Single, professional woman rebuked for personal choice
DEAR ABBY: I am almost 30, not married, no kids. I am a workaholic. I love my nieces and nephews to death, and being an aunt is one of my favorite things ever. My issue is: I don't want to have kids.
I started dating again a few months back, and it seems like any man I go on a date with thinks he can change my mind about kids. I have personal medical reasons for not wanting to give birth. Of course, if I do meet a man who has kids, that would be perfect! I'd be a great mom.
So why is it I get called dirty names because I choose not to have kids? Everyone says I'll change my mind once I meet the right guy, but this isn't a negotiable issue. If we want to adopt or consider other options for kids, I am more than willing. There are children who need a home more than I need to bring one into this world just to pass on my DNA. Please help me understand what I am missing.
— UNWAVERING IN IDAHO
DEAR UNWAVERING: Not every woman wants to bear children. That is a fact. For someone to call you "dirty names" because of how you feel is judgmental and presumptuous. Motherhood should be — and is — a personal choice, and birth control allows us the freedom to exercise that choice as we see fit.
It's possible you may be dating in the wrong age group. If you concentrate on older men who most likely already have children, I'm betting you will receive less flak and have a better outcome. There are also dating apps for couples who want to remain child-free or for those who are already parents. Check them out.
DEAR ABBY: My girlfriend has a penchant for long stories, many times on the phone, which are trivial. This morning, she called and proceeded to describe, at length, a nightmare she'd had last night. I try — I really do — to listen, but I usually wind up thinking, what's the point of having a looong conversation about a nightmare? Because I got bored, I started using the computer to search for some meal coupons. When I found them, I interrupted her monologue, which led to a back-and-forth accusatory interchange, "I interrupt you, you interrupt me," etc., etc., etc.
I have always been easily bored with long-winded conversations about minor issues or non-issues. People sometimes criticize me because it's obvious I'm not paying attention. How do I fix this so people don't get offended when they persist with these pointless stories? Today I had to hang up as our "discussion" was escalating.
— EASILY BORED IN LAS VEGAS
DEAR EASILY BORED: If this happens regularly, the problem may be that you have a short attention span. However, if that's not the case, it's time you realized that relationships are based on people taking the time to communicate with each other. This includes hearing and listening as well as talking. If you value your relationship with your girlfriend, try to make more of an effort. And help her to compromise by pointing out how she can edit some of her longer monologues.
DEAR ABBY: This may seem kind of morbid, but I want to know if I should write a letter to my daughter and son to be read after my death to let them know how very proud I am to have been their mother. Is this an OK thing to do?
— GRATEFUL MOM IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR GRATEFUL MOM: I see nothing wrong with it. However, an even better thing to do would be to convey that message to your son and daughter OFTEN while you are still among the living.