Wanderlust vs. Mommylust

A letter to women who are trying to decide whether to be a childfree digital nomad or settle down and have kids

A letter to women who are trying to decide whether to be a childfree digital nomad or settle down and have kids

Image for post
Hag of Guadalupe Collage by Heather Jo Flores

To the young women I see all over social media, asking:

Should I find a partner, have a child, and settle down, or should I follow my wanderlust instead?

My response?

Lovers will always be easy to find, as long as you take care of yourself, first. This means your body and your mind, setting healthy boundaries and being true to your own needs. So, if you ignore your passions and do what you think you’re “supposed to,” even if it feels wrong, then you will probably suffer.

I did. I convinced myself I could fit into the marriage-family-job world. I had a lovely man and a solid plan. But I knew it wasn’t right, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t snap out of the depression that followed me around like a bad dog, all day every day, nipping at my ankles and making it impossible for me to have any sort of stable job or relationship.

But I got better, I hit the road, educated myself, developed a solid daily practice, and I turned my entire life around. Now I am happy and healthy in a Cortijo in Spain! My recovery wasn’t just from traveling, but travel, in the metaphorical sense, was a huge part of it. Travel to places unknown. The forging of paths previously untread.

But I digress.

If you want to be happy, you have to determine: What do I WANT? Yeah, tough question, and one that takes a lot of hard work to get at the core of it, especially if you’re somebody who questions mainstream, dominant paradigms. I can’t give you all of the answers, I can only share my experiences.

I do know this: The time spent worrying? It is gone forever. You will never get it back. So give yourself an Anxiety Budget. Choose the amount of time allowed each day for worrying about the future or anything you can’t control. Ten minutes a day, maximum, no rollover.

As for having kids?

Whatever you choose, please, do not yank another human out of the ether, simply because you want to be a Mommy. That’s selfish. It’s not about you. It’s about them. And this planet is a terrible place for children right now. Their sweet little souls are safer out in the cosmos.

Why not do your own work in the world instead? Or help children who are already here? There are millions of children in the world already who NEED support. Find them. Help them. They are everywhere you look.

A friend the other day said giving birth at this point is basically an act of pure narcissism.

I’m not going to say I agree with him completely, but I can definitely see where he is coming from, and I do think that having kids is sort of the easy road to take, in that the protocols are all set up for you:

Do this, do that, have your babies, feed them, clean up their poop, send them to school, go to work, go to work, go to work, maybe go on vacation, don’t watch too much TV, pay taxes to the Evil Empire, and then you die and your children do it all the same.

But what if you just don’t?

Is it possible that refusing to procreate, that one simple decision, gives you an autonomy that in its very essence is possibly the most radical position in which a woman could stand?

Add to that the fact that you know how to make your own money and you will step into the ranks of some of the most powerful women in history.

Why is it so controversial to question the global assumption that women exist to serve the needs of others?

How ‘bout we just don’t.

Ladies! You are amazing, intelligent, compassionate, capable creatures! Go and do your work in the world! Don’t give your life away to other people! Live NOW, and do your best!

If you’d like to join the “Kind and Childfree Feminists” Facebook group I founded and moderate, come on down to www.facebook.com/groups/childfreefeminism