Those without kids

SLF nospam at salk.edu
Sun Apr 23 10:23:18 EST 2000


From: Linnea Ista (lkista at unm.edu)

> I think in discussions like this where statements are made that

> "having a family" and "having a life" are two

> different things does imply that the writer thinks there is something
> special, and perhaps a little more difficult/tricky because her
> priorities are different from mine. Those of us who are childless are
> expected to understand and support those with children in their decision
> to do so. The need for the opposite to be true is not always
> recognized.

It is true that there is a tendency *by some people* to assume that the
"real lives" of those of us who are childless are somewhat less
"important" because they don't involve children.
How many of our (childless) readers have heard
the comment "you have it easy ...." from a tired parent?
or the accusation that we're too selfish?  or that it is somehow
unfair that we don't have that child-commitment, and have
more flexibility?  i agree with Linnea--
people need to respect and support either choice.

As I've said previously, this is a hard profession.
Not having children does not make science suddenly
warm, fuzzy, understanding, and supportive.  It will be tough
regardless.   Be realistic and make your decisions for you.

As Paula points out, it is all a matter of choices, and accepting
responsibility for the limits that those choices cause.
I consider my choices to be just as important as anyone else's,
kids or no.

 I'm all in
favor of helping out someone who has a sick child or a symphony date,
as long as it isn't a regular thing, and as long as it's not their sense
of entitlement.  If Linnea's pal Joe worked in my lab, I'd have a little
talk with him about that.  I don't care for that kind of Attitude.

--
-susan
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Molecular Biology and Virology Lab
The Salk Institute, La Jolla CA
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