Three words that will extract a grimace or shudder from me pretty much guaranteed.
It may not be entirely unusual for a woman of my age to not have kids, but it’s pretty unacceptable for a woman of my age to just not want kids, period.
I don’t, though. People keep telling me that biological clock will kick in and I’ll change my mind, but I’ve gone almost a decade now with feeling set on remaining child-free. Being a mom would be one of my worst nightmares. That remains true even when my body is raging with hormones.
Of course I have the “respectable” reasons for not wanting to procreate.
There are plenty of children already on the earth. If I ever get the random urge to be the reason a child seeks therapy when they grow up, I can adopt one that is already living (then at least I can say it’s not entirely this mother’s fault).
But really, I don’t have a desire to pass on my dysfunction, and by dysfunction, I am being literal. My own upbringing was a rocky one, and I spend far too much time having to re-mother myself. Children don’t need a mother like that. It’s not fair to them or me.
Then there are the “selfish” reasons for not wanting to bake a bun in my oven.
I don’t feel like subjecting my body to that kind experience. I kind of like my breasts being just for me and the periodic person with whom I choose to share them rather than a 24-hour fast food station. I don’t really fancy a parasite sucking up my nutrients, making my feet swell, and breaking my back for nine months, not to mention tearing my vagina when it comes out.
I loathe throwing up. That on its own would be enough to make my decision for me.
I also really don’t feel like waking up at two in the morning to feed a screeching infant or clean up someone else’s bodily fluidds. I don’t fancy sacrificing my time, money, and energy to taxi people around, buy clothes that will be outgrown in a month, and ensure that no one sticks a knife into the electrical outlet. It just sounds exhausting.
I like sleeping in on weekends. I enjoy being able to use my free time for me time. I kind of like my sex life and going on vacations and walking around my apartment naked.
The strange part for me is not so much that I feel abnormal for being happily child-free. There are plenty of others, of many genders, who share my feelings regarding having children.
Rather, I’m baffled by how many people think that my decision to conceive or not is any of their damn business. It’s like people take personal offense that I’m not actively shoving sperm towards my uterus.
If we were in a movie and their own existence depended on this time-warped cycle of coming back to the past to convince an ancestor to allow their existence, I could understand that desperation. However, I’m not signing up to play one of the characters.
I don’t judge people for having kids…most of the time. There are exceptions. (And admit it, you do too!) I don’t take personal offense because someone wants a baby or thinks that pregnancy is the most magical time of a woman’s life.
It’s just not for me. In the end, isn’t it better that I don’t have kids if I don’t want them rather than having them even though I don’t want them?