Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Wednesday Whine | My Views on Having Children

I'd like to talk to you today about children. At the moment I don't seem able to turn around without bumping into a friend or colleague's vastly expanded tummy. Pregnant people are suddenly EVERYWHERE.

I think my 22 year old self would be a little disappointed that I'm 30 and still have no desire to procreate. Sure, there are times when I see a baby gurgle, or a toddler smile and I think "maybe..." but those moments are fleeting and are quickly replaced by the realisation that I am far too selfish to have children. I have finally reached a point in my life where my job has the potential to become more than just a job, and I have the opportunity to really develop a career.

I'm not saying that being a parent is not a wonderful and joyous thing, but I like to sleep when I like, get up when I like and be answerable only to myself. I can barely muster the effort required to keep my household running now, and there are only two adults and two dogs. I'll often go for two weeks without doing any washing (shocking eh! I can hear some of you fainting with disbelief and/or disgust right now!) and I'm not really sure if I've ever cleaned some of the windows in my house (which is slightly disconcerting given that we've lived here for over six years!)
The reason I was prompted to write about this issue is because a guy at work was perplexed at the notion that I didn't already have three sprogs because, as he put it, I'm "getting on a bit"! He even went as far as to point out how women's fertility declines as they get older, as if newspaper articles and helpful programmes such as The Sex Education Show haven't already done a good enough job of scare-mongering! I was quite offended when I was asked why I don't have children. It's a rude and insensitive question; what if I can't have children? What if I have been trying for the past ten years without success? People need to be more mindful before asking such personal and probing questions.

The fact is, I am just about managing to take care of myself; I have three baskets full of clothes waiting to be ironed (a sure sign that I'm not mother material!), I sometimes forget to feed myself at regular intervals and only yesterday I discovered three pairs of slippers under the bed with at least a years worth of dust. Ewww! How could I possibly bring up a child?! I've been told not to worry, that I'll quickly adapt and learn the tricks of the trade - I'll become less selfish, I'll become better at managing my time, I'll work out how to do six washing loads a day and still have time to bake cakes with little Johnny.

But the fact of the matter is I DON'T WANT CHILDREN! I have absolutely no desire to be a mother, and I wish other people would accept that. Despite what my ever multiplying grey hair suggests, 30 is not old! I am still young and there is plenty of time to have children, should I so desire them in the future. I see no point at all in having children only to end up resenting their existence (no matter how many parents will gasp in shock, there are people who resent becoming parents, just Google it if you don't believe me!)

I must admit though, I do have the odd maternal urge - and I find that the urge is satisfied completely with a few hugs from the dogs. Awww.

9 comments:

  1. Agreed! I'm younger so I get less questions at the moment. More of the 'it will be you soon' with added creepy smiles. People sure need to mind their own. Fabulous piece.

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  2. Thank you :-) There are a lot of people who think women's only purpose is to have children!

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  3. It's nice to know I'm not the only person who feels this way x

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    1. I've spoken to quite a few people who agree, and the funny thing is, some of them are parents themselves!

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  4. I cannot believe that someone was so insensitive as to say that to you! As you said, imagine how awful it would have been if you couldn't have children. But more importantly, your uterus and it's goings on are none of his bloody business! Some people need hobbies!

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    1. Thanks Kate. I think some people are confused when a woman wants to be more than a baby making machine! :(

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  5. As I'm a new reader I've just come across this post but I totally agree with you! I honestly, don't think you can win when it comes to when you want to have children, or if you want to have children. Want to have your kids in your early 20's? the response is that you must be mad and your relationship/marriage will never last and you're giving up your life too soon! want to have them in your mid-late 20s? lots of people have only just gotten into jobs they want or started out in a career they want, so then there 'not established enough'...it just goes on and on! you're always either too old or too young it seems as a woman! I think it's a little different for men, but for women it seems you just never win! xxx

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    1. You're so right - my husband has never been asked if he plans on having children!

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  6. Only just come across this post due to the link in your 1 year post. I can't believe someone stopped talking to you because of this post. Everybody is entitled to make their own choice as to what they want to do with their lives including whether to have children or not! I think your decision not to have children (whether now or ever) shows you know your own mind and are not going to give in to the pressure of having children because A. You are a woman and B. You are a certain age and society expects it. Yes if you suddenly had your own child your views and feelings may well change ... but what if they didn't? Having children is a huge huge commitment and responsibility. Even for those that definitely want children it is both the best thing and the worst thing at the same time. The constant anguish of questioning if you are doing the right thing, if you are good enough and the guilt when you know you have got something wrong. It is bloody hard work! I have 3 children, I had my first at age 25 and although I wouldn't want to change my son in any way I do think I was too young. I had not done enough for myself yet and children are very restrictive both financially and practically. If I knew that Billy would still be Billy in hindsight I would have had him at least 5 years later. I have been ill both physically (with a chronic condition) and mentally for the past 16 years, worsening over the past 6 years and I constantly worry about the effect this is going to have of my children. Ignore external pressures. Live your own life, for as long as you and your partner do not want children, don't have them (you can't send them back!) if this turns out to be never then so be it xxx

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