Having the Right to NOT Procreate
Though it isn't the first time it's been asked to me, I still give the same puzzled and confused look when I give the them the same answer over and over: No, I don't want kids. I should not only be tired of answering and explaining myself but also giving the same expression. Perhaps it's because in 2015, I'm still shocked at people expecting me to have kids.
I've always been on the fence about kids and being someone's mom. Most times I tend to forget that a lot of my friends are currently mothers and bless their hearts. Because honestly, I'm not sure if that's path for me.
When I was younger, I definitely wanted kids. I had names for them and everything. I had wanted somewhere between 3-5 kids. I think that was because I was an only child. But I also think it was something I was supposed to do. I was supposed to get married. I was supposed to have kids. I was supposed to want that "American Dream" of a family, house, and a white picket fence. Well guess who woke up from that hand me down dream?
At 16, I made the firm decision that I was not having kids and I relayed this declaration to my relatives. I had explained that my future career wouldn't allow me to be the mom I would like to be and if I had to choose, I'm choosing a career. During the time of this revelation, I had wanted to be a CEO of an international company; something that would require a lot of hours and a lot of travel. I didn't see how having kids would fit. I didn't see how having a husband would fit. I wanted a thriving a career. A family was optional. That and I wasn't too keen on having something growing inside of me.
Somewhere in my early twenties I had lifted the reins a bit and started backpedaling on my declaration. I started getting baby fever out of nowhere. I would see cute little brown babies and instantly wanted one. Names started coming into my head again and that childhood dream of having a husband and kids was resurfacing. I want one now, I thought to myself. Then my best friend(s) got pregnant and suddenly, I was no longer interested.
I know there are highs and lows to being a mother and I witness that first hand with my best friend. I know she loves having her son and being called mom. I know she secretly loves that her child is exactly like her, something I predicted would happen long before conception. But I know of her frustrations whether she voices them or not. I see how hard she tries to keep it together, to keep food on the table, to keep a roof over their head. I see her frustrations when her son doesn't listen and tests her patience. But I don't think she would change it for the world. Me? I just don't think I'm built for that.
When people ask why, I usually give them a half ass answer: I have no desire to. But I do have reasons beyond that, two reasons as a matter of fact: I'm selfish and don't want that lifetime responsibility. There are definitely other factors such as the possibility of being a single mother, my own personal experiences growing up, the constant worrying, and of course finances. Having and raising a child is expensive. And I'm pretty cheap so...
When I did want to become a mother, I wanted to be better than what my mother was and is to me. But I guess that's every mother's goal right?
You see for me, it was the MAIN goal. Though the relationship I have with my mother is okay--and just okay--I do wish my childhood was different. I do wish that my father was more active in my life or at least attempted to be. I do wish my mother wasn't always at work so I wasn't left home alone majority of the time. I do wish (sometimes) I had real siblings that I would be able to spend time with and create memories. I do wish my mother was emotionally available. Maybe our relationship would've been way better if she just would've checked in. Now that I'm 25, I'm not sure what to make of it. I love my mother but sometimes I'm not sure if I like her. And to be honest, I'm starting to resent her a bit for my past, present, and potential future. I probably need therapy for that last bit alone.
But I don't want my child to go to therapy because of me. I don't want my child to legit hate me. I don't want my child to have an emotionally unstable mother. They deserve more and I've already checked out.
However, though I have legit reasons, if I simply just didn't want to give birth that should be okay too. Actually, it is okay. As women, we are more than just our uterus. We are allowed to not have kids. We are allowed to wait a little longer to settle down. We are allowed to do what we want whether that is to be a stay at home mom, be childless, or to be a working mother. We're allowed to do what we want dammit!
I've always been okay with just having pets or being a permanent cat lady. And if you read the countless articles, apparently people (mainly women) who want pets are still having some parental urges. Maybe they're right. But there is a big difference between raising a pet and raising a child. For starters, one is cheaper. Just saying.
Despite my earlier grievances in this post, I will say that I'm no longer fully against kids. At this point, I'm more against having them if I'm not married and stable. And that's no shade to the single mothers out there, that's just MY preference. But I do know marriage isn't always forever and at any given moment I could end up being a single mother and that's one of my biggest fears. But I'm focusing on the positive, you know husband, family, house, that American Dream shit.
I guess I feel that if I'm with the right person and deeply in love, I would want nothing more than to create life with that person. Create something that is apart of both us. Create something in which we can say "We did that." But until then, I'm forever a cat (or dog) lady.
I do wonder why men never get hit with these questions. *side eye*