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I am thankful.

November 23, 2011

I am sure, as in pretty freakin’ positive, that there will be a plethora of posts regarding being thankful and all that jizz this week (in fact, there have already been some great ones posted – you should read this one and this one… and this one, too). I’m actually gonna go ahead and jump on that bandwagon with today’s post. Although… truth be told, I’m gonna be less than PC. Consider yourself warned.

Right now, I’m on Oahu until 2 December for work (yes for work, damnit – but, also yes, a reason to be thankful). As such, I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with a dear friend who lives here – and her 6 month old son. It has been lovely, really. It has.

Spending this time with her and her son (oh, and her hubby too) has made me all Thanksgiving-y n’ grateful n’ stuff. I’ve realized some of the things I take for granted on the regular. I’d like to reflect on these things with you, dear reader, and express my humble, heartfelt gratitude for the following:

I am thankful that I don’t typically say things like “I just put some oil in your butt!” because if I am indeed putting oil in someone’s butt, they know about it and have given permission for it to be there.  And it isn’t followed by “…because I’m your mom and I can!”

I am thankful I don’t have to purchase gas and drive my car simply because someone else doesn’t feel like taking a nap.

I am thankful that, when I sit down to breakfast with friends, conversation doesn’t come to a halt on account of one person’s whining and fusing. Or, if I do spend it listening to whining and fusing, at least it’s articulated, and directed at something.

I am thankful that I don’t look at someone else’s poop multiple times a day. And by look at, I mean inspect carefully.

I’m also thankful my friends don’t send me text messaged pictures of poop.

I am thankful I don’t think a good night’s sleep is from 10:30pm to 3:00am.

I am thankful fun pit-stops for things like free macadamia nut and coffee samples aren’t ruined because we should have kept driving, the baby was asleep.

I am thankful I still have nipples that work (the way I want them to) and that I still want other people to touch my boobs.

Speaking of boobs, I am thankful I don’t think/speak of them as utters. Or simply foodbags hanging off my chest.

I am thankful most of the people I hang out with don’t scream their heads off. And have no ability to explain what is causing the screaming.

I am thankful my day doesn’t literally revolve around someone else’s meal and nap times. Especially someone who doesn’t particularly like meals or naps. Unless I put one of my boobs in their mouth (and, again, not in the good way).

I am thankful I have never once seen a poop explosion so fierce it reached his neck up close and personal. And then had to clean it up.

I am thankful no one in my life needs to be attached to my hip (literally) or they will cry. All the time.

I am thankful I can eat whatever I want – as opposed to having to watch the dairy and spice because it gives some else the shits/isn’t good for them.

I am thankful I never have to trust the most important thing in my life to someone who might do things like crawl into a baby crib (… because baby wouldn’t stop crying so [ex-]nanny thought she’d climb in there with him).

I am thankful I can actually make plans in advance. And then keep them.

I am thankful that, if I were to have a partner right now, we wouldn’t have conversations with this kind of dialogue: “Well, I do scrap the big chucks out first, and then put it in the washer. I try to get as much out of the diaper as possible.” “Meh. You can just throw the whole thing in there!

Speaking of, well, that, I am thankful I don’t wash my clothes in the same thing poopy diapers go in.

I am thankful the highlight of my day is never the Elite FuzziBunz came in!

Yes. This Thanksgiving, I have a lot to be thankful for.

Now. I understand that, for some, these things are what they are actually thankful for. Ok. Maybe not thankful for these things, but the underlying cause of them. They love being mothers, or can’t wait to be mothers. I love my friends that are mothers and the joy their children bring them. I love seeing my friends (including the one here) happy. I love that their lives, and their children, make them happy.

Therefore – I am also thankful for your happiness and your joy.

So, please don’t take offense to the fact that, despite being happy for you as a mother, I am thankful not to be one. I am not trying to hurt your feelings or downplay the pleasure being a mother brings you, just as I would ask you avoid bringing down my pleasure at being who I am without kids. Us ladies are under enough pressure to settle the F down and have the babies  as it is. Hell, some women contend that we can never truly understand what it means to be a woman unless we are mothers (to which I, naturally, call bullfuckingshit).

I’m one voice that is thankful to be a woman who isn’t a mother.

To each our own. There is no set path in life. No one road to happiness. We should all find our own gratitude, our own joy, for the lives that we each build, and the things that are true in our own hearts.

I am thankful for your right to find that path, to give thanks for what brings you joy and comfort. I am thankful for my rights and ability to do so, too. Whatever that road is, wherever it leads, and whatever it brings us along the way.

Happy Thanksgiving!

30 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2011 12:35 pm

    Well put Nikki, when Dar and I started dating she was going on about kids. I was pushing 40 and had no intention of having another one in this stage of life. So I totally get what you’re saying.

    One is more than enough, I love her dearly but never again.

    • November 23, 2011 4:04 pm

      Hear ya, Bob. We all have time periods in our lives. You’ve moved past the baby-daddy stage. 😀

  2. November 23, 2011 12:51 pm

    I am thankful for people like you, as I am also looking forward to having an empty womb for the rest of my life. To each their own and blah blah blah, but I can’t even stand the neediness of my garden after three months.

    I also call bullshit on the people who say childless people are selfish. I am not selfish. I am self aware and know that children of my own are not something that I want. I think it’s selfish when people have kids simply because they want to, even if they can’t afford them or have the time for them.

    If you have children and you’re happy, I am delighted for you and would never say anything otherwise. But I’m also thankful I will never have that responsibility!

    • November 23, 2011 4:06 pm

      “I can’t even stand the neediness of my garden after three months.” <— I know, right? I can barely keep a garden! The one I ended up with this past summer grew out of my compost and required no tending – best one yet!

      "I think it’s selfish when people have kids simply because they want to, even if they can’t afford them or have the time for them." <— THIS too. Srsly. Big diff between selfish and self-aware, too, b-t-dubs.

    • November 26, 2011 12:52 pm

      Actually not having children is the least selfish thing you can do and also the greenest for the planet. By not having a child, you are not imposing that person’s carbon footprint on the world. Just think of all the waste that one person makes in a lifetime. The world has 7 BILLION people in it, we don’t need to keep upping that number.

      And I totally agree. This is not very PC of me either but I really think that you shouldn’t be allowed to have children unless you have the income to sustain raising that child as well as taking care of yourself. Granted the way it is now someone who is low income or scraping by on the poverty line will end up having more children in their lifetimes than someone who could actually financially afford children.

      I just feel that the US economy and class structure would be helped greatly if people weren’t breeding who don’t have the money to do so. Like I said, extremely un-PC but it’s what I believe and I’m sure you can google some statistics that could support it.

      • November 28, 2011 12:44 pm

        Agreed on the going green thing – and looking at it that way, I personally think you’re correct. We’re no longer living in a time where we *need* more people, where there is anything selfless about having kids. If you’re going to have them, you should at the very least admit what you are doing to the planet, especially if you’re an American. It’s not that I don’t appreciate your right to have kids, but you’re doing it because *you* want to – and it’s *not* a great idea in terms of living sustainably. That’s not to say you shouldn’t have them, but you should at least admit that.

        I mean – there’s always adoption if you want to be selfless and have kids.

        I wish there was a way to take a test before you could have kids. It wouldn’t just be in terms of financial state, but would ensure you really were able to support them, and that you’d thought about what it means. That will never happened, and I see ALL the class/race/etc shit underneath something like that… but still. Of course, the more appropriate alternative would be if we lived in a society where we talked openly about sex, provided everyone with sex ed and contraception. “A world of wanted children would make a world of difference”.

  3. November 23, 2011 1:06 pm

    Oh, God. I don’t even know what to say.

    Maybe “I love you” but that would sound totally creepy.

    Maybe “You’re my new f’ing hero” but that would sound well, stupid.

    I’ll go with the plain ol’thank you. From the very bottom of my high-cholesterol heart…thank you.

    I have no children because I can’t. Which I see now, was a blessing. I love them…but don’t want to raise them. Just love on them and send them home.

    Thank you for saying what I have never been able to put into words!

    • November 23, 2011 4:07 pm

      Ha! Yay! Thank you for this comment!

      It’s interesting the things life throws at us, that we realize later were a blessing. The things we think we wanted once… perhaps. Regardless – the sending kids home is key in my book! But that’s for me, not for everyone! Doesn’t make me wrong or selfish or silly.


  4. November 23, 2011 4:10 pm

    Haha amen! I am thankful I am not the only one thinking that. I am also thankful to all who have kids and are happy. Just as thankful for the friends who do not have them and that are happy as it is. Mostly I am thankful for a good nights sleep and coffee…

    Have a great Thanksgiving!!

    • November 25, 2011 1:05 pm

      Great Thanksgiving had! Even if baby decided to take a nap ten minutes before we were supposed to leave – it all worked out in the end! 😀

      Yes to good night’s sleep!

  5. November 23, 2011 4:39 pm

    Note my url… and clearly, DITTO. On my way to spend Thanksgiving with the nieces – just went out and bought surgical gloves and masks for the visit.

    • November 25, 2011 1:08 pm

      I’ve learned to become ok with even fingers up my nose that aren’t mine. I think what helps me in that regard is my lack of concern about dirt or germs in general (all hail my immune system) – rather than an adoration of small children.

  6. November 23, 2011 7:01 pm

    I love EVERY SINGLE POINT you made. Including being happy for people who have kids and love it. Just wish they’d all be as happy for me in return, or at least believe me when I say I don’t want children (Instead of “it might change when you’re older…” I’ve been hearing this since I was 21. I’m now pushing 33 and have NOT changed, thank you very much).

    • November 23, 2011 7:01 pm

      And thanks for the linkage!

    • November 25, 2011 1:15 pm

      Yeah – that’s the thing, right? I know this post can come off snarky – and I don’t mean to offend any mothers out there. But. Is it ever considered if we’re offended when we’re told we’ll want kids “some day” or “when you meet the right partner”. Um. That’s basically trivializing the life I’ve chosen and telling me I don’t know what I want.

      (Of course on the linkage – you guys are great over there!)

  7. November 24, 2011 1:38 am

    Another A-MEN to all of the above!

    Had a great date with a new guy last night, and we were starting to get a bit personal with the “what are you looking for” questions — we were both so relieved to discover that neither of us wanted kids! (he already has one, and I’m fine with that)

    • November 25, 2011 1:18 pm

      It’s definitely a deal-breaker – as it should be. Having children is SUCH a significant life-changer, you *have* to be on the same page with this one. Being around kids like this makes me want to slap any person who’s ever thought “maybe our relationship will be better if we have children.”

      Glad to hear the date saw you both on the same page! Have fun and good luck!

  8. Natasha permalink
    November 26, 2011 1:10 pm

    Thank you for this. I read an article that said the most shocking thing a woman can say is not that she’s a lesbian or that she’s having an extra-marital affair. It’s that she doesn’t want kids. For me that seems to be true, although the first two never applied to me. I’m 43 and I still get people telling me I might change my mind?!?! It’s just nice to know I’m not alone.

    • November 28, 2011 12:47 pm

      Nope. Absolutely not. Even now, my friend and her husband are telling me that I might want them one day… partly because I can actually hang out with their kid. But, you know, I just can’t even fathom having children, let alone desire them. It’s just not on my radar.

      Glad to be of support – and just remember: “Honey badger don’t give a shit! Honey badger don’t care!”

  9. Noel Tendick permalink
    November 28, 2011 1:11 am

    I’ve only gotten to read a couple of your posts, but I’m getting the impression that you’re pretty fuckin awesome.

    I love this post. I so often feel that I have to at best keep my mouth shut, and at worst feel abashed, for not wanting to have kids/thinking it’s not always the most wonderful thing in this (overcrowded) world for others to have them. I love (almost) every minute that I get to spend with my friends’ kids, and I love every minute that I don’t. Thanks for being such a compassionate and passionately clear voice.

    • November 28, 2011 12:51 pm

      Thank you! I love me some compliments on a Monday morning! 😀

      I’m not one to keep my mouth shut about not wanting kids, even if some people don’t believe me. I do feel the need to keep my mouth shut about the impact having children (especially in the US) has on the planet. When my BFF from HS announced her third pregnancy, I wanted to eye-roll my way to a conversation, but it’s just so un-PC. It’s one thing we *can’t* talk about. And, to me, it’s really funny – you get this high-horse neo-hippies on their perpetual soap boxes about being green and electric cars and veganism, blah blah blah… but bring up kids and they want five! The hypocrisy and ignorance is sometimes overwhelming to me – yet it’s the thing they won’t converse with you about (and when I said “funny” I didn’t mean funny-ha-ha, unless it’s the laugh-or-cry kind).

      • Noel Tendick permalink
        November 29, 2011 12:21 pm

        Yep, kids’ environmental impact is a ridiculously taboo subject, even though it’s glaringly clear the worst thing you can do for the planet is have a child, especially an American one.

        Grist has been trying to get the discussion happening with the GINK (Green Inclinations, No Kids) chronicles. This is a pretty clear ‘n simple video

        I love the funny haha but also crying kind. 🙂

      • November 29, 2011 2:00 pm

        I love the GINK movement and couldn’t agree with it more. Thanks again for reading and commenting! 😀

  10. November 29, 2011 9:01 am

    And here I thought babies were all cute and cuddley. Now I see that they’re all about poop. Thank you for disillusioning me…I think.

    • November 29, 2011 1:58 pm

      They are more than poop. There are a few other things. Some of them are the crying thing.

      There is a lot of poop, though. From what I understand. I avoid that part. One of the perks of non-motherhood.

  11. November 29, 2011 1:45 pm

    well. that was a very tolerable thanksgiving post. congratulations, i didn’t throw up.

    um, i’m back. and i missed you and your blog. thanks for keeping it warm for me.

    um, but i sort of hate you for being in HI. so whatevs.

    • November 29, 2011 2:23 pm

      I go for tolerable. Glad I didn’t encourage more throw up than I’ve seen lately. Well, that’s kind of a lie, as this baby doesn’t throw up that much. But have you noticed when babies throw up it’s much less of an ordeal than when us adults (“us adults” right) do?

      I missed you and your blog lovey. My blog and I pined for you daily.

      I’m not in HI much longer. Don’t hate me.

  12. December 2, 2011 12:35 am

    as per usual I am nodding emphatically. I am also thankful that last Thanksgiving I got an IUD. 🙂

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