I don’t know how much of a surprise this might be for people, especially since I’ve written about it before, but I’ve decided to discuss it more in-depth here. For more clarity — here’s why I don’t want children.
It’s always interesting to see the reactions I get when I tell people that I don’t want kids. They’re generally not unfazed. There’s typically a slight nod of understanding accompanied by a contrasting, doubting glimmer in the eye, or there’s (my favorite) the obnoxious, “Oh you’ll change your mind one day!” (or the less obnoxious “Well…you may end up changing your mind.”). Either way, I feel, that no matter how I explain myself and my reasoning, I always find myself interrupted or discredited by the end.
So I wanted to tell you my side of things — without interruption — so that you might understand and, possibly, relate.
I didn’t really like playing with baby dolls as a child. Well, actually, I refused to even touch baby dolls. I didn’t want them near me or my stuff. It was kind of like a phobia — just without the excessive fear. I wasn’t scared of them…they just grossed me out. According to my dad, this was the “first sign.”
Then, of course, there’s pregnancy — ya know, the thing you have to go through to even have children. I have never wanted to be pregnant and have never swooned over others’ pregnancy stories or experiences. I, quite frankly, don’t understand the appeal of it — swollen feet, continuous doctor’s appointments, incredible pain and discomfort, crazy hormonal changes, leaving the hospital in a diaper pretty much. I know that, for many, the downsides of pregnancy are far outweighed by the benefits of having a child…but when I don’t want a child, what’s the point? For me, I am strongly against pregnancy for myself. And I don’t mean that lightly. This is why I’m such a huge proponent for birth control.
So, why don’t I want children? Do I not like children? I’ll use the popular phrase to explain my reasoning: I like kids…I just like other people’s kids. I don’t want any of my own. This is for three main reasons.
For starters, I’m not a very “motherly” person or have many “motherly” traits. I’m not terribly patient and I’m not really selfless enough to take care of another human being, nor am I super compassionate, especially in regards to children. This isn’t in any way implying that people who choose not to have kids are selfish, I’m simply saying that I’m not built emotionally to have kids. The best analogy I have is this one, of personal experience: my friend has a little boy who will be two years old in July. She loves taking care of him, amidst all the troubles that come with it; she even enjoys the struggle — because she loves it (and him) so much. When she got a little kitten for their family, though, she had little-to-no patience with the kitten. She didn’t understand how people could deal with a kitten — it crawling all over the place, pooping in a litter box, meowing constantly. But see, I’m the exact opposite of her. I love kittens (and raised my own kitten at 16), even though they can be annoying. But I couldn’t personally put up with a baby. It just depends on the person, and I happen to be less inclined with children.
Along a similar line, kids are a lot of money and require a lot of attention. I’d rather focus my energy elsewhere. On myself? On my passions. For some people, their passions in life aren’t worth as much as having a family, and they can easily put their goals aside to have children. Not me. That’s not what makes me happy. I love buying gifts for my friends with babies and kids, and I love spoiling my little cousin — but that’s where the line is drawn for me. I don’t want the responsibility and time associated with children when I know I can use that same energy (and money) on my own personal goals that make me happy as an individual.
I’ve never really seen myself with kids. Just like some people have never seen themselves single without a family — I’ve been just the opposite. My ambitions, since I was little, were never family-centered. I’ve always been career driven. Though these career goals have changed over time, one thing hasn’t: the fact that I have never seen children in my future. I feel like it’s been implied by others my whole life that I’ll be a mother one day. But even as a child myself, the thought of it kind of made me cringe. What makes you think I even want to be a mother? Because I don’t. I’ve never had that passion.
Basically, it comes down to this: I wouldn’t be happy being a mother. And since it’s most definitely not my job or responsibility to have children, I don’t plan on doing it. So quit telling me that I will.
So here’s to the family members who tell me I’ll change my mind, here’s to the guy who told me I was selfish and it wouldn’t work out (even though we had only known each other a week), and here’s to everyone else who has just never quite understood my reasoning — I hope this enlightened you a bit on my decision not to have children. And I hope this helped inspire others who feel the same way.
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