November 8, 2010 at 11:15 pm (feminism, personal)

I’m 23, so being childfree right in this moment is not that big a deal, really.  Except that people normally phrase it as childless, and make many references to my age, or now being the wrong time, or my mind will change in the future.  Why do they do this?

I feel a bit like I’m covering an old topic here, because I’ve been having this conversation/argument/rant with/at people for years.  Ever since I decided I don’t want kids.

What does the general population find so hard to believe about the fact that I don’t want kids?

In the original draft of this post I began by listing all the qualities and characteristics about me that prove I shouldn’t have kids.  And then I deleted every single line of it, because why should I have to do that?  Why do I need to justify my desire not to have kids?  Do I really need to prove to everyone that I’d be a shit mother so they’ll leave me alone?

When I was diagnosed with PCOS, I jumped at the chance to just say ‘I can’t have kids.’  I know that technically my chances are low, not nil, and that it is still a possibility if I want them.  BUT I DON’T.  Shouldn’t that be the key decider in all this?  Imagine this:

Person 1: Do you want kids?  Person 2: No. Person 1: ok, cool.  How was your weekend?

How easy was that?  So simple, so easy, no judgement.

A relative went so far as to describe all the surgeries and medical treatments a friend with PCOS underwent to have a kid.  WHY WOULD I DO THAT?  Expensive, painful, and ends in a baby.  Why???

I’ve been warned that I could regret my decision.  True, I could.  I could also regret having them, and that would be a lot harder to fix.  And yeah, all those people who can’t have kids?  That’s a really crappy situation for them.  And yet, it’s also not my responsibility.  I’m not going to pop a few out just to make up for those who can’t have one.  Also, surely it’s more of a kick in the face to these people to just have a baby because you can?  I can’t say for certain, but I’m fairly sure it would be.  Logically.

But they’re not fighting with logic, are they?  They’re using guilt and thousands of years of repression and dominance to put me back in my place as a breeder. **  I don’t question people who tell me they don’t want to go to uni, don’t want to own their own business, never want to travel, don’t ever want to read a book, etc, so why the hell are my choices getting questioned?

And right there, with one word, I think I’ve found my answer.  Choice.  Either people are STILL struggling with the idea that it’s actually my choice if I have kids or not, or people are struggling with the idea that I would possibly choose not to have them.  And if women can choose not to have kids, what else do they know they can choose?  Holy crap this better be contained or next we’ll think we can run countries and stuff.

We should not have to justify these decisions in 2010.  It’s almost 2011 and as women we are still having to justify why we make whatever decision we choose to make with our lives, and specifically (and more infuriating to me) our bodies.  And that is complete and utter bullshit.

“I don’t want kids.” “cool, how was your weekend”.

That’s it.


*Sorry if this post is a bit disjointed, I’m stressed and tired and overworked.  Three more reasons my lifestyle doesn’t work if you add kids to the mix.

** Please know I’m not saying that anyone who has kids is merely reduced to this.  If that’s what you wanted, awesome and I’m so happy that you got that.  But if you have different dreams, no one has the right to force you to follow out their ideas for your life instead of your own.  It’s bullshit.


1 Comment

  1. Lara said,

    I support you completely. I’m about to have my third child, but I could just as easily have ended up having none, and I truly never understood why people got so lathered up about it. Really, who cares?

    It is true that I had other dreams about living my life that society polices me out of now that I’ve had kids; and that has been a huge sacrifice. Huge. I don’t regret my kids for one second, but I do regret having lost that life I wanted. If you know what I mean.

    You go on!

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