So, you don't want a baby.
I recently turned the big three-oh, and so have a lot of my friends. This age for women is very precarious, as this is when the heavy questions really hit you, in particular- when are you having a baby? Don't you know how hard it will be in your thirties?
It's such a tricky thing to ask someone, especially if they don't have a significant other... (I mean sure, rub it in their face a little more that A, they don't have a person, and B they don't have a family). It's not a fair question to ask, because I'm sure its something they ask themselves all the time and are probably quietly sad about. This article isn't about that aspect of being asked "when are you having a baby?" though. This is about asking the women (and men), why don't you want a baby?
I have a growing number of friends who have simply chosen not to procreate, for one reason or another. The reasons vary, but a common one that is brought up is I just don't want one... and people struggle with that as an answer. The mother in me screams to ask "BUT why don't you want one?"- When simply not wanting one, is a perfectly good reason not to bring a human into the world. I also have friends who genuinely LOVE their careers, LOVE their childless lives and the benefits it entails (FREEDDDDOOOMMMM, SLEEP, SANITYYYYY ETC).
Having a kid is so hard. It challenges you on every level, it makes you into a different person. The centre of the world shifts and your paradigm is forever changed. IN THE MOST EPIC WAY! I say that, not trying to rub it in the childless choosers faces, or to sound higher and mightier, but because it is true. It's the most pure and unselfish love you will ever know and I am so lucky to have Wylie. These things are true for me though, it may not be true for you. Parenthood is not compulsory. It's okay not to want fries with your burger and it's okay to not want a kid with your partner.
The solo warriors of the world embarking on this life without children sometimes find it frustrating constantly being asked "When are you having kids? What no kids?! Why?!" - I say to my solo ladies please, try and have patience with the people asking you. Its hard for a mother to comprehend why someone else wouldn't want kids after experiencing it and knowing how awesome it is. Don't think that the media and society is forcing you to have kids, just because they play nappy adds on tv, (its just that their target audience is usually up watching the tv breastfeeding). It's your choice, so stick by it and back your decisions. You do have people that care about you though and are genuinely interested in understanding why you don't want to have children.
And that brings me to the people asking the questions- it's okay to ask, but you must accept a persons choice to not want to have kids. It simply isn't for everyone. Embrace their choice and show them the love and respect they deserve for choosing a different path in life.
If you are someone who wants to ask the questions maybe think about how you phrase your question, instead of asking "When are you having kids?" try, "Do you see kids in your future?" or "Are children something you think about?" This will open the discussion up for an organic conversation.
At the end of the day, our planet is becoming less and less sustainable for our over growing population. So to the couples making the choice to bow out of parent hood this round. I support you!
Lots of Love, LB.