Monday, September 06, 2010

How did you decide you do not want to have kids?

This is one question I find odd to answer. Why do I need to explain why I don’t want kids? Why don’t we ask people who do have kids how and why they decided to have some? What makes my decision so special? Is it because we are not doing like everybody else? Is it because we’re making a choice that isn’t in accordance with society expectations of what we should be doing as a couple? The number of time I’ve been asked about this is still surprising to me.

There wasn’t a specific event or moment in time where I said to myself “that’s it, I don’t want kids”. At times I think I’m not like every other women: I never planned or dreamed of my wedding day, of the big puffy white dress, of having a husband, the house, etc. I never really thought about that. I didn’t date much, had many crushes, I was a late bloomer if you will. My first serious boyfriend, I ended up living with. We were together for six years and during that time I did wonder what a kid would look like if we were to have one; but then I also thought if it didn’t work out I’d have to see him (the father) again because of that child. That was something I didn’t want; once we’re done, we are done. Bye, bye! I knew we weren’t in it for a long haul. I was right.

Before I met Hubby I dated (for a few months) a guy who had a five years old son. Being a step mom was not for me either. He had his son every other weekend. It broke my heart when I drove the kid back to his mother. I couldn’t and wouldn’t do that to a kid. I couldn’t do like some parents either and stay with the spouse for the sake of the kids.

When I met Hubby, he didn’t want kids. He knew that much. So my decision kind of happened by itself. Three years back I had all the "equipment" removed, so that solved that issue (at least as far as natural birth goes). Yes I do wonder at times, but not enough for me to regret not having one so far. At forty-three I can say, even if I do know we (both Hubby and I) would have been good parents that it wasn’t for us. Call us selfish if you want, and you’d be right. We are. We like our time alone, or time together, our quiet environment, our toys. We made a choice. Hubby often says: “It’s not because we have the abilities that we’d have the interest or want the job.” I never doubted my abilities, or my capacity. I just didn’t want that responsibility. Being a parent is a life long commitment I didn’t want to make. I’m fully aware of all the joys a child might bring, how fulfilling it is. I’m sure it is. I’m happy the way we are. I didn’t make a conscious decision as such; it was an accumulation of facts, which turned out, in the end, of us not having kids.


TechnoBabe said...

Hi there, hope your day is going well. As I read this post I thought of all the people who brought kids into the world and neglected or worse abused them. Not that I think you are the kind of person to do that. But I admire your being true to what you want which is your right and no excuses necessary as you show in your post. Good for you. Why do some people try to shove their own beliefs down other peoples throats anyway? Whether we choose to drink or not, or use drugs or not or watch TV or not or go to church or not, other people are just waiting to tell us what we "should" be doing. Sheesh. Anyway, I like your directness and your strength of your beliefs.

Robert the Skeptic said...

I greatly applaud and support your very thoughtful choice. Parenthood is not for everyone and surely the planet is beginning to suffer due to excess population.

The poorest countries have the highest birthrates; clearly there is a connection. The more people there are, the less quality of life there is for the rest of us.

Yet having spent a weekend with my four grand kids, there are clearly trade-offs.

Having children changes your fate for the remainder of your life. This may be a good thing or not depending on so many other factors. Entering into this phase of life should be done with a lot of prior thought; and recognition that there are things that you will put into play that you will not ultimately have control over. I wish more people thought about having children and it's responsibilities.

PinkPiddyPaws said...

I spent the last 3 days with a very spoiled 4 year old. I turned to Mr. AP and said "THIS is why I have a cat" :)

Those of us sans children seem to be a dying breed. I'm a DINK and proud of it!!

Jason, as himself said...

No. You are not selfish. The selfish ones are the ones who have kids on a whim or just because that is what they think society says they should do.

I say good for you!

Stinkypaw said...

TechnoBabe: Thank you, I try to be straight forward, it's not always easy but it is worth the effort for sure.

Robert: Have you seen the movie "Idiocracy"? If not, watch it it's a little scary how right they are about lots of issues... and reproduction is one of them.

PPPaws: I'm a DINK too and love it! ;-)

Jason: Welcome to my blog, hope to see you again. Often people won't see how selfish one has to be in order to have/want a child (whatever the reason why)... but I also realised it is useless to discuss it.

Erin said...

Speaking as a conservation biologist, I think choosing not to have children is being selfless, not selfish. I wish more people had the strength and ability to make that decision. (I hope it doesn't sound hypocritical of me to say that, as I have had a child myself and would like to have one more.) But I worry a lot about the environmental impact of bringing another person into the world, and the lifelong changes that the decision will mean. And I think anyone who chooses not to have kids and to instead lead a full, satisfying adult life is to be commended. I'm sorry you've had to defend that decision. Sometimes people have a hard time putting themselves in others' shoes, I guess.

Green-Eyed Momster said...

I'll share my teenagers with you! LOL!! You can come and teach them how to drive whenever you want!

I love the movie Idiocracy. I own it. I love, love, love it.

If you ever want to spend time with some kids, you have my address, hun. I'll share them with you!!

Hugs and love,

grumpy said...

I am thinking about the same thing right now. But I am not sure if it is because I am scared I CAN'T have them that my subconcscious is telling me 'well, maybe you don't really want them anyway.'

We certainly have a really nice lifestyle without kids....but I don't know if i can imagine myself in 20 years without any offspring.

It is a hard one.

comebacknikki said...

I think more people need to sit down and actually think about why they *do* want children. Too many people have them without thinking it through - it's all about fitting in and doing what you're "supposed" to do at certain stages of your life.