By Jessica Wendland
Photo by Lindy May Photography
“You’re in your mid 30s and you don’t have kids?!”
“You’ve been with your husband THAT long and don’t want any babies?!”
“You’ll never understand REAL love until you have a child.”
To answer these questions and statement: no, no and I guess not.
I don’t hate kids. I don’t force my own opinions on people with kids. I don’t mind most kids at all. I do understand what it feels like to love someone else unconditionally with my whole heart (that’s why I married him). I do understand that having children could be the most fulfilling thing my husband and I could ever do for ourselves, but I would rather explore the countless other options life presents me.
“That’s so selfish of you.”
I tell people I’m choosing not to have any kids, because I don’t like the fact that there are so many children in foster care who don’t have parents or a home. I wouldn’t deny that child a chance at a decent life because I chose to have a child with my DNA instead. This isn’t what people want to hear, but they can usually accept my humility and leave the subject alone.
Really, the thought of being pregnant just doesn’t appeal to me. I am not hardwired with the desire to be a mother.
I’m nowhere close to being independently wealthy, and kids are a HUGE financial obligation. Living in one of the most expensive areas in the country, I enjoy traveling and having the financial freedom to go without anything holding me back.
This was a well thought out decision my husband and I discussed a long time ago. Maybe we are selfish. We aren’t done devoting our time and energy to each other yet. We realize the relationships we make are “family” to us and it doesn’t have to be the ones we’re born with.
“First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage.”
I’ve had many conversations with young women who are excited to get married and have babies, to live in their houses in the suburbs with white picket fences. The American Dream, right?
Are we hanging on to the notion that if you do things in this order, life will be perfect? Maybe in post-war 1950 this was the case, but it’s now 2018 and life can be a bit more complicated.
I think everyone wants to leave a lasting contribution to society and, for most that means children. I want to contribute more. I have the ability to do what I love because of my choice to be childfree.
I’m not advocating for or against children; I just don’t have – or want – any of my own.
Some of us struggle with infertility, some have health issues that we don’t want to pass on, and some of us might not like kids at all.
Whatever the reason, please leave the judgment behind. There’s nothing wrong with us. We are people, with feelings. We don’t have kids, and it’s okay.