Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Best thing about being childless: Children June 15, 2010

One of the best things about not having children of my own is the time I get to spend with other children in my life. Without the constant pull of parenting duties, I can take time to talk to my niece about some of the numerous issues that go along with being a teenager. When she “Facebooks” me with a problem, she becomes my number one priority and I can take the time to help her through it. When a friend’s daughter asks if I will write a story for her, or another niece asks if I’ll knit a sweater for her new teddy bear, or a nephew asks if I’ll take him—just him–out for a walk, I can tell them that I will, without having to consider if I’m neglecting my own children.

These relationships are a gift I find I’m glad to accept—an opportunity to form bonds that I wouldn’t have had if I’d had kids of my own. I know they’re not the same as a mother-child bond, but for those children in my life, I also know that our relationship is special and valuable to them in a different way. It’s a voluntary relationship, one entered into freely, and something a mother-child is not. Mothers and children don’t get to choose one another and if they don’t get along, they’re stuck. I get to choose the relationships I form with other children and they get to choose to have me in their lives, too. It’s a beautiful and fortunate thing.


6 Responses to “Best thing about being childless: Children”

  1. Sarah Says:

    Well said!
    I’m looking forward to the day that my godbabies, nieces, and nephews are old enough to have a conversation with me!

  2. Kathryn Says:

    I like this. I so wish my nieces & nephews were close enough i could see them more than once every 3 years. I’ve actually looked into some form of mentoring program because i think if i just had some children or a child in my life it wouldn’t be quite as hard.

    Finding a mentoring program has been a challenge. What has been said to me is “Why don’t you just foster instead?” Well, there are a lot of reasons i can’t do that. It seems like it shouldn’t be so hard, but i find it to be. Guess i’m looking but haven’t found it yet.

    Thank you for sharing this. 🙂

    • lmanterfield Says:

      When your nieces and nephews are old enough, Facebook is a wonderful thing. I talk to mine more than ever because of it.

      Kathryn, I’ve been down the fostering road and my opinion is that it’s a calling, not just something to do so you can have kids in your life. It sounds as though you know that already, but that suggestion is right up there with “Why don’t you just adopt?” It’s just not that simple.

      Keep looking for a program. They are out there. I volunteer teaching creative writing to 4th and 5th graders. It’s fantastic. Maybe you have an interest that you could teach or mentor?

  3. Madge Says:

    Skype is a wonderful way to keep in touch. Great site Lisa. You are a strong voice for others who are not as brave to write their thoughts.

  4. Madge Says:

    Lisa, what a wonderful site for you to start. You are a strong woman for those who can’t write about this issue. Also, skype is a wonderful way for people to connect.

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