I can just feel the emails filled with sympathy and kind but persuasive words already.
Some of them won’t be so kind.
“How does your husband feel about that?”
“You’re going to miss out on all the fun!”
“You’ll change your mind, just give it time”
“You’ll get bored”
Well, first of all, I do NOT need a husband to make this choice. I don’t have a husband (and GASP, my boyfriend and I might not get married. But that’s is a post for another time) but even if I did, I, as a tax paying woman with her own rights, have the right to make the independent decision to have children or not. If the man I ended up with decided he wanted children, and it’s an absolute dealbreaker, he can leave.
Now that I have that out of the way there are a few actual reasons that I don’t want to have kids.
I’ve watched people parent. I mean, I literally grew up watching people parent. I don’t like it. I don’t like, in this day and age that there is an expectation of perfection of every aspect of your life EVEN BETWEEN PARENTS WHO KNOW IT ISN’T POSSIBLE OR HEALTHY.
I coached preschool gymnastics for a little over a year, and I witnessed so many different styles of parenting. As the first child in a family got younger, the parents were more and more focused on their Instagram image and how much time they can spend with their friends while their child sits on a tablet watching shows.
I’ve been sold the idea, literally since I can remember that I will be a great mother. I spent countless play hours holding my countless baby dolls, giving them names and watching them grow up to be doctors and teachers and astronauts. I gave myself fake baby bellies and went through fake labor more times than I can count.
When I was 9 I got a job as a mother’s helper. That’s when you’re not even old enough to be at home by yourself, so you play with the younger kids while the parents are at home to let them do other things.
When I was 11 I took the YMCA’s Safe Sitter course. I already knew how to change diapers, and call 911 so the class was a breeze. I don’t even remember my first babysitting job, but I started taking care of other people’s’ kids as soon as they would let me.
At 16 I took my lifeguarding certification to add another layer of care to myself. At this point I knew my life’s purpose was to help people.
After some major life changes, I finally ended up combining my love of gymnastics and kids at the age of 22. Within a year I was the Assistant Director of the preschool program, and within 5 months of holding that position I was burnt out.
Don’t get me wrong I still love kids. I smile and wave at the babies at the grocery stores, and am hoping to coach again some day on a minor scale. But I can’t have kids.
It’s easier to tell people that I have polycystic ovarian syndrome and literally can’t have kids. It is definitely possible that I could have kids, but most people don’t know that and even without explaining why I DON’T want them, I still get bombarded with “you can adopt” “what about foster care”?
Long story short, I’m 23 years old and completely burnt out on taking care of other people. I’m going to take care of myself and my relationship and live the life I have neglected. Maybe someday I will change my mind, but if I do it will be on my own terms and not because some entitled mom with a baby on her hip told me for the one thousandth time that it’s a woman’s duty to continue on her husbands genetics.