I’ll start this by saying that my wife and I have a 9-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter. We love them so very much. They have such personality and we’ve said many times that we just can’t imagine our lives without them. That being said, it was OUR decision to have children and OURS only. Never did we or DO we expect everyone else out there to feel the same way.
I saw this on the news over here yesterday. For those who haven’t heard, Cameron Diaz stated that she does not want to have children. According to the Huffington Post, Diaz “readily owns up to wanting to focus on her career exclusively, and not having kids is “easier.””
When I saw the story on the news yesterday, my reaction exactly what the title suggests…
Last I checked, having a child is a woman’s individual’s choice. How did something like this become the least bit controversial?
Now I’m not the smartest man in the world, but I am QUITE intelligent. I get that she’s a celebrity. Regular news from us is much bigger news when coming from them. I get that part. That still doesn’t change a mindset that exists in most of society; the thought that EVERY woman out there should have children or they’ll have to explain themselves in some way. We as a society feel that there is just SOMETHING “wrong” with a woman, especially when she reaches a certain age, if she doesn’t have children.
And no, ladies, it’s NOT just men. As I read some of the comments from the “Today Show” Facebook page, I’ve noticed more women questioning Ms. Diaz’ decision than men. I’ve even heard women before say, “No, I don’t have a man, but I do have two kids,” as though the kids were needed as validation in some way.
When exactly did it become “mandatory” for all women to give birth?
As with all the other decisions society seems to want to make for the rest of us, giving birth seems to be a measure of “success” for some reason. I know too many people who have children and just look down on others, even their own friends, because they do not. Even with children, that makes no sense to me. It’s embarrassing to me that my fellow parents out there believe that everyone should follow what we’re doing. As much as my wife and I love our children and our decision to have them, we understand that children simply are not for everyone.
Why is that so difficult for people to understand?
I greatly respect Ms. Diaz’ decision to not have children, but to also be HONEST with herself about it. How many people do we know who have children and we say to ourselves that there is NO way that person should have had children? Probably way too many. Here is a woman who says very plainly that she doesn’t want children. What’s wrong with that? If she did have children, who would they be for? Us or her? Her decision to not have children doesn’t affect us in any way. So why is it our business that she chooses not to do so?
People have said that Cameron is being “selfish” to think of her career before children. Someone even asked “Who is going to take care of you when you get old?” For one, let’s say Cameron follows what everyone else is saying and decides to have children. Who is probably going to spend more time with them? With her career, certainly not her. If she does have children, then aspects of her career could be on hold as well. Rushing to have a child just so someone other than you can take of them…now I call THAT being selfish. Bringing a child into this world just to be doing it and then handing them over more than keeping them, now I call that selfish as well. Being smart enough to realize what you want and to make your own decision? Nowhere near selfish.
Not to mention, let’s say she does have children and we find out that they’re constantly left with the nanny. Society would have a problem with THAT, too. Then the response would be, “Well if she can’t handle taking care of her own children, she shouldn’t have had them.”
YOU DON’T SAY???
Two, as far as “who is going to take care of you when you get old?” Let me mention one of my favorite all-time actresses…Betty White. She is 92 years old. That’s a NINE and a TWO. That’s eight years away from being featured on the Smuckers jar (Today Show fans know what I mean there). And she is a main character of the TV Land show “Hot In Cleveland.” And she is rocking the hell out of it. She doesn’t need someone “taking care of her.” She may have some help, but she’s still able to take part in the show…and she looks great! Not sure why there’s this belief that EVERYONE reaches a certain age and just becomes frail and just unable to function. That is not nearly the case. I’ve even had young people say to me that I “better be nice to my children or else they’ll pay me back when I get old and need them to take care of me.” By the way, I’m a few days away from turning 35, so that won’t be happening anytime soon, but there’s no guarantee I will even need them like that.
Anyway, I am NEVER offended when I hear people say that they don’t want children. Some of my friends with children do get offended when people say that. Children do fit in some of our lives and in some others, they simply do not. There is no rule that says we have to make them fit in all our lives. I know I’ve wanted children since a VERY young age. That was MY choice. I don’t expect others to feel the same way. I would much rather hear a person say they don’t want children than to have a bunch and do lousy jobs of taking care of them. Even if they wouldn’t do a lousy job, it’s important to still just be honest about it.
Cameron Diaz does not want to have children. That is HER decision and HERS alone. This Huffington Post article is headlined: “Cameron Diaz Doesn’t Want Kids, Doesn’t Apologize for It.”
Why in the hell would she need to apologize for a personal choice that affects her and only her? Why would she EVER need to apologize to any of us for something that doesn’t affect us in the least? What rule exists that says she owes ANY OF US ANYTHING?
For those of us with children, we all know the reason we chose to have them…but what we need to realize is that those reasons DO NOT exist for everyone else. We need to stop thinking that our way is the ONLY way. The decision to have children is no different than the thousands of other choices we make on a daily basis. What clothes to wear, what foods to eat, what time to go to bed, what shows to watch on television and so on. I’m not comparing having a child to those things, but my point is that even though choosing to have a child is a big deal, it’s still a choice and choice for the INDIVIDUAL woman to make, not us.
We as parents are not “better” than those out there who do not have children, plain and simple. We chose to have them and they chose not to. Let’s just leave it at that. I respect Cameron Diaz for making her own decision and not going with what everyone believes she should do. Shocking today that someone more people don’t actually do that, but again, it’s her business…not ours. Period.