I got asked again recently when the Husband and I were having kids. I said we didn’t want kids and they just looked at me for a moment and said “I don’t understand women who don’t want kids.” No, I bet you don’t, just like I don’t understand women who torture themselves trying to have them
I have had friends ruin their marriages trying to have kids. Fertility treatments, sex on time tables to coincide with ovulation, no alcohol or certain medications, extra vitamins, quitting their jobs to reduce their stress in an attempt to get pregnant, and therefore squeezing the already tight budget what with fertility treatments, and ovulation tests and vitamins and dietary changes, etc. And unwilling to adopt because they probably can’t get an infant or it won’t look like the couple that’s raising the kid, and so on.
I don’t understand those types of women. I mean, I sorta do, you give things up to achieve what you want. I have my dream job most of the time. I have given up a lot to it both emotionally and financially and sometimes, it strains my marriage. But mine’s a job, not a kid that I will have to pay attention to for 18 years or more. So I partially understand it, but not in a hormonal biological imparity sorta way.
I had a friend tell me the reason he and his wife were getting divorced was because if there was even a chance she was close to ovulating, she refused to leave the house in case they needed to have sex. Well that sounds like a fun night in…. They spent five years trying before he called it quits on the babymaking and the marriage because he just couldn’t live with her because her desire to have a baby was so great that nothing else mattered.
It’s hard for people who want kids to understand why some people, especially women, don’t want kids. We aren’t broken. We may have maternal instincts (I have a few, but not many), I don’t even like kids and I’m not willing to risk having a kid to see if I like my own… Because that isn’t something you take for a test drive and then return to the dealership or store when you realize you were right and don’t like kids, even your own.
I live on the opposite end of the spectrum, I can’t imagine wanting a kid so bad that you would ruin your life, career, and in most cases health, to have one. If I was a terrible person, I’d tell those people to buy a puppy… But I’m not that kind of person, so even though I get told stuff about why I should have a kid even though I don’t want them and how unnatural it is for a woman to not want one, I would never tell a person that wanted a baby and was struggling with it to buy a puppy instead.
My favorite awkward moment regarding me not wanting a kid came a few years ago, when someone asked if my SO and I were trying for a child and I said we didn’t want kids and they said “oh, are you one of those transgenders that doesn’t think you’re a woman on the inside.” Um, what the hell? That’s not how that works. Thanks for insulting multiple groups of people in your desire to figure out why I couldn’t possibly want a child.
I also love the people that assume we aren’t having children based solely on the idea that my husband doesn’t want them. Actually, that was one of the more attractive things about him when we started dating, I’ve known since I was 5 years old that kids weren’t for me. So him knowing he didn’t want them helped. We had that conversation about 2 months into dating each other and I pretty much knew it before the actual talk about it, because I had known him since I was 15. If I wanted kids and he didn’t, we wouldn’t be married and vice versa. Kids aren’t something you have and hope for the best with, that’s a shitty thing to do to the kid or multiples if you do it more than once hoping your partner will come around to wanting children.
Basically, it boils down to a very simple thing: some people want kids and some people don’t. They probably aren’t going to change their mind regardless of which side of the fence they stand on. If they do, great, but it’s not likely. Either way, pointing out all the reasons one should want or have kids or all the reasons one shouldn’t have kids is not a productive use of anyone’s time because those reasons are not the things that make people change their minds. If someone walked up to me tomorrow and told me I’d make a great mother and my husband would make a great father and we’d have amazing babies together, I’d thank them, but I would be inwardly giggling because that one person’s opinion on it isn’t going to change my mind about having kids. Hell if fifty thousand people said it to me, I still wouldn’t want to have children, I’m just not a “having kids” type of person. I made the decision 32 years ago that I didn’t want to have kids. I’m not going to change it because someone thinks I’d be a good mother. Also, during that 32 years, a lot of things have changed, like my favorite color, my favorite band, my favorite type of T-Shirt, my favorite type of donut, my favorite type of food, what I wanted to be when I grew up, where I wanted to live, where I wanted to visit before I died, what I wanted to go to college to study, what types of books I like to read, what I like to do to relax, etc, but not once in that 32 years have I ever said to myself meh, maybe having kids wouldn’t be so bad.
Just think next time you hear someone say they don’t want kids that it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with them, you don’t have to try to convince them otherwise, you don’t need to highlight all their good qualities and explain why you think they should have kids, chances are, they have known for a long time that they didn’t want kids and it isn’t a rash decision, it’s something they grew up knowing, just like they grew up knowing that the Earth was a sphere, they grew up knowing they didn’t want kids.