I don’t want children. Now, I don’t say this with 100% certainty because I also thought I would never like a Justin Bieber song and then “what do you mean” AND “sorry” came along, proving that opinions made with whole hearted conviction can change with the drop of a single. But like being a Bieliber, the lack of desire to procreate is VERY controversial. I can see the judgement in people’s eyes when I tell them (after they ask me of course, I don’t just go around volunteering this taboo information) “I don’t actually think that I want to have children”. I’ve never had a maternal drive to have kids. When I would think about my future growing up I would imagine my job, what kind of animals I would have, and the kind of person I would want to marry. When I would play house baby dolls were rarely involved, and if they were, they were students, patients or someone else’s. So on behalf of women everywhere who have decided that they don’t want children, here are the things we want you to know.
1. I hate when people tell me “You’ll change your mind.” You know what, that is very possible. One day I might wake up and decide that I actually do want children. But I doubt it. I’ve put a lot of thought into it, as I am aware the decision does eventually have a “no turning back” date, and I just don’t think I’m going to change my mind. However, if I do change my mind and have a child, this does not mean all women who don’t want children will change their minds, or wait too long and eventually regret not having any.
2. I don’t hate kids. I have a niece and I love her more than I thought was ever possible to love anything. I love other kids too, except when they’re out of control assholes, then chances are I dislike that kid, and their parents. I was actually a nanny for two years and I loved every minute, even the rough days. I love their innocence, I love watching them learn new things, I love their wonder with every little thing, and I think the world would be a better place if we held on to a lot of the qualities they have, that adults let go of. My decision to not have children isn’t based on my feelings for them, I also love sloths but I don’t have one.
3. My lack of desire to procreate is not judgement for your desire to be a mother. Most women with children get VERY defensive when I tell them I’m not planning on having any of my own. Their reaction is unparalleled by anything else I’ve experienced. I’ve never been called “selfish” by someone who for example has a roommate living with them when I would never have a roommate now that I’m married. But it’s perfectly acceptable to ask someone who doesn’t want kids “Don’t you think you’re being a little selfish?”. Just because I don’t want kids, does not mean that I think negatively about people who do. I’m not judging or attacking their decision by not wanting them. It actually might surprise you that my decision had nothing to do with you. Which brings me to the next point…
4. My husband is cool with it. I’m not exaggerating, 95% of the time when I tell someone I don’t want kids, their next question is “Well what does your husband think of that?”. I’m sorry, I didn’t realize he married me to be a vessel to carry his future child. My husband loves me very much, if I want kids, he wants kids, if I don’t, he doesn’t. Did it ever occur to you that this was a private conversation we had before we even got engaged? I would tell you to ask him yourself, but no one really ever asks the guy when he plans on knocking his wife up, do they? Meanwhile I get asked several times a week.
5. It is none of your business. It is astounding to me that no one seems to consider “So when are you guys going to have kids?” A rude question. Being someone who has endometriosis, the leading cause of infertility in women, I have met a lot of women in support groups who want children, but are physically unable to have them. My heart breaks for them, I can’t even imagine the pain of wanting something so badly without results. That struggle should remain private, it is the woman, her partner and their doctor’s business. What if you asked a woman that question and she just had a miscarriage? Or she has been trying to get pregnant for years with no results or hope?
So think before you ask someone when they’re going to have a baby. And feel free to judge away if you feel the need, when I tell you I know I don’t want children. I’ll just be here, sleeping in as long as I want, with all my extra free time, and money.