I may be young (20) but I decided long ago that I wouldn't have children. My reasons include having a phobia of pregnancy and childbirth (as I have mentioned elsewhere, I even have nightmares about it), feeling claustrapobic when picturing motherhood, a short temper and lack of patience, depression and anxiety issues, wanting things from life which would be harder with a child there and being someone who seriously cannot cope without enough time to herself. I don't hate kids, I would much rather be a nice auntie than a mother though. I don't believe it's what life has intended for me (well, biology has but mentally I don't think I'm mother material).
I'd like to get married one day, and I do have a wonderful boyfriend. He said to me we'll wait and see if we're together in about ten years, as he would never dream of having kids before then anyway, and if I still feel the same way then we'll just do something else with our lives together. If we get to that point and he is adament on having kids all of a sudden while I'm not then it'd mean we were not meant to be really in the end.
I totally understand why many people do want children. The love a parent has for their child in my eyes is the strongest love there is. People may want to experience that special kind of love for themselves. People may want to live out all the big events in a child's life they'd experience. People may want to shape someoen and watch them go out into the world with all they've given them and watch them make them proud. I never ever talk down on other women for wanting children, as long as you raise your kids to be good citizens and to have manners then I have no problems.
But I have seen some really patronising and annoying comments including:
*Oh you'll change your mind when you're older.
*All women want to have babies at some point.
*Don't you want to pass down your genes?
*You'll end up having five kids, I know it. Just you wait.
*How could you not want kids? That's weird!
*What'll you do when your boyfriend/husband says he wants kids?
And some downright rude comments:
*You're not fulfilling your duty as a woman by not having kids.
*You're not fulfiling your debt to society by not having kids.
*Women are designed to be nurturers so therefore you're unnatural.
*You're going to die alone.
*Because of people like you our country's native people will die out as immigrants are filling most of the population now.
*God you should just be glad your mother didn't share your views!
*Your life is going to be empty and meaningless, it's kind of sad really.
*Ugh you feminists are ruining society!
*People like you mean that *my* kids are going to have to pay for you when you reach old age instead.
*People like you are selfish and letting down your genetic train that's been going for thousands of years.
*You're just selfish, you don't want kids because you'd rather be able to go out and get drunk every night rather than be a responsible parent.
I just think this is rude. I respect the choices of others but they're so rude about mine. Who knows, maybe in ten years will change and I may have a child or two. I can't predict the future. However I feel it is unlikely. Why do some people refuse to accept that life can be just as rewarding without children. It just depends on who you are and how you feel about children. I think parenthood is not the right path for everyone and those who don't have kids are not to be pitied as their lives are just as fulfilling *to them*. Some people's lives would be empty without children, and these are the people that *do* go on to have children. Those who want kids but are unable to have my sympathies as that's very tragic for them .
I just think nobody should be socially pressured into having kids. I think being childfree is much better than people like myself having children and neglecting them. There are examples in wild animals where the mothers abandon, neglect and even kill their own offspring. There's people who have had children out of pressure who resent the child for it and don't show them the affection they need to grow up with a healthy mind. I don't want to be a bad mother, I don't believe I have it in me. I am just not right for it.
Not all women fit this maternal stereotype for our gender. Biology intended a lot of things that we don't follow anymore. Humans have also developed traits that the other animals don't or don't have quite to our level, even when it comes to reproduction. We as humans don't (usually) go out and start reproducing as young as we can and have baby after baby with various different mates. We wait for times suited to us, we plan how many children we want if any, we find someone we believe will be there with us through it all. We have already changed so much about reproduction so women not wanting children isn't really so shocking.