Friday, September 21, 2007
The Empty Spot
I was talking yesterday with a pregnant co-worker who I like very much. Although she's pregnant, she is totally sympathetic to the cause of childfree people and completely respects our lifestyle choice. We were talking about having (or not having) kids and she was telling me that up until recently, she wasn't sure she wanted to have kids. She was always ambivalent about it at best.
She admitted that her decision to have a child came completely out of fear of regret. She added, "and I came to realize that it wouldn't be enough for it to be just me and my husband - there would always be an empty spot".
Ah, the mythical "empty spot". It's been around forever - this fuzzy, romantic notion that a cute and cuddly baby will bring unity and completeness to a marriage. I have never understood this. I know lots of people with kids and from what I have seen, rather than fill an empty spot, children create a void between the husband and wife. Two people who were once close now become ships passing in the night when children enter the relationship. Time that was once devoted to each other is now diverted to a new, dependent and demanding third party. I cannot imagine having a marriage that I felt was so lacking that a third party must be brought in to save it from its deficiency.