The Journey to Have or Not to Have Children
I’ve been going back and forth in my head of whether or not to write and share this post.
I feel it’s important to view all perspectives, and this is one that isn’t shared a lot. It inherently seems like there is something wrong with me for feeling this way, but I’m here to share why there is nothing wrong with me, and why being in this place at this age is OK.
I never grew up daydreaming of becoming a Mom. I love mine and love my family, but it never was something that crossed my mind.
Flash forward to dating and eventually meeting my husband. I continued feeling no instinct to want to be a Mom. I recall someone telling me, “well when you meet the right person you’ll want to be a Mom.” Hint: Not true. I met the right person, had endless discussions about parenting, and still I felt “unsure.” Actually, WE felt (and feel) unsure. Together.
We got married “late” for our friend group. In reality it’s not late at all, but it feels that way being in the Midwest. I am 31 and my husband is 33 and we’ve been married just a year. Before we were married, we breached the topic of children. Ultimately, we aligned that we just didn’t know if that was a road we wanted to take. I wasn’t a hard no or yes, I just felt uneasy thinking about it. My husband the same. We agreed that we wanted to be together, and would discuss every year where each other were at. I had said many times that if he was a hard “no” he had to tell me, because I very well could change my mind. He agreed he was comfortable with me changing my mind.
During and shortly after our wedding, we started watching nearly every couple in our lives have children. It’s true, everything changes. While it has been so much fun to watch these kiddos grow and see my friends become parents, I am internally struggling. I feel a bit lost. I have very little to contribute, and my life is at a completely different place. It has been emotionally difficult to process that distance could grow even further. I simply cannot relate to a life that surrounds a child, and remembering that life is a distant memory for them. (btw I have amazing friends ☺️)
Not only has navigating my new role as the one friend without kids been interesting, but I’ve been asked so many questions (mostly from strangers) and given so many comments. “When is it your turn?” “Good people should bring children into the world.” “So many people can’t have kids, don’t be selfish.” Totally unfair comparisons and comments that may be inherently harmless, but really take a swing at our own personal decisions that are none of their business. My responses; “If I know I’m not ready, it’s not fair to bring a child into this world.” “We are taking this time to enjoy life together.” “Starting with a dog.” “We are happy with life currently.”
Why do I feel the need to appease these people? They don’t need a reason for OUR life choices. I was and continue to be shocked at the comments we get. Sadly, from some parents as well. “You guys have no idea what it’s like.” “You think you’re busy now?” I agree; I have no idea and can’t even pretend. But that doesn’t discount our lives right now. It’s like saying that because we don’t have kids, we cannot even participate in a conversation about life anymore.
While some of these comments are certainly not ill-intended, I think it brings up a good point.
It’s none of your business what people choose to do with their life whether you agree or not.
Instead, can’t we all try some supportive commentary? “Good for you guys!” “Let me know if I can help with anything along the decision making journey.” “It’s ok to not know, you have to do what’s best for you!” “Take your time.”
Just like I cannot fathom the feeling of a woman so desperately wanting to become a Mom but can’t, I wouldn’t say “oh just be patient and keep trying!” What?! Totally inappropriate. I would be supportive and listen to her. I don’t need to weigh in with cheap commentary on how she feels.
I say all this simply to share another view point and not out of anger. Honestly, I laugh at some of the questions and comments. I truly wanted to share with the women who are constantly pressured with marriage and baby questions (whether they want them or not) from someone else’s perception of the right time. It is overwhelming. Perhaps you gained some responses you could use when asked these uncomfortable and invading questions. It’s taken me time to garner a response.
At the end of the day, just remember that you never have to explain your happiness or life choices to anyone.
Love you all. ❤️