If you’ve ever heard any of the following:
- “But WHY?!”
- “Oh but what about when you’re old, who’s gonna look after you?!”
- “Well why don’t you be a surrogate then, it’s a good way of making money!”
- “You could always adopt!”
- “But then your bloodline ends!”
- And the classic, “oh you’ll change your mind one day!”
…then it’s probably been in response to you saying something along the lines of “I don’t want kids”.
These are just some of the things people have said to me when I say I don’t want kids. Mostly women. From my experience, men don’t seem to care. But women seem to be obsessed with the idea of me being a parent, or even just putting my womb to use without the parenthood at the end of it. BECAUSE GOD FORBID A WOMB ISN’T USED, OR A WOMAN GOES HER WHOLE LIFE WITHOUT BEING CALLED MUM.
Honestly, it does my head in! I think it’s really rude, and I’ve had enough of it. So, I’m now going to go through answering these ridiculous questions and statements, and will direct whoever has the cheek to question me about my choice not to have a kid to this post.
“But WHY would you not want kids?!”
Why would you?! Imagine me actually asking someone that. Why do you want kids? Because I wonder it all the time. I absolutely can not get my head around wanting kids. I can’t think of many things less appealing to me. But I understand that to ask that would be rude. People can want what they want. So why is it considered acceptable to ask me why I DON’T want kids?
There is no part of me that sees ANY part of me being a parent in a positive light. I want my life to myself. I want to spend my money on myself. I want to spend my time doing what I want to do. I don’t like poo. I don’t like screaming children. I like sleeping. I like my life being exactly that – MINE. These are answers I’m giving because I’m being forced to, though. And I hate that. I hate that I’m forced into thinking of specific reasons, just so the interrogation will end. Because “I just don’t want kids” is never a good enough answer for people.
It almost gets to a point where I feel like I have to say all the things I don’t like about kids, or like I have to say I don’t like them. When actually, not wanting kids isn’t synonymous with not liking kids. They’re alright. I find them cute. & I’m not bad with them (except for the time I accidentally headbutted my friend’s 15 month old so hard he cried when I sneezed. But that’s not my point).
Plenty of people love kids, are amazing with kids, and still don’t want them. It’s not to do with not liking them, or having a very specific list of reasons. Although not liking them might be a reason too, and that’s completely valid! Any reason at all is valid, because it has nothing to do with anyone else. It’s as simple as this: I DON’T WANT CHILDREN. And that should be the only sentence necessary. I should not need to justify that.
“Who’s gonna look after you when you’re old if you don’t have kids?!”
I’m sorry, but if one of your reasons for having kids is because you expect them to look after you when you’re old, then you should probably reconsider whether you want a kid to bring a new life into the world, or so that you’ve got someone to wipe your arse when you’re older. It’s such a selfish thing to say. I actually can’t believe the amount of people who’ve said it to me. Who’s gonna look after me? Carers, perhaps? People whose job it is to do exactly that. To bring someone into the world so they can wipe your arse in return for you wiping theirs when they were a baby is just wrong. Don’ t be so selfish.
“But then your bloodline will end!”
This one is just weird. That’s the only word for it. Why on earth would I want my bloodline to carry on? For what purpose? So that when I’m dead and buried/burnt to smithereens, people can go “THANK GOD SHE CARRIED ON HER BLOODLINE, HOW WOULD THE HUMAN RACE HAVE CONTINUED IF SHE HADN’T HAD CHILDREN?”. I can’t even fathom how weird this one is, and quite frankly, I can’t even be arsed to explain why. Because it’s just ridiculous.
“You could always adopt!”
People say this when they think it’s my disability which makes me not want kids. Yes, pregnancy would be dangerous for me and my body wouldn’t be able to handle it, perhaps even deadly to me or the baby, but THIS ISN’T WHY I DON’T WANT KIDS. This is why I try to steer clear of telling people I can’t physically carry a baby. Because that’s when they go “ohhh okay, so you DO want kids, you just can’t? Why don’t you adopt then?!”. Or, why don’t YOU mind your own business? What is with people and their obsession with me being a mum?! I don’t want to be. That’s it. It’s got nothing to do with carrying a child. If I wanted a kid, I’d adopt. BUT I DON’T.
“Why not be a surrogate then?! It pays well!”
This comes from the people who don’t realise that I can’t carry a child, but to me that’s irrelevant anyway. How has it gotten to the point where people are so obsessed with me having a baby, that they’ll even be satisfied if I’m just using my womb to then not be a parent? To me, it’s a very weird thing to say to someone who doesn’t want kids and has shown no interest in being a surrogate. It’s basically saying, “I’m completely obsessed with the idea that if you have a womb, you MUST put it to use”. At that point, it’s not even about wanting me to experience parenthood. It’s about wanting me to experience pregnancy and to not “waste my womb”. Go away.
Just because you’ve got certain body parts or organs, doesn’t mean you need to use them. I’m not using my womb, you’re not using your brain. Simple.
And the classic, “oh you’ll change your mind one day!”
This is the one I hear the most. Why? Why are people so convinced that they know what I want better than I do? Why do people suddenly become psychic mind readers? Would anyone ever say this to someone when they say they DO want a kid? Or to someone who’s already got a kid? Of course they wouldn’t! Because it would be considered rude. But again, it’s perfectly acceptable to say it to someone who doesn’t.
I’m gonna start though. The next time someone tells me I’ll change my mind one day, I’m gonna say the same back. Can’t wait to say it someone who’s already one.
These are some of the things I’ve had said to me, in response to me vocalising that I don’t want kids. I’ve also heard people refer to it as “selfish”, and that’s one that doesn’t even deserve it’s own section. The stupidity of that one is too much for me to even comprehend.
There are plenty of reasons someone doesn’t want to have a kid. And they don’t need to explain or justify those reasons to anyone. Just like someone who does want them would never be expected to explain or justify why.
So, next time you’re a part of a conversation where someone says “yeah I don’t want kids”, rather than acting like they’ve just said they want to murder every child on the planet, and then expecting them to be part of an interrogation process where they try to get you to understand and accept why they don’t, just accept it like you would any other mediocre piece of information.
Still confused as to whether you should say something? Here’s my advice: don’t.
Photo by Mike Marquez on Unsplash.