Imagine your friend is pregnant and excitedly tells you so. Then, imagine that you question, directly to their face, why they’re having a child.
Sounds absurd right?
So why do we think it’s okay to ask non-pregnant women, when they’re having children?
And if the answer is never, why is the response instantly one of horror, further questions, and those inevitable words, “oh but you’ll change your mind.”
An instant ‘palm face’ moment for the child-free by choice amongst us.
Thanks Nancy for that insight into my own thoughts and feelings. Of course you know me better than I know myself — how could I be so silly?
Sure, I’ll change my mind. Just like my pregnant friend who’s longed for children all her life, has two kids already sat at home, and has now changed her mind and decided she doesn’t want them anymore. Possibly more realistic than me changing my mind.
It never fails to amaze me that the topic of having children is still very much a taboo one — and not for the reasons it should be.
Those people who are unable to have children must dread the questions more than I do. They shouldn’t have to go through that.
But it’s almost as though, for those of us who’ve made a personal choice to not have children, are made to feel like we’re attacking those who do. That we’re putting their whole life into question — and they don’t like it.
For some, they tell us we’ll change our mind because they want us to. They want us to have sleepless nights like them, and everything else in-between that comes with being a parent. They want us to be a part of the ‘club’ so they don’t feel left out.
Parenting, I’m sure is rewarding, yet really hard at the same time, and I admire those who do it. But it’s not something I want to go through myself. And that’s okay.
I don’t hate children. I don’t want other people not to be parents. I just don’t want to be a parent myself.
I’m not questioning your life choice, so why do you feel like you need to question mine?
We need to stop asking women when they’re having children. If they’re having children. And we need to stop the interrogation and ignorant comments if we’re told that they don’t want them.
We also need to stop asking women what their significant other thinks. As if I’m not capable of making my own decisions, or as if I wouldn’t have discussed this choice, and be on the same page, as my other half.
Think about what you’re saying.
So what’s actually happening?
You’re essentially asking if I’m having sex
Seriously. Unless you’re asking if I’m going to adopt a child, you’re basically asking, “are you having lots of unprotected sex?” And hey, there’s nothing wrong with talking about sex, but in this context, it’s intrusive. Especially if it’s someone you don’t know, or worse — your in-laws.
It’s none of your God damn business
I highly doubt that you’ll be helping raise this future hypothetical child that you seemingly want me to have so badly. You’re not going to be providing me with endless funds of money and care. You might buy a cute outfit when it’s first born and a little card with a stork on it, but when I start sending you holiday cards with a baby picture on it every year, they will eventually wind up in the bin. So really, is your opinion on whether I reproduce or not valid? Me thinks not.
Having or not having kids does not define my worth as a woman
I will never forget an outrageous conversation I had with a former boss, that I laughed off — because it was so ridiculous. I was told that if I didn’t have children, I wasn’t meeting my purpose of being a woman. That I was put on this planet to have a child, and I wouldn’t be fulfilling my womanly duties if I didn’t have one. I have multiple purposes in my life thank you very much, but being a mother is not one of them.
Let me control my own life
Having children is such a personal decision. One that impacts every single area of our life. You wouldn’t ask to see your friend’s finances, question a career choice, or ask why they’re not buying a bigger house. Some women can’t have children, some are undecided, and others are uncomfortable talking about it. For those who don’t want children, we’re simply fed up of discussing it and defending our decision.
Let me write my own story. Because I can assure you, it has a happy ending.