If I had a dollar for every time someone tried to sway my decision against having kids, I’d be living in a mansion right about now.
When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a mommy. I wanted a husband, a couple of kids, a nice house to live in, and a perfect life. To an extent, I’m pretty sure that every little girl wants that at some point in her life.
And I get it. I get why people want to have children. I think it’s beautiful when two people have a child together and raise that child to be happy, healthy, and respectful. I think it’s just fall-out-of-my-seat adorable to see little kids getting cake all over their faces and playing in the sunshine.
And as a little girl, I wanted that for myself. But by the time I reached my adult years, I made the rational and highly personal decision that I would not be having children at all. I truly don’t have anything whatsoever against kids – I love my little cousins and I think it would be cool to be an auntie someday – but I just am not the type of woman who can be a mother.
You can’t force someone to be a parent when they wholeheartedly don’t want to be. Not everyone in this world is cut out to be a parent in the first place, regardless of whether or not they even want to be one. So let’s get a few things straight…
Stop telling me I’ll regret the decision later on.
You’re just projecting your own opinions onto someone who is under no obligation to even consider them. Besides, why do you even care if I regret a decision that I make? Shouldn’t that be entirely my responsibility?
And let’s not forget the fact that you can’t possibly know what goes on in my life. You don’t know what kind of emotional or financial struggles, health issues, or career objectives are behind my reasoning for not wanting children. Sure, I will happily explain those reasons to you if you ask me politely and respectfully, but assuming without asking is just plain rude.
Stop telling me that all women desire motherhood.
In addition to this being simply untrue, you’re taking a verbal stab at women who actually do want to be mothers but, for whatever reason, are unable to (and I am not one of those women). And besides, motherhood is not the only thing that women have ahead of them once they reach their adult years – or have you simply forgotten that?
Stop asking me if I’m jealous of all my friends and family members who are happy parents.
No, I’m not. I’m happy for them, but I am not the slightest bit jealous. I love playing with my baby cousins, and I love when their mommies and daddies have them scribble their “signature” onto the Christmas card every year – but that doesn’t in any way suggest that I want to be in their position.
Also, parenthood is not easy. Maybe you should consider the everyday struggles of being a parent before you judge someone’s decision to avoid it.
Stop telling me I’ll change my mind once I get pregnant.
No, I will not. For me personally, and for lots of other women as well, pregnancy would most likely be an incredibly dangerous situation to be in. It would be extremely unlikely for my body to even tolerate a pregnancy, let alone carry one safely to term. Getting pregnant at all is already a one in a million chance for me at this point, and ideally I would like to get that chance down to zero. If there’s one thing I want to avoid as much as parenthood, it’s pregnancy.
And for the love of all that is good in this world, stop asking me, “What if your husband wants kids?”
That won’t be an issue. If my potential life partner truly wants kids while I don’t, then they will not be my life partner. End of story. You can compromise on who does more of the housework and who pays more of the bills, but you cannot compromise with someone who simply does not want to be a parent. I don’t want to deprive a partner who actually wants to be a parent, and I don’t want that partner to deprive me of my right to personal choice by obligating me to be a parent. And you certainly are not going to change my mind about it.
Women in their twenties are still so often treated as nothing more than machines for popping out babies. Well, I’ve got some news for you: as a society, we are WAY past that. We are WAY past the days when women were expected to stay home, barefoot and pregnant, while their husbands “brought home the bacon.” And if we ever go back to those days, I’m getting the heck out of here on a one-way ticket. We are a society of working mothers, single mothers, stay-at-home mothers, and scores of women who simply don’t want to be mothers at all.
And that’s perfectly alright. Women are going to make their own choices about their bodies and their lives, and you won’t always agree with them. But that doesn’t mean that your opinion is suddenly more valid, and that certainly doesn’t give you the right to interfere. You have an opinion and we understand that, but that is exactly where it will stay.
This is precisely the reason why access to quality birth control has been so empowering for women. Finally, we are in an age where a man’s sexual needs no longer determine how often his wife will become pregnant and pop out another baby. We are in an age when women can raise a family if they choose to, but also when women can grow as individuals and not have the fate of their reproductive organs determined for them.
I don’t want kids, and lots of other women don’t want them either. So kindly mind your own business and let us mind ours.