This question originally appeared on Quora: If you decided early in your life to be childless and decades have now passed, what are your current thoughts about your original decision?
Answer by Jen Kirkman, Chelsea Lately writer, Comedian, Bestselling Author
While some people will still argue that four months away from turning 40 is STILL "early in my life," I feel it's old enough to confirm that my decision to be child-free was the right one for me. I still have not had one biological pang to procreate or wondered if I am missing out. My life is already similar to a parent in that I am spoken for seven days a week and almost 365 days a year. I'm writing on a television show, working on a second book, writing a new stand-up comedy show, currently touring the world with my current stand-up hour as well as trying to maintain a healthy life that doesn't just involve me sitting alone writing or only interacting with strangers on stage. I'm always exhausted, too busy to make much time for romance, friendships and because I am feeling this 40 looming, I take a lot of time for self-care (and I'm not just talking things like "manicures" and others things that moms sometimes accuse me of spending my free time doing.)
I love my life. It just happens to be that my career got busier just as I was getting older. I've been pursuing the life of a stand-up, author and television writer for almost 20 years and I am not in charge of when it breaks for me. Just like my friends who tried to get pregnant and couldn't believe it when it finally happened for them later than they expected or in some cases earlier.
We all sacrifice (sleep, intimacy, sanity) for what we love and although I hesitate to call my career a "baby," it is a 24/7 job. It's always on my mind and I have to be flexible. I have to put up with working all day only to get on a red-eye flight at night to get to a town the next day, get up at 6 a.m. for morning radio and get ready for a show that night. If I had a child (or even a husband) in addition to all of this, I would probably have to report myself to Child Services (and get another divorce.)
And when my career becomes something that I don;t just have to "take as it comes" and I can have a little more control, NO I will not feel the void of a child in my spare time. I will feel my sore feet, voice and will CHERISH the ability to take a proper vacation or reconnect with the people in my life. In fact, I might even have time to babysit YOUR kid so that you and your spouse can have a nice dinner. Eh, actually, I don't feel like doing that. Can you guys get a sitter and the three of us will have dinner?
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