Something I’ll never understand is people’s forwardness and disgust when it comes to other people’s decision to not have children.
It’s my uterus, inside of my body, and yet people think it’s completely acceptable to ask me when I’ll be having kids (it’s not acceptable. Stop doing that).
To be fair, I think a lot of this has to do with my age. I’m 24, almost 25, and many women my age “have kids by now” (despite falling birth rates, so these people are wrong). Perhaps people see a woman my age, childless, and think that I’m either barren or “selfish”. I’ve heard that last one quite a bit, even though science is on my side.
If I got on social media today and announced that I’m pregnant (I’m not. I repeat. I am NOT pregnant), people would like the shit out of that post, and I’d get a ton of “congratulations!!!!” comments. Despite not knowing my financial or emotional state, having kids is always seen as a good thing. It’s..weird, honestly.
But, if I posted something along the lines of this post (or this actual post, haha), it will be largely ignored.
Not wanting kids is seen as selfish and people accuse you of being an anti-natalist (another thing I’ve been called several times). No one asks why you don’t want kids, and if they do, they’ll shoot down your reasons with ridiculous platitudes.
There is this idea that if you don’t have kids (or if you don’t get married, but that’s a different topic for a different time), your life isn’t fulfilled. You’re not an entire person until you give birth. That’s..another weird thing to think and say. People also seem to think that because I don’t want my own kids, that I must hate kids. That’s just offensive.
I do not hate kids. I grew up more than a dozen siblings. I’ve seen all the stages of child development. They are each unique. For a while, I seriously considered becoming a social worker. I enjoy working in daycares and preschools (though the pay is abysmal). I enjoy Disney movies and the zoo much more than I enjoy partying. I’m a homebody, and I’m more than content to bake two dozen Dory cupcakes. I have nothing against children.
My reasons for not having children are varied, and well thought out. This wasn’t a decision I jumped into, and it’s not out of spite – something else I’ve been accused of.
It’s shit, honestly. I have an autoimmune disorder that has wreaked havoc on my body. I get fatigued from walking up a flight of steps, and I’m not out of shape or overweight. I’m incredibly sensitive to heat. That means being outside for more than thirty minutes in the summer makes me nauseous, flushed, and dizzy. My periods are irregular, if they even show up. When they do, I’m in an incredible amount of pain. It would be less painful to have my uterus torn out of my body. The pain has put me in the ER it’s been so unbearable.
Getting pregnant means I’ll more than likely miscarry or hemorrhage. I’m just not healthy to carry a child, and I’m completely ok with that. I’ve been pregnant, actually, and it destroys my body. Pretty sure it’s not normal to lose weight, go clammy and sallow, be in a large amount of pain (a growing uterus means stretching and pulling on the growths inside of me, along with internal bleeding) and be bedridden.
I’m not willing to pass on autoimmune disorders or an increased cancer risk.
I’m not even mentioning mental illnesses. Not just what I struggle with, but within my family. Passing on depression and personality disorders sounds shitty.
Yeah, I’m one of “those people”. I’ve been mocked for being a “tree hugger” since I was a kid. I’d say wanting to leave a healthy, prospering planet to our descendants would be a good thing, but I guess not? More people on the earth means less resources to go around. It’s the truth. You can hate it all you want, but once again: evidence supports my stand.
Kids are very expensive. I grew up poor. Very poor. The kind of poor where there are holes in the floor and meals were rice and beans and potatoes. So poor my parents took almost all my paycheck to pay for their animals. I was helping pay for groceries as young as 11. No thanks. I would never force such a horrible existence on anyone. Now, that’s selfish. You don’t have kids for company or attention. If you have kids, you better be able to care for them financially!
I cannot care for a child financially. I won’t be able to financially support a child for a long time. I won’t be raising my children in shaky environment, I refuse. If I change my mind (it can happen, and I’m open to it.), my fridge will be full, the lights will always be on, my kids will be clothed and in good schools. They’ll never know the struggle I did. Honestly, to me, it’s the least I could do. It’s the right thing to do.
Now, if you want to have kids, great. I’ll be happy for you. I’ll come to your baby shower, babysit your baby, and dote on them. But don’t get uptight and pissy because I don’t want kids. There are kids being born every second. Someone out there is making up for my lack of children, right now. I have no problem talking about kids or being around them. I’m more at ease around kids than I’m am adults, mostly due to my upbringing. At one point, my entire life was caring for kids.
I’m not going to scoff at you and tell you you’re stupid and that your kids are ugly. That’s not how I feel, and as long as your kids are not being abused, your home life is none of my business. I just ask for the same respect from you.
I don’t want kids, and that’s ok.