I’ve been reading through some posts from the early LWB days, and this came up as one of the most-read—and one that received a flood of comments. It continues to ring true, and it continues to make me laugh and think. I’m including it below for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, and for long-time LWBers who will get a kick out of revisiting it.
What’s most interesting to me about how it makes me feel today, in 2018, is that I now focus less on the “I’ll Nevers” (both the loss of experiences and the avoidance of the annoying acts listed below) and focus more on the “I Cans.” For example, last year one of my nieces earned a spot on her high school cross-country team. Because I don’t have sporting events with my own kids filling up my Saturdays, late in the fall I was able to travel quite a distance to watch her team win the league championship. Several weeks later, my husband and I drove nine hours round-trip to watch her and her teammates win the state championship.
It was beyond thrilling to be there, and my heart overflowed with pride for this young woman who had worked so hard to achieve her win and with gratitude that I was able to be there to see her achieve it. I think of this again and again as I attend basketball games, awards ceremonies, music recitals, theatrical debuts, graduations, first communions, and other special events for my nieces, nephews, and godchildren—things I can and do enjoy but would never get to if Fate had dealt me a different hand.
So today in the Comments, I hope you’ll have fun with your “I’ll Nevers” and I hope you’ll think about at least one “I Can” you are able to enjoy because you happen to be childfree.—KGW
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Whenever I get tired of hearing myself whine about all the things I’ll never get to experience because I’m childfree—feeling a second heartbeat within my body and beaming with pride when someone says “She’s just like you”—I find I can put an end to my self-pity party by thinking about some of the annoying things I’ll never do. This includes:
1. I’ll never ruin another couple’s romantic dinner because I’ve let my toddler run amok in a nice restaurant.
2. I’ll never keep an entire airplane full of stressed-out businesspeople and weary travelers awake with my screaming infant, because if I can block out her cries, surely they can make an effort.
3. I’ll never insist that, because my child is actually the smartest/most talented/most gifted kid in the group, he should get special treatment.
4. I’ll never have to schedule a vacation to coincide with school holidays, so I won’t be part of the masses of humanity standing in line in front of you to get into the museum/amusement park/restroom stall.
5. I’ll never say the words, “How would you know? You’re not a mother.”
6. I’ll never offend a stranger by asking him to hold my child while I lift up my shirt, fumble with snaps, and flash my breasts before taking the kid back for a public feeding.
7. I’ll never saddle a colleague with extra work because I have kids.
8. I’ll never blow off a friend because I have kids.
9. I’ll never tell my husband to go take a cold shower because I’m worn out from taking care of his kids.
10. And I’ll never, ever con extended family into going on a Disney cruise.
What’s on your list?