I am a woman and I am childless by choice.
No, this is not something I need to discuss and wonder about, it’s a decision I made many years ago.
Many years ago, though, everyone seemed to want to challenge that decision. Talk about pressure, there was extreme pressure every turn I took. If we could all just allow one another to be who they are and honor their own preferences and decisions, the flow of life would be as it should be–full of ease.
Many people made immediate conclusions about me as a person.
Two of the most common conclusions were that I was too selfish or that I didn’t want to go through labor because I would lose my body. I sometimes wish it were only that simple a decision.
I was once on a date and after telling the guy I was childless by choice, he became outwardly mean and angry toward me, calling me selfish and cold hearted. Clearly, he did not take the time to know who I am, he simply made a judgement.
In an opposite interaction, I was giving a woman a massage. We did not know each other, she had been given a gift certificate so I suppose she felt an ease in being open with me. As we discussed the whole child or no child issue, she said, “if I could choose now whether to have them or not, I would choose to not have children”. She had 3 boys and she was not enjoying the ride. I was sad for her but so impressed in her ability to be honest about such a touchy subject.
I tell everyone, if I were to choose to have a child it would be to witness the miracle taking place in my body. It is simply awesome!
To think that a man and a woman can create a child that grows inside a woman’s body for 9 months–that is just mind-blowing. But when going through the process of deciding, this is not enough of a reason to have a child. So much more will be required after the awesome, miraculous 9 months and subsequent birth.
In the same way that this is no reason to have a child, some have made the comment, “but who will take care of you when you are old”? Wow, really? Would that be a reason to have a child–to have someone to take care of me when I’m old?
The easiest way to explain it: I never really had the gene that some women have while growing up, the gene that has them fantasizing about being a mom and having a family.
Maybe it had something to do with me being the youngest child and not having anyone to take care of. I know my sister who is 2 years older than me is a fabulous mom to her 2 daughters and she was pretty fabulous as my older sister too. She was accustomed to caring for me a lot!
I just never wanted kids bad enough to even think about having them. I watched many women go through the process of hormone therapy, in vitro fertilization, and thinking about getting a surrogate. I just couldn’t even fathom going through that to have a child.
The thing we all need to realize, in every area of life, is that we are all different.
As much as I haven’t had any desire to have children, I can understand that one could have such a huge desire to have them and how doing whatever it takes would be in order. I get that.
The whole motherhood thing always looked like too much for me. I never felt “fit” to be a mom. Not fit, but fit. It just seemed overwhelming, daunting. I have a hard enough time taking care of me let alone a helpless child.
And the feelings. I have a huge sense of empathy and I can’t bare the thought of having to go through the pain of childhood. I remember when my niece was about 14. She had been on the soccer team for a couple of years and she had just returned from try outs. She didn’t make the team!
She was in so much pain and I felt it.
It hurt me to watch her and feel her pain. I can’t imagine having to go through all that pain with a child of my own let alone my sweet niece!
I had many women try to convince me that I HAD to have kids. One of my friends had just had her first baby and was clearly elated; she saw my husband and I in a restaurant and came over and said “you have to do this, you have to have kids”.
I understand their joy and their desire for me, but this was just a bit inappropriate especially knowing that I had made this decision years ago.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “you’d be such a good mom”. Perhaps I would, but I don’t want to be. No person, man or woman, who doesn’t want kids, should have them.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t love kids, I do. I have always blended in with kids and their friends, I relate well to them and their energy.
I guess what I’m going on and on about is to make the point that we are all different and not everyone is cut out to be one thing or another.
If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it–that’s a rule I live by.
There is nothing worse than saying yes to someone or something and then when the time comes to do it, you wish you wouldn’t have said yes. “When in doubt, don’t” is something that really resonated with me regarding having children. What if I went ahead and said yes and then later regretted.
Honestly, I am in awe of my mom and all moms!
The love and sacrifice that they give their lives to for us just boggles the mind!
To me, the most powerful being on the planet is a mom!
Having a child is not something to take lightly.
It’s not committing to an event or an appointment, it’s committing to a lifetime appointment!
I am childless by choice and while I have unending respect for every mom that ever lived, I am so glad I took the time to choose!
7 thoughts on “Childless By Choice”
I don’t wish to have children either. People can’t seem to wrap their heads around this either. I knew when I was a child that I did not want any. I often get the, “You’ll change your mind one day.” I just decided to spit that back at them when they tell me, “I love my child(ren.)”
“You’ll change your mind one day.”
Love this comment! Thanks so much for taking the time read and share–I APPRECIATE!!!
Tara you are an amazing person! Whenever I browse through my emails, its exciting to see your posting something new…i usually read it feverishly. The fact you are talking about something so commonly accepted yet it never gets discussed, analysed or planned for the individual. Having kids should be something personal as well as something you might want to share with a partner, and it seems the cogs of society aren’t showing people the patches of individuality the people need to make the big decisions. Childbirth and raising children is something I think about as a 25 Male from OZLAND, but from your point of view it really makes me wonder why I want kids….and the deep gut feeling that is required to make a final judgement.
I will back you all the way on your life decision to now have children, but I am sure you will teach kids you meet about the lessons of life without having some of your own 😀
Thank you for sharing your life wisdoms and brain thoughts on the interwebs, more people need to carve a path rather than follow the train tracks. The greatest thing we have is the ability to questions a decision, others will definitely question you, so hold strong Tara 😀 WOOT WOOT.
Bit of Gandhi ~ ” be the change you want to see in the world “
Wow, thanks Henry–this means so much! I appreciate that you took the time to read my post AND comment. Tell me, where is OZLAND–is that Kansas?
I always enjoy your post’s, they are honest, thought provoking, loving, and sometimes funny. I enjoy revisited events through your eyes. Thank-you for your kind words about being a mother and a big sister! Love you!
Thank you. Sometimes it’s hard to be so honest because people don’t have the amount of compassion they need to put themselves in my place. So, thank you for you unconditional love!
bravo! great post! wish you’d follow it up these many years later 🙂