Last week Nicole announced her pregnancy here on the blog (YAY) and although she's clearly MORE over the moon excited, I too, am very excited she's going to be welcoming a bouncing baby boy into this world in a matter of months. I like children, I nannied for 4 years for pete's sake, I love when my friends have babies that I can go cuddle and dote on. With all that said, I still don't want children of my own.
Being in my late 20's and in a long term relationship means I get questions all the time about my reproductive plans. Which is freaking weird, if I'm being honest; I get asked about getting married and then I immediately get asked about popping out babies and the shock and horror on people's faces, the utter amazement I see when I tell them I don't want kids is astounding to me.
And before the shock has cleared their faces they start in with the "Well, you're young. You aren't even married yet. You have time. Your biological clock will kick in." I'm not really sure what people don't understand about this comment, honestly. I didn't say "I'm not sure if I want children", I didn't say "J and I need to get married and buy a house before thinking about children". There was no caveat to my statement: I don't want children.
I could rattle off a million reasons to these (usually well-meaning) women about why I don't want children but really when it comes down to it, there are two major points:
- I'm far too selfish
- We live in a terrible world
The first point has many, many side reasons. I want to be Dinks (double income no kids) and be able to travel and buy houses and cars and boats and whatever other material things I want. And maybe that's terrible, but it's my choice. I love my sleep. I'm a cranky, mean person when I don't get enough sleep. I love to be able to go to social engagements when I want to and leave when I want to and not have to worry about bringing a baby, cancelling because of a baby, or finding a sitter for a baby. I love being able to come home and only worry about my extracurriculars. And honestly, I don't want to put my body through pregnancy or labor. Lastly, on the selfish topic, I think that the only people who should be having children are those who feel an immense calling and desire to be parents, and I do not.
This is not meant to be a knock on people who do what children. Like I mentioned above, I like children. I think there are people in this world who are drawn to being parents and they are fabulous parents and they're raising amazing kids. They love their kids and they love their life being parents. I have no doubt if I had children I would love my kids. I'm just relatively sure I wouldn't love my life.
The second point is pretty self-explanatory. Have you read the news recently? There are mass shootings weekly, those who are meant to protect us are shooting innocent people and people are shooting the innocent people who are supposed to protect us. There are terrorist attacks happening all over the world. There are terrible, horrible things happening in our country and why would I want to bring a child into that? There is so much hatred in this world and in our society that I can't imagine trying to raise a child to be a decent human being.
Of course, there are many more reasons for not having children than being selfish and a total pessimist about the world we live in... but those two reasons are good enough for me. We don't live in a society where I need to feel responsible to reproduce to keep this earth populated. So what's with the total shock and awe when I say I don't want children? Is it such a bad thing for someone to recognize that playing on the floor with blocks and cleaning up after someone else's bodily fluids isn't how they want to spend their time? I know there is much more to raising children than the few things I've mentioned in this post and I know that there are extreme highs that come with those not so great lows... but for me, the highs just aren't worth it.