I’m not really sure why I’m even writing this blog post. It’s not really anybody’s business but mine – and my partner’s I guess. I seem to be at the age where I get a neverending stream of comments about my refusal to settle down, get married and raise a family. As if not conforming to society’s norms makes you a lesser person or something. The main bone of contention seems to be less about getting married and getting a mortgage (although that gets raised often enough), and more about my solid refusal to have kids. I’m just frustrated by it all, and need to rant about it.
This has been an ongoing issue for me ever since I was a teenager.
I don’t want kids. Ever.
I’m almost in my mid-30’s now, and I am still on the receiving end of an incredible number of offensive comments about my lack of desire to get married and have kids. Personally, I don’t think my lifestyle choices are anyone’s business but my own. My family may be my family, but they have no right to dictate how I live my life as an adult. My friends might be my friends, but they’re not the ones who have to live my life – I am. My colleagues are my colleagues and sometimes need to learn that there is a definite line in the sand between our professional and personal lives that should not be crossed.
The reality is that I simply don’t like children. Does that make me a bad person? I don’t think so – I do lots of things for the betterment of humanity, I just don’t think wanting/having children makes you a better person. Does that make me selfish? Personally, I think what’s selfish is to have children when you are not willing or able to support them either financially or emotionally.
So when you ask me to hold your baby or to look after your kid for a night and I say “no”, don’t take it personally. It’s not that I don’t like your child. I don’t like anybody’s child.
But you’ll change your mind!
Yeah, so I’ve said that I never wanted kids since I was a kid myself. And I don’t just mean since I hit puberty. When most young girls were sitting around giggling at 8 years old about their future husbands and kids, I was dreaming about adventures and seeing the world. I’ve never had any kind of maternal instinct. I’ve never wanted kids – I can barely even get behind the idea of having a pet. As I got a bit older and got a bit more heavily into science, I also started realising that this planet is facing a rapidly oncoming overpopulation crisis. I do not think that the planet has the resources to sustain our current population, let alone an increasing one. So not only did I not want kids, but there was a scientific justification for it as well – I didn’t want to contribute to overpopulation.
No, but seriously, you’ll change your mind!
Almost 20 years later? I still don’t like kids. I still think there’s an overpopulation problem. And my lifestyle is not conducive to raising a family.
And there we have it, the point where I am almost without fail called selfish. Why should I have kids just because that’s what you chose to do? I like my lifestyle. My job demands a lot of travel. I like being able to get on a plane on no notice and go travelling. I like being able to do what I want, when I want, without having to be responsible for another person. Does that make me selfish? No. That makes me self-aware enough to know that I am not prepared to give up a lifestyle for something that will make me unhappy. I am not prepared to make that level of sacrifice. Everyone has their limits – that is mine.
But having kids will make you happy!
No. Not being tied down makes me happy, this is the same reason I run and hide at the idea of getting married. I would quite likely murder a child if I had to be responsible for it for more than 10 minutes. I have an independent streak a mile wide. I know that about myself. I have very limited amounts of patience at the best of times. I like peace and quiet. I like clean and tidy. I like freedom.
But all that changes when you get pregnant!
And if I ever found myself in that position, I would have the pregnancy terminated. That doesn’t make me heartless. It means I am prepared to accept that I am not willing to take on the responsibility for another life.
But who will look after you when you’re older?
Hahaha! Oh, that’s hilarious. Really. Like most of society, I expect I will end up in a nursing home or some kind of aged care facility if I happen to get old and not be able to live independently. How many people actually seriously look after their elderly ailing parents? Not many. And honestly, given my propensity for adventure sports, it would be entirely unsurprising if I was dead before age 50 anyway.
But it’s God’s will!
Yeah, and I’m an atheist. Next?
Blah, blah, blah. The truth is, I’ve heard it all before, from all corners. And I simply don’t care what people think about it anymore.
It is my life. I am the one who has to live it. Not you.