I went out again last night with the guy I have been dating, I’ll call him “Rod.” He seems to be a very open guy about a lot of things and is interested in having fun and not making life so serious. Which is great for me because I feel the same. He now knows that I’m still technically married but in the process of divorce. Last night we also talked about the fact that I have had my tubes tied. I could tell he was a little take aback by that, which I suppose is understandable. But then he went too far…
Before I told him that I got my tubes tied, I was telling him how society makes women believe that their main reason for living is to have children and care for their children. I said that I believe a lot of people have children only because they think that is what they are supposed to do. He didn’t agree, but then again, he’s not a childfree woman. Then after I told him about my choice to get my tubes tied, he did exactly what everyone else does…tried to tell me that I will change my mind! The first thing he said was, “Well, I’m sure it’s reversible if you ever change your mind.” I said that it wasn’t (even though I think maybe it is). Then he said, “Oh, well you could always adopt later if you decide to.” I was so irritated with what he said that I came close to just getting up and walking away. I wasn’t expecting him (a young guy who doesn’t take life too seriously) to react that way. I didn’t walk away, but I did speak my mind.
I pointed out to him that he was doing exactly what I was saying society does to women…makes us think that we all WANT to have children, and that we SHOULD. I then pointed out that I was 30 years old when I got my tubes tied and that I had never in my life wanted children. I am a 32-year-old woman. Why is it so hard to believe that I have made that life decision, and that I will never change my mind? Why was it that his first thought was that I will change my mind? Why did he think I wasn’t old enough to make a decision like that? We aren’t talking about a career change or a wardrobe change…we are talking about making the most important decision of my life. Getting married is an important decision, changing jobs is an important decision, moving to a completely different location is an important decision…but I do not think there is any decision as important as deciding to have children or not to have children, mainly because most other decisions in life can be reversed. Having children changes every aspect of your life and basically drives every decision you make from that point on.
I am an intelligent, successful, independent woman. Why would I be incapable of making an important life decision and sticking to it? It just made me realize that unless you are a childfree person, you will never understand the choice to not have children. I have never met anyone who did want children who could even begin to understand my decision, and I guess that is just something I will have to live with. But that doesn’t mean I still won’t be irritated the next time someone tries to tell me that I will change my mind. Maybe when I hit 40 people will stop telling me that. I guess that’s one thing to look forward to! :)