Any time that I've mentioned not wanting to raise a family, I'm met with a wide range of reactions. Usually, I hear "you're young, you'll change your mind". Older women with children almost always take offense to this, as if I've personally attacked them for having kids. My family thinks it's cute that I'm going through a phase. I've explained that I have a medical condition that hurts my reproductive system in a way that would be self-damaging to carry a pregnancy full term, and everyone hands me adoption brochures. I'd like to take a second to set some things straight:
I don't want to have children. There is nothing wrong about not wanting to have kids.
I can hear the gasps know through the screen of my MacBook! Why wouldn't I want children? What's wrong with me for not wanting to be a mother? In short, there's a lot of reasons I don't want to have children, but it's simply because I just don't want to. I'm not anti-kid (well, sort of). I want my friends and family to be able to have children. I want to buy little baby socks and rattles. I want to be in on the surprise gender reveal parties. I just don't want that for my future.
A lot of women are opting not to have children these days. More and more women are entering a job market that doesn't allow paid maternity leave or help with childcare. It's expensive to raise a child, and with an unstable economy, there's no guarantee that you'll be able to provide for your children what you want to. I've lived a life full of opportunity, support, love, and growth. My parents have made sure that I never had to need anything. I can't promise that to the next generation. I don't want to be responsible for breaking promises.
I'm often asked, as well, if I feel like I won't be reaching my full potential by not becoming a mother. If anything, I feel like this is the best way for me to reach my full potential. I can focus on my education, my career, my marriage, my family, and the best way to give back to the rest of the world. I know there are women out there who make a huge impact while also taking care of a family at home, but I'm realistic and I know my limitations. Those women are superheroes that I look up to every day. If there's a way that I can pull off molding a decent human being while also giving back to my community in my career, then maybe I will. But for now, I want to focus on what I can do for the greater good.
It's also sexist to assume that because I'm a woman that my job is to provide children to this world. I have so much more to offer in my head and in my heart than in my womb. I would like the respect and support from my peers in my decision. It's my body and I'm choosing to put my energy somewhere else.
I'm not here to argue about motherhood or try to persuade anyone any direction. I know that I'm not one to speak since I'm still so young. I just want to explain and defend myself, which I shouldn't have to do in 2017. I'm here on this planet to do something great. If that involves being a mother, then it will. Otherwise, I'm completely content living my life the way I want to with my husband, a few dogs, and a beach house somewhere nice. I can be the 'cool aunt' to someone else's kids and find the same satisfaction. Please respect my choice just as I respect yours to do whatever you want with your body and life.