It’s my life and I can do what I want with it, right? Then please explain to me why every time “I don't want children” comes out of my mouth, the reaction is constant confusion and dirty looks? It doesn't matter if this conversation is with family members, friends or males -- it’s clear these four little words never go over too well.
Why is it so hard to believe and accept that all women just don’t want children? And more importantly why does society still act like motherhood is a basic principle of being a woman?
Not wanting children isn't some foreign concept nowadays. The 2014 US Census Bureau even ran a survey showing that 47.6% of women between 15 and 44 have never had children. This is a record breaking percentage since 1976. This statistic came out two whole years ago, yet this morning the local radio station was still discussing how women could possibly not be wanting kids?
We want to focus on a life with our partners.
It’s a proven fact that divorce increases once there’s a child, especially in the first two years. We grow up in a world that tells us we somehow can't be fulfilled without children in our lives, but I feel the opposite. As far as I'm concerned having children would get in the way of fulfilling everything I want, personally and in my relationship.
Since I’ve never felt the desire to have a child I can’t imagine that the stress and responsibility of motherhood will benefit my relationship. I’m way more interested in spending the rest of my life with someone, and focusing on growing that relationship through experiences between the two of us.
Even if you make it through raising kids, many couples no longer know how to relate to each other once the children grow up. They stopped focusing on their relationship along the way and by the time the kids are out of the house it’s too late to repair the damage. Society never points this aspect out, instead, we lead people to believe that without children a relationship won't last.
The financial responsibility is outrageous.
I don't even want to think about how much money my parents have spent raising me. They have sacrificed repeatedly just to make sure I didn't go without something I needed and never made me feel like a burden for it. On top of everything a child needs, there’s everything they want, accidents they get into, health problems, college tuition and so much more. Raising a child is no walk in the park, especially when you’re looking at it in the form of dollar signs.
I give so much credit to every single parent who takes on this responsibility, but that doesn't mean I’m ready to jump on the bandwagon. I don't want to have to weigh career options based solely on an amount of money because I have kids at home that rely on me. I want to be able to travel when I want to, buy those expensive shoes and live comfortably without guilt that I could be giving my children more. Once you have a child, they come first; but as long as I'm not a mother, there isn't anything wrong with putting myself first.
Career driven, not child driven.
Before many women wanted to stay home with their kids. But now, one top of the obvious fact that being a stay at home mom isn't practical for most with the cost of living for a family, a lot of women (including me) don't want to stay home.
Women have changed over the years. Sure, some people still look forward to making their children’s lunches in the morning, running errands while they are at school and picking them back up for a home-cooked meal at the end of the day, and that’s perfectly fine. You do you.
But honestly that sounds like the last thing I want, and apparently I’m not alone. We have career goals that are going to take long days and stressful situations. I don't want to go home from a 9 hour work day, just to have even more to do. This just isn't for me.
We just aren't maternal.
As I’m sure you’ve gathered, I’m not a maternal person. If I’m being completely honest, a dog will give me just as much happiness as a child, with way less responsibility.
I don’t see myself enjoying "mom activities" at all, and there is nothing wrong with that. I look at it as more of a job and less of a blessing. I can appreciate kids, and even enjoy their company, but I’m comforted in the fact that I can give them back to their parents at the end of the day. I look forward to being an aunt and my friends having families—but as for a 24/7 way of life, no thank you.
It would be selfish of us.
Frequently I hear the argument that not wanting children is just me being selfish. Well honestly, having kids would be the selfish thing for me to do.
I constantly feel like, as a woman, I’m expected to have kids. So if I gave in and did it just because I was tired of being judged for it, that would be selfish. Nobody should bring kids into this world if they don't want them.
Some people are born to be a mother, and some people aren’t. Realizing that, devoting time to your significant other, career and happiness is not being selfish— it’s living a life that makes you happy.
Shaming any women for not wanting to be a mother is just wrong. Motherhood is not a requirement to being a woman, so stop acting like it is. Understand that having children isn't the path all women want to follow along and that's perfectly fine.
We aren't telling you not to have children, so stop telling us we need to have them.