I don't want to have children. Ever.
I've always felt this way. When I was a little girl, I never liked to pretend my dolls were my babies, or that I was their mother, nor did I fantasize about growing up and having babies or getting/being pregnant. I apologize in advance to all you moms out there who may heartily disagree, but pregnancy and childbirth sincerely gross me out. Like, to the point of making me queasy when I hear terms like "mucous plug" (barf!). I think some babies are cute, but I never have thought to myself, "Aww! I want one of those!" I honestly believe that I lack true maternal instincts. So, if I really don't want kids, why am I writing this post?
The Foreign Service is much more than a job, or even a career. This is a lifestyle you choose. You weigh the pros and cons, and then you choose. I wrote a few months back about the toll this choice has taken on my relationship, and while it's really hard to accept, I have to realize how much of this is my doing. I want this lifestyle; not everyone else will want it, too. Most of the people I read about or have heard about in the Foreign Service are very family-oriented, or have spouses/significant others who want to be a part of this life. They have their husbands/wives/fiancés/fiancées/children to help make the transition easier for them once they move overseas. I won't have a significant other, and I choose not to have children.
As a single woman joining the Foreign Service, finding a partner is likely going to be an uphill battle. Men have it a little easier. As the old joke goes, if you want to find out where a man spent his first tour, ask his wife where she's from. On top of that, finding a partner who is interested in spending most of his adult life overseas with me (either following me or as a tandem partner) is going to be a bit more work.
I sometimes worry that because FSOs seem so deeply family-oriented, that I'm going to end up somewhat left out. Rational? Irrational? I don't know. I don't really need to be worrying about that right now, but it doesn't stop me from thinking about it.
How did you folks out there manage to strike a balance between choosing a career in the Foreign Service and maintaining your sanity in regards to your personal life?
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