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Childless 1

I'm a 49 year old childless woman. I might have been fertile at one time but I am not anymore. I look at people with children and think they must have a lot of guts, to have babies in a world like ours. And then there's the chaos of childrearing, the diapers left by the side of the road, the screaming brats in the grocery store, the traffic jams taking each child to their designated lessons and teams and events. There haven't been a lot of experiences that have made me regret not having children. A few moments of lingering and merging, but not enough to carry it through.

Even childless I want to give something to new generations, because it seems so sad to send young people out into the world without direction or inspiration. Where parents fail, family or community sometimes steps in. I see the baseball teams training in the park and the kids there are learning something useful. Coordination. Teamwork. I see a strong young woman on the tennis court who is obviously an ace, but who is toying with her two competitors, and idly watching me who is watching her. Will she have children? Perhaps not. Today I heard the daughter of a coworker say that she won't have children. Why not? Will she regret not having children? What will be her creative work in this world, if not baby making?

In many cultures a woman is of little or no use if she does not serve to birth and raise a brood of offspring for a man. Put the food on the table. Clean. What is a woman if she does none of this?

*new tag: legacy


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 11th, 2015 04:11 pm (UTC)
I have asked myself these same questions and many more, many times. How do I make a mark on the world? Will people remember me? Who will take care of me when I grow old? Has this life been useful?

Do you think childless men ask themselves the same questions? Is it inherent in we humans to feel like we didn't live as full a life if we don't have offspring, leave no living legacy?
Mar. 11th, 2015 04:27 pm (UTC)
I think it's central to life, not just humanity, to feel driven to reproduce. It is a symptom of the dysfunction of our culture that so many of us don't want to contribute baby humans to the melee. While it is understandable as a symptom of a difficult time, it does not answer the questions on an individual level. What to do?
Mar. 11th, 2015 04:46 pm (UTC)
It absolutely is central to life, and we are the only species that can choose whether or not to bear children. Animals of other species who are unable to reproduce for any reason die and don't reproduce whatever issues caused them to be unable to bear offspring in the first place.

Which brings me around to another thing I often find myself mulling over... that our technology makes it so that we can pass on defective genes, thus weakening the human gene pool in general.
Mar. 11th, 2015 07:30 pm (UTC)
Yes. There are good arguments supporting the idea that natural selection is reduced in human populations because of our ability to modify our environs for comfort and to support those with disabilities. Also poor people are having more children than wealthy and educated people on the planet--how this will play out is yet to be seen.

If you haven't seen it yet, the movie Idiocracy takes a humorous look at one possible future in which people are dumbed down over generations. It's from 2006 and it wasn't well recognized (by me at least) at the time. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387808/
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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