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I Don't Want Kids

Hello everyone. My name is Leu and I am 18 years old. I feel like people are constantly bugging me about children. I just turned 18 two weeks ago and I'm not even in a relationship.

Just today, I was at the doctors with my mom, and somehow we got onto the subject of having kids. I told her I don't want kids and never will, and this older lady that was sitting next to me leaned over and said — this is a direct quote — “Oh, you’re 18 now, BUT YOU’LL BE 33 SOON AND YOUR UTERUS WILL BE POUNDING LIKE A TOM-TOM!

 

I gave her the most withering look I could muster! It is immensely frustrating when people act like they are an authority on you. They are not!

 

I am child-free & I plan to be for the rest of my life. One of my friends once said: "You don't have to have kids. There are plenty of other things you can do with your life." I agree with him. Sometimes when I recount what he had told me, people look at me like I suddenly sprouted a second head.

 

For some people, it is just not the be-all and end-all! I am one of them. I simply want to live my life for myself and nobody else. As of right now, finishing my schooling and initiating my career in drawing and illustration means everything to me. In a nutshell: I'm selfish and I love it.

 
Don't get me wrong, I am not criticizing all of my friends and family that have kids. Almost every girl I know has been dreaming of babies since the dawn of time. I know they will make wonderful mothers, and I don't mind meeting their children and come bearing gifts. Out of all of my friends in high school, about 70% of them got pregnant between the ages of 15-18 years old.

"But you're young, you'll change your mind when you're older!"

 
I just have to say that whole "oh, you'll change your mind about having kids when you're older" crap seriously just drives me through a wall. It is exhausting when people insist that I'll change my mind, and it's equally annoying when women I don't even know tell me I have an emotional problem because I don't want kids, I am a terrible woman for not wanting kids or that it is a duty to have children.

I don't want kids for so called "selfish reasons". I don't want the responsibility nor am I willing to make the sacrifice to have a child.
 

The decision not to have children has never bothered or vexed me. I am perfectly satisfied. The only really irritating part of the whole experience is when people ask you about it, and upon hearing your answer, act like they know you better than you know yourself. Especially when you’ve only just met.

 
Oh, you,” they say, looking down their nose EVER-so-slightly. “You think you know it all now… HO HO HO! But life is going to wallop you! Just you wait! You’ll be barefoot and pregnant before you know it!

Not if I can help it, buddy!

"It is totally okay — in fact, perfectly wonderful — not to have children."

I wanted to throw that in there, just in case you haven’t been told lately! Everyone’s life is different, everyone’s purpose is different, and sometimes having kids just isn’t right for you. That is A-OKAY!

The issue we’re having is twofold. Firstly, society expects women to have children. It is, to some people, our entire reason for existing. Not to make art, become a doctor, earn a billion bucks, have a career we love, live life in the fast lane, or become an adventurer — just to make babies. To them, if you don’t give birth, you are slighting womankind, up-ending the world and trashing the paradigm. It is the final insult!

Secondly, this is an issue of respect. I understand that other women especially are curious when one of the clan gets hitched. Surely, a vicious case of morning sickness & the pitter-pattering of little feet are just around the corner?! It’s normal for people to ask, but once you say you’re not interested, that should absolutely, categorically be the end of the issue!

Even I am guilty of asking my friends if children are next on the agenda, but if they say no, I reply with something like, “GREAT! That means we can continue going to Vegas together even when we're 80 years old, and look like shriveled up lizards! and just THINK of the disposable income! I foresee an overwhelmingly magnificent walk-in closet in your not-so-distant future!

There should definitely not be any, “Oh but! You’ll change your mind! and think how CUTE they’d be! Come on! It’s your womanly duty! You’ll die unfulfilled and alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!“ or any other such rot. Because really… That would make even the most stable woman a tad punchy.
aleuuzy aleuuzy 18-21, F 3 Responses Sep 14, 2011

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Wow! I love your story! It is wonderful!!! I have been there. I did want children, we had one child and I wouldn't trade her for anything but after her I had my tubes tied. Boy oh boy did I hear the same sort of things about me doing that. <br />
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I have probably heard some sort of wisdom for many choices I have had to make and I have been annoyed at the "know-it-all" attitude's too. Sometimes I wonder if they feel good if the see or hear the result they predicted? <br />
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Anyways, thank you for sharing this, it made me relax a bit and laugh, knowing I am not the only one. It is really awesome, reading your story which is so well written. <br />
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:)

Hey, I TOTALLY get you on this! While I do believe I actually want children, I absolutely HATE it when people treat me the way you described. While having children something I think I would like, there are other things that I don't really want to do that other people think I'm crazy for not wanting, and they say I'll change my mind. Well, maybe I will change my mind, but if I do, it's NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. I think the best example is marriage. I used to not want to get married at all. Now that I'm in a relationship with a woman who does want to get married, I am open to the possibility, but it's not a GOAL of mine. If I do get married someday, that's okay, but if I don't, that's okay too! It DRIVES ME INSANE when people ask me when my girlfriend and I are getting married. Usually it goes something like this:<br />
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"Hey, how are you and your girlfriend doing?"<br />
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"We're okay. I'm getting ready to see her tonight."<br />
<br />
"That's cool. So have you popped the question yet?"<br />
<br />
"No..."<br />
<br />
"No? When are you going to?"<br />
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This is the part where I get really frustrated. I don't want to say "never" because I indeed may sometime in the distant future. On the other hand, I may not, but even if I do, I have NO FREAKING CLUE when I'm going to. Is there some sort of time limit or something? Anyway, I usually end up just saying:<br />
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"I dunno."<br />
<br />
"Well, do you think you're going to marry her?"<br />
<br />
"I don't know if I even want to get married."<br />
<br />
Then comes the worst part. They usually **** their head to the side and say, "Why not???" as if I'm some sort of alien. Usually I respond with something like, "Well, why would I?" That usually stumps them, and they have no answer. Which makes me think they have no reason that they want to get married anyway...it was just ingrained in their social identity so early that they can't imagine anything else. I can't stand sheeple.<br />
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Anyway, I got a bit off topic, but I think one of my biggest pet peeves is that sort of disrespect you described. Like I said, I kind of do want to get married now, or at least I'm open to the possibility. However, when I was in middle and high school, I was pretty much completely opposed to the idea, and rather than saying, "I don't know if I even want to get married," I'd say, "I don't want to get married." I got even worse reactions then. But if I ever said this to someone older, especially someone married, they would do the exact same thing.<br />
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"Boy, you're young. When you get older, some girl is going to come around and steal your heart, and you're going to wonder what you were thinking earlier." Were those people right? Maybe to an extent, since I am now willing to get married, but it has nothing to do with what they said. I haven't changed my mind...I've just opened it a bit. And even if I do get married someday, it has nothing to do with what these people said. In fact, when people say things like this around me, it just makes me want to run in the opposite direction. I feel disrespected and patronized. If I hadn't been pressured all my life to get married, I would probably be dying to get married by now.<br />
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By the way, I don't think it's selfish to decide not to have children. I think it's actually quite unselfish. If you knew you couldn't set aside your dreams for your children, yet you went ahead and had children anyway and ended up neglecting them in order to pursue your dreams, THAT would be selfish. There are way too many parents in the world like that. It is a very responsible and mature decision not to have children if you know you couldn't treat them the way they deserve. If there were more people like you, I think the world would be a better place. Not only would there be less abused children, but there would be less pollution, crime, and overpopulation in the world. Kudos to you!

Yeah, I don't want to give up my dreams either, nor do I want the responsibility. Besides, I think we'd be doing the world a favor by not increasing the human popular, which is already overflowing the Earth.