by Aurora Bordeaux
This is something I have often wondered, but it brings me to what I think is a serious double standard among men and women. If women don’t want kids, they’re childless (ack!) or childfree (better, but underused in polite society). But I’ve found that if dudes don’t want kids, they’re just… Dudes.
I’ve read bits and pieces from childfree men out there who openly don’t want kids, so I know they exist. This, however, brings me to another double standard—the vasectomy. If I hadn’t shown up to the hub’s consult, the doc wouldn’t have done the deed. He said too many men come in requesting the procedure, then get married and have children later. Or, if they’re already married, wives aren’t on board. What’s implied here: Men don’t want children, then their wives change their minds. In our marriage, I’ve always felt everyone but the hubs put the burden of “deciding when it’s time to have a baby” on me. Hence, when no kids come out, I’m the one to point at.
This is the same feeling I got from my mother in law, Milly (MIL-ly), when she and my father in law Phil (FIL) visited us over Thanksgiving. I can’t point to a specific comment or action, but my instincts screamed Milly thought her son deserved children and I had brainwashed him or was cockblocking him from having them. I truly believe that in her mind, it’s not the hubs that doesn’t want kids, it’s me. Society seems hooked on the notion that men never want kids, and women always should.
The hubs gets similar comments from guys at work all the time: “So when’s the wife going to give you the green light on kids? My two are a handful. Enjoy your freedom while you can! Ha. Ha.” The “ha’s” are never real, and they always say it with dead eyes. I know the men love their children, but they are also just tired a lot.
Lots of guys do want kids. I’ve known guys like this, and they can be adorable and wide-eyed, often showing a playful side where other dudes can be too cool for school. Some guys who want kids don’t seem to have much of a clue what kids are or mean (re: work). For the record, I think guys who want kids can also be perfectly normal people who, you know, just want kids.
But it seems like most of the time, guys don’t talk about wanting kids one way or another. Why is this?
I’m putting out a BOLO (be on the lookout) for childfree guys because I’m curious what your experience is like. Lots of other gals who pipe up on the Baby Off Board Forum have voiced the same quandaries. Besides that, our handful of childfree gentleman are looking for company. What is it like to be a childfree guy? How did you know and decide you didn’t want kids? Did you ever want them? Do people give you crap about it the same way they harass us ladies?
If you’re a childfree guy, think of this as your chance to have multitudes of ladies listening to you attentively. Or as a chance to connect with other childfree guys, who are currently awaiting you on the Forum and ready to bond—which is to say, in guy speak, to probably talk about neutral topics like sports and Call of Duty for a year or two before getting into anything serious. If you want to leave a comment on this post, that’s fantastic, too. I’m just genuinely curious to hear anything you have to say.
I know you’re lurking, CF Dudes. I can smell you from my laptop. Don’t be scared–I have free snacks. Come out and chat!