It’s no secret the concept of “family” continues to evolve.
Childless couples are adopting children (which isn’t new), gay couples are adopting children, single people are having a child and some people are choosing not to have children.
But where do HSPs weigh in on this?
Recently I ran across a poll on Facebook asking HSPs if they chose whether to have children regardless of their HSP Trait. 210 HSPs participated and you may be surprised by their answers. Their avatars have been swapped out for different avatars.
Here are the results:
What I find interesting about these results are the “No” and “No – but not because of HSP”. It looks like 77 HSPs chose not to because they have the HSP Trait (because they were given the option to vote “No – but not because of HSP.”
But if we add up the “Yes” and “Yes but one and done” it totals 98. If we add up the “No” and “No – but not because of HSP” it totals 105. So it looks like the HSP community (if we take this poll as an average of HSPs as a whole) is almost split on the choice of whether to have children.
Some comments were:
- “I’m scared to give birth.”
- “I have a daughter who is also a member here, and no regrets! She is HSP like me so it is easy for me and my husband to understand her when things overwhelm her, and her to understand me likewise.”
- “I knew that I wouldn’t have the energy, plus pregnancy sounds icky and childbirth sounds awful.”
- “I want one someday, whether I have one with a husband, or I adopt on my own.”
- “Lots of other factors played into my decision not to have children. But a lot of it was my HSP-ness and introversion, yes.”
- “Yes! And would have many more. I was one of those ‘I’ll never f***kn have kids!’ people ~ wow, was I wrong.”
- “For me, it’s just a preference to not have children.”
Of course there are no “right” or “wrong” answers to this question. There is only what is right for you. But it got me wondering… what factors would influence an HSPs decision?
In looking at the answers it feels to me like one of the characteristics of the HSP Trait (D.O.E.S.) Depth of Processing means HSPs typically spend more time determining the various factors involved before making their decision.
In this way they spend time looking at how the liabilities and the assets of their trait will likely play into their parenting. I’d be interested to see how many HSPs wait to have children.
Either way, it takes a village to raise a child.
Most of us who answered “No” or “No – but not because of HSP” are the Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, godparents, friends, neighbours and volunteers who spend quality time with children. I fall into this group.
Some months ago I was given the opportunity to homeschool with my niece for one and a half months. One of the subjects was my favourite — English. Some things we did were listen to stories like The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst and watch the movie Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Afterwards there were essays to write.
I wasn’t familiar with some of the stories and I thoroughly enjoyed them alongside my niece. When we began working on the essays my HSP Trait served me well. Patience, deep listening and a willingness to explore the themes and paradoxes of the stories, and interest in how she interpreted them led to interesting conversations and deep thoughts to mull over later.
An HSP playground.
And instead of giving answers to the questions my niece would ask me I’d ask her questions like – “how do you feel about that?” or “what do you think the link is between this and that?” and “I wonder what that represents?”
When we were listening to The Scarlet Ibis I’d sometimes shout, “Oh! That’s a clue, that word is a clue! Let’s see what it means!” I knew the meaning of the word (one example was the word ‘persimmon’), and I was excited I’d caught the link, but I was more excited to see if she would.
My enthusiasm must’ve been contagious because at one point she smiled and said, “You should be an English Teacher.”
While that isn’t likely to happen what I value most about our time together were the conversations and insights we gained together. The quality time we shared.
This just one of the gifts of having the HSP Trait, the ability to choose to connect on a deeper level. You can’t whittle something like this down into an easy-to-digest social media one-liner. Instead, it’s a richness of experiencing Life that few, if any, non-HSPs experience.
Sometimes it feels to me as if, as HSPs, we forget this. We forget the truly beautiful gifts we’ve been given, or we don’t realize we have the ability to exercise our ability to connect deeply and to experience a feeling of awe.
Where even the feeling of ‘family” can be solitary, silent moments spent in nature (in a backyard or a park), where the trees, the insects, the sun, clouds, the wind, the birds – converse with us and we share the feeling of acceptance, understanding and belonging.
After all, that’s what family is isn’t it?