7 Reasons I’m Tired of Being Told I Should Want Kids
The decision of whether or not to have children creates a level of pressure on women and people with operational wombs that men seldom experience. People don’t ask young bachelors why they don’t want to procreate — it’s assumed they don’t want to. But everyone from my family to the little old lady in line ahead of me at the grocer’s has offered me their negative and quite unwanted opinions on speeding up my childbearing timing. Despite what other people say or imply, remaining childless still marks one of the best choices I’ve made, and I refuse to yield that choice to others. Here are my reasons why.
1. I’m Not Ready to Lose “Me” Time
I am an unapologetic introvert, and I love that aspect of my personality. Becoming a mother means living on call every single minute of the day and hour of the week. Those who don’t appreciate the sound of silence the way I do may relish the constant pitter-patter of tiny feet, but I’m just not ready to give up my evening reading hour.
2. I Lack Maturity and My Routine Lacks Kid-Friendliness
Becoming a mother means working with levels of stress I lack the desire to endure. I don’t even rouse myself out of bed to deal with a cat plagued with hairballs, so I’m certainly not going to relish waking up to comfort an infant who needs my support.
I enjoy waking up in the morning and sitting down at my desk with a fully refreshed brain. Most of my best ideas occur between the hours of 3 am to 9 am, and I prefer not to yield those sacred hours to playing airplane by spooning oatmeal into a baby’s hungry mouth.
My social life is also very active and, frankly, not kid-friendly. Many of my friends enjoy frequenting the bars on the weekends, and I do enjoy a good happy hour. I certainly wouldn’t say I’m an addict, but the fact remains: parents who abuse alcohol at all are four times more likely to neglect their children. I would rather be almost anything — an addict, immature, whatever you want to call me — than a neglectful parent.
I relish spontaneity, something that clashes with child-rearing responsibilities. Taking a long weekend mini-holiday to Cabo proves far more difficult, if not impossible, with a little one in tow. I’m not even ready to turn down lunch coffee dates with co-worker friends, so I’m certainly not equipped to postpone much-needed R&R until Junior can get through a plane ride.
People who regard those choosing childlessness as self-centered miss the entire point. I don’t remain childless because I’m selfish — quite the opposite.
Few occupations in the world matter more than motherhood, and I’m honestly not up to that level of responsibility yet.
3. Childbearing Can Be Deadly
While it makes me sad to admit it, I live in the country with the worst maternal and infant death rates of any industrialized nation. Having a baby may very well kill me. If I’m lucky enough to survive childbirth, I may find myself filing for bankruptcy.
Despite paying the highest sticker price for medical services, the US ranks dead last in positive health outcomes for women and their babies. For what I’d pay to deliver my child here, I could fly to England and recreate Kate Middleton’s posh delivery room. Until I feel secure that having a child probably wouldn’t kill me or the infant I spent nine months carrying, I’m not getting pregnant.
4. Diapers Cost a Pretty Penny
Hospital bills don’t constitute the entire cost of having a kid. Children get sick and need medicine. Cloth diapers chain me to the washing machine, while disposable ones drain my bank account and poison the very planet my kid occupies.
The costs associated with having a child continue to rise while wages remain stagnant. I refuse to condemn any child to a possible lifetime of near-poverty due to a flawed economy.
5. My Bodily Autonomy Still Isn’t My Own
For me, the possibility of having old, white male politicians deny me my choice of when to start a family makes me loath to have children at all. Until reproductive health choices remain between a person and their doctor and not a person and their elected representatives, they can forget about me subjecting myself to their antiquated system of moral judgment!
6. Millions of Kids Need Love
So many people assume that because I choose not to have kids of my own, I must despise all children. Nothing could be less true. My heart breaks when looking into the eyes of a child whose parents never wanted to procreate. When children aren’t welcomed home with open arms, they always know. There are so many children in the foster care and adoption system. If the urge ever strikes me to bring kid-energy into my world, I can almost guarantee I will be adopting.
One more time for the people in the back — unwanted kids always know, and they suffer unjustly as a result. Please think through your intentions when it comes to kids.
7. It’s Nobody Else’s Beeswax
Though I’ve explained my reasons for remaining childless by choice, this simple fact remains — the question of when or if to start a family is my decision and my decision alone. I refuse to be pressured into having a kid I don’t want because society says it’s the natural thing for women of my age to do. Just as no one else will wake up at midnight to comfort my crying baby, no one else possesses the right to dictate that I do so.
The Choice Remains Yours Alone
I’m not explaining my reasons to resist childbearing to convince others the same choice will work for them. Rather, I seek to empower other women to start their own families only when and if they decide to do so and to refrain from having children due to societal pressure and guilt. Having the proper reproductive organs doesn’t magically transform women into mothers. Mothering does, and should, come from the heart.
Editorial note: We have always been pro-choice here at Mookychick. That includes choosing to become a mother or parent, regardless of social expectations to hold off for any reason. It also includes choosing not to have children, or to wait until a time is right for you. Whether you have or do not have children, we only care that you can choose a path that’s right for you without any condemnation from society.
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