i received the following email from a reader:
I’m married for 6 years, my wife and I have been together for 10 and one of the things that brought us together was the fact that we definitely do not want children and in fact go out of our way to avoid them. Your readers, I’m sure, are of the same mind as you and I so I won’t go into the specifics of exactly what makes the little buggers so loathsome.
My younger brother and his wife are about to have their first sometime in January, I think. These two are outwardly very nice and successful people, but they are very sheltered. His wife grew up wanting for nothing, and my father (who’s divorced from my mother) spoils them rotten. They have an apartment in Manhattan they couldn’t possibly afford on their own. So the arrival of their baby was, of course, greeted as nothing short of a minor miracle between the two families.
As the curmudgeonly oldest son, I’ve dealt with the family and society’s consequences of choosing to be child-free, and my wife and I are secure in our choices and recognize the good and the bad. However, we never really expected to have someone else’s child impact us as now we’re all but ignored by our family, who are all in on this thing, so much so that the mother is having three separate baby showers in two months, in three different states. Needless to say, I’ll choose one to attend and leave as early as I can.
first of all, my condolences. really. good luck. i hope you don’t have to play (or even witness) a rousing game of ‘what’s in the diaper?‘
second, congratulations on finding a quality lady. let me assure you, we’re few and far between…
as a proud auntie, let me promise you that the fun is just beginning with the showers. do you live near the elated couple? just wait until the babysitting requests roll in. or the birthday party invitations. or the christmas cards or the stories of baby’s first haircut, baby’s first steps, baby’s first potty… and wait’ll they offer you a chance to hold the little miracle; heaven help you if you decline!
i know the pain of being ignored in favour of the siblings with kids. they’re more fun at holidays, on the weekends, apparently all of the time. my siblings often get together for playdates and don’t even consider inviting me (it’s a mixed blessing). but it is easy to feel a little left out of the family now and then. most of the time, though, i’m thankful for the reprieve.
good luck, my friend. if nothing else, this experience will help you enjoy your sound life choices that much more…