Thursday, 10 January 2019

What It's Like To Never Want Children


The other day I was doing a Q&A on Instagram and a question popped up, "When are you going to have children?"

Surprisingly, it's never a question I've been asked on my platforms before, but I suppose now that I'm engaged it's one of those questions that I have to expect more often. I replied to it on my Insta Stories; "I actually never want children!" I wrote. Immediately, cue the influx of shocked DM's from people asking, "Why!?"

I think I should start by saying that I think the, "When are you going to have children?" question is one that needs to be eradicated anyway, for a number of reasons. I know it's often well-intentioned and people are just curious or expect that to be the next stage of somebody's life, but you never know what the person you're asking is going through. Some people want children more than anything but physically can't. A woman may have had a miscarriage that people didn't know about. Being asked this question can bring up so much sadness for them.

Generally, when people find out that I have no desire to have children at all their reaction is worse because it's almost as though I don't have 'an excuse'. And people will automatically try to convince me that I'm wrong, that I'll change my mind or I'll have an empty life without children.

I'd like to say to these people, you're wasting your breath. I'm not going to change my mind.


Not that I need to give reasons, but I do have them. For one, I've never felt any kind of maternal instinct towards children or babies. I could see someone's new baby and feel literally nothing. No desire to hold them or coo over them. This is probably the biggest issue for me. The response for this is normally, "But it'll be different when it's your own". But if I'm honest, I'm not sure it would be. When I see a puppy or a kitten I have that overwhelming feeling of love but children? Nothing.

I have other reasons too, but they're often met by people telling me that I'm selfish for not wanting children and rather focusing on my own life and dreams. And sometimes I really feel selfish too. Thinking about the fact that my mum will never have grandchildren because of this, or Tom will never be a dad. I often feel overwhelmingly guilty about it all.

For some people, being a mum is their dream and that's fantastic! For me, my dream is to see the world, go on adventures and do everything I've ever wanted to do. Not that you can't do all those things with children, but for me having them would very much restrict what I want to do with my life.

I know for some people my reasoning still isn't enough. Unfortunately in society we are taught that the order of things is to meet a man, get married and have a baby and so everyone expects you to do those things in that particular order. But there is no real order. As they say, you do you boo!

If you don't want children, it's not selfish and it's not weird. It's just not the path you want to follow. I also don't want to be an accountant but I don't receive messages asking when my accounting career is going to start!

I'd love to know if any of you have no desire to have children and face a similar kind of response. x

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