1. Some women claim to have the “maternal instinct.” It’s usually something that can’t be taught. It’s either there or it isn’t. You either have it or you don’t. I’ve never had a particular attachment to babies or children in general. This doesn’t mean that I don’t like children because I do, but it means that I’ve never had the desire to RAISE one myself.
2. My biggest dream, since I was a little kid, has been to perform on broadway. Although this may or may not happen, at any rate I am certain that I want to at least pursue this crazy dream of mine. This will require a lot of sacrifices, however, including investing a significant amount of time and money into MYSELF for auditions, appearance, etc.
3. Elaborating on #2, having a career in the arts usually means struggling to pay rent and provide for ONE person, never mind having a family. In other words, nothing about my chosen profession would be conducive to raising children. Although some of you might ask why I would not be willing to sacrifice my career aspirations for motherhood, you needn’t be so evasive. The answer is simple: I want to live a life for ME, where I am my own first priority. I think this is an incredibly powerful concept.
4. Kids are messy, and I’m already a neurotic enough person as it is in college with my roommates. No joke, if the floor has a speck of dust on it, I freak out. (Okay not really but you get my point). I could not deal with toys everywhere and bodily fluids that aren’t my own.
5. I don’t want to wreck my body. I’d rather this firm physique of mine stay intact for as long as possible. Call me selfish, but I don’t think the physical turmoil of pregnancy and childbirth is worth it if you don’t have a strong maternal instinct, because otherwise it’s very easy to become resentful for the limitations on freedom and self-identity that children (particularly when they are young) will ultimately impose. I think sometimes people forgot that while getting a place of your own and paying bills are inevitable parts of growing up, getting married and raising children are, at least in America, actually entirely optional parts of adulthood.
6. I have no desire to get married. For a women married to a man, marriage almost always involves turning your world upside down for a man, giving up time alone, giving up career aspirations, etc. It makes absolutely no sense for me to have a kid if I’m not married. While I would like to find a long-term life partner, for me personally (I would never be presumptuous enough to say that this is true for everyone), marriage seems like an antiquated social institution designed to define commitment into legal terms and organize child-rearing, and I’m not sure that I want the social burden of being someone else’s wife, someone else’s anything really.
7. I want to travel. This becomes increasingly difficult with children for a variety of reasons.
8. Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you I’m not particularly responsible. I’m also not always the most “together” person in the world.
9. I can barely take care of myself.
10. I am not the most mentally or emotionally stable person, and I don’t think it would be fair to pass these characteristics on to a child.
11. I would rather spend any spare TIME I have on travel, social work and activism, and I would rather donate any spare MONEY I have to charity.
12. I hate when people tell me I’ll “change my mind.” I have never particularly wanted kids. I have never been able to even envision myself as a mother, and I have known since middle school that motherhood wasn’t for me. Just babysitting a kid for an hour felt exhausting to me. I couldn’t imagine doing that 24/7.
13. I want my greatest contribution to be something larger than myself, than my own body. I want to contribute something greater to society than simply replicating my chromosomes. I feel that I can do this through volunteer work, activism, humanitarian aid, and most importantly, performing. Although some would say that musical theatre is primarily a commercial art form, I would argue that it also has the ability to ignite the mind and lift the soul!
14. Self-confidence. I struggle with it frequently, and wouldn’t want to pass this on to a child. My mask has never really felt secure. As a matter of fact, I have always felt as if I’m holding it together with a bunch of glue guns for dear life.
15. I want to be the star of my own life story, rather than a secondary character.
Or to sum it all up as my good friend says, “I want cats, not rugrats.”