It’s no secret that couples today are waiting until later in life to have children in order to focus on their careers or travel the world. Other than the occasional “don’t wait too long” comment, these couples usually don’t get much criticism for their decision to wait.
But when someone asks me about children, I always dread answering because my “I don’t want kids” answer always garners a gasp of shock and loads of criticism.
I’ve been picked on enough for my decision not to have kids that I’ve compiled a list of the 5 most annoying things I’ve heard.
1. “Wait till your biological clock starts ticking”
The infamous “biological clock” is by far the most common response I get to my polite “no thanks” to babies. That’s why it earns its place in the #1 spot on this list.
Granted I’m just under 30, but I have yet to hear my biological clock scream out, “BABY! Must have baby!” (That’s what they sound like, right? A hungry caveman? I don’t know, I’m speculating.)
I’ve asked people what this “biological clock” feels like, so I know to recognize it if it ever starts shouting at me. And the consensus seems to be, “You see a baby, and you just want to hold it” (creepy) “and then you get overwhelmed by a desire to have your own” (nope, definitely haven’t had that feeling).
2. “If you make good money and can afford kids, you should have one”
The other day, I was chatting with some colleagues and someone said, “People who make good money and can afford to provide a good life for a child, but choose not to have one…. scare me.”
“Scare me” is what she said.
I was intrigued, so I asked why. And apparently, the opinion is that women should feel a duty to bear children if they have the means to give that child a good life.
My response was simple. Just because I have the money to feed and clothe my potential spawn, it doesn’t mean I’d be a good mother. I could buy my kid all the quality organic food in the world and pay for the best education around, but still drop the bloody thing on its head (by accident of course)… simply because I’m not a good mother.
The truth is: some people just don’t have those parental instincts everyone keeps talking about. And even if I had some of those instincts, it doesn’t mean I should have children.
3. “People who don’t want kids are selfish”
This is probably one of the most offensive comments I’ve heard when I say, “I don’t want kids.” It usually goes like this, “Your parents had you, so you would give them grandchildren. We were made to procreate. Choosing not to have children is just plain selfish.”
Knowing what I know about myself, I don’t think I’m being selfish by choosing not to have children. In fact, having a child knowing I don’t want kids – is selfish. So until (or unless) that feeling changes, I’m not going to let anyone peer pressure me into having children.
You know what IS selfish?
- Having kids to try and “save your marriage” and then putting those kids through an ugly divorce
- Having kids so your boyfriend doesn’t leave you (because we all know how well that works)
- Having kids because your spouse threatened to leave you if you don’t
- Having kids so that you can go on maternity leave for a year
- Having kids just so your parents and in-laws will stop nagging you about it
Should I continue?
4. “Don’t you want a little version of yourself running around?”
If you really knew me, you wouldn’t want a little version of me running around either. Trust me.
5. “You could give birth to the next Bill Gates!”
This comment usually goes hand-in-hand with, “You could give birth to the doctor who cures cancer” or “Your child could be the next prime minister.” Though it’s true I could give birth to someone who could change the world for the better, it’s also possible that I could give birth to the next serial killer.