This month I'm taking a break from active blogging, unless something really needs to be said! So I thought it would be an idea to revisit some posts written in May in previous years, and add anything that time has suggested to me.
Here's one from May ten years ago about the things I was doing (and loving) because I don't have kids.
"Let’s face it. We often feel guilty because gradually, we find that we enjoy our life without kids. We might question ourselves – “how much can we really have wanted children if we are happy in our lives without them?” And, we might feel that enjoying the good parts of being childless/childfree means that we don’t deserve to feel bad when we notice what we’re missing. But perhaps that’s because we beat ourselves up as often – no, more often – than anyone else. But this is the life I have, and I think we’re allowed to embrace it. I for one think I should celebrate the good things in my life, the things I can do now that I wouldn’t be able to do if I had children.So pop a cork, (or screw a top) pour a glass, and gloat with me. These are the things I love doing, because I don’t have kids:Blogging. I love blogging. I doubt I’d have time, I doubt I’d be in the mental space where I can sit, think quietly, contemplate issues. Not to mention have the time to read others’ blogs. Which leads me to ...Writing. I have a few projects on the go. I enjoy writing, but I need the time and mental space to do it. And of course, for every writer, it is important that we do enough ...Reading. I’d probably read. I can’t imagine not reading. But would I, could I, do as much as I wanted?Volunteering. Again, I might have time, as plenty of people with children manage to volunteer. But I’m not sure I’m one of those with the energy to focus in all those different directions. I know I wouldn’t have AS much time to do what I do.Eating out. My husband and I love eating out. We don’t like “family” restaurants – they hardly deserve the label “restaurant.” We like all sorts of food, and wine too of course. We eat out spontaneously. Last night, we went out because Monday night is half price champagne night at a good bistro. We decided at about 4 pm.Movies. We go to the movies regularly, trying to compromise between his choices and my choices. We go on the weekend, after work, if we’re bored. We decide usually about an hour or two before we go. No babysitters required thanks!Sleeping in on the weekends. Not just sleeping in, but lying in, with my iPad and a cup of tea, reading books, checking emails and blogs or magazine sites or the news. And if it’s raining out – I’ll be there all morning. Bliss.Enjoying our home. Our house is not child-proofed. And we don’t intend child-proofing it.Drinking. We can drink, and over-indulge, any time we want to. (Age may stop us, but kids won't!)And last but not least:Travelling. Travel is a great interest, and a very important part of our lives. We know we wouldn’t be indulging if we had children. In many ways, our frenetic travelling the last few years has been a consolation because we couldn’t have children. We’ve always liked travelling, and now we’re not paying for private schools or school uniforms or doctor’s visits or sports subs, we’re investing in seeing the world. We know that:
- It would be a struggle to afford to travel with children.
- It would definitely be a struggle to get on a plane and go anywhere with children, especially as New Zealand is so far from anywhere else. I can cope with 12 hour flights to Asia, and although I grumble about longer flights to South Africa or the northern hemisphere, I do them without thinking. I couldn’t do that with children.
- I wouldn’t get to have trips away on my own (like this one) in the same way.
- Unlike a friend of mine, who manages to do much of the above, our parents are not young, and we couldn’t farm the kids out to them while we jetted off overseas. Now though, we can just go."
I'm not sure I'd write the same post today. Ten years on, my kids would be 18 and 19, possibly living and studying away from home. Active. Independent. So I'd be possibly be doing all the things I listed anyway. Except perhaps for travel, as - even with kids moving into adulthood - my travel style might be different, focused more on their interests than our own, if I could even afford it, given redundancies, difficulty in finding work in our 50s etc. It's yet another reminder that those kids are at home for such a short time before they fly the coop.