For centuries, women have been put under a social pressure of expecting to have children when they get married. It hasn’t been until the last 50 years, though, that this stereotype has begun to fade, yet there are still people who believe all women want children when they get older. I’m here to debunk that.
I have never remembered wanting children. Sure, as a child I would play mother, modeling my life as an adult after my own parents, but there were many tell-tale signs of me not wanting kids. For starters, I hated baby dolls. It wasn’t (and isn’t) necessarily a phobia, I just hated touching them. I thought they smelled awful and looked awful too. What made it worse was my sister had about 20 of them, including that creepy swimming pool one. There was one time I even tried to like them, but I just couldn’t make myself do it.
Secondly, I didn’t like pregnant women. At all. Kind of odd, I know, but the whole idea of pregnancy freaked me out, and it still does. Though now I’m not scared to touch a woman’s protruding stomach, I don’t find myself eager to touch them, nor do I get excited about babies and wanting to hold them. Pregnancy and babies have always been a far-fetched idea for me–it has never appealed to me at all. For some women, pregnancy is a miracle; to me, pregnancy is kinda gross. Like, why would I want to go through the struggles of pregnancy and childbirth? I don’t. And babies, for me, are just annoying. I barely have the patience to be nice to my dog, so I can only begin to imagine myself with an infant.
It’s not that I find children disgusting or a nuisance–in fact, I get along with children very well–it’s the idea of having, raising and taking complete responsibility over a child has never called my name. And though I don’t talk about it much, it’s something I’ve known since I was, myself, a child. I’ve even considered getting a hysterectomy once I reach the age of 30 (feel free to cringe here).
I suppose some people just don’t understand my feelings, because I’ve had multiple people tell me that I’ll “change my mind” when I’m older. But the matter of the fact is, I haven’t changed my mind for nearly ten years now. I have always been more career-driven and goal-oriented as a person, so it’s not surprising to some, my wanting to not have kids. For others, though, it’s astounding–out of this world–that myself, a woman, does not want children of her own. It’s been believed for quite some time now that all women want children, but they don’t and I’m the living proof of that.
And I can’t even begin to tell you how much it hurts to have people insist to me that I’ll change my mind or that I’ll want children in the future. It makes me feel belittled, and it makes my thoughts–my feelings–seem like ludicrous. It’s very degrading to be told that you’ll change your mind about a matter that you’ve been set on for years.
Some like to argue that it’s simply selfish for a woman to not want a child. How is that selfish? We are an overpopulated world, with nearly 20 million homeless or abandoned children worldwide due to unworthy parents. How is my accepting that my parenting may be less than par due to my lack of motherly love and patience considered selfish? Why would I have a child when I know that I cannot and, likely, will not give it the amount of compassion it deserves?
Though I obsess over my cat and give him love straight from my heart, I’ve accepted the fact that I’ve never felt comfortable around children. With the few exceptions, I’m not eager to play or talk with children and when I do, it’s typically short-lived. I have just never found that motherly, loving connection with a child, and I have never desired such a connection.
Unfortunately, stating this could lead to a variety of profanity from people. I’m a selfish bitch, I’m ungrateful of my natural gift and desires, I’m basically useless as a woman. And sadly, as a woman, I usually just have to take these statements with a grain of salt. This is unfair, though; it is so unfair for me. I shouldn’t be hearing this for the rest of my life.
This is so much more than “my body, my choice.” This falls along the lines of “my life, my choice.” I have the right to choose how I live and should be able to do so without scrutiny, and hearing negative remarks or seeing negative reactions only work as condescending agents in my game of an “alternative” lifestyle. (P.S. My lifestyle shouldn’t be considered alternative simply because it’s different from the norm, simply because I don’t want children).
I suppose it’s acceptable for people to be surprised at my wish to not have children, especially since many people–as they mature into adults–want kids, but it’s definitely not alright for people to show a strong opposition against my beliefs. It’s not okay for people to tell me that I’m “just young” and I “don’t understand yet.” It’s not fine to blatantly tell me that I’ll understand when I finally hold my first baby in my arms and it’s most certainly not right to tell me that I’m “less of a woman” for not wanting children or choosing to have a hysterectomy.
Choosing to not have a child is my decision and my decision only and that goes for all women out there. If someone says they don’t want children, simply accept their decision without telling them that they’ll change their mind. That’s as silly as telling someone who likes the same sex that they’ll change their mind…eventually. Deciding not to have children is not simply a phase.
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