Many people like to offer solutions to someone who expresses sadness. So when we might mention that we didn't choose not to have children, we get the standard suggestions, one of which is to work or volunteer with children - as if that is a suitable substitute. It will, at least, they think, keep us satisfied and most importantly, quiet!
Although I love interacting with my nieces and nephews on a one-to-one basis, being with children doesn't come naturally to me. My mother also was never very interested in other people's children, and by saying to me, "oh, it's different when they're your own," I think she gave me the confidence that I would have been a loving parent, despite the fact that I was never very comfortable with many young children.
That gives me the freedom now to say that just because I wanted to be a parent, it doesn't translate that I'd be any good at
volunteering with or working with children. Just as, on
the other hand, there are also wonderful, talented, inspiring
teachers/coaches/nurses who work daily with children, but who are
perfectly happy not to have their own.
How do you feel when people say that we should volunteer or work with children?