Today’s assignment was to: write a post that builds on one of the comments you left yesterday. This gave me the opportunity to keep my promise to write about my perspective of the relationship between marriage and bearing children. The inspiration for today’s blog idea was found in a post called: giving-up-the-ghost, part of the blog titled – http://yoonanimous.com/. As I wrote yesterday, this blogger is really brilliant and I highly recommend that readers go take a look and see if her writing resonates with them, as it did with me.
Before I get into the meat of my blog I want to take the opportunity to thank SIMONEKRIS27 for responding to my request for feedback on yesterdays blog and offering a link on how I can add links to my blog posts. I am not sure I am completely following the directions correctly on how, but I think it is better than how I did it yesterday (Any opinions?). I will get hubby to check my logic, read the directions and interpret them for me (or just show me how to do it, since that seems to stick in my brain more easily and has half a chance of me repeating the process when on my own).
When I read the ‘Giving up the Ghost’ blog I just loved the way she wrote. I read a few of her posts, simply because they were just that easy to do so and I recognised her pop culture references. Her writing has a raw honesty that is blended perfectly to an enjoyable humour. The ‘Giving up the Ghost’ post made me laugh and it seemed so topical for a lot of marriages – debates about how many children are enough and enough for who? However, it is not typical for our marriage as we have no children and never intended to have any. We got married to be together, a romantic desire to formalise our love and to share a last name. Yep we had an old fashioned approach to marriage (except in relation to children) and we both expected it to be forever.
My comment on her post is not yet moderated on her site but I could see it and copied it here:
This was an amazing piece of writing – raw and humourous all at once. I have no children but when asked that question and it is so many times, as if marriage should equal children and 25 years of marriage should equal many children at that, I reply that I have one and yes its hubby. Thank you for sharing your journey.
We both shared a definition of our hubby’s character that included their similarity to children, with us cast into the mothering role. However, my comment was primarily an aside to the main thrust of her post. It was more the memories it stirred in my mind. What she wrote reminded me of how often, even on our wedding day, we were asked if we were having children and more often than not, when?
There is an additional similar theme in her discussion with her hubby about having a third child while he was scheduling a vasectomy. But the twist in our case was that I wanted children and hubby did not. I had this childhood dream of being a wife, a mother, the perfect housewife with the picket fence home in suburbia. It would seem that I lost the battle, since we don’t have children but it was never a battle and it was a mutual decision. And knowing how hubby loves me, it I had truly wanted one he would have gone for it, for me. Would we have been good parents? No idea but we made the decision not to be parents at all.
I remember leading up to our wedding day we were often asked what the rush to marriage was. I didn’t consider it rushed – we were both 21, I fell in love with hubby and it stuck and 25 years later it remains ‘stuck’. I think the inference was that we were marrying because I was pregnant and while no one blatantly addressed that, some people had a hopeful air about them. Hubby became impatient with the inquiries and he began to reply that, “we are legitimising … (there was a palpable pause, the holding of breath, from hubby who was drawing out till the punchline and from the listener who may have been awaiting the pregnancy announcement) … our house.”
We had bought our house the year before, with assistance from Nana Conway. She wanted to see us spend her money before she died and to enjoy it. Other than marrying hubby, my favourite part of my wedding day was all the family and friends present. I look at the photo’s from that day and there are so many beloved people no longer with us.
Sometimes when I reply in the negative to queries about our having children I can feel an urge to rationalise the decision. For example, as a woman I can feel like a failure in not having ‘mother’ as one of my roles. It feels like we met the social obligation of marrying and then just abandoned the rest and are being called to account for it each time we disappoint someone with our not having children. And I know that this says more about them and their life perspective or expectations, than my actual marriage. Society seems more geared toward the woman as mother, especially the married woman and that can be wearying.
Hubby and I like being a twosome and it was our desire to retain that, that precluded our wanting to bring another person into our lives. There are other rationales for why we didn’t have children beyond simply our decision. My heart stops under anesthetic and the bottom line medically was that hubby might have to choose between me or the baby. He would have chosen me, which would have lost him me as I would never have forgiven him that choice. I forget all the medical rationalisations for how this could happen it was a long time ago.
The bodily functions of women that allow childbirth can be irritating to those that chose never to fully utilise them. I have experienced lactating, since my brain tumour induced it within my body, absent of the normal causation of a breastfeeding baby. I also have the agony of the once a month period pains that can be crippling, sending me to the medicine cabinet and virtually moving into hot baths to ease it. When I was younger and after a long period of “women troubles” I asked for a hysterectomy, but the doctor (male) felt that I would change my mind and regret it later. Later has been and gone, I never changed my mind and despite the potential chemical changes that accompany it, I am yearning for menopause.
Will I regret not having children? I think it may depend on the context. If I am alone in a rest home with no children or grandchildren to visit – possibly. But would I then have had children for my old age and was that ever enough rationale? I don’t regret the life hubby and I have, well in regards to having children that is. I guess I will pay the price for it when it comes due.
Is our marriage perfect? Is any marriage perfect and can you ever define anything that way? Who decides what is the definition of perfect? I know there are things that I would like to change about our marriage and I am sure hubby has an equally long, if not longer list. By society standards I guess our marriage is dysfunctional as we didn’t produce children or maybe it’s pointless? But is the objective of marriage, still, to have children? Our objective was, and remains 25 years later, met – we are together, we share a last name and have had more memories made as a couple than as individuals. He is still the man I want to wake up next to and to hold me when I cry.
This is a rambling blog, I am not sure it found a point and definitely it never stuck to one. I will need to tease some of it out and then fatten the details in later blogs. I welcome any comments, contrasting opinions and questions.