Sadly, there are many women out there who either aren’t in a position to have children or maybe for medical reasons they aren’t able to conceive, but so desperately desire to be a mother. I can only speak from an outsider looking in, and not experience, but this must be crushing.
I write this wanting to discuss the reasons why it’s actually normal to not want to bring children into this world. If you don’t want to be a parent then you can repeatedly find yourself in difficult conversations with other family members or acquaintances when they ask you the dreaded question “So, do you want children?” and you reply with a big, fat “No”.
*Raises eyebrows* “But why not?”
Am I selfish for not wanting Children?
Most certainly not! It’s your body, your money, your time and the biggest reason, your life. If you would rather spend your life doing exactly what you, and maybe your partner, want to do and not have to think about another human then why should an eyebrow be raised at that decision? I’m actually really happy with the way my life is going right now. The normal ups and downs occur but hey, that’s life. Why should I, or any other woman, be made to feel that a child will only enhance our lifestyle and not alter it for the worse? Stand proudly by your right to do what you like with your own womb.
“You’ll change your mind eventually” is a common response when declaring you don’t want to be a mother. Why should we have to change our minds? It’s as though society cannot separate women from motherhood. Being confident in your decision can make you seem harsh, or selfish, but up to now there is no evidence to suggest being a parent makes you more selfless.
If I had a pound…
…for the amount of times I’ve heard someone say “I love my kids but if I had my time again I wouldn’t have them” then I think my piggy bank would be overflowing right now.
Working as a personal trainer for the last 10 years has exposed me to a notable amount of people who would love to prioritise their personal fitness goals but are unable to because they have the commitment of children. Your own personal life seems to take a back seat and it seems to result in losing your identity.
Seeing the parents walk into my gym with bags under their eyes was an all too common sight and that’s if they actually made it through the door. Often a text message would be sent explaining that they couldn’t attend their session due to being awake for most of the night with their child.
I had many a conversation with men and women who obviously loved their children to the ends of the world but had they known it was going to be such hard work then they would have given it some serious consideration on whether it was the correct move.
With sleepless nights, constant worry, never ending stress, and the alarming amount of money they were complaining of laying out, why would I want to put myself in that predicament?
Let’s talk about the M word in context with having children
According to the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) the cost of raising a child (excluding childcare, council tax and housing) from birth to 18 is now £75,346 for a couple family and £102,627 for a single parent/guardian.
Add childcare into the mix and you’re talking £155,100 and £187,100!
From the “selfish” perspective it would mean giving up frequent travel, nice clothes, yoga membership and the comfort in knowing you could splash out on a massage every now and again. But actually looking at it from a sensible angle I would hazard a guess and say I couldn’t actually afford to bring a child into this world and provide it with absolutely everything it needed to thrive. Maybe when you’re put into that situation you find the fighting spirit inside yourself and make sure you cater for their every need?
Stand up for what you believe in and whats right for you
I guess, for me, I have different priorities such as travelling, exploring different career opportunities and enjoying the fulfilling sensation of complete freedom to do what I wish. I don’t feel as though I need to conform to the status quo but where my next path will take me intrigues me far more than having a child.
So next time someone questions your decision to remain childless, don’t feel bad about it. You are still normal, you are not selfish and you have as much love to give as everyone else.