Sorry for the long post; it's in two significantly different parts:Part 1:
Thank you, Michelle, for creating a place to vent, so at least the future Bella CF folks won't think they have to post only about weekend activities, travel and all the other joys that accompany a CF life. It's a great life, but everyone's got their dog days.
To that end, I agree with Malamutes:
"...my vent for the day is about parents who seem to think that they know what it's like to be childfree..."
If you're a parent, you are not - nor will ever be - either childfree (a term that implies having made a choice
to not have children) or childless (a term that implies having wanted
children but couldn't or didn't and now it's too late). This includes empty-nesters, people whose children unfortunately died, and people who have given up or lost custody of their children.
So, it's great that all these people are suddenly here saying "We understand" but the bottom line is, however much you talk about it with your friends/colleagues/multiple personalities, you don't. You have never experienced certain things and you have taken the well-worn path that was expected of you. Whether or not you're now an empty nester, that doesn't really matter. You didn't deal with the same issues.
Again, I agree. There are truly unique aspects of the childfree life the former posters have raised in here that a parent will never understand. Empty nesters and other parents could never contribute a sound answer to the questions that follow. They can try to sympathize or tell us about their friends, but it's just not as effective:
1. What if, later in life, I regret my decision to not have children?
2. If I have no children, who will take care of me later in life?
3. I'm an only child. Once my parents are gone, I'll feel like I have no family.
4. I'm 36 years old, and though my bio clock hasn't gone off yet, I'm still feeling like I might miss something as a woman and as a human if I don't have a kid...do you all ever feel the same?
5. It bugs the hell out of me when parents think their kids are the end-all, be-all of humanity and everything and everyone should be focused on them...any of you feel the same?
6. My parents treat me like a leper now that my brother had a kid and I decided not to, and it hurts. Someone please help me through this.
7. This lifestyle is SO cool -- let's list all the things we'll get to do as a result of never
Ahhhh, just recalling some of the best threads in here makes me nostalgic. But I'm afraid as a CF woman I no longer feel comfortable posting commentary and asking questions among any parents who feel they can offer me anything in the way of camaraderie, solace, or understanding. Parents can offer me respect
, which I've seen in here, and while I don't mean this to be rude, a parent's respect for my choice and my lifestyle is worth nothing to me (I wasn't seeking it) compared to the unique bonding, friendship and closeness I feel to someone who never had a child (something I continue to seek). They get
me, they understand me...they feel the exact same things, no matter their background, country of origin, and everything else that shapes a person. Part II
I was going to end this thread with the paragraph above, but something just dawned on me as I've been mentally beating myself about the head, trying to figure out how in the world any parent (empty nesters, parents without custody, etc.) could think they could offer anything in this room...
Revelation: The title of this room is not "Childfree by Choice," "The Childless Life," "The CF Connection" or anything else that narrows the room to only CF or childless people. Rather, the title of the room is "Married No Kids
." So by definition of the room title, *slaps forehead* no wonder some parents post here...some parents don't have kids in their home
. Makes perfect sense.
I guess many people of this room's past just kind of wished it (and maybe tried to make it) to be something it really wasn't, myself included. Having realized the fact that perhaps this was never the room for me in the first place releases a huge weight off of me, as I've felt for two weeks that I'd really miss this place after over a year of posting here.
I seek like-minded, truly childfree or childless people. With this understanding as a childfree woman, perhaps I'm the one that really doesn't, and never has, belonged here.
Thank you for hosting my posts - and the posts of other CF folks - for the last year. I want to be with them.