I’m a person, not a stereotype

I’ve ranted about stereotypes before. But this week I came across it again. And from a most unusual source.

I had to go see a doctor to get the next year’s worth of birth-control pills. A simple request, nothing tricky, so I saw nothing wrong with going to the doctor close to work rather than drive half an hour to see my usual doctor.

Oh, my mistake. Lesson learned. I will stick to my usual doctor from now on even for simple requests.

The reaction I got from this doctor was something akin to asking a priest perform an abortion.

“Why are you taking contraceptives?”

Um, because I don’t want kids…?

“Oh, why not? They’re wonderful.”

I have zero maternal instinct.

“Well you’d feel different once you have them. Just do it.”

No, really. I don’t want kids. I like my sleep. And I like my current financial status.

“Oh but kids give you a happiness that surpasses sleep and money.”

I’m sure.

And so it went on.

What should have been three minute appointment (long enough for me to say I want more of these, him to print and sign the script and say have a good afternoon) turned into five minutes of me defending my no kids stance.

He made me feel sub-woman for not having this overwhelming desire to breed. I’ve debated writing to the practice manager but I don’t really know if what he did was unethical or worthy of a complaint.

But it did bring up the assumption that all women want to have kids. Well we don’t.

I put it up on Twitter and got so many responses (thank you for all your supportive words guys!).

It seems not all women do want to breed. And regardless of the desire, it’s the woman’s (and her partners) choice and not down to her doctor. The most a doctor should do is advise on the best method.

Another friend of mine has written this week about the assumption that she will have a second child fairly hot on the heels of her first. And it made me realise that our society and particularly within a Christian setting, there is a natural timeline that is followed. Or rather, it is assumed you will follow:

Start going out.

Get engaged.

Get married.

Have child number 1.

Have child number 2.

Rinse and repeat.

And I’m not knocking that cycle. If that’s what you want to do-great! Wish you all the luck in the world.

But it’s not for everybody.

My second nephew was born a couple of weeks ago, and I made some comment on FaceBook that at least with a nephew or niece you can hand it back to the parents when it starts to wail/smell/grumble. And a few people commented that I would feel different in a few years when it was my turn.

Really? I’ve been waiting to feel differently about babies for about ten years. Nothing. Not even a hint of cluckiness.

And I’m ok with that. And husband is ok with that.

I’m sure I could analyse for you the reasons I don’t think I am maternal (not the best mother-figure when growing up, only child, completely sane), but it stands that I don’t want kids.

Husband thought it was highly funny that I had to practically wrestle the script from this doctors hands.

Yeah, he won’t be laughing so hard when he discovers I’ve put a stop to the whole debate and booked him in for the snip…

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4 thoughts on “I’m a person, not a stereotype

  1. I’m not disputing that this doctor was too pushy. Something that doesn’t directly affect your health really is none of their business.
    Also, I’m not debating your personal feelings. How can they be wrong?
    Buuuuut, I just wanted to further my 140ish characters on this and say that I have never really been the maternal type. I’ve never been a big fan of other people’s kids. I fell pregnant accidentally. Before I fell pregnant, I only wanted kids so that my husband and I wouldn’t be alone when we’re old. I miss our nights out. I miss being able to drop everything and do whatever I please. I miss sleep-ins and long showers and wearing my hair down and taking my sweet time at the shops.
    I love spending time with my baby. It’s like having a new best friend. When she goes to bed I miss her.
    No one could describe this to me before I had her and it’s impossible for me to describe it to you. My life feels like it has more meaning than ever before. I’m so much more fulfilled. But I didn’t understand any of this until I became a parent.

    And I’m certainly not trying to make you have kids. Each to their own. You know what is right for you.

    One last thing: didn’t you say you wanted kids in your 30 Day Challenge?

    1. I did say I wanted kids-two if I recall.
      But I think that was as a direct result of knowing that I should want kids. That having kids is almost a natural result of getting married. Over the past year I think I’ve come to see more positives about remaining kid free.
      I do think some people are meant to be mothers and some aren’t. And unfortunately sometimes life steps in and those that shouldn’t breed do, and those that really should’ve been mothers can’t for whatever reason.
      The thought of falling pregnant accidentally terrifies me. And maybe that will change in a few years, but right now-I’m happy, we’re happy; husband is enough for me to be responsible for! =)

  2. I’m with you Helen, I believe the Doctor was wrong in the way he behaved.
    I also think we as christians especially should not put that pressure on women, not only is it the Husband and Wife’s decision, but some women are unable to have a child. we need to show a bit of compassion. I know when several of my daughter’s started having little ones , another daughter was under everyones scrutiny and she was being questioned all the time by other women as to when she was going to have one. BIG mistake people, you never know someones situation, keep your opinions to yourself! As for me thats all I ever wanted in life, to be a Mum and I loved every minute of it and still do. I have 4 amazing daughters and nearly 10 grandies! but I know that is not everyones desire, you know whats right for you at this moment, and yes you might change your mind but that is also yours and Dann’s choice, no-one elses. Love ya xo

    1. Thanks Mandy.
      There is always more to things than people see. And I guess the big one for me at the minute is my health-I don’t think I could put my body through the rigors of pregnancy, labour let alone the first few years of raising a child-it would break me!
      Love ya too X

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