So, I’m halfway done with college and what comes next? Graduation, a new job, marriage, and kids, right? That’s how it’s supposed to go?

While this roadmap of the “perfect life” is incredibly ideal, it’s not for everyone. Including me.

I don’t really want kids, no. Some might find this incredibly baffling because I’m a woman: aren’t I supposed to be maternal and love all things baby? Well no, actually, not really. Yeah, sure, babies are cute and I love to hold them as long as I can give it back to its rightful owner after it starts crying.

Crying babies are a definite code red for me. In fact, kids, in general, are just not my cup of tea.

Personally, I am just not sure I will ever be emotionally ready to have a child. That’s a large responsibility to bear and for now, I just cannot ever imagine myself being responsible for not only myself but another person who looks to me for guidance.

Whenever I explain my reasoning for not wanting kids, I am usually told that I will outgrow it and what I’m going through is “just a phase.”

Well, yeah, it might very well be but why do we automatically assume this?

“Oh, it’s different when the child is yours.” Well, again, yeah. But I’m not really sure I want to take that chance on the possibility that I just might warm up to my own child. And of course, even if I love my child, that has nothing to do with whether I’ll be a good mother or not.

Some may call it selfish, to hold out on having a child because I would rather focus on other aspects of my life. However, in the grand scheme of things, having a child is not on my top list of priorities. The thought of having a child has never been a dream of mine like some of my friends and peers.

And that’s okay.

I’m perfectly content with working hard on my career in the future, focusing on my friendships, relationships, etc. instead of having to place all that energy into another life.

And I think that’s perfectly fine.

It doesn’t make me selfish or odd or any less of a person.

My priorities are mine and for now, a baby is not in my future.

I don’t need a child to feel like I accomplished something worthwhile in my life. If having or the thought of having a child brings joy into your life, then by all means, go ahead.

However, we need to stop believing that each and every woman wants and feels the implicit need to have children specifically because she is a woman and she can.

I don’t need that cookie cutter, white picket fence, suburban-home family. That's just not what I dream of for myself.

And that’s more than ok.

However, if someone wants that picturesque family with the big yard and lots of kids, that is more than ok, too.

Remember what your priorities are and stick to those. Priorities change sometimes, but until and/or if that times ever comes, stick to what is important to you. Never change yourself or your ideals to fit a mold that has been created for you.

Our lives are ours and we can mold it however we want.