My third grade teacher was one of my favorite teachers. Oddly enough, she was also one of the most strict. She used to yell at us a lot. Her favorite thing to yell was “MYOB!”
She would tell us to “Mind Your Own Business” whenever she caught us being ‘nosy.’ If a student got in trouble (e.g., for talking out of turn, or not doing homework, etc) and the rest of us looked up from our work to watch her discipline them, she would remind us that we had reading, math, or better things to do. If another adult was speaking to her and we were caught listening, she made sure to put us in our place. If we were outside for a fire drill (or even recess) and tried to pick things up off the ground, watch cars and people pass by or even watch birds fly, she was there to keep us focused. If a classmate had to go to the nurse, principal’s office, or even home, and we asked why…well, you get my drift.
As I got older, I learned the importance of minding my own business. Minding my own business allowed me to excel in school and to stay away from the wrong crowds. Minding my own business came in handy (and kept me safe) when I moved to NYC and lived in a few shady neighborhoods. Minding my business has helped me to avoid awkward situations or even conversations.
But it seems that more and more people need to heed this mantra. There seems to be an epidemic in which some people feel the need to mind other people’s business. These inquiring minds make it their mission to know all the details of your personal life (the term is ‘personal’ for a reason folks). The nosies want to know why you’re single, or if not, they want to know when you and your mate are going to tie the knot, and then when you’re going to buy a house and fill it with babies. Society often tries to dictate your life’s trajectory and that’s neither fair, nor welcomed, at least not by me.
My mother (and many older women like her) feel it is their right to be all up in my womb. Ok, I get it, I came out of hers, so she has some clout. But the others?! With another year passing and yet another birthday coming, it is only getting worse. I recently read a hilarious post titled, 9 Questions To Ask Before Asking A Woman Why She Doesn’t Have Kids (read it for yourself here).
My parents live in Florida. But as much as my mom laments about me giving her a grandchild before she “leaves this earth”, she has made it very clear that she would not move to NYC to be closer to me and said child even if we paid her rent. The cold is too much for her bones. She makes a valid point, but so do I for not having a child (yet?).
I haven’t had a child for many reasons. Some of them being:
- No one has convinced me that pushing a human being out of my private area is a pleasurable way to spend the day
- I wasn’t with a person I could see myself raising a child with, since that requires a strong, mature partnership (I have no desire to do all the dirty work alone)
- I have struggled with my weight since I was a child, so having to surrender my body to this cause is scary
- I have heavily considered adoption as a viable option (my partner would have to agree)
- I am still “growing up” and I enjoy being selfish
- I am not a very patient person and you need a lot of patience with children, especially babies, since they aren’t born being able to verbalize what they want
- I am obsessed with travel and the freedom to do it when I please (and my funds allow)
- I don’t want to struggle financially, so I need to be better with my finances and settled in my career
- I wouldn’t trust a lot of people with my child, so I would have to be able to work from home, in order to raise them, until they could talk and tell me if someone mistreated them in any way
Don’t get me wrong. I think having a child can be a gift. I am also amazed at the whole science of creating a human being. I actually really like children. So much that I was a teacher for years (although the difficult ones closed up my womb a lil each day). I love the sound of a child laughing. I also like kids with big personalities that tell funny (and sometimes painfully long) stories. I think about what it would be like to hear someone call me “Mama.” Not to sound vain, but I think my child(ren) would be adorable.
I get it, the proverbial clock is ticking. But I won’t let anyone put unnecessary pressure on me. Because unless they plan on being there physically to change those inhumane diapers, pay the astronomical fees for everything associated with a child (in just its first few years of life), and babysit so I can breathe (and possibly see my friends or go on dates with the man that knocked me up – if I haven’t killed him) then bye Felicia! Please find a new hobby or someone else to bother…and MYOB (sing it with me)!