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[personal profile] cellomusette
Let me start by saying: I truly like children. I babysat for years; after spending many summers at an local day camp for low-income girls, I became a counselor-in-training for a few summers, and was a paid camp counselor for three summers. I chose to do this instead of working in retail, food service or other.
I have a dorky, goofball personality. I am full of imagination and am skilled at many arts and crafts. I treat children like they're real people, because they are. I try my best to nurture their hopes and dreams, not squash them.
Did I mention I'm a dork?
I also love to play dress up and will gladly play along with whatever games a child requests.

I am not childfree because I don't love or understand children.

I am childfree because I fully understand what it takes to be responsible for even one child.
I know I do not have the personal resources to undertake a full parenting role.

Resources I lack:
-Consistent, stable physical health
-Enough flexibility to let me skip self-care routines to take care of my child. I can do this periodically when taking care of someone else's child, but not a child who belongs to me.
-A support system to take on child care when I am unable to do it myself.
-Adequate income. I would be heartbroken if I could not provide my kid with a full array of options: art classes, martial arts training, music lessons, educational trips. And I know I'm not able to.
-The ability to forego sleep. It's already such a challenge for me that I can't afford additional interruptions.

There's much more to that story, but the bottom line is, making myself responsible for a small human 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year would be an incredibly daft decision for myself and the child.

That said:
I have met some truly amazing children in my years, full of spark, joy, depth and wisdom beyond their years. I genuinely enjoy being around them. As I've sauntered into my late 30's, I've even gotten comfortable with setting boundaries and saying "No". Imagine that. ;)

So where does that leave me? Do I have a giant hole in my life where a child should be? I don't believe so.
Instead, I have space in my life, and a great potential to be there for the children of others. As the child of a single mother myself, I can say for certain that things always felt more stable and happy when there were grounded, caring adults in our life. Sometimes, those adults were able to be present -because- they themselves were not busy with children of their own. We all got something valuable out of being present for each other.

If it takes a village, I wager I'm a good villager to have around. :)

And if I ever change my mind? I can adopt!!
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