto the ferry from Vancouver Island to Anacortes & then continued on the bus to Seattle, where my great-aunt lived. The ferry ride was one of the best parts of our trip, & it made a couple of stops along the way in the San Juan Islands. I would love to go back there to explore some day!
I love the sound of your holiday – it is exactly what I’ve been yearning for recently. Gallivanting around the world to exotic places is fantastic – but we can only do that about 4 weeks a year. The rest of the time we curl up with our books and glasses of wine, and we can do that too, because we have no kids!
katelyn watson says
Love it, and so does the team at DINKlife! Need kid-freedom? Check out http://www.DINKlife.com! Thanks for the post!
this is the second time you all have picked on us poor souls living on Pacific islands. all I can say is aloha! even though I do go to the beach every morning, sail every friday night, and eat bananas picked off the tree in my yard, my child-free friends and I decided that we still have our issues! trying to decide how to live a good life, when you aren’t responsible for another life is heavy even when the nice breezes sway you to sleep.
a vacation with the one you love sounds amazing. enjoy.
this is the second time you all have picked on us poor souls living on Pacific islands. all I can say is aloha! even though I do go to the beach every morning, sail every friday night, and eat bananas picked off the tree in my yard, my child-free friends and I decided that we still have our issues! trying to decide how to live a good life, when you aren’t responsible for another life, is heavy even when the nice breezes sway you to sleep.
a vacation with the one you love sounds amazing. enjoy.
Just as you got to decide to be Childfree, you get to decide what form your Childfree life takes. It’s your life and you can do it the way you want to. If it works for you, that’s all that should really matter.
Author, The Spinsterlicious Life: 20 Life Lessons for Living Happily Single and Childfree
The subtle pressure on the childless and childfree to have an ‘amazing’ life is yet another example of the discomfort that society has around us. It’s another way of saying ‘there’s something missing in your life that makes you weird… so do something about it!”
I think the important thing is to have a life of meaning, whatever shape that takes for each of us. For parents, their children are often (but not always) the meaning at the centre of their lives – not always in a good or healthy way, and sometimes in quite tragic ways if their children are struggling with life or health issues.
As a single childless woman I find that meaningful work, friendships, time in nature and creativity are what give my life shape. Helping other women find their meaning through creating Gateway Women helps me as much as it helps others too! My website is 1 years old to your 2, and it has transformed my life and brought so many wonderful new friends (both on and offline) into my life.
Enjoy your holiday with your partner – sounds like a lovely way to live your life and I wish you both every happiness
Loved this post and linked to it in my own today @ http://baronessbarren.blogspot.com/2012/04/road-trip.html. I am looking forward to a very unglamorous life in Santa Monica sometime next year after seven years of moving around “being glamorous.”