Why oh why do people assume that a person who has chosen not to have kids will change their mind? I think this assumption irritates me almost as much as the assumption that we are selfish.
The other day, I overheard some women at work talking about their children. These women are all in the 50s and 60s, so their children are adults. One of the women was talking about her daughter and mentioned that she doesn't want to have kids. To her credit, she didn't say it with any disdain or regret. She seemed perfectly okay with it - almost proud even, but immediately, without skipping a beat, the other women started trying to console her by telling her it's likely her daughter will change her mind. They asked how old the daughter is and when the woman replied, "36", they were even more certain that she will change her mind as there is "still time".
I came THIS.CLOSE to saying, "Hey, ladies - I too have chosen not to have kids and I am 47 and have not changed my mind yet. It was the best decision my husband and I ever made!" but as I opened my mouth to utter the words, a co-worker approached me and pulled me into another conversation.
MESSAGES TO THE MEDDLING PUBLIC:
Don't assume that because a person has chosen an unconventional life path, that they are confused and will eventually see the light. We see the light perfectly, and it's bright and clear. It's just not the light you want us to see.
How would YOU feel if your decision to have children was invalidated and you were constantly told you would change your mind? I bet you'd find that pretty irritating and frankly, insulting.
Don't assume that a person who hasn't had kids couldn't possibly be happy or fulfilled. The fact is, we are living exactly the life we want. By design it is a life that offers a great deal of flexibility, opportunity, creativity and fulfillment. And here's the best part - if at some point we decide we are not happy with our life, we can change it around in a heartbeat and do something else. Can you parents say the same?