Women Are Not Required to Have Children

I’ve never wanted children. I don’t now and I never will.

For some reason this fact upsets people and they always try to argue with me about it. Let me just go ahead and tell you what not to say when a woman says that she doesn’t want to have children:

  • Don’t say that!
    • How about you not tell me what to do
  • Oh you just haven’t met the right person yet
    • Meeting someone isn’t going to make me want a baby, what kind of dumbass logic is that?
  • You’ll change your mind
    • No. I won’t. And if I do it will be my choice, not someone else trying to make a decision for me
  • But what if your future husband wants kids?
    • It’s not the fucking 1920s. I’m a grown ass woman and I make my own decisions. I’m not going to marry someone who doesn’t respect my choices or my body
  • You’ll regret this
    • Nope, I’m pretty happy with my decision
  • But you haven’t lived until you have kids
    • It’s sad that you feel that way. Your quality of life shouldn’t be dependent on other people
  • But what woman doesn’t want children??
    • Plenty, actually. Just because you disagree doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. Again my quality of life is not dependent on being a mother and neither is my womanhood.

The fact that I don’t want children does not mean that I hate them. Many people will constantly try to frame it that way, but that’s not the case. I love when family members have babies, and I will gladly babysit when my friends have kids. I can be happy for them without wanting that for myself. And yes, I know that I would make a good mother. Quite frankly, my own childhood along with playing a large role in my younger brothers’ upbringing has taught me a lot about parenthood. Believe me, I know that being a parent is no small feat and I respect moms. Especially the single and stay at home ones but again, that doesn’t mean I have to want to be one too.

People don’t understand how much of a struggle it is to be a woman who doesn’t want kids. I emphasize identifying as a woman because if a man doesn’t want children people don’t seem to fight them as much. But some of you want to be stuck in the 1920s and reduce our entire existence to simply being mothers and quite frankly y’all need to cut it the fuck out.

Take my most recent relationship for example. I know that not wanting children isn’t a popular opinion. So two weeks into the relationship, I let my ex know that. I said, “I don’t want kids. I’m not going to change my mind. I don’t want this to be an issue later so if you’re not okay with that you need to tell me now.” Could I have been any clearer? I mean, really? Anyway, he said he was okay with it and that he understood. For the next few months, I kept asking because I wanted to be sure. After about 6 months I finally thought, “great, we’re on the same page. I don’t have to worry about this anymore.”

OF FUCKING COURSE, I COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG

Months later, I come home from work one day and something is clearly off. He’s being really mopey, not making eye contact, but when I ask him whats wrong, he won’t tell me. Finally he decides to tell me the truth. He actually does want kids. Actually he said, “I always wanted kids, I just thought I could change your mind.”

Yeah, you read that correctly.

Fuck the fact that I said I 1. Did not want them 2. Would not change my mind and 3. Didn’t want to have this conversation later, he decided that he didn’t care about what I wanted and that he would just get want he wants anyway regardless of what that would mean for me.

It’s one thing if he had thought he didn’t want kids and then realized he did later, but that was not the case. He knew that he wanted kids from the very beginning and instead of telling me the truth the dozens of times that I asked, he lied. Every single time. Over and over again. For months.

Of course, by this point we were already living together so seriously fuck my life. And also, why even ask me to move in when you knew I still didn’t want kids?

This ended up leading to a huge argument. I tried to explain to him that this whole scenario – aside from being lied to – really upset me because it was already hard enough to not want kids in this world. It’s a constant argument and people are always making it seem like I need to justify my choice to them because they can’t fathom it. I explained that some people – complete strangers – will start an argument with me, telling me that I’m missing out and that I’m making a mistake. I told him this and instead of listening and recognizing his own role in this that he tried to make it seem like I was in the wrong, and that I was being dramatic. He even went so far as to try to make it seem that I went out of my way to let people know that I don’t want kids and start an argument with them.

That’s not the case. I don’t have this conversation with people unless I’m prompted to. Someone will ask if I have any or if I want them and I’ll tell them no. Typically that’s what sparks all of the phrases that I listed at the beginning.

Take this conversation for example… I posted a picture of a baby onesie on facebook and tagged my cousin who recently had a baby. The onesie had a funny saying about babies waking up in the middle of the night and preventing parents from sleeping. And then this happened:

Extended family member: Be ready, that’s all I’m saying

Me: lol I’m not having kids

Them: Yes you are! They are wonderful and amazing

Me: No I’m not. I don’t want to. I never have. It’s no one else’s decision but my own and I’ve made my choice

Them: We’ll see!

Me: Okay, all jokes aside. I am not having children. You don’t have to agree with it but I’m not asking for opinions. I don’t want children and that will never change.

After that, they didn’t respond. Bottom line: I only get mad when people try to tell me that I will have kids. I don’t care what your so called reasoning is, just don’t do it. I only told my ex because I knew that it would come up at some point. Like I said then, I wanted to address it early so that it wouldn’t be a problem later.

After the argument died down he suggested that we stick a pin in it for a year and talk about it then. I agreed.

I thought that what he meant was that we would both consider the alternative and then have a civilized discussion about it.

Wrong again.

What he really meant was that he hoped that in a year he could force me to change my mind. He had no intention of changing his. I didn’t realize this at first, but it started to become clear after a few months. He would talk about having a child more often. He would even try to bribe me, “Well what if I buy your dream house and it has a library?”

At some point during our many discussions he said that not having kids is “a life where I shoot myself at 40.” To be honest, that hurt. Not only did he make it clear that he would never be satisfied with just me in his life, he made it seem that if this happened it would be my fault because I didn’t give him what he wanted. On the night that we finally broke it off he told me that there was something wrong with me and that I was “heartless.”

What’s ironic about this is that he used the phrase “your body your choice” constantly, almost as a joke but he clearly has no idea how important that phrase is. Not only because he’s never needed to apply it to himself, but I honestly don’t think he cares.

One thing that always bothered him was that when he asked me why I didn’t want kids I didn’t always have an answer and sure there are a few things that have helped solidify my choice. Many women in my family have had miscarriages and that’s not something I ever want to deal with. Some of those same women (including my mother) have had to have hysterectomies. I also have thyroid issues which could potentially make carrying a child difficult. On top of that pregnancy scares the fuck out of me and I never EVER want to experience childbirth.

All of those things have had a small role in my decision but even if you put all of that aside, I still don’t want kids.

After we broke up and I had to tell my family and friends, one person’s response was, “well are you sure?” Yes. Do not ever ask me that again. Another response was, “not even one?” WTF? You’re not asking me if I want a drink or a cookie. We’re talking about a child. A life long commitment. One that I do not want.

One thing that I’ve noticed through all of this is that a lot of men seem to feel entitled to children. They think that whichever woman they choose will just have children for them, but they never think about how that affects us. I don’t think that many people really think about the stress that pregnancy puts on a woman’s body. The pain of childbirth, or the fact that it actually takes years for the body to fully heal from having a baby. I think that alone is a part of the problem.

To finally answer the question of why I don’t want kids, the answer is fairly simple: Because I fucking don’t.

I’m not asking for your opinion because I don’t give a shit. I don’t need your approval because you don’t get a say. Just because I have a uterus, does not mean that I have to have children. Just because someone else has kids, doesn’t mean that I will too.

If you have an issue with that answer, too fucking bad, Get over it.


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About Bookmark Chronicles

Hi! I'm Rae. 25. Avid Reader. Book Blogger. Intersectional Feminist. Gryffinclaw. Coffee & Tea Lover.
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36 Responses to Women Are Not Required to Have Children

  1. Thank you for this post! I’m also pretty confident that I don’t want kids and it’s so annoying when people think they can change your mind about it. I’ve been saying I don’t want kids since I was about 14, I had to volunteer with kids for a school thing and I just hated every second of it. Pregnancy and childbirth also freak me out and I want to be a journalist, hopefully one that travels quite a lot, so kids don’t really fit into that either. I’m just not a kid person and whilst I’d be quite happy to be an aunt where you can give the kids back, I don’t want them around me 24/7! My friends joke that I will probably be the first to have kids because I’m so adamant about not wanting them and it’s really annoying!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Sakhile says:

    It’s actually annoying when people try to force their opinions on something so permanent. Children aren’t something to have just because someone in the relationship wants one or your parents want to be grandparents. I’m Zimbabwean so not having a child at my age is viewed as a huge failure as a woman. But I’m not there yet and I don’t want to bring a life in this world to please other people. I tell my parents to have more children whenever they start complaining about not being grandparents.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. It makes me so mad when people come up with phrases like that. They are basically telling me that I’m not entitled to have my own opinion and that they know me better than I know myself. When it comes to other topics, nobody would ever dare to act like that, but when it’s about children it’s obviously okay to talk to somebody like that.
    I don’t question anybody’s decisions in life, so why do people feel the need to criticise mine?
    I know that I am still fairly young, but when I think about my future kid’s just don’t pop up. There’s nothing bad about that.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. thingscarlaloves says:

    Reblogged this on Things Carla Loves and commented:
    Fuckin’ aye

    Liked by 3 people

  5. thebookcorps says:

    This is such a great post, Rae. I’m so sorry what you went through with your ex. You are not heartless and there’s nothing wrong with you just because you don’t want kids. Who even thinks like that? And the fact that you mentioned your decision multiple times and he just assumed you’d change your mind? I don’t get it.

    I also get so angry when people bring up “Not even one?” like you mentioned. Ummmmmmmmm its a child? Not a fucking pet fish? You have to take care of it for years and years, physically, emotionally and financially — it’s a lot of work and even if it’s “just one” doesn’t mean its easy. And a woman should never have to put herself through that if she doesn’t want to, or just because her partner or society expects it of her.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Laura ❤ I really appreciate that, the funny thing is even though he admitted that what he did wasn't fair, he still makes it seem like I wronged him and he's a victim. It makes no sense.

      And yes! This is a life we're talking about. A human child. It's a very big deal!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Ariel Lynn says:

    OK, first off, I haven’t said I love you enough lately. You are a fantastic person & no matter how often you hear that, it is not enough!

    Second off, there’s nothing wrong with you. Your ex, on the other hand, sounds emotionally abusive af. I don’t mean to armchair diagnose, but that stuff about hurting himself to get you to do something you clearly didn’t want, that would tie you to him forever, eeehhh. It just gave me a sinking feeling in my stomach.

    Thirdly, these people asking you – us, really, because I had it happen to me so many times, I wanna spit with anger – how you sure, how you know, blah blah blah. Eventually, it gets to a point when you gotta use the same tactics on people who discount other’s sexual orientations – “Well, how do you know you do want kids?” Typically, like with heterosexuality, the answer is, “Oh, I just KNEW!” Smile, nod, & say, “so do I.”

    It doesn’t always work. Many people just can’t wrap their heads around someone else’s truth being different from their own. But, it does make them turn red & stammer, which is also a pretty amusing way to end an argument.

    Fourth, I have some good(ish?) news: People do eventually stop asking! At least, they stop asking as much, I should say. I’m entering my mid-30s & that question isn’t really an issue now. If it were, I’m probably at the point where I’d just laugh my a** off.

    Fifth, you know what else is “wonderful and amazing?” Having disposable income. Being able to sleep late on weekends. TRAVELING. More space for books! Pets. Spending time with the children of your family… then giving them back full of sugar when they get fussy. I’m pretty sure the last point is why so many people want Grandkids.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love you, Ariel. Thank you for that, I really needed it.
      Thankfully, the emotional abuse was not a constant in our relationship, it only started happening the last 2 weeks/as I was moving out which is also a part of the reason that I left.
      Hahaha I will have to try that sometime and see how it goes.
      the people who are closest to me finally get it. I think at first they thought it was a phase but now they understand and accept that it’s just not what I want. when my mom found out about all of this she was the most supportive (and pissed) which I really appreciated.
      Ugh tell me about it. Work already prevents me from reading as much as I would like. If I’m going to choose between books and diapers/college tuition/financial support for eternity…..I choose books 😉

      Like

      • Ariel Lynn says:

        Aw!! I’m glad I could offer you what you needed.

        I’m very thankful that the emotional abuse wasn’t constant too. I’m also glad that you left when you saw it starting.

        Yeah, I’ve noticed parents can be a bit confusing at times when it comes to their children not having children. My Dad really didn’t seem to care; he’s quite happy to love my cat(s). He even got a magnet for his car that says “I ❤ My Grandcats." LOL

        I'm with you on "books before babies." If that makes me a terrible person, so be it. This terrible person is gonna have an amazing library and/or reading nook. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      • Omg that’s so cute! I can’t wait to have my own little fur baby again. My pup is old (he’ll be 11 next month)

        LOL I need that on a shirt “books before babies” so damn true!! My stepmother has already promised me another bookshelf when I move because I filled up the first so quickly. Can’t wait 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ariel Lynn says:

        You’re gonna make a great fur baby Mama. I actually just got a jersey-style shirt from Target that says “Fur Baby Mama.” I wore it with some cat ears on Halloween. LOL 😸

        If you find somewhere selling a shirt with “books before babies,” let me know! I’ll be buying a few myself & some dear friends of the same mindset. 😁

        Your stepmother rocks! Can’t go wrong with another bookshelf!!! 📓 📔 📒 📕 📗 📘 📙 📚 📖

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you!!! Hahaha I need that shirt!!!
        I will definitely let you know if “books before babies” exist somewhere…it probably does
        Right? Can’t wait for my new bookshelf. So many more books to buy!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ariel Lynn says:

        I Googled it – there aren’t any “Books Before Babies” shirts. Not yet. I’m sure we could make a fortune if we designed it. 😉

        Until then, there’s this (also available in “Books Before Dudes;” it seems appropriate to me & perhaps fitting in your situation): https://teespring.com/shop/TalesBeforeMales?aid=marketplace&tsmac=marketplace&tsmic=search#pid=95&cid=6257&sid=front

        SEND BOOK PICTURES!!! NERD P0RN! LOL 🤓

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Ariel Lynn says:

    Reblogged this on Writing Radiation and commented:
    Don’t question women when they say they don’t want kids. We know better than you.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. darthtimon says:

    I think a lot of people – especially people who aren’t parents – have zero idea of the mental and physical toll it takes on a person – especially women, given the physical strain of pregnancy *and* the expectations of motherhood. It’s hardly fair to ask a woman to give up her ambitions and desires to satisfy someone else’s wants.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. darthtimon says:

    Reblogged this on Coalition of the Brave and commented:
    Damn straight.

    Liked by 1 person

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  11. Hugs to you, darlin (and everyone else in the same boat). I’m in an odd position where maybe only my best friend bugs me about kids, but it’s mostly in jest. She knows me well enough that she wouldn’t push me to hurry up and do something I’m clearly not ready for yet (at least, regarding kids, because she has 3 of her own, so she doesn’t wanna do the pot-kettle thing).
    I wouldn’t mind kids, I like kids, but right now, there’s no way in hell I’d have a kid. I haven’t dated in years and I make so little I can barely take care of myself, let alone another life that’s totally dependent on me. My dogs are expensive enough with food and vet visits.
    And while I think that “at least I know what NOT to do” to raise kids, I have had precious little experience with what I should do to raise a great human being. I can’t remember the good things in my own childhood, good ideas to fall back on. I just don’t have many good examples in my own life to follow, and therefore, am very uncertain and scared about the possibility of having kids.
    But one thing I’m sure of–a man who doesn’t want kids is not a dealbreaker to me, and a woman who doesn’t want kids shouldn’t be a dealbreaker to a man. The hypocrisy is ridiculous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that’s another thing. People will try to force a single woman to have a child when they have no idea what other expenses she has which quite frankly is another reason to tell people to back off and mind their own damn business.
      I see what you’re saying and I agree but this wasn’t just about dealbreakers. He lied. For over a year. There’s a big difference there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s the worst part of your story, I thought. Well…second worst. The first worst part was when he thought he could make you change your mind. That’s not too far from abuse, and he was certainly abusing your trust.

        Like

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