What you need to know:
- No one likes to hear that a woman doesn’t want children – which is strange to me, because largely, women are the ones who should be making the decision, because they are largely the ones involved in its aftermath
When I was 18, I wanted nine children. I was going to have eight, and then adopt the last one. I had even named most of them, names that I still remember to this day, that I will not share here, because then certain things will become apparent about me and my heritage, and it is only my third article. Let’s give it a month or so.
Then that year ended, I finished high school, and with that, came a mind shift. I no longer wanted children (and told my boyfriend of the time that as well – more on that later). A decade and a bit down the line, the conviction remains. I still don’t want children.
This statement often brings about great uproar in whatever forum I bring it up in. No one likes to hear that a woman doesn’t want children – which is strange to me, because largely, women are the ones who should be making the decision, because they are largely the ones involved in its aftermath. Sure, we can both contribute to the child’s living expenses, but a man isn’t going to have a baby growing inside him and be the child’s feeding tank for the first six months, now is he?
It feels like people get so angry at that statement. Self-righteous, even. ‘How dare you not want children? Who will take care of you when you are old? Do you hate children? Did something happen to you when you were younger? Oh, is it because you are a last born? But the Bible says…’ and on it goes.
To this day, I am still not sure why the reaction is so violent at the thought of someone not using their womb for reproduction. I do think it is essential for people to start treating both valid sides with respect, though. Can you imagine if people who didn’t want children treated people who did in the same way? ‘But aren’t you in debt from your last holiday? Didn’t you fail home science? Are your hips really the right size for that sort of thing? Don’t you think there are enough children in the world without adding yours? Oh don’t worry, you’ll change your mind when you’re older…’ It would be downright rude.
You know, a child is not a guarantee that someone will take care of you when you’re older. And the Bible isn’t the directing guide for everyone. We all believe and follow different precepts and principles. I, personally, really do believe that the people who want children should have them, and the people who aren’t interested in that level of sacrifice, should not. Having a child is hard enough – having a child because you’ve been told to, and you don’t want one, just makes the whole thing a hot mess.
Which is why when I get into relationships, I give people the option to opt out of my chosen lifestyle. I like to make this announcement at the beginning – even though, unsurprisingly, they usually don’t listen (communication is everything, they told me. Just say what you mean, that’s the key. Mhm). It’s been a frequent dealbreaker. Most people think that we’ll change our minds. News flash – past a certain age, you probably won’t.
And that’s ok. It’s ok to want children – and it’s ok to not want them, if you’re being honest with yourself, and that’s what you truly want. The only subscription you have to hand in to womanhood is your own, your own definition of what that looks like. Nothing makes you less of a woman, and no one can define that for you.
So here’s to all the childfree women out there, who either made the choice or had the choice made for them, and who are trying to figure out this journey and make it happy and fulfilling for themselves. Because that’s what life is, no?