Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Which is better? Children or Pets? The answer is in the eye of the beholder.

        I’ve been reading a lot lately in different forms of media about couples and their choice to go childless and I say good for them.  Unfortunately, some are ridiculing those couples and their choices, the latest accusation is by the Catholic Pope Francis. All I can say is what exactly is the big deal about it? Why does it concern others that some people have children and some do not? You don’t hear anyone making a big stink about couples that choose to have children, so why point fingers at those that chose not to have them. For reasons of my own, I chose not to have children. I made that conscious decision a long time ago, just after getting married. Oh-I thought about it once or twice, but in the end, the way the world is and such, I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to do it. I chose not to do it. It saddened my mother and mother-in-law at first. As time went by, they didn’t ask me when I was going to have children. Either they finally accepted it, or they figured that as time went by, I would change my mind. I didn’t. Now, family asking this question was one thing, as with friends. However, when strangers asked it used to irk me whenever someone would ask the inevitable question, “When are you two going to have children?” And to that I replied, “Never. I don’t want any.” I usually followed it with, “I don’t need children to feel whole.” Because usually the asker was a woman that went on to tell me how a woman wasn’t a whole woman until she had a child. B—sh-t! That is oh so not true. Believe me, I know. Again, I ask, what is the big deal about couples deciding to go childless? Perhaps, the way of the world scares them about bringing children into the world and it should. Perhaps, they have hereditary illnesses in their family tree that they’d rather not subject a child too, which is a smart and selfless move.

There are a great many children in the world and not everyone has a home to live in and a loving family to take care of them. You’d be surprised how many children live in foster care in the U.S.A. and how many should but don’t. Parenting isn’t an easy task and not everyone is cut out for it. Not everyone wants to parent or finds the need to.  So, why bother couples that chose not to have children? I say, don’t. As a childless person, I’m proud to say that I don’t have any children. I chose not to have them. As a result, my time is my own. I’m never at loss for quiet, private time, or piece of mind. I can spend my money as I please without worrying about buying clothes and saving for college tuition. I don’t have to endure chaos every morning and every afternoon with children in it. I don’t have to play chauffer or wet nurse. I don’t have to deal with dirty, stinking diapers. And, I don’t mean any insult to those that chose to have children. Be kind enough to accept my decision not to. I love animals. I prefer to have animals in my home over children. There’s nothing wrong with me for that and it’s my choice. I love children, just not enough to have my own. I love my nieces and nephews and being able to say goodbye and go home and live my life when I grow tired of their whining and begging and chaos. I’ve been around enough children to be extremely grateful I chose not to have any. Perhaps, in the olden days when Moses and Abraham walked the earth, we mere humans were here to reproduce, but not anymore. There are too many of us as there is. Many live in squalor and have nothing to eat on a daily basis. Many live in shanties and can’t read or write. Many live in poverty. And this is just in the U.S.A. 

So, what’s wrong with being childless by choice and having pets instead? Absolutely nothing. I applaud those that said I could but didn’t. I applaud those that said maybe, but in the end said no thanks. I further applaud those that said, I might, but I shouldn’t. Time and time again, research data has shown that childless couples have happier marriages. I’m not surprised. I see that among neighbors, friends and family, even acquaintances.   Think about it. A relationship with a pet, whether it is a dog, cat, lizard, horse, and snake-whatever is not to be taken lightly. Pets are loving and loyal. They’ll never cheat on you. They’ll never whine about you not understanding them and lock you out of their rooms.  They’ll never yell at you for not expecting their privacy. They’ll never ask to drive the car, forget to put gasoline in it or crash it into a tree. They’ll never do drugs or commit a heinous crime. They’ll never take you for granted and they’re a great deal easier to housebreak. Why the sudden need to criticize? Frankly, there is no need, except for no other reason is that it goes against the norm and that fact scares the heck out of a great many people.  Or maybe, perhaps, those with children are a bit jealous of those without. Whatever the reason, let each other be. Accept each other and don’t criticize. Which is better? Children or Pets? Only you can answer that: The answer is in the heart and eye of the beholder.

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