I Don’t Want to Have Kids and Here’s How I Learned That’s Okay

I Don’t Want to Have Kids and Here’s How I Learned That’s Okay

Some call it a biological need—something completely primal—others call it a craving, an urge, a call from the baby-making sands which are rapidly hitting the bottom of their hour glass.

Whatever this urge may be, the one to have a child, I don’t have it.

I am so tired; I am so tired of being looked at like I am an alien or something other than or less than human when I answer the question “What would you name your baby” with “I want dogs and goats and a garden.” I’ve pitied stares, raised eyebrows, and the occasional disappointed look.

It is not a woman’s duty to push a human out of her vagina.

I’m a little disappointed myself, if I’m being honest. No, I’m not disappointed with not wanting to have a baby, but with this society we’ve bred in which birthing and rearing a human supposedly bring every single person a feeling of fulfillment. It might make some feel whole, it may give some people a sense of purpose, and even bring them this sense of joy they’ve never felt before. However, I think that it is okay if you don’t think you should have a baby. I think it’s okay if you don’t want to raise a child.

I think if you want to travel and write and go on spur-of-the-moment moves from town to town, and if you think a child isn’t part of the plan, then that’s perfectly fine. I wish that babies weren’t still part of this unwritten rule of a woman’s density that I didn’t have any part in writing. Women should write their own future. It should not be decided when a girl is born that in approximately 25 years that she will have a child of her own. If that’s what she wants, then that’s what she has the ability to do, but it is not a necessity.

I’m not saying that things never change and that what I want now is a want forever. I don’t want a baby now, but I may in the future. My friends think that babies are the cutest; they’ve made Pinterest boards about them, they enjoy working at their church’s nursery, and they like babysitting. I happen to like writing, reading, and dogs, and I think babies are incredibly strange. Honestly, I’ve never been able to picture myself with a child. This is much like how some of my friends aren’t able to picture their future without one. I think that’s fine, but I think that’s fine because that is their choice.

The documentary First Comes Love helped me to understand all of this. I can only completely comprehend what I know, but I will try to understand all that I am given the tools to. It helped me realize that I don’t want a baby and that that’s okay. The documentary showed one woman and her desire to give birth to, and to raise, a child. It showed the length she was willing to go through, and the raw emotion encompassing her journey, to achieve what she wanted most in the world: a baby. However, it also showed her friends who didn’t have kids and were happy—off living fulfilled lives. I was shown women who, like the documentary’s director, turned to in-vitro fertilization in her want to have a baby.

I think the fact that science has come this far is fantastic. I also think that the fact that contraceptives have come this far is equally amazing. This shows me that, as a woman, I have freedom. I may not have freedom from expectations or the desires of the masses, but I have freedom within my own body and within myself. It is not to the point where I have to have a baby—it’s just something that will a few startle people when I say I don’t want to.

Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.