The Journey to Have or Not to Have Children

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. ❤️

Heather



15 thoughts on “The Journey to Have or Not to Have Children”

    • Thank you so much! Absolutely. I actually really love kids too! I teach dance lessons and enjoy my students so much. It may just be a phase, and we may change our minds! I just know a lot of women who don’t know and then feel pressured by questions. Just wanted to say that it’s ok to not know. 😊❤️

  • Heather, thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. Wow, I am amazed by you for being so open. I can totally understand where you’re coming from, people do pry about these personal matters when they have no business doing so. I’m 24 but since we’ve now been married 2 years, I get these questions almost daily (maybe partly bc I work at an OBGYN office but STILL). Having a child is literally life altering and the decision should not be taken so lightly and no pressure from others should be the reason to do it. Unfortunately that’s our society though of thinking they know what’s best for your life. I stand behind you and not taking it lightly, if you don’t want children that is OKAY! And I would just do what you said and kind of almost laugh at them because it is NONE of their business. It’s behind rude. What gets me the most is these strangers asking have no idea what you’re battling, heck you could have been trying for 10 years to have a child for all they know! Ugh. Keep doing you though girl!

    • Aww thank you so much! It was hard to share but I know others feel this way so felt it was important. And to your last point it’s so true! So many couples struggle and are continually asked about kids. It’s not fair to them to have to constantly answer to those questions or having to open that conversation. I think just not asking goes in all directions and is usually the best response. 😊❤️

  • Heather,
    I can totally relate. I’ve been there – and now that I’m 42, I still get asked. Usually now, new friends wait a while before they ask me. It’s okay – as long as they’re respectful, I’ll talk about it! Being a mother is a huge sacrifice and (unfortunately) often more so for moms than for dads. I also felt strongly that it isn’t something that I should do just because that is what you’re supposed to do once you’re married. I should feel strongly about something that important – and I didn’t. I still don’t feel like I am missing out on anything. I like my life the way it is and I can’t imagine having someone totally and completely dependent on me. Honestly, the older I get the more comfortable I am in the decision we made. PS – being able to retire at age 55 sounds good to me!!

    • So well said, Jamie. Thank you for sharing that! I agree that it is a huge sacrifice and I want to be sure that I want to take that on. Like you said, I really enjoy my life as it is! And retirement at 55 sounds lovely. 🙂

  • Heather – what a lovely post! Such a gift to your followers that you are willing to be so honest and vulnerable. It really doesn’t even really matter what anyone thinks of this post, because you being your authentic you is so so beautiful! No matter how that looks! But, for the record I totally admire your process and think you and your husband sound like such a blessing to each other! Keep doing you, girl!!! Never do anything just because society expects it from you! Thank you for sharing this part of you!
    – Laura

    • Aww thank you Laura!! You are so kind and I appreciate your words! Just trying to stay grounded and focused on what we want instead of everyone else. Thank YOU for reading and for the support. 🙂

  • Love you girl <3 you are 100% correct. As some one on the other end of the spectrum trying to get pregnant I completely understand the frustration and annoyance when everyone wants to give you their opinion or advice on the decisions you and your husband are making for your family. I respect that you know yourself, your family and what is right for your lives. It is in NO WAY selfish to not want children. Life is about making choices and determining what is the best path for each of us. Your thoughts on this subject so a depth and maturity that so many people are missing. Keep doing you girl!! On that note we can hangout anytime and not talk about babies (honestly its refreshing not to). 🙂

    • Absolutely. I’ve watched friends who have been trying to become parents get hounded with questions and it breaks my heart. To me that’s worse than me just not knowing. Even that, I still get nervous that I’ll change my mind and then have something happen where I couldn’t have children. It’s a hard enough decision in itself without people’s commentary. Just would be nice to flip the commentary to something of support! And yes to hanging out soon please!! 😊❤️

  • I love your vulnerability and honesty with the topic Heather. I wish more women stood up for their beliefs and were more supportive as a whole! We like to think of our world as being progressed but unfortunately in the South (btw I’m 31 in the South) and Midwest that just isn’t the case. We are expected to have families and large families by the age of 30 or we’re looked at as leper. I can imaged where you live it is harder for you to made this decision without judgement and I’m sorry. I think you’re being responsible and if more people would follow not only their heart but look at other criteria like finances before having children, what a better place it would be. I commend you and for every person who judges you, know there’s one more open! Thank you for sharing!

    • Totally relate to that! I’m lucky to have friends who have never once pressured me, but definitely external folks have, which I find odd. Thank you so much for sharing and reading this! Means so much to me. ❤️

Leave a Reply


%d bloggers like this: