I Love Other People’s Kids But I’d Never Want Any Of My Own

I’m great with kids. I have a knack for entertaining anyone from clumsy toddlers to angsty teenagers. Thanks to having a brother 14 years my junior, I can change a diaper in record time. I’ve got plenty of little cousins in my family and lots of my friends are starting to have children of their own. I enjoy hanging out with every one of them, but I love being child-free just as much.

I can’t predict the future, but I can control some of it.

I’ve never been a huge fan of the unknown. I’m not a control freak, but I generally like to know how my day is going to go. I know I could get hit by a bus in a week or I could win the lottery tomorrow. There are some things in life I can’t control, but refraining from having kids isn’t one of them.

I’ve stopped thinking having kids is a natural next step.

Meet a guy, get married, buy a house, and pop out some kids — everyone in my family did it, everyone in my neighborhood growing up did it, and plenty of people seem to be doing it today. Now that I’m older, I have an amazing fiance and I love house hunting online, but I just don’t see myself taking that next step. For many of my friends, kids are more of an inevitability than a potential future option. I simply don’t see it that way.

The thought of carrying a child horrifies me.

I don’t think childbirth is beautiful. There, I said it. I’ve never been the type of woman to rush at a preggo lady to feel a baby kick and I’d rather get a root canal than watch a birthing video. I totally understand that giving birth is a natural process, but it’s one that I’d rather not put myself through.

I like things the way they are.

Kids are so much fun to hang out with. They have this magical way of bringing out the child in me when I start taking life a little too seriously, and I love them for that. However, I don’t think having a child of my own would bring me back to a perpetual state of childhood. On the contrary. I’m afraid I’d lose that sense of wonder because I’d be too busy making sure I’m doing the whole mothering thing correctly. Having that degree of separation from a kid keeps things easy and fun.

I don’t want to risk it.

I’ve heard it a million times. “You’ll never know until you try!” Sorry, but I think gambling with the chance that I may enjoy motherhood is way more selfish than never having kids at all. Unless, of course, all the people that tell me to “give it a try” are willing to raise my kid if I change my mind after a while.

I don’t get the appeal after a few hours.

Last weekend, my fiance and I went to his nephew’s second birthday party. His mom had clearly put in a ton of work to make the house look amazing and totally on “Bubble Guppies” theme. All the food was homemade, down to the perfectly iced cake. Although it was totally adorable, I couldn’t help but wonder who all of it was really for. The birthday boy spent most of the day playing in a box one of his gifts came in, while his parents ran around attempting to entertain and keep the chaos to a minimum. Just watching them was exhausting and there wasn’t a single moment where I felt a pang of longing to go through something like that.

Sanctimommies are the worst.

I unfollow people on Facebook for two reasons, extremist political posts and sanctimommy posts. Parenting is different for everyone, and there’s no one perfect way to do it. I couldn’t imagine suddenly being dropped into that nightmarish pool of comments and side-eye glances every time I make another parenting move.

I don’t feel the joy.

When a friend or family member announces a pregnancy, I typically extend my congratulations and that’s it. I’m happy for them, but I don’t fee the genuine excitement and I think a lot of people view me as cold for that reason. I guess I just don’t understand why I’m socially obligated to muster up insincere excitement every time a baby takes its first piss on the pot or graduates the first grade.

I don’t buy the hype.

Mothers bitch and moan constantly about the trials and tribulations of motherhood. I don’t blame them one bit, it’s hard as hell! I’m always happy to be a sounding board when things get tough. However, the moment I hint that I’d rather not go through those difficulties, the same women are singing a different tune. Suddenly motherhood is sunshine and daisies and the most beautiful, rewarding thing in the world. Comments like those seem so reflexive and insincere.

I’m just starting to figure things out.

I’ve just started to get a feel for what I want in life, but already I feel so fulfilled. I’m in a good place with my health, job, and relationships. That being said, things can change so quickly and being child-free gives me the flexibility to face those changes head on. I’d like to continue living my life that way.

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