I don’t often feel like anything I ever do is wrong, but I’ve got some guilt going and I don’t care for it one bit.

Ed is in Alberta on business, and he left two days early to spend some time with his friends and family and/or away from me. From the brief conversation we had via MSN last night, I gather that he didn’t get to see as many friends as he’d have liked – they’re all busy having babies and shit. Most of me is reacting as expected (“ewwwwww, why”), but there’s a small part of me that won’t shut up that wonders if I did the right thing.

Not having babies is the right thing for me; there’s no question about that. However, every once in a while I wonder about Ed: is he truly on board with Team No Babies, or was he simply caught up in the ferocity of my convictions?

It seems as though everyone from Ed’s Alberta life is having kids – best friends, the cousins he grew up with, the people he hung out with daily. There are babies everywhere, except for in or around us. I’m ecstatic about that, but is he? Have I trapped him (for lack of a better word) in a life he doesn’t want? Am I denying him his right to procreate?

This thought kept me awake last night, because it’s a hell of a thought to have. I don’t tend to dwell on the consequences my decisions have wrought, but every once in a while – like now – I seethe with guilt because of my unwillingness to be a vessel of life. As far as *I’M* concerned, everything is super – I don’t want kids, and my mother doesn’t want grandkids (but even if she did, who cares) so that’s that. But .. Ed’s an only child too, meaning not only will HE not get the chance to raise children, I’ve denied his parents grandchildren. I feel .. mean.

Part of the problem is my inability to take people at face value. You can sit me down, look me in the eyes and say with every ounce of conviction you can muster “Kimli, I do not like mayonnaise”, and I will always wonder if, deep down, you don’t actually like mayonnaise but are saying you don’t just to spare my feelings. Ed has told me that he doesn’t want kids .. but is that true? Or is he just telling me what I want to hear? Do these visits home make him sad? Are his friends leading the lives he was meant to have; one that he’s being kept from because of me?

I am a selfish being, and I’m okay with that. If Ed came home tomorrow and said he wanted children, I would let him have them .. just not with me. I’d let him go; let him find someone to have children with. There are some things that are too important to simply “put up with” if there’s discourse in a relationship, and this is one of them. I’m not going to change my mind, but he’s allowed to change his – the price just happens to be me. It would suck great heaping gobs of suck, but part of being pro-choice is allowing people to CHOOSE what’s right for them – and if he CHOOSES to want children, I’m not going to stand in his way.

Yeah, this is a really crappy line of thought for a Monday morning: cutting your husband free if he decides he wants the one thing you won’t give him. I’d do it, though. I have a secret fear of being resented, and I’d rather let him go than think he’d be secretly hating me for the next 50 years.

Now I have a sad.

21 thoughts on “guilt

  1. Yeah, the kids/no kids thing is not something you can compromise on. What a very cool, and very brave, thing of you to say. See, you’re not actually selfish at all.

  2. as someone who was on the fence about kids and spent 5 year with someone who didn’t want them, it didn’t change my mind. 5 years later i was still on the fence. if anything it opened my mind to other lifestyles that i never considered before because of pressure from SOCIETY -duh duh duh!- to breed. now a few years on ….fuk that. if i really wanted babies i would have joined a christian church in abbotsford and gotten married already. and we all know THAT isn’t happening.

    totally get where you are coming from.
    oh and i TOTALLY hate mayo.

  3. I think there’s a typo in your second-last paragraph, K-Lizzy: do you mean discord in a relationship, not discourse? Maybe I’m reading it wrong.

    Also, for your stats: I love mayo, am squarely on team no babies along with husband. Luckily. Yay.

  4. I understand where you are; I usually waver back and forth just thinking about the possibility of my OWN regret. (Will my future self hate current me in 18-25 years for not having procreated when everyone else is having family Christmases with their 2384943 babies and who will take care of me when I am sick or old and toothless DEAR GOD I AM GOING TO DIE ALONE!) However. Things will work out the way they are supposed to, and you definitely can’t put words in Ed’s mouth that he never said. Not that I personally know either of you, but I’d think if he really cared about it that much, you two have a stable enough relationship that he would have brought it up if it were an issue. Plus, Ed obviously likes being able to do vacations and fun things with you and going to see his family when he or the two of you want to, which is obviously next to impossible to do when you have kids. Also, like me, it seems that you have a huge friend base, and I’m sure you can get all your fun baby kicks being Auntie Kimli and Uncle Ed to someone else’s kidlets. (This is totally what I plan to do, as I have been adopted by many of my friends’ families in various capacities.) Do not has a sad. Know that you are in a caring, loving relationship and many people love you, and then has a happy.

  5. “Ed obviously likes being able to do vacations and fun things with you and going to see his family when he or the two of you want to, which is obviously next to impossible to do when you have kids.”

    This logic makes negative sense in about a thousand different ways, but whatever.

    There’s little that can be said here. Tell him to read your blog, as a starting point so he knows where you’re at, then plan for a time to sit down and talk about it. Talking about something like this is never about walking away with a specific yes or no or whatever answer, it’s just that you need to be communicating. Talk about it. Then eat pie, because pie is delicious.

  6. We could have a guilt party. I’m an only child with divorced and remarried (to other people) parents, so I’m disappointing 4 old people who want grandkids (or stepgrandkids).

    I think grandchildren should be rentable. Cut out the middleman (-woman).

    I don’t think we should feel guilty though. We should just appreciate that we’ve been given a choice in the matter.

    • True fact: they are. Both my great aunt and grandmother did a “grandparent adoption” thing, sort of like big brother and big sister, but for grandparents. My great aunt’s only daughter never reproduced, and at the time (before I was born) all of my grandmother’s grandchildren lived in Ontario.

  7. Good for you for being honest. Ed’ll read this and this is a good time to “check in” with him on this matter. Don’t have them if you don’t want them, ’cause you gotta really want them to treat them right. BTW, don’t forget adoption. We did that.

  8. This is something that I would have rather talked with you about instead of reading it after hundreds of people already have tbh. No babies is and always has been a-ok with me. I don’t even really want a dog, why the shit would I want a baby?

    • Haha wow I re-read what I wrote and I kinda sounded like a dick, eh? Not what I intended at all! I’m obviously not as eloquent as you when it comes to text, which is probably why I dont have a blog.

      If I was suddenly on team babies, I would first look for an alien mind control implant scar, then I would have a serious sit- down with you to go over things ie. How to remove the implant.

      Love from Alberta!

  9. Choosing to not have kids can be and often is just as selfish as choosing TO have kids. Procreating is natural and normal. If it seems like most of the 30 somethings in your collective lives are having babies it’s probably because they are. Ed’s an only child, nature makes it his duty to carry on his family line, whether he wants to or not. That’s why men are such horn balls.

    Funny to hear that someone thinks it’s society that is pressuring them to have kids. It ain’t society talking, it’s nature.

    I won’t be so smug in about 4 years of course, but for now team smug.

  10. @Miranda – I was referring to solo vacationing. You’re right that trips to visit the family aren’t out of the question. (Don’t take the kids to see grandma? Duh, Alison; good logic.) But from what I can tell of my friends who have kids, unless you have a nearby network of family, solo vacations go by the wayside. And I second the eating of pie.

  11. Pingback: Inspiration from NaBloPoMo – People I read @ Tanya (@NetChick) Calgary Blogger

  12. I got here through Netchick’s link.

    Having kids is no guarantee you still won’t be alone when you’re old. You can be the best mom ever and your kids might nevertheless put you in a home and never visit.

  13. Pingback: mmx in review « delicious juice dot com: unapologetically inappropriate

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