I waited a long time to meet “The One” and wasted a lot of time on guys who weren’t worth it. The whole time I was looking for a husband, I always thought he’d also be the father of my kids. Parenthood was basically a foregone conclusion. Weirdly enough, that’s all changed since I met my guy.
My biological clock was ticking loudly in my late twenties. That was probably one of the main reasons I thought I wanted kids; the hormones were making me less objective about the reality of such a big decision. It got so bad that diaper commercials would make me cry. The truth is, the choice to become a parent is one that should be decided by more than just hormones and emotions; it should involve logic too because it will change your entire life in every way.
I insisted that if I did have kids, I had to be married first. That didn’t fly with my non-committal ex (just one of the reasons he’s my ex), so I went back to the drawing board and didn’t end up getting married until I was 33. By that time, the clock had nearly stopped ticking and I just didn’t have the same interest as I once did.
Pregnancy always sounded terrible to me. I like living my life a certain way, and I always envisioned some Future Anna who would suddenly be fine with giving up wine and sushi for a year (and sleep for several years). Over a decade later, I’m still not cool with sacrificing my wine, my sushi, or my sleep. I’d rather live my life my way and be the cool aunt to my nieces and nephew.
My husband doesn’t want kids either. That was really surprising to me because he’s Catholic. When we first started dating, we discussed it as a possibility but ended up mutually deciding that we don’t want to have kids of our own. I was already on the fence about it, so it was a logical decision.
Kids are really freaking expensive. The doctor and hospital bills alone would make us struggle financially, and then we would have decades of kid-related expenses to look forward to. We’d spend our entire lives scraping up pennies and skipping vacations, and that would only be worth it if we really wanted kids more than anything.
There’s too much pressure in our society now to raise “perfect” sheltered kids. Nowadays, you’re a bad parent if you give your kid artificially colored food, let them play outside without a parent immediately present, or even encourage them to be independent before they reach adulthood. It was so different when I grew up in the ’80s and ’90s. I would never want to deal with that kind of constant judgment.
We adopted two young rescue dogs and they’re enough of a challenge. I like to consider myself a dog mom because I take on several of the same challenges as moms of humans, but with a lot less pressure. They wake us up in the middle of the night, get sick and make us worry, and irritate us with temper tantrums just like toddlers, except their needs are much more affordable and I didn’t have to give birth to them.
I thought a family couldn’t be complete without little humans, but I was wrong. After we adopted our second dog, a feeling came over me that I’d never experienced before—a feeling of completion. It’s a relief to finally have the family I always wanted. Now I can just enjoy my life.
It’s unlikely that we’ll ever change our minds, but we have a plan just in case we do. There are a lot of kids in the system who need good homes, so we would choose to adopt. That way, we would be helping someone. It’s good to have a backup plan should we decide to go down that route.
Now that our family is complete, we can set bigger life goals. We want to travel a lot, own real estate in a couple different places, and I eventually want to start my own business. With kids off the table, we’ll have more time and money to accomplish our wildest hopes and dreams. This is the beginning of the best chapter of my life, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out.
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