Hello, I am a grown woman, of sound mind, and I don’t want children.

I’ve generally taken a “Never Say Never” approach to children, because I am aware that there are hormones and psychology involved in this shit, and therefore there was always a possibility that I would reach a point in my life where I would change my mind.

Well, I’ve just turned 37, and I have not changed my mind. I have never wanted children in the past, and I still don’t now. I have an absence of desire for babies. I understand that to ensure survival of the species, animals have a drive to reproduce. Well, humans are not just animals anymore, and I do not have that drive. Most people seem to feel that there is a child-shaped hole in their lives at some stage, and look forward to having a mini version of themselves running around; I genuinely cannot think of anything I want less for my life.

Since we in general are no longer in the position of running our own little farmsteads and having to raise a swathe of children as a) unpaid labour and b) someone obliged to look after us when we’re old, we no longer need to have families. These days, there are hundreds of reasons not to have children, and only one reason why you should – Because You Want To.

And you know, that’s cool, if you do want to. It’s… like… science. I just really don’t. There are a plethora of reasons for that – many of which are aptly demonstrated by this instagram account – but the biggest ones are probably;

  1. I don’t like children. They are loud, demanding, unreasonable, emotional, unpredictable idiots. Incidentally, I dislike those same characteristics in adults too.
  2. I REALLY don’t like babies. Not only are they completely incompetent in a way that the young of most other species aren’t, but they do that funny thing with their mouths that turns my stomach. They move in weird ways, and when they cry, it makes me ANGRY. I know there is a biological imperative that makes us respond to children’s cries, but it physically makes me feel aggressive. Red mist stuff. I genuinely do not trust myself around crying infants.
  3. I find the idea of pregnancy and breastfeeding physically revolting. I feel about gestation, childbirth and nursing the same way other people feel about maggots and gone-off milk. I am actively repulsed. Your body is taken over by a foreign entity that grows and grows until it smashes its way out, in many cases leaving you physically scarred for life, and then sucks its nourishment out of that same body. I mean, come on; that’s just grim.
  4. I like my life how it is. It is quiet, and peaceful. I spend most of my free time alone, and I earn enough money to do what I want, when I want. I choose my activity according to what will make me happy. I plan on keeping things that way.

Now all of that said, I do love reading blogs and watching vlogs about families who are doing their best to do things right by their kids. I like to see children that are happy, but I approach it more like a research project, a curiosity, and certainly something that happens at a distance.

Interestingly, kids seem to like being around me (…probably because I act like a child a lot of the time…) and I have in fact experienced isolated moments of enjoying the company of children. Watching my friend’s 3 year old son rocking out quietly to Bat Out Of Hell in the kitchen was hilarious and cute. However, I have also heard the stories about the same child melting down over ridiculous things, and for me there is not enough ‘cute’ to outweigh the ‘demon-spawn’.

Also, in order to be supportive and encouraging of a child’s growing mind and sense of identity, there’s loads of Not Being Honest that comes into play. And I’m not very good at that. I may be largely ignorant when it comes to dealing with kids, but even I know that “I heard you the first time – I just don’t care” is an inappropriate response. I am filled with inappropriate responses and no real desire not to use them.

When I was a child myself, I always just assumed that I would end out being a single parent – like the family environment I was raised in. It was only when I passed the age that my mother was when she had me – 20 1/2 years old – that it was like my ears popped, and I suddenly understood that it wasn’t fate, it was actually my choice (…I like to think that I am a smart person, but there is honestly no accounting for the conclusions you come to when you are younger.)

I started taking contraception seriously at college because hello, COLLEGE. The Pill was never a realistic option for me because I have the worst short-term memory, so I ended out having 3-monthly Depo Provera injections. It felt GOOD, knowing that there was something permanently in my body that would stop babies happening.

When I was 23, I got married. Seriously bad decision making, and worthy of a dedicated blog for another time. My then-husband started talking about having children and I freaked the absolute fuck out. I was horrified that there was an expectation that I would have his babies. We had never talked about children; me, because it never occurs to me as A Thing, and him I guess because most people just assume everyone wants kids. I went to the doctor for my Depo shot just after that, and they told me that they had run out. Instead, they offered me an implant, which lasted either 1 or 3 years. I went for the 3 years, and told my husband I had gone with the 1 year one. Yay for honesty in relationships…

Anyway, I have never looked back. I am on my 4th 3-year implant and I would never dream of not having it. I honestly think that I would be scared if I had to have it removed, it has become such a safety blanket.

This is me. This is who I am. There is nothing wrong with me, and there is nothing wrong with any other man or woman who – for whatever reason – makes what is actually the only logical choice about having children, when you think about it.

For my money, it’s the people who do want kids that are the weirdos.

chestburster2

12 thoughts on “Hello, I am a grown woman, of sound mind, and I don’t want children.

  1. vanella2013

    Yup 100% agree with you and I’m 47. Children mostly don’t like me, I view them with suspicion and they laugh. I like my friends kids most of them have got to an age I can hold a conversation and I can give them back.

    A few people who don’t know me very well, have asked in the last few years if i was going to settle down and have kids and appeared offended when I said no I don’t want kids.

    Reply
  2. Morgan Gallagher

    The only good thing to say is sometimes life surprises you and you’re grateful. As you know, I never wanted kids. I used to dread waking up one morning and finding the ‘baby’ button had been pressed somehow and I was desperate to have kids.

    When I quickened with pregnancy at 42, I thought the world had ended.

    But it was okay. It was horrible, it was dire, I went through the darkest days of my life (you know, you saw some of them, you even put up the nursery furniture when I lay in bed moaning in agony). And birth was pretty dire until the pain killers finally kicked in. And breastfeeding was frustrating and hard and really a bit of a slog, but it’s what you do to feed babies.

    But a change did occur, because the hormones and the act of being pregnant, and giving birth, and breastfeeding change who you are. And for some women this becomes a death and they are not happy with their lot, and that’s terrible, and for some women it works and becomes wonderful and that’s cool too. It slowly transformed me into someone who is not only happy to have a child, but to consider that the best thing about my life. But it’s the best thing about MY life: me, mine, what i want for me.

    The moral of the story is: you never know. The woman who is desperate to have kids can have them and hate it and feel trapped and regret ‘losing’ her life. The woman who didn’t want kids can discover it’s the best gift the universe has to give, and be grateful to her dying day she managed to experience it, despite her pre-conceived notions that It Wasn’t For Her.

    Life’s a journey. And unexpected things happen. We can simply be grateful that in the long run, here in the posh part of the world, we have choice on whether to conceive or not, and we have choice on whether to gestate.

    And that choice is the key. That, and meeting life the best you can, when the unexpected happens.

    Some women are destined to the be world’s greatest and coolest aunts.

    Now’t wrong with that. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Phil Taylor

    You start the paragraph just about the alien picture with “This is me,” as if it’s the caption. Anyway, great choice of picture. Being a guy I’ve always thought, ‘Thank God that doesn’t have to ever happen to my body! I have no particular thoughts on this. To each his or her own. Having kids is not for everyone and sadly, too often people that shouldn’t have kids do.

    Reply
    1. kzzinsky Post author

      …you make a very good point, Sir. I’ve just done a bit of a cheeky edit 😛

      Kids are such an emotive subject, you very rarely find people who are ambivalent on the matter, and a lot of people tend to forget that it’s a choice not a requirement. Women in particular get a lot of stick from society about it, but I have had a surprisingly positive response from male friends who get an equal amount of pressure. I wasn’t expecting that to be honest!

      Reply
  4. shelleylorraine

    I assume your husband knows you don’t want kids by now – or does he? That would be a very awkward relationship to me. 😮 I am childfree as well (by choice) and married. Fortunately, for me, I panicked when my husband proposed and immediately told him I am not the mothering sort. All that time dating him and other guys, it never crossed my mind that one of them might propose and then – babies. ack! But by some weird stroke of luck/fate my husband-to-be was relieved to here I didn’t want children.

    Reply
    1. kzzinsky Post author

      Ha! I split up with my husband in 2004, happily single now! But no, we never had that conversation – there were more pressing problems with the relationship 🙂

      Reply
  5. toniponey

    Great post! I made many of these same points about not wanting kids at work today and was met with stony silence followed by “but you have to admit, women are just more conditioned to want them.” Err, no they’re not? Gender identities or being feminine/not feminine is not defined by whether or not you become a parent. And feeling ‘shamed’ into having a kid would be such a great life decision *not-at-all-veiled sarcasm there* When I was younger, some people would tell me I would ‘have no legacy without children!’ or even that it was ‘unhealthy for a woman to not be maternal!’ Of course I got the classic ‘you’ll change your mind’ too.

    I’m 40 years old now, and still hearing ridiculous responses to being childfree, often from people who don’t seem to have any lives or interests of their own, and can only live through their children – how unhealthy is that? (I relate to your pregnancy/alien analogy far too well and have remained resolute on this decision right through my life & all relationships)

    Reply
    1. kzzinsky Post author

      I have had a few thoughts which suggest to me that the majority of women who have kids simply have to a) make out it’s the most rewarding thing ever and b) get everyone else into the club, to justify the fact that they are there and NOT REALLY HAVING A GREAT TIME.

      When we turn up with all of our “Yeah, sorry, I’m going to do That Thing I really want to do, because I want to, and I CAN…” that’s got to be hard for people who chose otherwise and can’t go back.

      I’m of course being generous there 😀 But I do try to have sympathy for mothers…while I am enjoying my life 😀

      Reply

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