I don’t ever want to have kids.
*Insert horrified gasp or dramatic eye widening here*
I typically don’t get a positive response when I tell people that I can’t picture a future where I ever have children.
What I do get is a lot of, “you’re only 19, you’ll change your mind.” I’ve also heard, “I said the same thing when I was your age and now I have (insert number here) kids!” The ever so charming, “that’s so selfish,” has been said a lot, or my favorite, “you’ll change your mind once you meet the right person.”
What does the “right person” have to do with my decision to carry a child inside of me for nine months anyway?
The bottom line is, it’s not happening. Yes, I’m only 19. No, I don’t think I’ve met the “right person,” if that’s even relevant. But this is something I’m not going to change my mind on.
You may be wondering why, because it seems every other woman has baby fever. All of my friends obsess over their baby nieces and nephews and proclaim that they want at least four children when they’re older. My sisters practically have every J. Crewcuts outfit the baby will ever wear picked out.
It’s not just women either – every male I’ve ever been in a relationship with has said they want kids.
So why don’t I? Because I don’t want to be in charge of another human being’s life. I don’t want the responsibility of raising a child and worrying about whether they’ll turn out the way I’d want them to or whether they’d grow into respected adults.
I don’t want to hear them slam their doors when they’re teenagers and hear them shout about how much they hate me. I don’t want to pick them up from school crying because they fell and got hurt. I don’t want to watch them learn how to drive and know their lives are in everyone else’s hands but my own. I don’t want to watch them go through their first real break-up, their first real loss, their first real disappointment.
I don’t find these moments beautiful or just a “part of the process,” I find them terrifying.
I’m not cut out to be a mother – I have a hard enough time dealing with my own emotions and well-being without worrying about someone else’s. And I would worry. Worry would consume me if I had a child. Even when my parents come to visit, I track their location on my phone to make sure they haven’t gotten into an accident. I’m paranoid, anxious and sometimes a little neurotic.
I also have dreams and goals for myself, and whether it’s selfish or not, a child isn’t included in those dreams. I want to work in the city, which isn’t the ideal place to raise a child. I want to work my way up to an editor position, which takes long hours of work and dedication. I’m not even sure I want to be married.
I won’t apologize for not trusting myself to take care of a child, or for putting my own life before their hypothetical one.
So next time you ask what I want to do in the future and you ask how I’ll do all of it and still care for a child, please take your horrified expression and walk away.