Why I chose not to have children

Why I chose not to have children
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I'm putting it out there- I do not like children. Not one little bit. I'm not one of these women who turns into a blithering wreck whenever there is a small child within a five mile radius, I do not speak to children in that achingly condescending baby-waby- voice, and I do not think chubby cheeks, baby smell or gurgly spit bubbles are adorable. Whilst I do think that some babies are cute, and can appreciate some of the silly things they do are endearing, I am not in the least bit maternal and do not have the urge to go forth and multiply (and nor do I ever see myself doing so).

I know what most of you will be thinking. The majority of people I have discussed this with have looked at me in pity with a knowing look in their eye, and told me 'give it a few years; you're still young yourself' (wink optional). If I had a pound for every time this had happened, I wouldn't have written my last post. Although I guess I am young, I know my own mind- my friends, for instance, know that they want children when the time is right, and they don't get patronisingly told that they may change their minds about this in the future. I don't see a difference between me knowing I don't want children, or them knowing that they do. My friends and I are, after all, people of the same age making decisions about our own lives, so why is my decision deemed to be wrong?

Aside from the fact that conceiving a child would be biologically impossible for my partner and I, I do not want to raise a child in an environment such as ours. My sexuality has never been my own choice, but I choose not to bring anyone else into our relationship; not because I am ashamed of it or because I think it is wrong, but because deep down I guess I have traditional ethics. Whilst homosexuality is accepted far more than it's ever been, I believe a child with two mums is going to face nasty comments and indifference at some point- and I would not feel right allowing this to happen. Of course I do not think any differently of other gay couples who raise families of their own- what matters most is that the child is loved, cared for and provided for- and whether the child receives this from two mums, two dads or a mum and a dad is irrelevant. It just would not be the right choice for me personally.
My partner and I are like minded when it comes to the things we like and the way we like to live. We both work hard, and enjoy reaping the rewards. At the end of a working day we can kick off our shoes and enjoy a glass of wine and a natter over dinner. At weekends we can nip off to hotel on a whim and enjoy spending quality time together. We can choose how to spend the little disposable income we have without first spending a large chunk of it on school dinner money, or big plastic toys that litter every room of the house, or another pair of tiny shoes that will be outgrown in a week. We can stay late at work or meet a friend for dinner with little notice. Shallow they may be, but these things are important to us, and we want to continue to be able to enjoy them. Whilst I have no doubt that children can bring meaning to people's lives that makes the enjoyment of a drink after work or a weekend away pale in comparison in a way that we will never be able to comprehend, choosing not to have children is the right decision for us. Some may read this and call me selfish, but I think it would be more selfish of me not to admit that some people are just not maternal, myself included.
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  1. As someone with a 5 month old baby, I really enjoyed reading this. It's refreshing to see such honesty and I don't think you're shallow at all for wanting the freedom to do the things you enjoy. I never thought I'd have kids, my little boy certainly wasn't planned and (although I love him to bits now that he's here) I know first hand that having kids means making huge personal sacrifice. You should only go into it if you feel willing, able and happy to put someone before yourself for the next twenty years (possibly forever). I'm just about getting the hang of that lol.

    Really good post and a lovely blog xx

    1. Hi Laura! Thanks so much for the positive comment! I was trying to be as honest as I could without being offensive to people that children! Obviously I don't want to come across as a selfish idiot but like you said, it's a huge sacrifice to make and I'm just not maternal enough to make that sacrifice! Thanks so much for the comment, I'll be stopping by your blog! X

  2. I think that writing this post was incredibly brave for you as it opens you up for so much critism from narrow minded people, well done for standing up and saying what you believe in.

    Personally I think that it is more selfish to try and force someone who does not want a child to have one. It's your body, your life & your right and quite frankly if smelly nappies aren't what you want- who is an outsider to say you're too young to know what you want? Or that children should be your only priority?

    I always thought that not wanting kids and sexuality are always treated in the same way. That you can grow out of being gay, or you can grow up and suddenly want a baby. But it doesn't happen like that and it is very close minded to think that.

    Enjoy living your life for you and not for anybody else.

    (ps- I adore your blog)

    1. Thank you very much Poppy, it means a lot to receive positive comments, I was expecting a lot of criticism as you said! It is lovely to see such understanding from others :) I also checked out your blog, I love your sense of humour! And your face is very expensive haha!! X

  3. What a breath of fresh air, I so enjoyed reading this post! I'm honestly not sure whether I want children - my only firm belief on the subject is that I absolutely will NOT be pressured into it by well meaning friends or relatives, or a partner who is desperate for children. I wouldn't call myself maternal either - I've never played with dolls or gone gooey at the sight of a newborn, I do enjoy spending time with children of friends and generally like children toddling age and upwards - they fascinate me! But crikey I'm always very glad to hand them back to their parents!! :-)

    I loathe the societal pressure on women to have children, the expectation that it will happen at some point! Do what is right for you and your partner, really liked reading your views on this and totally agree - it is far more selfish to have a child and then feel resentful towards said child than it is to bypass reproduction!!

    Jem xXx

    1. Thanks very much Jem, I totally agree; women shouldn't be pressured into having children just because it's the 'right thing to do' etc. As women we know our own selves and our own bodies and what we are capable of children wise! And if we don't feel we can give a child 100% of what he or she needs, we shouldn't do it! X

  4. I am another woman who doesn't want children! I knew this from a young age (I stopped going near kids as soon as I hit my teenage years) and back then I was told I'd change my mind. As I get close my 22nd birthday though people who know me well seem to be backing off as they can see I really don't like kids and still know nothing about them.

    However the worst 'I know better' has been from my own mother - despite her having a child-free brother and three nephews. I've never known if it was choice or circumstance for these relatives but either way they live lives that seem as just as fulfilling from my view. I sometimes I think I get it more because I'm female and also because she's wanting grandchildren (which is a selfish reason to say these things).

    And I totally agree with the selfish point. I don't see why not wanting kids makes me selfish. I once had an ex who asked me "are you not worried about your bloodline dying out?" which has to be a really stupid/selfish/idiotic reason to have kids.

    Morag x

    1. Hi Morag, thanks for your comment :)
      I agree, worrying about your bloodline dying out seems to be a pretty silly reason to have children! I get that your mum might be disappointed about you not having children- I sometimes worry about my parents, they would make great grandparents but thankfully they have my sister for that!- but maybe your mum doesn't realise how much you take it to heart!
      I think our lives will be just as fulfilling without children too :)