- Gender and Relationships
Should You Feel Bad For Not Wanting Kids?
If every woman wanted to have a baby (or several) we would be way overpopulated...
Contrary to belief, the natural urge to have children isn't embedded in every woman. Some women don't ever want to have a baby or children in their life. Yes, there are more women who want children than not, however, should a woman feel bad for not wanting them?
It's interesting how shocking it is for people when they find out that someone they know doesn't want to have children. Are they crazy? Good grief, children aren't for everyone. Some women don't want to be pregnant (ever)—and have no emotional connection or desire for any part of pregnancy. Period. Other women don't like children—yes, I said it out loud, but it's true, children can be annoying to some people. And there are women who like children and are OK dating a guy with children—having them around on a full-time or for some—part-time basis. Whatever the "reasoning," a woman shouldn't have to feel the need to give one or feel guilty for her decision.
I can't tell you how often I get the look of disproval for not wanting to have kids. Again, not sure why that seems to be so shocking. Although I'm sure people aren't trying to be rude when they respond upon hearing my upsetting news (not for me, but apparently for them), however, at times their responses seem rudely questionable:
- "YOU don't want to have children?"—no matter how they emphasize the "you" it still doesn't change how I feel
- "Is it because you can't have kids?"—I have never tried to have kids so who knows for sure
- "You REALLY don't want to have kids??"—Again, NO I don't
- "But, having children is so rewarding..."—I'm sure it is, however not for me
- "Don't you want to leave a legacy?"—there is no guarantee of that, unfortunately kids can die before their parents
- "You have great genes, don't you want to pass them on?"—thank you, however I'm not that vain to have kids just to pass on my genes.
- "You're not THAT old, women your age are still having kids."—thank you (I think) but I still don't want kids.
Instead of judging and pressuring those who don't want to have kids we should focus more energy on helping those who do, especially women who have a difficult time conceiving or who can't conceive at all. God made us individuals for a reason and part of that is having the ability to make our own choices.
Honestly, I don't know why people make such a big deal out of a woman choosing not to procreate. Again, having a baby and being pregnant is not for everyone—including myself. Don't get me wrong, I think that motherhood is truly amazing and there are many women who connect with the process—I wouldn't be here if my mother didn't. I also have a huge admiration for all mothers—carrying a baby for almost ten months, giving birth, and parenting is an extremely hard and commendable job, which I definitely recognize. Also, just because a woman doesn't want to procreate, doesn't necessarily mean that she doesn't like kids or want them in her life to some degree.
I have a lot of nieces and nephews and I love them all dearly. I also have many, many friends that have children and I have dated several men with kids—although personally, I prefer dating men who have kids that are walking, talking and more or less self-sufficient. Babies are cute but I have never smelled a baby and had that moment of wanting one. I love being around kids but I also enjoy having lots of "me" time.
When you have kids— although there is great joy—there is also a great deal of self-sacrifice. From the help of my friends who are parents, here are some things that are sacrificed:
- Sleep—many babies have a hard time sleeping through the night and once they are children you have activities and homework that can run late—sleep becomes less and sleeping in—what's that?
- Freedom—everything revolves around your kids
- Sex—finding the time is hard when you have kids because you're tired all the time or busy with the kids
- Time—driving the kids everywhere—schools, kids’ activities, play dates, school obligations, etc.
- Energy—you're going, going, going so much that by early evening you are EXHAUSTED!
- Money—it takes a lot of money to raise a kid—and more kids... even more money
- Free time—time for you to workout or to spend time with friends lessens
- Relaxation—without ANY interruption—rarely happens
- Vacations—don't typically occur as often or for some people not at all
- Conversations—interrupted by kids constantly can be frustrating
- Where you live—typically determined by the kids needs and specific school districts
- Late night outings—with kids, they rarely exist
- Romantic getaways—not as frequent, especially if you don't have family close by to babysit or a babysitter you trust who's available
- Stress—your stress level increase because it's a huge responsibility raising kids
- Drinking—alcohol increases (although this might not sound like a bad thing) it is for your liver
Having children can have many rewards, it's just not for everyone. People should be respected for their decision to not procreate. Choosing not to have kids doesn't make you less of a woman or less of a human.
Ladies, if your internal clock is not ticking to have children that's OK and there is nothing you should feel bad or ashamed about. And the same is true for men—if you don't want kids, then that's your personal decision. No one needs parenthood forced upon them. Ultimately, it is your body and it is your personal choice. It's not selfish either. Selfish is having kids you don't want and then neglecting them. It is perfectly acceptable to love children yet not raise any of your own. Luckily, you can find a compatible child-free companionship if that's what you desire.
Bottom line...make certain you are both honest and open about your choices at the beginning of the relationship so you are on the same page. If having kids together is ruled out, and you both agree on the same values and life goals, then pregnancy is one less dilemma you will have to face as a couple. Parenting isn't for everyone. Live the life that's right for YOU.