I feel a little sick to my stomach right now--and not because of the throat bug that had me down and out yesterday. I'm upset. I realize that I'm not raising children and, in 99% likelihood, never will. Nonetheless, I'm stereotyped as a clueless person who doesn't get that parenting is difficult. I know that parenting is difficult. Once upon a time, I wanted to be a parent--I get that there are joys and sorrows to it that I'll never understand. I don't understand how difficult parenting is because the only thing that teaches you is actual parenting. And I don't have that experience.
So I'm selfish because I don't have to do difficult parenting. Know what else is difficult? A miscarriage (possibly two). A failed adoption you spent thousands of dollars on. Being married 8-1/2 years without having any kids. Being too mentally and physically sick to trust yourself to parent a child who needs it (either by foster care or adoption). Forget wanting to be a parent and having to wait--try wanting to be a parent and watching that dream completely fall apart. Then live in a world where people think they're saints for doing what humans have done from time immemorial--procreating--and who think you're the prodigal son for not having children. Tell me that's not difficult.
I have value. I'm finding worth hanging out with my nieces and caring for my extended family rather than lamenting the immediate family I lack. I'm writing a young adult novel that I hope will help break down the stigma of mental illness because I always wonder how different life could've been for me if I'd realized I needed help sooner. I have a billion more novels with similar themes in mind. And I spend a lot of time hating myself because I'm not normal. But I have value. You don't need progeny to have value.
Apologies for very angry blogging. Never blog angry.