Are Babies the Next Logical Step?

EAK Photography

I’ve never been particularly maternal. It’s not that I don’t like children, but in all honestly I wouldn’t ever choose to be in a room with a load of them. In fact at my parent’s Jubilee party which was frequented by rather a lot of screeching neighbourhood rugrats, I spent then entire time cowered in the corner staring at my lap/my glass of champagne/the dry sausage rolls and hoping none of them would try to talk to me. It’s ironic really, I’m pretty outgoing with adults, but anyone under 12 and I don’t know what to do. I guess I’m scared I’ll make them cry… or I’ll accidentally drop the f-bomb and scar them for life or something.

Sure, there are some kids I like, I have a few friends who are fantastic Mothers and have gorgeous children who are actually pretty fun to hang out with (they also find me fascinating which is quite hilarious. I’m pretty sure they think I’m actually a real life My Little Pony). But as nice as it is to be adored by these select few, it’s also really nice when they go to bed and we can have a drink and talk about things that don’t involve CBeebies’ characters. On the flipside I have had friends who have swiftly become ex-friends once they started popping out sprogs. I don’t know if that’s my fault…or theirs… or a combination of the two… but either way it’s happened.

Gareth and I were out to dinner the other night as we started chatting about children. I’m sure he won’t mind me saying that he always said he wanted children, although recently he’s started to change his mind. As he’s got older and our life has got more comfortable, he’s ended up pretty happy with our little child-free set up. I wonder if he, like I, always assumed that we would have kids, because you know, that’s what married people do.

I’ve always been on the fence. I’m not saying no way not ever… but I’d be alright with it if we didn’t end up having them.

Lemons with a pea via Etsy

I love my life right now. I love this little family we’ve build for ourselves. I love our crazy kittens and our chaotic house (which, by the way, is just the right amount of chaos without little ones in it!) I love that we have money for date nights and holidays and the odd (OK in my case regular) shopping spree. I love that we can sleep late and stay out til all hours. I love that when we feel like it we can fob the whole day off and go for burgers.

I think one of the main worries I have (and this may make me sound selfish but I’m just being honest here!) is that I don’t want to become one of those Mothers. You know, the ones who are totally obsessed with their ‘little darlings’. The ones who change their facebook profile pictures to one of their kids and start their online bios with ‘Mother to two beautiful girls’. ARGH! I know what you’re thinking, “Oh I’m sure you won’t be like that, there are plenty of women out there who don’t do that.” And yes, yes there are, I’m friends with some of them… but jeez I know how obsessed I am with my cats!

So my big question to you is does all this make me a totally selfish person? Should we be worried if we don’t have a burning desire to procreate? Is someone who doesn’t have children somehow missing out? Will I regret our decision when we get older and the choice is out of our hands? What if Gareth dies before me and I’m left all alone?

So I ask you, dear reader, what are your thoughts on the whole shebang? Do you want kids? Have you felt pressure since getting engaged/married to start thinking about a family? Or did you have children before you were married? Do you feel pressure from friends or family to have children? If you don’t want children do you have any guilt about that fact?

224 comments

  1. Sasha

    I don’t want kids. Occasionally my fiancée and I talk about how we would raise our kid, how we would name our kids and stuff like that but when we both actually really look at people in public with kids – there is nothing I see there that I want. The general idea of kids seems nice, and they are cute and all but I just have higher standards in life for what I want (I don’t just do something because it seems cute or seems nice it has to be good). I hate that it is the next natural step. Pregnancy freaks me out – why would you want to do that to your body? Why would you want to put yourself second? Why would you ask for children? Really why? (aside from cuteness) and are those reasons really good enough to actually do it for me?

    Also as an atheist with a Catholic mother – as soon as I told her I was engaged she told me that it was expected that our children were baptised. Yeah – firstly, NO way! Secondly, since when did being engaged mean children??? AAARGH!
    a year later
    When I told my mum that we didn’t want kids she almost crashed the car (we were driving at the time). I had to alter my sentence to bring her heart rate down “We don’t want kids soon…” Yeah, sorry mum!
    Anyways, I think with overpopulation and all – it is ok to not have children. If you want to care for a child so badly then why not look into ways you can help the kids out there who do not have anyone to care for them?

    Bottom line: I don’t understand why people choose to have children.

  2. elissa

    My goodness this is a great read… I am in exactly the same mid-fence position, I have just read ‘Two is Enough’ a fab book of interviews with couples who are ‘childless by choice’ I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking at both sides of the argument. I wouldnt say it has helped me form a decision but it is very insightful and has encouraged me to think about all angles and possibilities..

    http://www.childlessbychoiceproject.com/Childless_by_choice_book.html
    Its great to know there are people also having this internal debate.. its so assumed we want kids, people usually ask ‘when’ not ‘if’, and thats the part that bugs me.

  3. Marie

    Totally not selfish at all! What is selfish is people who “want kids” just to have kids, use them as some sort of accessory and don’t take proper care of them.
    My husband and I had our first child 8 months ago. (I’m 29, he’s 25 and we have been married for 2.75 years haha.)
    Let me tell you….it’s ROUGH. I mean….not all the time but a lot of the time! Between the mental and physical growth spurts, the teething, the complete lack of alone time with your partner and social life, the insanely difficult Breastfeeding that no one talks about, the overwhelming “mom guilt” and not to mention the (not so beautiful, fun or enjoyable) “miracle” of child birth…..it’s very hard!!
    After having a child I totally understand why some people wouldn’t want to have one. It’s not for every one so DO NOT feel selfish!
    Buuuut…..on the other hand, even though it’s difficult, I wouldn’t change a thing. Watching your child grow and develope is ridiculously rewarding and beautiful. I cry on a near daily basis because of all the joy. There truly is no other feeling like it.
    I too never wanted to or thought I would become one of those moms that post a billion photos of their child on their social media platform of choice but hey….you should check out my Instagram now. Sometimes it’s inevitable that your love and pride for that little human takes over.
    It’s a choice only you and your husband can make! Don’t ever feel pressured to have children just for the sake of having children. It’s a complete lifestyle change and if you two love your life the way it is, that’s perfect.

  4. Liz

    Hmmm. I don’t think it’s selfish. I think it’s potentially *more* selfish to want, and have, children in some cases. I’ll be very honest here, I’m pregnant with my third child and it’s the single most selfish thing I’ve ever done in my life. I have a great life with a fantastic business, a fun and interesting husband and two gorgeous, sparky and funny kids. I’m jeopardising a lot by having a third, but it’s what I want. Selfishly. Choosing to love your life as it is, without the need to follow social norms, isn’t selfish, it’s honest and actually quite brave. I’d have regretted not having children, I’d have regretted not having a third, but that’s the right decision for me, for us. For you, maybe it’s not. That’s what makes people different and interesting. We can’t all want the same thing, and if we did, it’d be a dull world.

    ps kids are bloody hard work, at times boring, at times frustrating and always relentless. A part of me envies you and Gareth for being able to put your relationship first. A large part. But I won’t often admit that!

  5. anna hodgson

    I don’t want kids either…. rather have money, privacy, space, time, and certainly don’t think I am selfish! But others have called me unnatural!!!

  6. Great read, I always knew I wanted children, lots of children, We decided early on in our relationship that we both wanted 4-6 children, we have four girls and lost a baby. I think people make the mistake of following peers like sheep, mother and father hood is not for everyone. I know I don’t want to keep chickens right now so it would be silly of me to get chickens just because everyone else is, now a sheep I really fancy having a sheep in my garden! So I guess I don’t get why people assume everyone wants children. Yes its hard work, I run a business, have four people under 7, a husband and a house to keep control of. Anything people want requires hard work and input, whether its children or to become an olympian or to get really good at baking cakes. Don’t do things unless you want them badly enough to enjoy the lows and the highs. x

  7. Rita

    So, I was raised in ‘The South’ of the United States of America. With that upbringing, it was pretty much ingrained in me that you ..go to high school, go to college, get a boyfriend, become married, then have children and stay together as a unit.
    It never felt right to me. My family was constantly pushing/asking (well, everyone but my dad’s side of the family) for me to get married. When are you going to have kids? Oh!! You’re 23!! That’s getting up there (they assume that if you don’t have kids by the time you’re 25..you’re a lost cause).
    But, my life has never felt ‘ready’ to have a kid. It’s kinda of the same thing you had stated (I’m neurotic about my cats, how would I be with a little human?) and I do love my friends kids to bits, but ME?! As a Mother? No. I don’t see that happening. Neither does my better half. We are totally on board with the ‘DINK’ lifestyle (Dual Income No Kids) and more than happy to embrace it. But that’s not to say there’s not social pressure left and right that ask us constantly; especially when we are together at a wedding or family event, when we’re going to be ‘next’ for babies.
    To stop the questions, we started just saying ‘Because we’re selfish’. That seemed to quell the never ending barrage of questions we would get after saying we don’t want kids. It’s not ..entirely true. We’re quite the opposite (very generous to our friends and family and loved ones when we can be, for example). But it’s just the social pressure. And here in the states, it’s just now starting to be society ‘ok’ with couples and families not wanting kids. There was even an article about it a few months ago in Time Magazine.
    So – no I have no guilt about not wanting kids. There are plenty of my friends that want to and are amazing at it.

  8. You’re not alone, and no, you’re not totally selfish. I’ve never once had the urge to have babies, even though I get along with kids and they seem to love being around me.
    I feel that having children is something you must want with you entire being, before you enbark on such a big lifetime commitment. Once they’re there, there’s no return policy, you need to know, absolutely KNOW, that this is what YOU WANT. If there’s any doubt, don’t do it.
    No, it’s not selfish. Ask any parent why they had children, answers will vary from : I want to carry on the family name (selfish), I don’t want to be old and alone (extremely selfish), to please society/partner/parents/etc (maybe not selfish – but not being true to yourself), and many many more. I think it’s brave and honest to admit that you don’t want to have children. It’s you being true to yourself. It’s your choice, and you’re free to make it!

  9. Really interesting post! From a blokes perspective, it’s not selfish at all, just your decision. I’ve got 2 kids and I would not change a thing. Yes I don’t sleep and me and the missus have no “Me” time, but I can’t really describe how good it feels when they smile at you or give you a hug, nothing else matters.

    But selfish not to…no not at all, just missing out that’s all ;0)

  10. Brittany

    It is a nice feeling to know someone feels the same way as I do. I have been married for 4 years and we are always pressured by my inlaws to have kids. My mother in law on our wedding day gave a speech and actually told us she expects a grandkid in 9 months. That 9 month deadline is LONG gone. I do wonder however, when i get older if i will regret not having a child. I dont want to turn 40 and wonder what it would have been like if I had a child. For now though, im content. I dont have a strong desire to have a baby, i enjoy my baby free life right now. I have friends with babies and while they look happy with their children, it looks like a lot of work im not ready to commit my time to. We call our dog our fur baby. Maybe im selfish because i dont want to give my time up to a baby. I want to travel and stay up late and not have to worry if i am taking care of a baby correctly. When my dog is sick, i get enough anxiety, never mind if i had a living human being relying on me… I guess we will see what the future brings. We all change, so maybe one day we will want a baby, who knows! :)

  11. Marion

    Of course it’s not selfish to not want children. Everyone is entitled to make choices that are right for them without being judged or coerced. But equally mothers shouldn’t be made to feel bad for having children (I recently took a tired unhappy baby on a plane on my way to a funeral and I had the pleasure of being told I shouldn’t have brought my baby on the plane). Also just as some readers want to share the wonder of their wedding in photo form so do some want to share the wonder of their child. Let’s just let everyone be without putting our own values on them. I love this blog for the diversity of individuals featured. We all have an obsession with something, be it cats, weddings, or babies.

  12. It’s selfish, but for all the right reasons! There are enough people out there populating the earth because they want to or feel that they have to. Let other people have children if they want to. I prefer cats to kids anyday… so I’m not going to feel the need have 2-legged children just because that’s what think married people are supposed to do. Screw that.

  13. Jane

    I’m on the brink of turning 30 & been married almost 2 years, together 11 years & since I turned 28 my biological clock has been ticking loudly sometimes I have baby fever so bad, but in all honesty I don’t think I could cope with the demands of a child. I like the idea of a year off work & doing cutesy baby shopping, but babies turn into teenagers and I don’t think I want one of those so that answers my dilemma? I too worry the same as you Kat that we are missing out or I’ll be left alone later in life. Then comes the guilt I feel like I’m letting my parents down so I’m hoping my siblings pop one out then that takes the pressure off!

  14. I’m still not ready for kids but my two are my two best buddies.. It’s like having a little fan club sometimes.. Which is this world of hard knocks is a rainbow on a grey day. They think I’m ace and they think you are ace too and that is really rather nice. X

  15. Hi. I have a kid myself, and even We get called selfish because weare happy having just one child. Selfish. What’s wrong with people? I think it’s a selfish act telling people that they are wrong in an important desicion. Selfish could (and I’m saying could, because it’s not always the case) be people having kids even if they do not want one, but because life tells us that we “have to”. Offcourse the choice usually only affect the parents but still. It’s not fair on anyone.

    I hate when people say:” so when will she get a baby brother or sister? Because you don’t want her to be lonely growing up? Because that’s not nice, hahaha”
    We should be able to make our own choices, and it’s not any other peoples business. My friend couldn’t have children, and people pushing and asking made her into tears.

    You are not selfish. Nobody is in these things. If you want one, have one. If not: please don’t. You need to do whatever makes you AND your husband happy.
    That’s it <3

  16. Great blog Kat!
    I have always wanted 4kids as i’m lucky enough to have come from a big supportive family, with very close siblings. However i feel like i’m desperatly running out of time… and worst of all, where we are in our life right now and our businesss, were just not ready! Does it make us selfish? We desperatly LOVE our jobs and making it work so we can eventually support a family is our priority.. but it does worry me that I could be having children into my late 30s. Especially when most of the girls i went to school with now have 3 or 4 children. Sometimes it feels like in a small town, the tables have turned from the pregnant teens being frowned upon to the 30s career woman.

  17. Just want to add: having my baby girl is the best choice I have ever done :)
    Because we wanted her and it was our choice, not the “right next step” ;) that’s the only way to go ;)

  18. Rebecca Wynne

    Selfish?….. I don’t think so…. I have 4 children, 3 daughters and a boy (boy was third by the way) but certainly do not think you are selfish. We live in an age where people have choices and others should respect those decisions… I love my children dearly and would literally do anything for them but i do not expect the to pro create- I ask for happiness . That is all x

  19. I had my first child at 25. I was single and lived in a bedsit! In the last 10 years I have moved on, done a masters degree, learned to run my own business and met and married the new man of my dreams. I’ve also brought up a stunning beautiful 10yr old girl and shopping companion into the world! I had every worry my life would change and god it was hard at times and many things went on hold. Now at 35 I am 36 weeks pregnant with a little boy and still scared at the thought but also greatly excited. Kids have only added to my life it’s all about what you want to experience and what you have to give. The parenting learning curve is a pretty unique life lesson x

  20. Kristina

    It’s selfish in a way….a good way! I hate the whole ” you get engaged, then married then kids then retire together” who has the right to tell you how to live your life, I hate that it’s just “assumed” that if you’ve been together for a certain amount of time you’ll have kids. I work in retail and I see “little darlings” running around all the time and it makes me anything but broody. I’d much rather be the cool fun aunt or something. My Mum told me she wasn’t the most maternal person in the world when she had me, maybe it’s a genetic thing? But I’m happy with just the 2 of us doing what we want to do when we want to do it. I’d rather have a cat than a kid any day! Never say never though……just not anytime soon!

  21. I LOVE that you’re writing this. I am the mother of two beautiful children (2 and 4) I love them both to bits and would give my life to protect them, but we had number two so that our first would have a sibling. Otherwise I would have stopped after the first. And I am certainly not having anymore. I can easily imagine a life without kids and all the pleasures that kind of life would include. My children are not my purpose in life. there are other wonderful things to be had that does not include children! :)

  22. Laura Elston

    I am so happy to read this, I am currently in the same position, having lost a few friends with these sprog things recently i am on the same page as you.. 2 years ago I was told i couldn’t have kids due to my weight and health so I went straight out and booked myself a Gastric band and joined the Gym just to get me to at least start ovulating!!!!! I went crazy and my husband had had enough of me going nuts over wanting a child.. so 2 years and 7 stone later still nothing and you no what I am actually quite pleased…My crazy kid friendS have no life,help,sleep,money let alone sanity.. all they do is talk kids this and kids that and all i get is well there is no point in asking you as you don’t have”kids” no i have a dog and she”s my baby my friends think its cool that i put my puppy on facebook rater then a kid covered in snot!!!!! so when I get hassle from people saying I never see them and the kids because I work hard at my own business to much or I’m on holiday in Asia or away for the weekend with my husband.. I just quietly say…oh well!!!!! so selfish…naaaaaa complete opposite… xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  23. Cats are awesome. They clean their own arses. Allowing more free time for beer and burgers. Enough reason for me to not become a parent :)

  24. Amanda

    My husband and I just got married last year and we are 25 years old. My side of the family really wants us to have children, but knows I’ve never had the strong urge to. His side of the family, especially his dad, reminds us A LOT about how he’d love to be a grandpa, etc.

    So many of my friends have been married for a few years now and are having babies. It seems so “natural.” But in reality, most of them are teachers – I’m assuming that teaching children is their passion and that they really, truly want a child. With my husband and my career’s children just don’t fit. I really wouldn’t want to quit my job and live on my husbands salary to take care of a child (not that he doesn’t make enough – I just wouldn’t be able to freely buy everything I’d want anymore haha).

    My mother has kindly discussed this issue with me and told me that I am selfish. Honestly, I feel that it is selfish in a way – yet it would also be worse to have a child if you don’t want one. My mother is truly an amazing mother and has spent her life dedicated to me and my brother while my dad supported us. However, in today’s age, this is becoming more uncommon.

    My husband and I are still pretty young and have time to decide. Ultimately, I would prefer not to have kids, but I really feel like once I’m 40 or 50 – I might just be so mad at my younger self for deciding not to have kids and feel like I was left out of something so special.

    Only time will tell… good luck!

  25. Gabbi

    I feel the same way. We’re getting married this year and I have been thinking about kids. My main concern is taking 6-12 months out of my career. It really frustrates me that women are expected to do this. Can I just jump back into my job and expect the same prospects?

  26. Jeni

    Wow, this article makes me realise I am not the only woman in the world that doesn’t want children. I have never wanted children, I am not maternal and the idea of being pregnant makes me feel sick but people have always told me that I will change my mind when I am older, when I find the right man etc. (Am sure that all those line sound familiar to many) But I am now 31 and happily married and my views have not changed even though my husband loves children and has always wanted children. My friends are also in that baby machine stage and I think they are expecting us to join them. Now although I am fond of many of their children and enjoy spending time with them when they are happy for short periods of time, I am always happy to leave them and spend time with my friends and my husband. The time I spend with my friends children actually makes me more convinced that I don’t want children and that life as a parent is not for me. I like my life as it is and I think that my reasons for not having children are just as justified as peoples reasons for having children. There are some people in my life that appreciate that and others like my In-Laws that manage to drop grandchildren into the conversation as often as they can. I am not sure that they will ever be happy if we don’t have children even though they already have a grandchild. My husband on the other hand has given it much thought and has come to the conclusion that he would rather have me and that we have enough friends with children to be able to have the fun of them without the responsibility. I feel selfish and think that he secretly wishes I would change my mind, which may happen but I think it is unlikely….My mind was put to rest after a conversation with a friend where she confided in me that the only person she had heard truly defend my feelings was my husband. If you don’t want children it is far more selfish to have them than stay childless. In the long run you will always regret it and this will affect not only you but your children and the relationship you have with them. So I would say go with you heart and don’t listen to peer pressure. If you don’t want children, don’t have children. That’s what I am going to do.
    I have enjoyed reading everyone’s comments and hope that everyone does what feels right for them.

  27. Mary

    Not selfish at all but I’m one if those people who really wants children. A point to make though us that remember that it’s probably other people’s children you don’t want! If you did have your own some day, you would raise it your own way. X

  28. mrsfireblade

    No, you’re not selfish at all.

    Do what is best for you and your OH.

    As for other folks constantly asking when me and my OH might have kids, it’s got to the point where I’m quite rude. I can’t have kids for a number of reasons, and find the almost constant demands for an explanation offensive, so I have met like with like and now ask “Well, if I may ask an equally personal question, when are you going to snuff it?”

    I find the pity I get (unwanted) and advice to be just as bad as the “what kind of heartless bitch are you?” that I get if I evade the issue because I don’t want the hour long medical discussion and advice and simply say I don’t want kids. My attitude now is more like “it is, or is not, my choice not to have kids. *my* choice. Deal with it.”

    (my OH has 3 kids from previous relationship, so he’s happy to jump either way, and doesn’t feel that I am denying him something that he really wants.)

  29. CinSF

    If you consider the planet, it’s the least selfish thing you can do. We don’t need more people. I’m not saying those who have children are bad, I’m just saying that choosing not to add people is a valid choice to mitigate your impact on the environment – as is not eating meat, etc. When people call you selfish, you can ask them the last time they volunteered for their community. They’ll probably respond, “oh I don’t have time for that, I have kids.”

  30. Sarah

    Loved this post as it really resonates with me right now. My husband and I got married in September. He really wants kids and I really don’t but we both went into the marriage knowing this. My mum keeps talking about us having kids to which I keep responding that I don’t want them. She then tells me I’m selfish as my husband wants them! To that I say would it not be selfish of him to make me have kids? I do not want to put my body through all of that change and then try to get it back to its pre pregnancy state. I would have to give up a sport I love and then even when I have popped the baby out I wouldn’t be able to just return to it as it would need looking after. We’re out most nights and established that we wouldn’t be able to have a dog as it would be unfair so why should we then change our lives for a baby. We’re rubbish at keeping our house tidy so a baby and all its paraphernalia would just add to the chaos.
    I love my life as it is, I love playing sport, going out when I want where I want and not having to fork out an extra £30 in babysitting costs before we’ve even gone out. I love going off on holiday to far flung places and not having it cost the earth because we can go anytime we want as opposed to during the school holidays. Our last holiday we trekked in the jungle, climbed a volcano, went white water rafting and surfing, I can’t imagine doing that with a child in tow.
    During the wedding ceremony the vicar talked about us having a family, this really grated on me (i think i actually frowned), a marriage is the coming together of two people in love who want to spend the rest of their lives together, I fail to see where it should be an automatic that a baby should feature in that.

    So yes I am selfish and I’m absolutely fine with that.

  31. Hollie

    It’s a tough situation I’m in, my fiancé and I disagree on the whole children issue. I’m 24 and he’s 28. We agree to wait a fair while until we’ve done things, been places.. But ever since I was 5 I’d tell all those who could listen that I was never having my own children I was going to adopt, now I’ve amended that to “I don’t want children … Ever!!”
    Same reason .. I don’t want to be what I call a “mummy zombie” the only children I can be around are the ones who come from the two friends if mine who haven’t fallen victim to the MZ affliction of total obsession and losing their entire marbles to their children. My partner on the other hand comes from an incredibly close family who were raised by a very sweet man who passed 8 years ago. All my fiancé wants eventually is a family. We love each other but it’s one hell of a compromise.
    Children are beautiful it’s true.. But the pressure to have them certainly is insane. People look at you like you’ve somehow miraculously turned some ungodly shade of alien purple and stopped being a human when you explain you possibly won’t have teeny tiny poop machines!
    Personal story, my sister and I were having a conversation one night about partners children and the future. She has a beautiful 10 month old baby boy who I love dearly, quite nice to hand him back too.
    She asked me when would I be having a blessing of my own to which I replied probably not. . If anything it won’t be until I’m mid thirty. Horrified she exclaims to me… “But what if you get to 38 and don’t have children? It’s too late then!!! Won’t you feel as if you’ve wasted your life?”
    Laughing the only thing I could think of saying was… “Then I’ll be 38 without children, I’m sure this world has more to offer than just being a mother”
    Needless to say, I think I just broke her world, like she could never have pictured a world without being a mother when she’s only been at it for a small period of time.
    I’m the opposite, I can’t imagine my life as a mother. I want to travel the world, paint, enjoy my husband to be and our tiny kitten Vicious. I want to read books for hours on end and learn new complex things every day.. And until I feel like I’m satisfied with that I can’t be a mother that a child deserves. They deserve the doting mum and love, but does this make me a horrible person? I don’t think so. It’s the 21st century. Isn’t life ment to be about choices these days?
    I’ve made my choice. I’m going to expand my horizon and my knowledge and experience all this world has to offer, then, if I do end up with a tiny mini me, I will have more to offer her than what I currently do.

  32. J

    Due to a health condition I already know it would be difficult & I wouldn’t want to put myself through treatments. part of me is so scared to make a decision because it is final therefore we’ve decided to just see what happens it’s been almost 5 yrs & nothing and to be honest I’m releaved. I love having free time & spare cash to spend with my husband, pets & doing things I love, going places that are not child friendly things I would not be able to do with a child.

  33. Therese

    I think the decision of having kids is between husband and wife and no one els. I enjoyed all the time with my kids and still do now that they are all grown up. The next door couple who are my age and dont have children has confessed to me that a marriage is not complete without children but it is too late for them. He said we made a mistake and we cant put the clock back unfortunately. I love animals but when it comes to animals with children, life is so much better. It thought me a lot being a mum . I am so glad I have 3 beautiful children.

  34. Amber Rose

    I’m 25 now and I spent my whole life up until a year or two ago convinced all I wanted to do with my life is have kids and be a stay at home mum. Overnight, my thought pattern changed, I felt scared I’d loose my sense of self or my partners if we had kids. Like you all I can think about is what I’d be loosing out on or may regret later in life. I’m very maternal and very good with kids but I LOVE my me time. There’s nothing I enjoy more than being alone or it just being my partner and pets.
    I know I will have kids eventually but it’ll come down to having to because of my age, not because I’m ready. I don’t know anyone that planned their first child and given my medical problems I’d have too, and that’s what terrifys me. I don’t think anyone’s ever ready for kids, and I personally will do it because I know I’ll regret it once it’s too late.

  35. Yes that is selfish. But I think there’s nothing wrong in that kind of selfishness. Is it wrong to prefer spending more quality time with your husband, yourself or with your cats? I can totally understand the pressure people put on you Kat, but don’t ever feel guilty about your feelings!

  36. jemma

    I’ve been having this debate with myself for at least the last 10 years. I have a medical condition which has recently pushed me in to finally making a decision to not have kids. Honestly, it’s liberating. I can sleep in, travel, drink hot coffee and read a good book with my feet up and no interuptions. I get to spoil my neice and nephews as much as I want and then leave my sister’s to the tough stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I love kids, my family & friends kids are mostly amazing but pass me a glass of wine to drink while I book my shopping weekend to New York and I’m sure I’ll get through it! :-)

  37. Isabel

    I think it all depends on what you both want for your future.

    They say you never truly understand life completely until you have kids, it opens a whole new world of possibilities and love.

    Plus, it sounds like you are living in a really warm and loving home. I think the good stuff you have will only accentuate and will develop in better and stronger love for both of you.

    But whichever decision you want to take, I hope you enjoy it in the company of your loved ones. I think life is too short to mind what other people think is right for your partnership. Just do what makes you happy.

  38. Sam

    I was never maternal. Having kids was the last thing I ever wanted to do. I admit it, I was too selfish. And young. I fell pregnant at 17. She wasnt planned, it was a total accident. I kept her, despite my reservations, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Im only a mum because of circumstances (tho now shes here I love her to bits!). I’m in a new relationship now and we’ve agreed not to try for another. We are still young enough that when she goes off to uni in 11 years time, we will be able to travel, go out and enjoy ourselves and enjoy our time as a couple. I dont think you’re being selfish at all. You’re doing what is right for you and your lifestyle. And that is totally fine, don’t let society tell you otherwise.

  39. Sally

    No, you’re most certainly not selfish and anyone who says that should mind their own life choices and stop being so bloody condescending. If it’s your choice to not have children, more power to you, it’s not for everyone. However, I do think some of the reasons you have listed for not wanting to have children are a little misguided. Firstly, what kid doesn’t like an impromptu trip out for burgers? Having a child will not stop you doing that. If anything, it will have you doing it more! The going out late and sleeping in thing – yes, having a child would make that less frequent, but not extinct. Your desire for these late nights would also become less frequent, so in the event that you had a real live child in front of you, it wouldn’t feel like that much of a sacrifice, because you would want to be with them. I love my independence and my nights out and have them just as frequently as I want them. When I decided to go ahead with my very unplanned pregnancy, I got all kinds of comments from smug/misguided people touting rubbish about my life being over as I know it and how my career would be in the toilet and I’d never travel etc. etc. I made the solemn vow then that I would never write myself off because of anyone in my life, including a child, and I have successfully done so. You can lose yourself in any relationship – with a boyfriend, a husband, and yes, even a child. You can gain things in place as well – love, companionship, a different view of life. No matter the relationship, you need to work on holding onto yourself as much as possible, but you can also happily give way to better things – or different things at least, which have taken priority, and the old won’t be missed. When my son was a baby, I became so appreciative of the extra hours a day I gained having not realised just how much time I had been wasting before having him. I thought my life was full to the brim – I was totally wrong. Onto the next reason – that you will obsess too much and have to change your online persona. Well. This one I find pretty funny. Firstly, you already say “cat lover” in your profile, because that’s obviously something you consider to be part of your identity. Guess what? There are probably people out there rolling their eyes at that, as much as “mother to two” on the next bio. It’s okay if that happens, because you have a conviction that you are a cat lover and some will get it, and some won’t. People who put “mother” in their bio do so because it’s part of their core identity. It’s probably the most true, honest thing a person will ever have to say about themselves. You don’t have to put it in a nauseating way if you choose to at all. And what you describe as obsession, I would call love. Your heart grows when you have a child. I thought I would be hard pressed to love my own child more than my niece, who was the light of my life prior to giving birth myself. I was so wrong. It sounds awfully cliche, but your capacity to love is completely unknown until you have a child. That may sound patronising, it’s not my intention. It’s just a universal truth. The final reason I’m going to address – that you’re not fond of many kids. Lady, I hear ya! Most snot-nosed brats irritate me to no end. You’re not expected to be enthusiastic about every child that crosses your path just because you have one yourself, but you yourself said there’s some you are close to that you’re quite fond of. Well times that by a gazillion if you have your own. Trust me, you will love your own and even if you despise all other children, that’s totally okay. I recently told a kid to fuck off at school when he was asking me a stupid question and looking at me with a face I just wanted to slap. No, I didn’t say it loud enough for him to hear, but it felt great nonetheless! Now, I’m not here trying to convince you to have a child. It really isn’t something every single person should do and nobody should feel pressured to do it at all. Not by family, friends, or society in general. It is only yours and your husband’s choice. Please just make sure you’re examining your own reasoning, because you are dead right about one thing – you might regret it when it’s too late and you might be left alone or your husband will be. I’ve rarely heard of a person regretting having a child, but I’ve heard of plenty who regret not doing it.

  40. I think it’s selfish to have kids. The planet is overpopulated and the more kids, the more resources will run out. Adoption is fine but having your own kid is selfish as hell. All my old friends have kids and I’ve had to cut ties with them because they became “those moms” and I couldn’t stand it. My fiance and I are not having kids because we are broke, I’m young, and I already have body image issues. I don’t need to go gaining anymore weight and stretch marks just to pop out a screaming kid. I can barely stand to exist the size I am. Call me selfish but I have my 5 dogs and they are my furry children forever.

  41. I’m 31, engaged and we have no plans to ever have children. I decided a long time ago that if the day comes that I wake up and go, “oh god! I need to mother something!” I’ll go to the nearest animal sanctuary and adopt the scruffiest most saddest cat they have. I sometimes wish that I had a maternal instinct that went beyond cats, simply because I do often feel singled out and know that a lot of people find it weird. But I know deep down that kids aren’t for me and I’m ok with that.

  42. Donna

    I actually didn’t think I would want kids growing up, I was much like you, and thought I would scare them, swear in front of them etc hahaha and would avoid holding them at all costs!

    I want kids now, and so does my husband, but I have been cursed with many fertility issues and have been spending lots of money on surgery and specialists to try and have even one baby.

    I wanted to post on your article though because I HATE HATE HATE when mothers write shit on facebook about how you cant possibly know love unless you are a mother, or things like how bad their pregnancy was or how annoying their kid is.

    Do people have no sensitivity or sense at all anymore? I possibly cannot have children, does that mean I cant love like someone else does? Of course not!

    And those who chose not to have children arent less of people either.

    Its stupid!

  43. I have lost multiple friends to the motherhood. People who I thought would be in my life forever are now acquaintances that I see once every few years. All I get is Facebook photos of their kids. Meanwhile, I’ve been married for 7 years and feel completely fulfilled by my awesome marriage and have no clock ticking going on.

    The thing that lives in the back of my mind that bothers me though, is the people who have said “oh i was never ready for it but now I’m so happy I have a child/children.”

    Are a lot of people just stopping using birth control and leaving this massive life changer up to chance and timing? That is the most terrifying and ridiculous thing I can think of – and especially so since I spent the beginning of my sexually active years being TERRIFIED of pregnancy.

    It is 2014, and I run this body, and I can tell you that I will not be having any accidental children anytime soon. This doesn’t seem like something to leave up to chance – it should be something I really want, shouldn’t it? If I’m supposed to have a kid and then decide if it is what I want afterwards, how the hell does that work out if I hate it? I am vexed by the situations people are suggesting.

    For now, I have to stick with the aforementioned “I am selfish and like my life the way it is” response, and remain kid-free.

  44. Vel

    My wife and I have been married for 7 years. We always assumed kids would happen one day. It was factored into our vision of the future. Then she came out a a transwoman, and we had to tackle the question rather than putting it off. I want children quite a bit. She does not want children with equal fervor. She too can’t seem to deal with small children. She just can’t wrap her mind around their logic, and it creates bad interactions. In the end, we decided to not have them, because I’d rather she genuinely want children, rather than grudgingly raise them (and we’ve left open the option to adopt older kids and teenagers, which she can deal with).

    I have done a bit of looking into childfree lifestyles, and I know that happiness can be achieved quite easily. If you don’t want children, then don’t have them, and don’t let people pressure you into it. It is not an easy path, because you have to deal with people telling you that you’re selfish (because “if you have such a great life, why wouldn’t you want to share it?” -my brother-in-law), or that you’ll be lonely, or you’ll come around. In the end, it’s between you and your S.O., no one else. Feel free to tell any decenters to butt out.

  45. Vel

    PS. It’s very selfish, in my opinion, to force someone who actively doesn’t want children to have them just because that’s the thing to do. It’s makes for a bad relationship, and is detrimental to both the child, and the adult.
    I also don’t get why it’s selfish to not have kids. No reason I’ve heard has ever convinced me, so I call BS.

  46. I never wanted to have children. My childhood wasn’t that great, I don’t like messy or complicated, I want to do what I want to when I want to do it. I got pregnant in 2012 WHILE I WAS PROPERLY USING BIRTH CONTROL (fuck you nuva ring) lol. I cried after taking four home pregnancy tests convinced that my life was ruined forever. I had her (home birth) in January of 2013. Here’s what no one will admit to: my friends/family are but a distant memory, I have NO time for them and don’t want to make time because when I have a moment its for me or my husband. It changes you in ways you’re probably not ready for… it takes a lot of emotional work… Its hard as hell. You seriously test your patience to new levels especially in the sleep deprivation department. You’re in fight of flight mode for at least the first sixth months (with your first at least). There are moments that I long for the days of endless party nights, irresponsible decisions, peeing alone etc. So, while its not impossible, it’s rare that having a baby is easy. I am a happy, super rad mom who’s really good at this shit and i STILL understand why people steer clear of it and thats OK. You’re not really unfulfilled if you never choose parenthood.. its like saying you’re unfulfilled if you are a mother? Neither are better- just different and those difference can cause HUGE rifts in relationship *shrugs* what? Its true! Now that I am a mom, I love my life. When I wasn’t a mom, I totally loved my life. I hate that there’s any pressure put on women or couples. I hate that the window closes at 40-50 and that women feel like they have to decide so quick. I hate that embracing the sacred feminine right of passage of giving birth or nurturing a baby to a child is considered meaningless to so many. I hate that choosing not to procreate means your selfish. Our love and compassion can go to SO many things, not just having babies!

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