By Laura LaVoie
I recently found myself in the car with the radio tuned to NPR. It happened to be a re-broadcast of an On-Point interview with Laura Scott, author of Two Is Enough, and Lauren Sandler, the writer of the much talked about
Time magazine cover story published in the summer of 2013.
As you might imagine, the interview featured calls from listeners who expressed their sadness that “those people” will never know the joy of parenthood. Since the show wasn’t live, I couldn’t get too mad and give into the temptation to call in myself.
Overall, the interview was quite positive. I was most struck by a comment that Scott made about “Early Adopters.” Many women know at a very early age that they don’t want children. All of the signs she mentioned? I recognized every one from my own childhood.
- Didn’t like to play “house.”
- Didn’t like to play with dolls.
- Didn’t like to babysit.
These three things defined my childhood. I wasn’t a tomboy, but I certainly wasn’t a girly girl. At the time, there wasn’t a real classification. Now, I know I’m a Geek and I am happy with that. I liked to imagine a lot of things, but it was never that I lived in a suburban home with suburban children and fixed them dinner or cleaned. I never saw the point to that. I’d rather imagine that there were dragons.
Dolls were an entirely different subject all together. While I certainly had my share of Barbies and Cabbage Patch Kids, they weren’t exactly the center of my play time. In fact, my mother made the mistake of giving me all of my sister’s hand-me-down Barbie dolls from the mid-60s, which I proceeded to mutilate. Yes, I was that girl who took scissors to Barbie’s hair and pulled off her legs. Needless to say, my older sister was less than pleased by this turn of events. The toys I was drawn to were either superhero action figures or model horses.
I babysat a little and I hated it. I counted the minutes until the parents returned home and gave me my cash so I could get the hell out of there. I never put kids in danger or anything, but I certainly didn’t know what I was doing. I wasn’t particularly good with them, either. I remember completely forgetting one week and the parents had to come find me. That’s embarrassing when you’re 15, but totally understandable now, since I despised the job.
For as long as I can remember, I didn’t want children, but I thought I was supposed to. So, I just didn’t talk about it ,or I expected that one day I would change my mind. I’m nearly 40 and I still haven’t.
Were you a childfree early adopter? When did you know motherhood wasn’t for you?