“Christa, why aren’t you having kids?” I get this question a lot, and not without a fair bit of judgement. And here’s the reason: by not having kids of my own, all the children of the world are my full-time concern. I’m extremely passionate about public education and the wellbeing of children. It’s the main reason I took a job as Product Manager at ed tech startup STEAM Engine, Inc. Improving all of their lives through learning is my goal.
I’ve read many autobiographies of people who transformed their corners of the world, and I aspire to be one of those people who makes an enormous impact that lasts far beyond my own lifetime. One thing that every single one of these people mentions is that their mission to change the world required them to spend less time with their families, and specifically their children, than they would have liked to spend.
They reasoned that many other people, particularly those who are most vulnerable, needed them more than their own children needed them. I’m not going to debate whether or not that’s true. It’s how they feel. It’s a conscious choice they made and had the courage to tell the world about.
Of course it’s absolutely possible to have kids of our own and have a full career, too. So many people have shown us that and I tip my hat to every single one of them. Many of my friends are the most incredible parents and highly successful in their careers. I’m in awe of them. The great balancing act and sacrifices they manage isn’t something I could do gracefully; I know my limits. So, I realized I had to make a choice, a very personal choice that is right for me. And I decided, for me, I wanted to devote everything I have to the pursuit to help all kids through my career.
I mean to use the 24 hours I have every day to make a high-quality education for every child everywhere a birthright. It’s not a luxury or a nice-to-have service. It’s not something that should only be given to those of good fortune. It’s as vital as breathing, eating, and sleeping. We are all given this tremendously complex, wondrous piece of machinery called the human brain. It’s the greatest invention ever made, and I feel physical pain from the idea that some children, by simple luck of the draw, don’t get the chance to develop their full mental potential. It’s unacceptable and intolerable, and I’ve got to do something about it.
So, am I having kids? I already have kids. Millions of them. They need me, and I plan to use my career, time, and energy to be there for them. All of them.