Societal Expectations

Met an 85 year old patient today for the first time, and as we’re talking a little more, he decided to ask:

85 year old: Do you have any children?

Me {as a matter of factly}: No children.

85 year old {shocked look on his face}: No children?!?  How long have you been married?

Me: Eight years.

85 year old: I should pray for you.

Me {thinking ‘WTF!}’: Oh, you don’t need to pray for me.

So what is it with childfree people?  Why are we looked upon as being ‘unfortunate’ and need to be prayed for?  He assumed that I was missing out on something precious in life.  Maybe it’s the older generation that just doesn’t understand that life doesn’t revolve around procreating, wiping others’ asses, losing sleep night after night, and basically living for some else other than yourself.

My current excuse to those who ask me why we don’t have children is simply, ‘I want to devote 10 hours a day and my energy  to taking care of patients, I just don’t have time for children.’  That usually gets an understanding nod from people.  While deep down, I just want to say, ‘Children?  No, thank you.  I’d rather have a colonoscopy without any sedation.’

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