I was browsing through WP the other week and came across a post about a woman’s decision not to have children. Notable, I guess. Somebody being able to reproduce but choosing not to. I’m not sure why, and it’s nobody’s business but her own. But I did think it might be a good subject for a post.
Nowadays, I would agree with her. For environmental reasons. Does the planet really need another consumer? Bringing up my daughter, I was immediately struck by the amount she consumed, or that we consumed on her behalf, before she even popped out. All those disposables had to get disposed someplace.
But it wasn’t always so. From an early age I knew I wanted children someday. Two would have been ideal.
When I met Mrs Bump, she didn’t want children. We had fun together, but our different outlooks would have been a deal-breaker, sooner or later. I don’t think you can disagree on that big an issue, and still stay together.
Except that Mrs Bump changed her mind. She decided that she would like to have a child. Yes, with me! But seriously, that’s pretty big, that particular flip. If I’d made up my mind, I don’t think I’d have changed it for anyone. But she did.
Having made that life-changing decision, we went back to being quite relaxed about it all. It takes months to conceive anyhow, right, so why get stressed? A month later, she was pregnant.
After the birth, everything happened less often. But we never took steps to prevent a second, it just didn’t happen. And that became convenient for me, because my experience with one baby was rapidly putting me off a second.
Looking back twenty years, I found child-rearing probably the most underwhelming experience of my life. I’m glad it happened, I understand the process of fatherhood, so have better empathy with other parents, but I’m thankful that it only happened once.
There is also my daughter. Our relationship is strained and we are not at all close. But I don’t wish her out of existence. I’m not sure how big a part I want to play in her life, but I’m glad she has a life.
Anyway, I just thought it was an interesting subject, that’s all. It’s one of the few “big” issues where my view has about-turned. I wonder, does anybody else have views on this one that they would like to share?