I’m a stay at home wife and cat mom. For those of you who read that last sentence wrong, or are wondering if I wrote it wrong, it does indeed say “cat mom”. That’s right, I don’t have a job and I don’t have children. (Other than my furry, four-legged son of course. You can read more about him in my husband’s recent blog post.) Both are by choice as well. When I tell people this, most of them are upset. They would be okay with me being a stay at home Mom, but if I don’t have children, why the hell am I not out working and helping my husband support us? Then there are the people who focus on the “no kids” part. Some of them assume that I forgot to add the “yet” to the end of the “no kids” part of my sentence. Then they call me selfish when I tell them that there was not supposed to be a “yet” in that sentence.
Let me focus on the stay at home wife part first. My husband and I have been married for over 10 years, it’ll be 11 years in August of 2013. When we got married, I was 19 and he was 21. Even being so young we were smart enough to discuss what our roles in our marriage would be, before getting married. So me not working is completely okay with my husband. If I wanted to get a job, he’d be okay with that too. He is not resentful of being the provider though. I do contribute some to the household income, but it usually only works out to about $25 a month. But, hey, that’s $25 more than we had before.
Part of the reason why my husband is okay with me not working is because he’s seen what having a job does to me. I have held jobs before. I worked in a few different places while my husband and I dated, and even worked some during the first few years of our marriage. It never ended well, and for some very good reasons. I have Panic Disorder, Bi-Polar Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and I have self diagnosed myself with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder like tendencies. I may have missed a few disorders. Even while I was being medicated for some of these disorders, trying to keep a job never worked out. While I did have that job, my entire life became a nightmare. I could not handle being at work, and I would obsess about when I would next have to go back when I was not working. I was not a fun person to be around. So, me not working is a good thing for everyone around me.
Now for the not having human children part. First of all, it’s not really anyone’s business why my husband and I do not have children. If we have decided not to, than that should be all that anyone needs to know. But, since most people seem to jump to conclusions, and we get labeled as “selfish” a lot, I’ll address this in more detail.
One of the biggest reasons why we don’t have children is because we simply don’t want any. If we aren’t interested in being parents, than it’s much better for us to simply not have kids, than to run the risk of resenting them. We haven’t always felt this way. When we first got married, we tried to get pregnant for years. It never happened. So even if we wanted to have kids, there is no guarantee that it would happen. Some of the reasons why we wanted to have kids years ago though, were simply because it was expected of us. Especially while we were members of a certain church. If you don’t have kids, you’re not a real family. When we left the church, we reevaluated the way we looked at having children. We became much more responsible about it. Another reason why we don’t have kids: we simply can’t afford to care for them. We probably won’t be able to afford to care for kids for many more years to come as well. Also, one of the biggest and most responsible and not in anyway selfish reasons why we don’t have kids, I have several mental illnesses. (As listed above.) I have been un-medicated for many years. We weren’t able to afford to have health insurance for many years, and now we can’t afford to have health insurance that covers mental illness treatments. Not to mention the fact that we can’t even afford to use the health insurance that we have now. It’s basically emergency insurance, in case something happens, we won’t have to pay for everything ourselves. Now, I technically am actually doing better now, not medicated, then while I was on medications. That is because I have set up my life so that it works for me. If I got pregnant, though, that would throw everything out of order. It’s possible that I could have a child and everything could work out just fine. Or there is the very real possibility that I would add post-partum depression to my list of disorders, my Mother suffered from it after giving birth to me. There is also the possibility that the hormones from pregnancy could make my other disorders even worse. And just taking medication will not fix this. First of all, you can not take the medications I would need during pregnancy. Also, I have been on many, many different medications, and there is no one medication that can deal with all of my issues. In fact, most of the medications that I have taken have in fact made me worse. So, if I cannot be sure that I would be someone that children should be around, why would it be selfish to not have children?