Wednesday, 19 October 2016

On not wanting children


I've wanted to write this post for a very, very long time but several things have held me back. Most importantly I've wanted to write it properly, it's super important to me that I get my point across in a succinct yet meaningful way and secondly other peoples thoughts and opinions have held me back but I want to write this for myself and for others who feel the same. 

As a woman I feel that saying you don't want children still isn't accepted. I mean that's what we're here for isn't to create, grow and look after offspring?! Going against what is seen as the norm is still judged as wrong by some people. In 2016, people still struggle to understand why a woman doesn't want a baby. Seriously. There are still some very old fashioned thoughts floating around when it comes to this topic, basically if you don't want children it's because you're a super career driven, ball breaking bitch who's destined to be alone because you can't find a man who can handle your sassy independence! All joking aside though that's what it comes down to, well I'd just like to smash all those myths by saying I am not career driven at all so I'm not giving up having a baby to smash that glass ceiling and I've been in a very happy relationship for nearly 9 years and I plan on spending the rest of my life with the same person, so I don't think I'm destined to be a lonely spinster either. 

So why don't I want children? Quite simply because I'm selfish, there I said it. Children do not fit into my life plans. I don't want to change my life dreams to grow a child and be tied to it for the rest of my life. Having children is life changing, it's a huge decision and the life you had/dreamed of will never be the same, your child (rightly so) comes before anyone and anything else and that's the biggest commitment you will ever make. I fully respect anyone's decision to have a child but I do not want my life to be changed by a child, I want it to be changed by the (child free) experiences I have.

 I have a list longer than my arm of places I want to visit around the world, when I picture myself heading to Disneyland California or seeing the Northern Lights in Finland I do not see a child at the side of me. When I think about the future plans for our house I do not see the conservatory we want to build filled with toys or the garden we're doing up filled with a slide and sandpit. I don't want to wait 18 years to have amazing experiences and do all the things I dream of doing when I'm 50. I want to do them now, while I'm young. I am eternally grateful for the life my parents gave me but I am fully aware that I do not want to the same thing for myself. I didn't properly leave home until I was 25, I stopped going on holidays abroad with my parents when I was 17. That's not what I want in my life. I want to plan holiday's to the places I want to visit not to the hotels that have a kids club, I want to buy nice things for my home that aren't going to get sick and shit on them. I want my clothes to smell of fabric conditioner and expensive perfume not warm, milky baby vom! 

I've worked with children of all ages for almost 3 years now, I have that caring, kind, compassionate side to me but the difference is those kids go home to their own parents at the end of the day! Working with children has exposed me to some awful situations in terms of kids not receiving the love and care that they should, I've cried on more than one occasion at the terrible situations. Children deserve to be loved and cared for and I couldn't provide that, no scrap that, I don't want to provide that. That doesn't make me selfish, I shouldn't bow down to societal norms when I know I couldn't and don't want to provide all the things a child should have. That just means I've made an informed decision about what to do with my life and body.
"But you'll change your mind eventually/when you're older..." Oh god this argument annoys the hell out of me. I'm 25, I have a good education, a stable job, my own house and I'm in a long term relationship. I have all the right ingredients to become a baby making machine but guess what, none of those points have changed my mind about what I want to do. I know roughly where I want to be in 5 years time and that isn't with a belly the size of a large watermelon pouring all my hard earned cash into buying a cot, bibs and a pram. I'm not going to change my mind. I will openly admit, I do at times wonder how I'll feel when I'm much older, I'm curious what a child produced by me and Josh would look like - would it have Josh's dark features or my pale ones, would it have Josh's curly hair or my straight hair, but none of those thoughts are strong enough to make me change my mind they're just part of my natural curiosity. 

For those wondering what Josh's stance is on this, he doesn't want kids either but we don't need a big debate on that because he's a man so that's acceptable! No, seriously though, we share the same thoughts and opinions on having children and I know how lucky I am to have someone who shares my opinion on this matter, he's the one person I feel I don't have to justify myself to because he just gets it. You can all rest now safe in the knowledge that I'm not denying him the experience of becoming a father!

It was so important to me to write this post and reach out to other women who feel the same, to show that it's not something to feel ashamed about. To tell you that's your choice, that your opinion matters and you don't need to justify yourself for making that decision.


2 comments:

  1. Hi! I 100% agree with what you have written. I'm 35, married and kids have never been part of my/our equations.

    I've faced a lot of prejudice over the years and even once got told that I had no right to get married if I didn't want children.

    Maybe I'll change mind, but at the end of the day it's no one else's business what I do.

    There is one discrepancy; I don't think your selfish. In my opinion there is nothing more selfish than having a child. You don't do it for anyone else except yourself and your partner.

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  2. I love this post. I have wanted to write something similar myself but like you, I haven't had the chance to write it 'properly' yet.

    I have never wanted children, tbh I don't like children at all. People always take this as a personal insult to their children... it just means I don't enjoy being in the company of children. Babies crying makes me feel on edge, I hate it.

    I'm always having to justify myself to people and get the usual; 'You'll change your mind', 'It's different when they're your own'. I know I won't ever change my mind.

    My biggest fear is getting pregnant and not knowing about it until the day I give birth (which does happen), honestly I have nightmares about it :(

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Thanks for your lovely comments!