Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I prefer dogs

I want to give up a little secret. -Or other people's little secrets, I guess.

Those people who chose not to have kids -
And say they prefer cats
or that they want to put their career first
or that they'd rather spoil their neices and nephews,
or that they'd rather have a dog - because dogs are easier than kids...

Most of the time...

They are lying.

I believe this, because I have said similarly stupid, shallow sounding things. It is my way to quickly dismiss inquiries or judgements I don't want to to deal with.

I also believe it because I have become a confessional booth for childless people. I guess they consider me one of them.

Some friends have said those stupid shallow things because they didn't want to admit to family and friends that their marriage was falling apart.

Another said those stupid things because she didn't want to go into the issue that she wanted a baby, but feared that her husband with debilitating A.D.D. might not get a job, when and if he finished school.

Another older, rich and fab coworker who says those stupid things anytime ANYONE mutters something about kids admitted how she struggled with the decision of whether to have kids, decided not too, and was nearly crushed with sadness and jealousy when her stepdaughter had a baby. She loved her little grandbaby, and still beats herself up about her decision.

Sometimes shallowness masks things that go deep.


Jennifer said...

I agree with the masks people wear. I despise the "when are you having kids" question. I always said, "Not today," as I leaned over and peered up my crotch. The real answer is awkward for me and for them. And I have to say that I've been guilty of asking. I learned that lesson quick.

I gotta be honest with you - I feel awkward commenting to the genetic mule as a person with children. I don't want to sound preachy or insensitive. I'm sorry if/when I do. I just want you to know that I'm listening and interested.

Natalee said...

I think most of the time when people act any way shallow or rude it usually has to do with some kind of personal issue they are struggling with themelves.

I hate being asked that question too. When people ask me that from now on I am totally going to make stuff up. I think I will just say I prefer cats. I would love to see the reaction I get.

The Genetic Mule said...

Please never feel wierd about commenting! I get so much from you nice commenters, and I also wouldn't mind being set straight if my thinking is wacky - It can be so often.
This post was actually in reaction (ok overreaction) to offense I took at a conference talk. The talk was awesome, and just what I needed to hear, but the opener was about how the speaker's kids had overheard some vain young adults on a plane saying they didn't want to have kids - they preferred dogs. -And then the speaker kind of scoffed. I felt so defensive! If the people holding the iron rod let go to point fingers and mock the people in the big spacious building, are we really any different from them? Anyhow, this definitely may count as wacko thinking, and I have tried to hold back from specifically naming the thing that triggered this post, but obviously - I am weak.

Jennifer said...

Ha! I threw an Ensign across the room in (over)reaction to an article on bipolar disorder. It was all about removing stigma but HIS NAME WAS WITHHELD?! Whatev.

Natalee said...

I took offense at an Ensign article that was about education but the message was that being a stay at home mom could give just as much education as going to school. I've done both and they are not the same. Besides the prophet always talks about getting an education so I don't even know why that article was even in the Ensign. It shouldn't have but it bothered me so much. I think it was more about helping women feel good about where they are in life and I should have seen it that way.