I’ve recently become addicted to the TV show, Dexter. For those of you that don’t know, Dexter is a serial killer, but really, a very likable guy. Being a serial killer in a mostly law-abiding society isn’t easy. Dexter has to work hard to study social norms so he can fit in with the non-killers. Part of the fun of the show is watching how he learns the basics of fitting into society.
If you decide not to have children, you’re also going to have to learn how to fit in to a world that doesn’t understand you. When people find out that you don’t want kids, be prepared for their shock. But take comfort in the fact that it’s not as bad as their reaction would be if they found out you were secretly a serial killer. For those of you that stumbled on to my blog, not because of retirement, but because of my post and radio spot on not having kids, here are a few tips for fitting in without kids.
1) Take a genuine interest in the kids of your friends and family. It’s the center of their universe. To be part of their universe, you need to appreciate all the parts of their lives, that means their kids, too. Remember, you can have as much fun with them as you want and then you get to leave them there at the end of the evening.
2) Don’t tell stories about how a kid kicked your airplane seat the whole way from San Francisco to New York, or how you had a screaming baby at the booth next to you at dinner last night. People will brand you a child-hater and you won’t fit in.
3) Don’t talk about all those wonderful vacations you take to tropical resorts that don’t allow children, or bike trips you took through the French countryside. Now you’re just rubbing it in.
4) When people ask if you have kids, say, “No, we don’t,” and don’t volunteer that you didn’t actually want them. They will feel better thinking that you couldn’t have them rather than that you are rejecting their lifestyle outright. Plus they might feel sorry for you and be even nicer to you.
5) And finally, never ever give reasons when they ask you why you never had them. You are just asking for them to barrage you with all the reasons you should have. Better to say, “we just never wanted them,” and remain an enigma. If you give reasons, you risk offending them with all the reasons you like your life so much exactly the way it is.
This is a post from Retirement: A Full-Time Job