To child or not to child

“I know who I am and what I want in life, and know without a doubt children do not fit into that equation.” – Jessica Copeland

'Sex and the City's Samantha Jones, who has become the poster child for women who are not afraid -- or ashamed -- to admit they would sooner choose their careers over children

I knew I was on to something when I decided years ago that having children was just not for me, and that I would be better off without any, and this article proves it. It’s only Afham who thinks I’m insane, and in all likelihood just not normal.

Don’t get me wrong; I love children. Well, alright, I just love my godson. But the part about wanting or needing to have them is just not who I am. Whether it’s because I realize I am reaching an age where having children will no longer be possible, or because I simply cannot visualize myself with a mini-me on my hip, I do not believe that children are the be-all and end-all of life, and the women — and some men, even — who think so are the ones who also think that they (a) need to be married in order to validate their lives, or (b) need to have children who emerged from their vaginas because they would not be able to love an adopted child the same way (monsters, these people are). And tragically, I actually do know some such women.

This article, however, states that personal happiness and satisfaction need not be derived from procreation. Even though the studies mentioned were conducted in the United States, I believe they can be universally applied, especially in Asia, where the abysmally backward culture perpetuates the dogma that women were placed on this great good earth to do nothing but spread their legs and spit out the little runts.

Harvard psychology professor Daniel Gilbert’s book Stumbling on Happiness looked at several studies and found that children give adults many things, but an “increase in daily happiness is probably not among them.”

He says that psychologists have found parents are less happy interacting with their kids than doing activities such as eating, watching television or even exercising.

“It’s such a counterintuitive finding, because we have these cultural beliefs that children are the key to happiness and a healthy life, and they’re not,” said Simon.

“From the outside you see the detrimental effects of what our cultural beliefs cause, yet there is this group of people telling you children are the best thing that will ever happen to you,” said [Jessica] Copeland.

Copeland, an army military wife for the past year and a half, said she never felt any pressure to have any kids, and her family has been supportive of her choice.

Outside her inner circle, however, the reception has been different. “The typical reaction I get is of dismay and pity,” she noted.

But Copeland, an only child, is far from feeling dismal and finds it ironic that people in her life with children often complain about their lifestyles.

“I always find it interesting how parents complain about their kids, yet follow it with a statement pertaining to how fulfilling their life is,” she said. “I have yet to meet a parent that does not have an almost daily story of how their child has stressed them in some way.”

I have no doubt that there are women who are genuinely never happier than when they are surrounded by human beings under three feet tall — and they’re not necessarily the validation-craving ones, either (although they may be the ones who are to proud to succumb to the pressure and admit that they’re having a hard time making their children behave). But I know for a fact that there are as many, if not more, women who are genuinely never happier than when they are working hard at something that they love (that doesn’t involve diapers and trainer wheels), and they should never have to apologize for it, no matter what others may think of this lifestyle preference.

In the meantime, the article states, Copeland says her marriage to her best friend and “the man of my dreams” is the only family she needs to create in her lifetime. She trusts her gut and her decision. She encourages others to make their own choices, and to respect hers, too.

Penelope Trunk a.k.a. my hero is proof of that.

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