On not wanting children.Posted: March 12, 2012
This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately – maybe because I’m about to turn 35, maybe because I doubt myself at times, maybe because I don’t have enough stress in my life?! At any rate, it’s been on my mind lately.
I don’t want kids. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE kids. I love my nephew like he is my own, and I love my friends’ kids like they are my own. In fact, my husband and I are the godparents to many of them!
I assumed that my mind would change as I got married/got older/watched friends have kids and that I would become a mom. My mind never changed! If I was sure of anything, it was that having children was not in my future. Luckily, my husband and I are on the same page. However, if I had married someone that thought it was important to have kids, I would have had them. We discussed kids at length before we got married – and we agreed.
I would guess that my main reason for not wanting children is that I feel like I raised my brother and sister. My mom died when I was 12. I had a younger brother and sister. I grew up very quickly. Dad did everything he could, but I put pressure on myself to help raise them the way my mom would have wanted them raised. I wrote about this a couple of years ago, and I’m guessing that my dad read it and got a little upset because I guess I made it sound like he did not do enough as a parent, that he put too much pressure on me to help him raise them – which could not be further from the truth! All four of us did what we had to do to survive without my mom. My dad did (and still does, to some extent) an excellent job with all of us – he lost his wife, we lost our mother. It was unfair, but it was life. We had to roll with it. And we did. And still do. So, Dad, if you’re reading this – I love you and thank you so much for being a great dad! I don’t know what I would do without you.
I don’t know if things would be different (kid-wise) if my mom were still around. Who knows, maybe I would have come to the same conclusion?
Another reason this has been on my mind is because at age 35, most OB/GYNs will take you seriously when you say you don’t want kids. This summer, I could have a procedure that would make me unable to get pregnant. Ever. That’s a big step. I’m about to begin researching it, checking with insurance, etc. Up until now, the stock answer is, “We won’t do the procedure unless you have already had children or are over 35.” Yep. Cool, huh? Not really.
Part of me feels really selfish for not having children when I am pretty sure I could easily do so. I have so many friends and relatives that are busting their asses to get pregnant — or are adopting due to infertility — and here I am, flaunting my probable fertile-ness. I’ve told my sister many times that she can have all of my reproductive organs – if there were such a transplant, I’d definitely do it for her! She probably doesn’t believe me, but I really would do it.
Then I realize that it would be selfish for me to have kids. I don’t have the means to give a child the life it deserves (although we would definitely make it work if something were to happen, of course), I don’t have the patience to be a 24/7 caregiver/mommy, and I (selfishly) enjoy my alone time. It helps that I can admit that, right?
Instead of having children of my own, I choose every single day to “adopt” the kids I know and love. These are my chosen kids and I would do anything for them. I’m Aunt Heather/Hedder/Hewwer/Feather, spoiler of children. I get so much love and joy from all the kids in my life. I get all the fun parts (well, most of the time). I can borrow a kid any time I need an excuse to go to the museum, the zoo, a kids’ movie, whatever. Kids are drawn to my husband as well. It’s really strange. We’re the couple that doesn’t want children, but the kids flock to us.
I’m okay with that 🙂