Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Are you a DINKER? I Know I Am.

   No, I had no idea what this meant either - give yourself a pat on the back if you did - but after winding down a procrastination-driven path during today's lunch break, I found that it describes my #LifeGoals perfectly.

   'DINKER' is an acronym which stands for 'Dual Income, No Kids, Early Retirement'. It was coined in the eighties when it became more socially acceptable for women to have careers instead of staying at home, looking after the children and cleaning (*massive eye roll* - this period in time should have never existed but, alas, it did); so it began that there were more and more young couples deciding to pursue the career lifestyle rather than fulfilling the social norm of reproducing in their twenties and parting ways as professional equals.

   In today's world, more and more couples are choosing to live the childless lifestyle. Just look at the comments section on any Buzzfeed article surrounding children: hoards of DINKERs talking about how having no children enriches their lifestyles. Consider the possibilities:

- Saving yourself approximately £230,000 over 21 years
- Not having to deal with teenage angst, boyfriends and bullying (because you've been through that and don't want to do it again)
- No pressure to get tied into a boring-but-safe job for the rest of your life
- Going out for dinner whenever you want, and not having to organise a babysitter (or pay for one)
- Travelling abroad for your job 
- Going to over-25s hotels on holiday and eliminating the annoyance of screaming children while you're relaxing by the pool
- Not having to go through 9 months of back pain, morning sickness, cravings and other pregnancy-related gumph 
- Not having to go through labour

   I think it's safe to say that there are many positives to not having children, and I'm tired of people giving me a look of shock and confusion when I say that I'm not interested in kids. Maybe my feelings will change in another five, or even ten years - but for now, I'm completely content earning a living, enjoying my free time and having minimal responsibilities. Does that sound selfish? Probably, but I'm not hurting anyone by not having kids.

   Now, I'm obviously team DINKER, but is there a way to have children with both parents achieving fulfilling careers? 

   Do I even have to answer that question? Uh, okay. Of course there is. In fact, it was this article on the Huffington Post that made me want to write this blog post in the first place. Basically, a clueless LBC presenter implied that women can't be good mums at the same time as having a flourishing career.

   I can't stress enough that this is, in fact, wrong. Just look at Kay Burley, who actually commented upon the incident using herself as evidence of a successful working mother: founding member of Sky News, journalist, author and mum. What a woman, right?

   For good measure, let's also consider Michelle Obama, Angelina Jolie, Victoria Beckham, Shami Chakrabarti, Stella McCartney, Emma Thompson, Aung San Suu Kyi, Carol Ann Duffy... need I go on? Millions of women around the world are succeeding in their careers, as well as being loving, nurturing and all round brilliant mothers. And why shouldn't they? If you want something hard enough, you will do all you can to achieve it - if that means having kids and fulfilling your dreams as a girlboss, then so be it.

   Besides, who ever told a man that he couldn't raise kids at the same time as maintaining a successful career? No one. That's who. So why should it be any different for women?

   In regards to the above bullet points: of course women with children can do all these things and more (apart from avoiding the pregnancy-stuff, that's kind of standard) - but to have the best of both worlds requires a strong will, resilient mind-set and the motivation to be both a career woman and a wonderful mother. I guess I haven't acquired those attributes yet.

   I may be a DINKER for now, but I'm 100% pro working mothers.

   What are your thoughts? Do you have children and a successful career? Or one or the other? Let me know in the comments.

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