I’ve always believed that having kids is a choice, not a requirement. Humans are diverse creatures and there’s no single way that is guaranteed to make every one of us happy. I’ve spent a lot of time contemplating having kids of my own and for many reasons, I’ve chosen not to have them. Not wanting to be a mother doesn’t make me a monster and it certainly doesn’t make me less of a woman.
Choosing not to have kids isn’t offensive.
A lot of people take offense to my stance because they think that I’m giving their personal choices a giant middle finger. I’m not. I don’t even have time to stick my nose into a random woman’s life, let alone judge her or give her a hard time for being pregnant. The kind of person who does have time to get his/her panties in a wad over someone else’s uterus isn’t a person worth talking to.
No, I don’t hate kids.
Just because I don’t have or want something doesn’t mean that I hate that particular thing. That line of thought is moronic. I don’t buy chewable vitamins. Does that mean I hate chewable vitamins? I actually have a lot of respect for babies. They spend most of their days snuggled up and cozy while every single one of their needs is catered to without question and when they cry, boobs immediately fly into their mouths. Babies are clearly evil geniuses who have it all figured out.
I don’t have to be a parent to know that parenting is hard.
I grew up under the “care” of an alcoholic father figure who wasn’t equipped to have kids in the first place. I had two younger siblings and I ended up taking on a lot of responsibilities that made me somewhat of a substitute parent before I was old enough to get behind the wheel of a car. I wasn’t a full-fledged parent by any means, but I had an exclusive backstage pass that let me experience how utterly exhausting, soul-crushing and depressing parenting can be. Choosing not to experience that all over again with my own offspring doesn’t make me less of a woman.
I want my choice to be accepted.
When I tell someone I don’t plan on having kids, I don’t want to come into that conversation armed to the teeth with my justifications. I want the person I’m speaking with to say, “Oh, okay,” and then forget about it without feeling the need to neatly file me away into preconceived notions of what a woman should be.
I’m a “real woman” already.
“You’re not a real woman until you have kids” or “You’re not a real woman unless you want kids” seem to be disturbingly prevalent pieces of the pro-kids argument. If I’m not real, what does that make me? Imaginary? I wish the IRS thought so.
I’m not selfish either.
A selfish person makes narcissistic decisions that hurt other people. If I don’t want kids, who does that hurt exactly? Taking care of my own basic needs doesn’t make me selfish — it makes me a functional adult. All adults need food, exercise, money, and sleep. Ensuring that I have those things for myself isn’t an act of self-absorbed lunacy. Basic needs are necessary for survival and they don’t mean that I am putting myself above other people, especially if those people are nonexistent.
I don’t have a biological clock.
Maternal urges aren’t something that I’m repressing on purpose — they just aren’t there. Where is this mythical clock anyway? Am I supposed to believe that on midnight of my 30th birthday, I’ll suddenly feel an uncontrollable urge to shove a baby out of my nether regions? I’ll be sure to let everyone know if that happens.
Kids or cats are not my only options.
There are an infinite number of things I can do with my life. I can follow any path I choose and chase whatever dream I have just like everyone else. Some people seem to be worried that I’ll end up being a sad, senile hermit surrounded by an uncomfortably large gathering of cats. Life would be incredibly bleak if there were only two outcomes.
No one is going to change my mind.
I’m not less of a woman because the arguments of strangers don’t persuade me. I’ve never heard a new, compelling argument from anyone regarding kids. It’s always the same BS: wait until you’re older, you’re a biological failure, accidents happen, what if you meet a man who wants kids, you’ll die alone, etc. All that crap is usually coming from someone who knows nothing about me, my background or my medical history. If I told someone who wanted kids that they were going to change their mind, I would be a colossal jerk.
Kids will always have my support.
Choosing not to have kids of my own doesn’t mean that I am shunning the entire age group while I sip martinis on the beach and mock tired parents. I believe all children should have a good education, a healthy home life and the ability to make their own choices. Those views aren’t invalid because I don’t want kids.
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