Friday, August 22, 2008

Regrets?

After yoga class yesterday, three of us got onto the topic of children. Nancy and I don't have any offspring. Lynne has two. Do you have any regrets, asked Nancy as she smoothed her wild hair. Well, said Lynne, if I had it to do over, I don't know. She explained that once you have kids, you always feel responsible, always worry about them. Her daughter is 40, and she still worries about her all the time.

Nancy, the only one of us still ovulating, said she really does not regret her decision to remain childfree, except once in a while when she sees a little brother and sister together. Then she feels a twinge of emotion--but not enough to change her mind.

How about me? I looked up from tieing up my mat. Well, yes, I have often regretted not having children. But lately, dealing with my six-month old pups, not so much. They laughed. I went on to detail some of the dogs' recent exploits, including shredding the hot tub cover, destroying the screen door, eating the paint off the walls in the laundry room, and smearing mud all over everything while it was raining and they got bored.

However, I noted that I did wish I had adult children to hang out with and to help me with things. Nancy rapidly reminded me that many children don't get along with their parents, aren't around to help, live far away, etc. I know, I know, I know. But if I had children, they might be worrying about me the way Lynne worries about her kids.

But as for little ones? I think I've grown out of it. While we were doing our final relaxation, I heard the gym owner's tots chattering in the other room. At that moment as they interrupted my meditation, I wanted to vaporize them. :-)Then I put them into the background with the potato chip delivery truck outside and went back to pretending I was a rock in a river on a sunny day.

Whatever we feel about childlessness, yoga tells us to focus on our breath, live in the moment and find that calm, peaceful place in our hearts. Breathe in, breathe out with a nice long ommmmm. What is, is.

3 comments:

yvonne said...

Sue, I wonder about those who have regrets, and those who don't. In your research, did you find that those who were married to someone who didn't have children did not live near their immediate families? We live in the same area as my husband's family, but my family is overseas. Sometimes I wonder if my desire for children is related to my wanting my own family, and not just being an extension of my husband's family. A sense of belonging somewhere, I guess.

My husband is an only child, and he was wondering if you found that most men who didn't want children were only children themselves.

We're trying to figure ourselves out, and your posts are wonderfully familiar.

Sue Lick said...

Yvonne,
Some of those I've interviewed are surrounded by big families while are like my husband and me, far from our few loved ones. Often both husband and wife have brothers and sisters who provide the parents with grandchildren and offer nieces and nephews to fill the child gap. For me, with no family nearby, yes, I think it does make it harder to be childless. I also know that if I had children back home, I would never have moved away.
Good luck on figuring yourselves out. It's a lifelong job.

Anonymous said...

I am an only child and I do not really want any children, but I'm kinda on the fence about the issue. My husband wants them, and I used to want them, but the older I get, the less I want kids. Why is it, that most newlyweds seemingly want kids, but then everyone who has them just complains about them?! Why would anyone want them after hearing how exhausting and hard it is, just so the kids can grow up and not get along with you...