For as long as I can remember, I didn't feel strongly about having children.
I've seen women share on social media how they've always dreamed of becoming a mother, and I really cannot relate.
I've definitely thought about what it would be like, and when I was younger I used to think about how fun it would be to have twins or adopt children.
But as I've gotten older, I'm realizing my true desires do not lie in being a parent.
Some of the women I admired most when I was a child were not parents. I looked up to these women and wanted to be like them when I was an adult. They did not have children. I think my feelings are partially rooted in this.
I don't dislike children. I worked in education and childcare for many, many years. I just don't have any desire to have my own.
I have many reasons for not wanting to raise children. They are all deeply personal. But I feel there is still a stigma around choosing a childless life. We may have moved on since the days when childless women were regarded as witches, but progress has perhaps not been as great as we'd like to think. There's definitely a sense of otherness as if something is wrong with me for not wanting the same, natural thing that so many other people do.
I've heard so many times that I would regret not having children.
I've heard that I'm selfish for not wanting children. I know some people experience familial pressure (though that's not really the case for me since my parents seem to have realized that's not happening).
What are some things I want to do instead of having children? My lifelong dream is to travel the world.
I'd like to spend my time with friends, relatives, pets, and my significant other. I'd like to become financially stable and pay off my debts. I'd like to find my place in the world. These are common things that everybody wants out of life. I just plan to do it without children.
Call me selfish. Tell me I will have regrets. That's okay. I just envision my ideal future a little differently.