Packing up has been making me feel as if my lifestyle isn’t much different than it was at 22, and I’ve been reflecting again on whether I’m really a “grown-up.” Then I stumbled on this:
Awhile ago, I met the write Molly Peacock and began, by chance, to talk to her about a piece I was trying to work out about being childless and how hard it was to a) reconcile that fact, in a world where motherhood is revered, and b) how silent the process is because there’s so little written on it, and it’s rarely discussed. What I didn’t know was that she had written an entire book on her choice to be child-free and how it had defined her life.
I devoured Paradise Piece by Piece and, though my childlessness has happened more from circumstance than choice – it would never be my choice – I still related to a great deal of what she wrote. That’s because to be a “non-mom” is still fairly undefined and misunderstood.
I guess that one will be another book I’ll have to get around to reading once I’m settled:
How do you grow up if you don’t have children? How do you remake the original love—mother love—into a mature love? Becoming a parent provokes this conversion, but the transformation into adulthood without the bearing of children means metamorphosis. The change is not instant and permanent like parenthood. It is a surfacing into adulthood and a diving down into childhood, and a poking into sharp air again, then a plunge into watery warmth, gradually converting your gills to lungs. After a time, you breathe in air exclusively, just as all adults do.”
Also worth watching (from the blog above):