“Never say never,” right? WRONG! I will NEVER have children. There is no medical reason, that I know of, that prevents me from having children. There was a time that I thought that I would like to have them; and the person that I was at the time may have actually grown up to be a very good, loving, endearing mother, but I’m not the same person I was then. I am irrevocably changed. Which coincidentally is also what happens to people once they have children.
When I was 17 I lost my virginity to the love of my life. The sex wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t really about that. Not quite a month later I thought I might have been pregnant. Wishful thinking more like it, I wanted it so badly that my body probably would have had a full blown hysterical pregnancy. I would have loved to have had that baby, been married, and lived ignorantly blissful for the rest of my life. Obviously that didn’t happen, and since that time I have decided that none of those things are for me; children, marriage, ignorance. I’m not really a fan of any of those things.
I have an actual list of reasons not to have kids, but I’m going to try to not be boring about it. It may seem obvious, but the #1 reason not to have kids is all the noise. The screaming, the incessant questions, the crying, the incoherent babbling, and don’t get me started on the toys!
I’m not one of those people who find it endearing or hopeful when I hear children playing or singing. I’m one of those people that will navigate stores in order to avoid children whenever possible. Unless they’re sleeping babies I will go the long way round, or skip an isle and come back to it if I see a gaggle of children. I cringe when I’m in public and I hear a tantrum or screaming baby anywhere in the store. I feel an overwhelming sense of pity for the parents involved, then remember that they got themselves into that mess; and who knows, maybe when it’s quiet and they’ve actually gotten some sleep they feel happy about it. Some babies are good, happy babies but I’m not willing to take that chance. I don’t need to be needed, which is something that I’ve always attributed to the reasoning behind having children.
Another one of the major reasons I choose to not have kids is because of my genes, I really don’t have good genes. (Don’t get me wrong, Aidan Turner and my kids would be GORGEOUS!)
Genes are more than looks though, and I wouldn’t want to pass along any more of my family’s misfortune to more generations. My sister fusses at me when I say this, “We have the same genes!” Even so, I feel like it’s my responsibility to save what future kids I might have had from the very real possibility of a poor quality of life. Most things are genetically hereditary; bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, thyroid disorders, and anemia just to name a few. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “people live with those everyday,” “those aren’t life threatening diseases,” “it’s tragic, but not the end of the world when a child is sick.” But I will ask you, if you knew that any or all of these were a possibility, would you choose to have an undeserving, unsuspecting child stricken with such misfortune? Could you, in good conscience, pass along such things to a future generation? I can’t imagine knowingly passing any of these on to a child. The ONLY way would be total genetic engineering, which they are admittedly getting very good at; but even then, I’m not so desperate to have a kid that I would pay that much money to carbon copy myself. I’m actually quite desperate enough to not have kids that I will try pretty much anything to decrease my chances. I’d really just like to go ahead and get a hysterectomy or sell my eggs and ovaries to stem cell researchers, but none of those things are available to me. So I settle for the next best thing:
Now, the typical response I get when I tell people I don’t want to have kids is, “You just haven’t met the right man yet.” I generally try to be more polite to strangers, especially face to face, but all I would love to say to them, “I’ve met plenty, and the right man would also not want children.” I once had a lady get personally offended when I told her that I didn’t want to have kids; she talked at me for about 45 minutes (I’m at work, mind) about how that’s what God wanted me to do and how it’s my responsibility to have children. I tried to politely tell her that I’m not a religious person, and that it’s best if I don’t have kids; leaving out that if God really wanted me to have kids that he’d had PLENTY of opportunities to make that happen and didn’t! Of course she was very persistent and didn’t want to hear anything I had to say to defend or explain myself. Not that I should have to.
Why is it so important for so many people, mostly women, to make childless women feel like they’re missing something? Like they’re escaping their God-given duty to “go forth and prosper,” as if that’s anyone else’s business but her own. Not only that, but in a lot of cases that woman may in fact have wanted kids but isn’t able to have them for whatever reason. I will not ever be able to understand why anyone thinks that they have a say, whichever way, in what anyone else does with their own bodies. If they’re not harming anyone, what does it matter. (This is not going to turn political or into a discussion about the rights or wrongs of abortion, however the topics aren’t mutually exclusive.) In my mind I think to myself, “Don’t be jealous because my life is my own and I’m not tethered to a tiny human who is dependent on me for everything.” I know that motherhood is a joy, and that there are some out there who that’s all they’ve ever dreamed of; I am not one of those women. I like being in control of my life, and to be 100% honest, I really don’t think that I’m meant or capable of being responsible for someone in that way. If I were to survive a pregnancy, which I don’t think that I would, I know that I wouldn’t be able to survive the stress of being a mother.
I do not think so highly of myself that I would be at all capable of teaching someone how to live, how to be a human being, or how to be decent and loving. I know that no one really “knows” how to do any of those things, but I would feel the pressure of failing so absolutely that I wouldn’t be able to stand myself. Add lack of sleep and insanely malfunctioning hormones to that pressure…I am in awe of women who can do that, but I am not jealous. More power to them for it, but it is not for me!
All of those are not even including the money involved in having kids. Not just food, shelter, and clothing; there’s entertainment (not just toys), medical needs, educational requirements…the list goes on, especially now-a-days. Parenthood isn’t something to be undertaken lightly, and the decision to not enter into that life shouldn’t make that person any less than another; nor the other way around. Don’t let society or other people, even family, make you feel like you should do or not do something just because it’s what people do.
I’m not trying to defend myself, I have no reason to. I just know that I can’t be the only one out there that feels this way, and if I could at least try to put words to it, they may feel like they could be confident in their life choices as well. If it’s not what you want or see for yourself, then it’s not for you. You do not have to feel pressure from anyone to accomplish anything, or be someone, by a certain age. There’s no set blanket plan for everyone to live by, there’s no rules to who you can make yourself into, and there’s no shame in doing what you want or need to do for yourself. As long as you’re taking care of yourself properly and not harming anyone, you do you.
Be true to yourselves; love you awesome nerds!