I don’t want children of my own. Most of the time, when I tell someone this, especially to an adult, that person brushes it off and says something like, “Just wait until your older.” This response is understandable, yet tiresome. It is understandable because it’s definitely true: people’s minds change with age. However, it is also true that it is an assumption, an assumption that each one of us (about 366 million) was born, destined for motherhood.
Biologically speaking, women are destined for motherhood—we are the only ones physically capable of doing so—but motherhood means so much more than that. Being a loving mother is one of the most unselfish roles a woman could ever take on. Speaking from a daughter’s perspective, moms do a lot. They want what’s best for you, even if it means sacrificing something for themselves. Most importantly, they love you unconditionally—no matter what—so you can always turn to your mom. However, being a mom is also a hands-on, on-call job, one that she can never resign from. I believe that once a woman has given birth, she has willingly committed to do whatever it takes to be that mom.
This brings me to my next point (a really important one!): A woman should decide whether or not she’s willing to make that commitment before she becomes pregnant. Some women already know they want to be moms (those were the kids playing “house” in preschool). Some women are unsure and decide later, while some get pregnant by accident, but accept the responsibility indefinitely. However, just as some women know they want to be moms, some women know they do not. I’m one of them! Here are just three of many reasons why I feel the way I do:
First, I don’t want to experience pregnancy. Honestly, it scares the freaking crap out of me. I agree that it is beautiful… the woman is growing life inside of her! And I know that “it’s all worth it in the end,” but I’d rather have none of it. Consider my perspective: In just 22 years of life, I’ve already experienced so much medical BS and I’m tired of it. So, if you’re giving me the choice of whether or not I’m willing to go through nine months of completely avoidable physical anguish, then the answer is no way! I will take a pass on that one.
Second, I already have something that requires around-the-clock service and I’m referring to my neurological condition. This “condition” lives inside me (without paying rent!) and I have to bend to its will if I want to keep my body healthy. So, while another “normal” kid my age is juggling college and work, I’m over here juggling college, work, and my condition. That means, when that same “normal” person is juggling work, marriage, and raising a child, I’d be juggling work, marriage, raising a child, and my medical condition. Long story short, this “condition” of mine takes up a lot of time—and makes me exhausted doing so—so no, I don’t want to run around after a toddler when I get home from work. I just want to read a book.
Finally, my dreams are not raising a family, but seeing the world. I’m not sure if you’ve traveled recently, but airfare prices are through the roof! (ha ha ha.) But seriously, it’s expensive to travel. Coincidentally, it’s expensive to raise a kid as well… it costs more than $245,000 to raise a child from birth to high school graduation. I would prefer to put that $250K right into my travel-savings account, not into a college fund. My soul truly yearns to experience other cultures! I want to see how other people live—their day-to-day lives—and I want to experience their perception of the world. Travel is a humbling experience that does nothing but broaden the traveler’s perspective, and I want it! Remember how I mentioned earlier how some women just “know” they want to be moms? Well consider then, I just “know” I will see the world.
All in all, I am 99.99% sure I don’t want a child. I leave that 0.01% because I do recognize that anything is possible (see my previous post). However, I can tell you that right now, when I look into my mind’s eye and into my future, it does not include a child of my own.
There are many definitions of family, but society has trained us to see just one: the traditional family (i.e., mom, dad, sister, brother). Recently, however, society has lightened up on other family units, like single moms, same-sex parents, etc., but family can also mean wife and husband. Hell, family can mean just you! My point is, do what your soul is asking you to do. Mine is asking for travel, so I will. If yours is asking for family, create one, but don’t feel guilty if you don’t feel that urge. It doesn’t make us bad or selfish people, it just means that we’re here to write a different type of story and that’s just fine.