In yet another response to Time magazine’s summer cover story on childfree choices and women without children, Mercedes Schlapp wrote a fairly predictable pro-parenthood column in U.S. News & World Report. I say ‘predictable’ because there’s probably no point on her list of “benefits of ” that you haven’t heard before. She ends the piece with an oldie-but-goodie:
“While I may not be lying on the beach with my piña colada, I know that my husband and I are investing in our nation’s future.”
Oooh – quick dagger in and out. Truth that zings.Yes, the generations that follow us are “our nation’s future.” The gravity of that knowledge must surely weigh heavily on any parent who thinks about it for more than a minute. No denying that – not trying to.
The zing lives in the air, unspoken, but present. All that ‘extra’ time, money and choices NotMoms can enjoy is probably lots of fun, but they’re not creating the flippin’ future of the United States of America. No stake in the future. No responsibility for it.
I’m hoping Ms. Schlapp was just stating fact, without any unsaid finger-pointing. I’d like to think that there was more to her comment after that sentence. I’ll never know. What I do know is that the statement is all about ‘legacy’. For many women without children, well, it’s not their favorite word.
Ms. Schlapp knows that there are many, many ways to invest in your country’s future. It’s a long list that shows a focus on the environment, technological ingenuity and donations to children’s charities (see Oprah’s school) can literally change the world.
Ms. Schlapp isn’t my concern. I’m onto NotMoms who question their own contributions and worth. They felt the dagger. They’re the ones who need to see that list.
Your life is a gift to you.
You are a gift to the world, just you, as you are.
Live your life.