Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Going Childfree - A Guy’s Perspective

Amy and Lance Blackstone are a childfree couple with a new website and blog called We are {not} having a Baby. I chatted with Amy and we thought it would be cool to guest blog on each other's sites. Amy's husband Lance offerred to give his perspective as a childfree guy who came from the assumption of parenthood. In the Childless by Choice Project I made a real effort to include men because they are often overlooked in the discussion of voluntary childessness, but not here, not now. Here's Lance's story:

Growing up I knew that I’d have kids of my own. The path was obvious: grow up, date, get married, have kids and be a dad. Preferably in that order. No steps optional.

This is how it works.

I’ve occasionally been wrong, but for the sake of this post I'll assume that many guys have a similar mindset.

I first actively questioned the obvious path around nine when I realized kids are a LOT of work. I have first hand experience of this. You see I have four siblings, all older sisters. Yes, four older sisters; thanks for the sympathy.

At that point two (only two!) of my sisters still lived at home with yours truly. We were an absolute handful, or more truthfully, I was an angel with two wicked, older step sisters.

I kid, I kid! Love you, my actual real, not step, sisters!

Where was I? Yeah, well, I watched mom and dad try to deal with angry, petulant, self-centered tweens and teens with endless needs and demands for time, food, money, laundry, etc. I thought to myself “Why would you do this to yourself?"

Yes, I know. Wise beyond his years, you say.

Speaking of, I’ve always been a pretty logical thinker (he says about himself). Illogically, I often assume others to be the same. Logically/illogically I figured I must be missing something. People put themselves through so much effort and heartache while giving up so much freedom, and time, ergo there must be more to the story...

I chalked it up to not understanding; to being young. I sez to myself "When I'm more mature I'll get it, and when I get it, then I'll want kids”.

Because this is how it works.

Time rolled on. I grew up (arguably). I dated. I got married. It never happened though. I’ve never wanted kids. And it's not because I never saw an upside - I do see how meaningful kids can be to parents that really want them. No, I've never wanted kids because I clearly see the downsides and for me the cons outweigh the pros.

Now I’m in my early 40’s. I’ve been married for 18 years. I love my life as it is, childfree. Speaking of, as I write this, my wife and I are on our way to a tropical island for the next 5 weeks where we will host friends and family. You think we could pull this off if we had kids?

For me, this is how it really works.


Anonymous said...

Awesome post. Great to see this from a man's perspective. My hubby always assumed he'd be a dad too, because most women want kids and he'd go long for the ride. I think he's quite glad he met me.

Bree said...

Great writing!