As I scrolled through Facebook yesterday (Christmas), I saw a lot of happy smiling children with their new gifts. I saw families with tons of love for these children. I saw an amazing day for families.
I also saw a giant “Price Tag” on how much that Christmas costs parents. I saw kids with an Xbox, PS4, WiiU, iPhone, iPad, Laptop, and so on. When I saw these things, my first thought was, “that’s the price of a round-trip ticket to Mexico City!”
I guess it is the Wanderer in me that makes me compare prices of things to airline tickets. When I purchased my iPhone 6, I knew that I could go to Ireland for that cost, but I chose the phone instead.
That’s the thing for people with a travel “addiction” like I have, you begin to equate costs to adventures, expenses against the options of meandering across the globe.
You make lifestyle decisions based on what your goals are and what experiences that you choose to enjoy.
For most people out there, parenthood is a lifestyle and experience that they are willingly looking forward to. They want the joys of that unconditional love, the pride in accomplishments when a child learns to tie a shoe, ride a bike. The emotions of the first day of school. The list is never-ending. There are countless joys of being a parent, so I hear.
But these experiences aren’t what I look forward to in life. At least not at this point in my life.
I’m 34 years old. I know I cannot wait for a really long time before having kids, if I end up wanting them. I also understand that I don’t want a kid just to have a kid. All of those joys I listed above about being a parent aren’t important to me.
I would rather swim in the Devil’s Pool at Victoria Falls. I would rather scuba dive at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. I would rather ride a camel across the Saudi Arabian desert. The list of joys I look forward to is endless also.
None of what I look forward to involves changing diapers. It doesn’t involve being woken up by a screaming child in the middle of the night. It doesn’t involve wanting to do unmentionable things to a kid for not stopping his/her whining.
At this point in my life, parenting is not for me. I know this, because of the things I imagine doing to a brat who won’t mind his/her parents. I’m self-aware!
I am also selfish. I know that. I know that selfishness isn’t good for parenting.
I want to leave at the drop of a dime. I want to do what I want, when I want. I don’t want to have to wait until a kid is on a break from school. I don’t want to base where I live on the school districts. I don’t want to have to worry about taking care of another living creature. This is why I don’t have pets or plants.
When you’re responsible for a living thing, you have to find someone willing to take over that responsibility when you want to spend two months in Brazil, like I am doing right now. You have to make arrangements and spend extra money to care for a living thing.
I DO NOT WANT TO DO THESE THINGS!
I want absolute freedom to not be locked down! I want to be able to be a Gypsy!
I have a wonder to wander. I don’t have a wonder to father.
The thing about this is that it is my choice. Just like others who choose to be parents.
When people make statements about being happy parents, I’m usually the first one to give it a thumbs up. I like most baby pictures I see on Facebook. I love seeing happy kids and loving parents. I love seeing kids accomplish goals. It’s wonderful. I have no urge to bash the lifestyle of a parent.
Parent’s, though, seem to find it OK to bash me for not wanting kids. They seem to find it ok to badger me about my lifestyle choice.
When I make a statement about how nice it is to save money from not buying Christmas presents, so that I could buy a plane ticket to Chicago to be the best man in my brother’s wedding, you would think that I just told a church that God doesn’t exist.
I have parents flying out of the woodwork defending parenthood. I have people telling me that I am making condescending remarks about parents. I have people trying to convince me of why I am wrong and how kids will make life complete.
I’ll tell you right now, I feel complete walking through the Amazon Rainforest looking for an anaconda, but I don’t jump on the status of a parent and recommend giving up their child for adoption so that they can come live life the way that I do.
But, as soon as I mention anything about being happy being a childless adult, I get all kinds of unsolicited life advice.
The thing about it is, the people who are not happy in their own lives are the ones that always seem to want to convince me to live like them.
I know, I know, I hear it all the time, “You can have kids and travel, too.” “Kids don’t stop you from living your dreams.” “Kids enjoy traveling, too.”
I know this, I don’t WANT kids. I don’t want to have to adjust my decision-making to better suit a little pooping machine.
I love my current lifestyle.
Maybe, one day, my wife and I will have a little one. We will take it all around the world to ensure that it will never know bigotry and that there is no one right way to do things.
My possible future child will be well cultured and will be well-traveled.
I will cross that bridge on the day that my wife gives me the news that we will have our own little pooping machine.
Until that day, I love my lifestyle as it is.
So please, refrain from telling me how wrong I am for not wanting kids. Please, refrain from trying to convince me that I am not really happy.
I won’t tell you to get rid of your kids, if you don’t keep trying to force the creation of mine.