Life Is Good Without Kids
By Sonya F. Jenkins
“Why are you still single. . . and without children no less.”
“You should start thinking about having children, you aren’t getting any younger.”
“Sure, it’s hard to be a single parent, but at least you will have children to look after you in your golden years.”
These were some of the snide remarks I would hear throughout most of my adult life, but after a while I just learned to tune it out. There was no need to entertain people with my personal reasoning.
Sometimes in life there are some circumstances that happen to you for a reason, and some caused by your actions. Well, for me, it is a combination of both.
As a little girl playing with dolls, I dreamt one day that when I was an adult, I would be a mother of three children, two girls and a boy. Yep, I had it all planned, what their names would be, which one would be the older and the others would be twins; The schools they would attend, what their professions would be and so forth and so on. Unfortunately, this vision would not come to fruition.
Here’s where the circumstances of my actions come into my life, as well as the reason for the circumstance. When I was in high school, my life changed in the most dramatic way, no one saw coming. During my Junior year, I became involved with an older man. This involvement was an experience for a shy, naïve, virgin, who wasn’t popular in high school, but somehow overnight became popular. I was the girl who was dating an older man. But dating this older man came with a high price tag for which, I would be paying until the Lord calls me home to glory.
Five months into this relationship, I contracted a sexually transmitted disease that will be part of my life forever; and no it isn’t HIV/AIDS, it is something else. Just to make that clear, so whoever is reading this doesn’t jump to the wrong conclusion.
Now, back to my life experience. After having numerous moments of unprotected sex with the older man, my body, especially the genital area, felt like something was wrong. It felt swollen, ultra-sensitive and painful during urination. Days later, there was an itchy rash with large red blisters, shortly after the blisters became open sores, they stuck to the middle part of my panties. After a while, it had become uncomfortable to sit for long periods. This went on for weeks, until my Mom took me to see a OB/GYN for the first time.
After what seemed like hours upon hours; it was actually forty-five minutes, the doctor told me what I had, the type of STD it was, the details on care and maintenance for the rest of my life. No more unprotected sex, no more silk panties only wear cotton. Now here’s the heart wrenching doctor talk. The doctor told me, the idea of having children would be next to impossible, if not difficult without consequences. Having children with this type of STD could pass it on to the child via the birth canal because if the sores are exposed, the child’s head, eyes, nose and mouth would come instantly in contact. There would be no way of knowing what the effects would have on the child. The child could be permanently blind, have a speech impairment, brain damage, or would not survive at all. After hearing all of this, plus other concerning health issues, there was no way I would have a child, knowing neither one of us could possibly survive what should be a joyous event in a woman’s life.
Unfortunately, years later, I did become pregnant, but because of my own health issues, the pregnancy had to be terminated. Due to a large mass blockage, the fetus never made into the uterus. The combination of these two events caused me to have constant dizzy spells, not able to keep food in my stomach, abnormal hot flashes, you name it, I had experienced it. Once, the pregnancy was terminated and the mass removed, my doctor strongly cautioned me. From that day on, I never put myself in a position like that again.
When, I turned forty, I thought of having a child with my then fiancé. He and I talked it through and decided against it. My doctor, who was with me from the beginning, had since retired. I had to get a new OB/GYN who reviewed the assessments of my previous doctor. My new doctor agreed… nothing within my body had changed. The risk was still high, not worth taking the chance. Yes, it was a little disheartening, but not surprising.
Since then, I have made peace with it all. Sure, I could adopt or become a foster parent (as so many people, especially women have so kindly pointed out to me) but it just wasn’t in my heart to want to do so. Now, I am fifty years old, single and childless which is alright with me. I have accomplished a lot of great things in my life. I’ve graduated college, published two books, traveled outside of New Jersey, hosted an Internet talk show, was engaged to the love of my life, developed new hobbies, and so much more. There are some amazing older women in my life who are either married or single, and they do not have children. These women have no regrets, as well as live awesome lives.
I believe there is a larger divine plan for my life without children, and who ever reads this, don’t let society make you feel less than because you are childless. Don’t be down on yourself either. There may be a much larger divine plan for your life, and the world will surely continue spinning as well as movement of time. So enjoy your life to the fullest it can be. . .