Tuesday, 9 June 2015

The Librarian Chronicles: The Children's librarian who doesn't want children

I was never one to swoon over babies. Kittens? Yes. Puppies? Yes. Gross little naked birdlings? Yes. Human babies? Yuck. I have never found them cute and I always panic a little when someone hands me one (and why are babies always passed around parties like joints?).

So why would I want to work with them? Well, first of all I don't dislike children. And I will probably always relate more to children than to adults. I was bullied badly. Books were my friends. The library saved me. I have to pay that back. I want to pay that back.

And if you're a completely normal child (if there is such a thing) with a good, bully-free life, books, movies and comic books can still change your world for the better. I want to be a part of that. I want to see that light ignite in a child's eyes when they discover that book or movie that changes their life forever.

And if the child never discovers a passion for reading I want to help it find the books that are least a chore for them to read when their parents or teachers make them read something and introduce them to comic books and books with online games to make it more interesting. I want to tell them that's okay too. We're all different and whatever they like, gaming, playing soccer or drawing is great too! And tell them that they are not stupid or ignorant because they don't like reading.

Also how can you possibly have children when you'd happily push them out of the way to have your picture taken with giant plushies? ;)

And I want to help the parents when they are frustrated that their kid doesn't like to read. Tell them that their kids are going to be alright anyway. And I want to tell the parents who's kid reads all the time and doesn't like hanging out with the other children; that kid is going to be alright too.
I want to encourage them to talk with their children and find out if these are choices or if they do this because they don't know how else to act. If the kid who doesn't read just hasn't found anything of interest. If the child who reads all the time is actually lonely and doesn't want to say it and make his parents sad.

Basically I want to help and inspire children. I want to find alternatives the library can provide for those who don't like books. And to make sure that there's still books for those who do. I want the library to be a safe haven for all children where they can nourish already existing or find new interrests, where you don't have to be quiet and where it's alright to play and have fun just as it's alright to find a quiet place and do your homework or read a book. Where you can play the computer games your guardian won't let you have at home or can't afford. I want the library to be a place that breaks down financial inequality. To give the less fortunate children the same cultural possibilities as the well off have. Whatever choices the parents have made it shouldn't affect their children.

I have many reasons not to want children. The first and most important is simply that I don't want to. Secondly that I have horrible genes - we are all mad here. I mean that literally. My uncle comitted suicide, my dad is prone to depressions, as am I - and anxiety attacks. I have anger mangement issues (bet you hadn't guessed that! But you should see me in traffic). I am (very) financially irresponsible. I am selfish. But all that is just icing on the cake that is: I have no desire to be a mother. I know many people concider their pets fur babies and call them selves their mother. Even that I shy away from. I care for them and I love them to death but I am not their mother.

I am Kathrine Quite-Ordinary-Summers-Day-born, mother of noone, breaker of oh well glasses on occassion I guess.

But I am frequently told I will change my mind. I get told I will live and die alone. That I will regret my life and my decisions. That I will never know real love. That my life will never mean as much as that of one who has children. That I am unnatural. And then a few more times that I will change my mind/regret it when I'm old.

I will not. I will make my own choices and to hell with society and anyone who tells me I live my life the wrong way. There is no wrong way.




  1. I too have absolutely no desire to have children. None whatsoever. Babies make me panic and hyperventilate and nightmares of being pregnant are worse than the zombie apocalypse to me. And this confuses people to no end, because I really enjoy working with kids as a substitute teacher. I just want to scream, "It's possible to like children and not want any of your own!" Your life is not less complete and you are not "less of a woman" because you do not utilize your uterus. The possibility of regret is not a compelling enough reason to bring another being into this world. Motherhood is great for some people, but not everyone. Phew! Got that off my chest! Thank you for this post Katherine! It is good to be reminded that it's OK to make different life choices. (Can you tell I may be getting some pressure for my life choices and for not having kids? Haha.) Your reasons for wanting to be a children's librarian are absolutely inspiring and wonderful. Awesome post, and just what I needed today.


  2. I wanted very much to have children and be a mother. It just didn't work out for me. I am 51 years old and perfectly happy. I have a man who loves me and am only alone when I want to be. I do have 3 cats, they are my pets. Hang in there , you're going to be fine!!!!!!

  3. I am also financially irresponsible sometimes. I struggled with depression until I went through menopause. Now I am perfectly happy.

  4. Strange argument, this thing about regretting not having children. Nobody ever talks about regretting having children. But it is very much possible to regret it (though it's taboo). I love my kids and I could never leave them now that I have them. But I often regret having kids in the first place. My life would have been very different without them, but I would have been perfectly happy none the less. I know my grandmother felt the same way - which of course was completely unacceptable to the rest of the family.
    - Tanja

    1. That is true. I think many would at least rethink their choices given the chance.

  5. I loved this blog post. So. Much. I have so many thoughts on the subject, but just wanted to take a minute to send love and light for the way you celebrate your choices. People have a lot of opinions on what others *should* be doing with their lives (particularly when it deviates from the way they choose to live their life). But never apologize for the things you want or do not want. Being a mother and not being a mother are two equally valid choices. I have never felt called to be a mother either and have faced a lot of judgement and similar comments. I've been told my life will be devoid of meaning...but no one is in charge of the meaning of my life, except for me.

    Not giving in to the societal pressure of motherhood takes a lot of courage (unfortunately - I hope that choice becomes less shocking some day). We should simply celebrate each other - for those of us who love to read, those of us who love video games, those of us who go crazy for sports or equally go crazy for vintage teacups. We are the sum of our choices and We don't ever, ever have to apologize for them. You're awesome (and not alone).


    1. Thank you so much, Kara! I think it will be more common in time but even if not I couldn't and wouldn't change my choice.

  6. Totally understand this! I feel similarly. I am a primary school teacher- I teach music to kiddies and I do lots of clubs. I really adore the children I teach but that doesn't mean I want my own! x

  7. By the way, I cohost a Doctor Who link up on Tuesdays (sadly not my idea but by being a total Who geek at telling people their outfits looked like the Cheetah People from Sylvester McCoy era and a few other things, I earned the cohost position a few weeks ago!!) It's called TARDIS Tuesday and involves any slight nod to Doctor Who or other whether you're wearing a TARDIS blue dress, dalek earrings, Fez, bow-tie or full on Cosplay (haven't gone that far but I DID make a dalek dress and bought Clara's exact shirt!) - I'd totally love it you ever felt you wanted to link up or whatever, you are so cool and I love it when you put Who stuff on your IG! xx
    Here's a link to a few posts, I was trying to paste the label for TARDIS Tuesday but it won't let me do that- sorry it seems like stupid self-promotion but since you're a Who fan too I hope you find it funny rather than thinking I am a complete twit!!x

    Question mark shirt

    Clara Caretaker

    Dalek dress

    TARDIS Tuesday 1

    TARDIS blue

    Here's a link if you wanted a look at past ones but I WON'T be offended if you don't but thought I'd mention it!!x

    1. Oh no, I love that! I'll probably forget most Tuesdays though >.< How does it work, when you say link up? Do I just dress like a mad man in a box (or as the box) on Tuesdays? Is there a hashtag for IG (and if not let's make one!)? I'm totally in! :D

  8. Hi! Yay, glad you're up for it (and thanks for the follow, that's so nice!)
    So on Tuesday, I post a blog post for TARDIS Tuesday which has an inlinx link-up button. You create your IG post or a blog post with a TARDIS Tuesday theme (as I said, it can be anything- weeping angel grey dress, Dalek necklace, bowtie, galaxy dress, cricket jumper, crazy 10 foot long stripy scarf or anything TARDIS blue etc etc). It's nice if you can leave a link to Maricel who runs TARDIS Tuesday.
    Then you click on the blue button that appears at the bottom of my post
    (I think it works with IG if this following link is not lying)

    This makes it sound hideously complicated but basically, click on my Tuesday post and you'll see the link up there. click the button and add your link and you'll appear in the list.
    Have a look at the current TARDIS Tuesday and see what I mean

    Oh and you don't have to post on a Tuesday, the link is open for a week so you can do it at any time during that week. It just starts on a Tuesday!
    Clear as mud?

    1. You could try adding your IG post from the other day with the Galaxy dress and TARDIS blue cardie (plus WHO quotes book!!!) as a test now if you wanted!x

  9. Oh I know those "opinions" well. Even my brother, who has known me for...ever will still ask if I'm sure I don't want children! No, no I love my niece but I love that I can leave when she's have a tantrum. Someone once told me I was selfish because I didn't want children....and that my dog is my replacement. And usually it's all by men! Apparently they can't see my use beyond child bearing. Annoyed? Moi? Hell yes!