No, I Really Don’t Want Kids — I Think I Would Know

There has never been a day in my life when I thought I would want children.  My entire life, the thought of pregnancy has repelled me. It’s like I’m missing something in my genetic composition that makes other women go, “Yes, it would be beautiful to push a human out of my vagina.” I don’t associate love or a relationship with procreation; I simply don’t associate procreating with my life. My impression from many people  I know who do want children is that they thought about growing up and saw their future with their spouse and their kids and their white picket fence. Throw in an office job, and that is exactly what I would see if I sat down and imagined my hell.

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to not be offended by people’s reactions to hearing I want to remain childfree, but over time I’ve come to realize I have a right to be offended. Lots of people tell me that it isn’t normal, and that doesn’t really offend me. “How can you know?” doesn’t even bother me too much — I imagine if I talked to someone who was completely asexual or something else I couldn’t personally imagine, I might be curious. But here’s the problem.

Do you know how people find out I don’t want kids? 99% of the time, it’s because they make an assumption. They tell me about what I’ll learn when I have kids, or they ask me how I’ll continue to live in Texas while my boyfriend lives in Maryland when we have all the babies, or they’ll ask how many kids I want. I always correct them. For as long as I can remember, even at the tender age of 8, I corrected them. The desire to have a child is so far removed from who I am that I reflexively correct people who assume I want one, probably the same way you would correct someone who mispronounced your name.

When I was a child myself, everyone told me I would change my mind. The joys of motherhood and biological clocks and whatever. Right now, I’m telling every single person reading this: do not do this. Even if you firmly believe the little girl looking up at you saying she doesn’t want kids can’t possibly know that, keep that opinion to yourself. By second guessing a woman’s decision to go against the grain, you’re encouraging a culture that shames her, and it’s wrong. You’re encouraging her to give in to a mate later on, one who might be compatible with her in every single way except his desire to have kids. And having kids because you love someone and you’ve been taught you have a biological clock that will kick in and make you change your mind on the issue? That’s a fucking mistake if I ever heard one.

If you’re reading this, you won’t be shocked to learn that even at the age of 26, people still question whether or not I actually know what I want. You’re likely either nodding your head in agreement or shaking it in disbelief. My parents, my sister, my best friend, my boyfriend — these are the people that know me best, and for all but one have known me for well over a decade. They don’t question me. It’s always some new acquaintance or a total stranger that feels the need to condescendingly tell me I’ll change my mind, or that they used to feel that way until they had a joyous little accident. Fuck you. You are rude as hell, and you might as well tell me to smile while you insult me.

I’ve made my stance on abortion pretty clear, I think. Lots of people are pro-choice and aren’t of the childfree mindset themselves. I’m sure that plenty of women have abortions because the timing or situation was wrong, and go on to have kids later in life. I’m sure plenty of people get pregnant and keep the child even though everything about the situation is wrong — maybe they end up happy, maybe not. For me, keeping abortion legal is so important to me because I don’t know if I would survive a pregnancy. If sketchy, unlicensed basement procedures were the only option and I was accidentally pregnant, I would take the risk. If I found out I was pregnant too late to abort, I would personally go through any means in an attempt to end the pregnancy. In general, I would not describe myself as depressed; I think I’m happy and well adjusted. If I suddenly am forced to carry a child, I very seriously recommend putting me on suicide watch.

Honestly, I wish I could explain it — the complete emptiness I feel inside imagining life as a mother. It’s similar to the way I feel imagining life with a female life partner: I cannot comprehend the appeal, I have no emotional connection to the idea, and in my mind’s eye, I become a stranger to myself. When you tell someone who feels this that they will change their minds, you’re acting like you know more about that person than you do.  You’re wrong.

I don’t care if other people have kids — my roommate has one and he’s great! I just care about myself, and my sanity. I don’t go up to women who are 6 months pregnant and ask them if they are sure they’re ready; in return, I expect that people leave me alone about my decision. If you’ve recently had a kid, don’t let your baby crazy feelings accidentally turn into condescending feelings when you talk to your friends. Just because it’s a good life decision for you, doesn’t mean it’s good for everyone.

Yes, even in this picture I knew I wasn't reproducing!
Yes, even in this picture I knew I wasn’t reproducing!

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I Hate Flying so Much I Cannot Even
My Boobs Don’t Need Your Husband to See Them
Unpopular Opinion: I Don’t Have Anything Valid to Say & I Feel Bad for People Who Read my Writing

21 thoughts on “No, I Really Don’t Want Kids — I Think I Would Know”

  1. Thank you for this post — just last weekend I was having some labs done and the lab tech asked if I had any kids and she informed me I was getting up there in age. I am 41 — thanks for reminding me I am old. I politely told her that wasn’t nice to say and that I don’t want kids.
    People need to get on board – 1 in 5 don’t want to get married now – that’s changed drastically in the last 20 years. Great post!

    1. Oh my god. If you’re young, you’re too young to know what you want. If you’re older, you’re probably sad and lonely, right?!
      I think it’s really tacky when anyone in the medical field says anything like that to a patient. Did you also want to convert me to a new religion or political party? “Hey, lab tech, you better go to medical school soon so you can have a job that I view as more important than what you’re currently doing with your life.”
      And thanks!

  2. The desire to have children or not comes to us from God. He doesn’t make us all the same when it comes to anything else; why would he when it comes to having children? It doesn’t make you incomplete as a person or a woman.

  3. I think this sums it up nicely:

    “I don’t go up to women who are 6 months pregnant and ask them if they are sure they’re ready; in return, I expect that people leave me alone about my decision.”

    If you don’t want kids, you don’t want kids. If you later change your mind, that’s ok, too. People seriously need to just shut their mouths and worry about their own lives more.

    1. I agree!!! And to be honest, I see lots of people doing lots of things I judge, but I don’t give unsolicited advice. Do I think it’s a bad idea when my 20 year old coworker moves in with her boyfriend? Yup. Do I tell her that? Nope. Do I think it’s bad when the broke girl I knew in HS gets knocked up with no dad? Yup. Do I tell her that? Nope.

  4. My own experience is that what i wanted for sure and without doubt is not what i wanted at 40 years old. Leave yourself at least a little opportunity to evolve in preferences and life experience. It could very well lead to an even stronger lean against birthing a child. BTW you simply equate giving birth to becoming a parent. I’m a parent of an adopted child. That is one of many ways that it is possible and fairly frequently accomplished to become a parent without birthin’ no babies. FWIW.

    1. This is exactly what I’m talking about. I don’t want kids. Period. I do not like children. I do not want to adopt. I don’t want to be around children for extended periods of time.
      Plenty of things about me have changed as I’ve aged, but plenty hasn’t. Thanks for taking the time out of your day to assure me I may or may not want kids in the future, internet stranger.

    2. But why in the world would you suggest or encourage parenthood to anyone who has publicly stated ” If I suddenly am forced to carry a child, I very seriously recommend putting me on suicide watch.” ?!

    3. You know we ship 17 year old boys off to war, 14 year olds have kids and 18 year old sweethearts get married. If someone says they don’t want children, regardless of age their opinion should not be met with dismissal. And that goes for adoption, whether is be a 16 year old or a 40 year old and everywhere in between. We are people who can make our own decisions and should not be criticized for it because it doesn’t fit the happy white picket fence with 2.2 kids mentality.

  5. I also knew at an early age that I didn’t want kids. When I got to be in my 30s, I still didn’t want them and thought something was wrong with me. I asked my mom about it and she said there’s nothing wrong, that some women just don’t have the desire for children. My mother told me she never felt an overwhelming urge to have kids, that my dad wanted children, so they had my siblings and me. Mom says she’s happy we’re here, etc., but for my dad, she would have been fine not having any. I stopped worrying about it. I’m 45 and still don’t want kids – either biological or adopted. Yet I married someone with a young child from a first marriage. My stepchild is nice but the experience has reinforced my lack of desire to be a parent.

  6. I grew up not wanting kids. I got the SAME responses “oh, that’ll change.” I can’t tell you how much this pissed me off, but you probably already know.
    It turns out, that *for me* I’m fine with having kids, but I needed someone who could handle the stereotypically maternal side of things. I’m not a nurturer. I like cooking because I like eating. I don’t get warm fuzzies when I see babies, but I’d like to raise a kid to be a decent human being that contributes to society- with the help of my husband.
    Ironically, now that I’m pregnant people seem to feel the need to tell me how my non-nurturing self will miraculously change when this baby shows up (along with every other piece of advice I never needed).

  7. You are not alone! I don’t think there was ever a time when I wanted children.

    My tenth grade English teacher once asked the class to raise their hand if they wanted kids. Mine stayed down. I couldn’t even force myself to raise it. I knew then that I did not want children. She told me that I would make a great mother. Nope! Told her I did not want kids. I’m 45 and still have no desire.

    Now, when I’m asked why I don’t have kids, I just answer “I don’t like children” and that usually shuts people up.

    My nieces and nephew are wonderful but the best thing about them is, they aren’t mine.

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