It’s OK To Not Want Kids

“You’re turning 35. Shouldn’t you start thinking of having babies?”

The answer to that is a very stern “no”.  I guess my uterus is slowly becoming obsolete. Let me tell you, when I get my period every month, I throw an extra “thank you” to God.

I wanted kids growing up. But it wasn’t because I actually wanted them; it was because that’s what was expected of me — as a woman, a Muslim woman, an Arab woman. 

main_expectations-reality_1

When I was a teenager, people would ask where I saw myself in 10 years, and it was the same answer: “married, with a house and kids.” 

Boy was I wrong (can I insert that crying laughing emoji here?). 

I’m divorced, almost 35, and the idea of having children is a very unpleasant thought majority of the time. The only moment I wish I had a kid is when I think of that unconditional love. But those moments are fleeting, and then I snap back to the reality that I don’t want a child.

I’m almost ashamed to admit that it’s for selfish reasons (more on this shame feeling coming up). I don’t want to be pregnant. I don’t want to gain weight. Or have stretch marks. Mood swings. Emotional eating. The possibility of hours of labor and pushing. Shitting or peeing myself as I push. What if I tear? And I’ll be bleeding for weeks after having the baby? No thank you.

I also don’t want to spend the money and time on a kid. I can’t even make time for flowers or plants that are given to me; how on earth will I take care of a child? 

I want to travel, eat at different restaurants, stay out morning to night, without being held back by my child. Wow. It sounds like I’m a complete ass hole even writing all this. I even feel like a bit of jerk right now putting my opinions onto paper. 

But here are my questions: Why do I even feel ashamed for having these thoughts? Why does society make me feel guilty for not wanting children? Why do I NEED to reproduce? Why can’t I be a single, motherless woman who wants to live her life without the pressure of having kids or getting married? 

Don’t get me wrong. I applaud mothers (and fathers, of course) who want children, who have them, and who raise them, especially in today’s very technological world. But that is not the life for me. And I want to be able to tell people that confidently without feeling judged, like I’m this terrible person. 

I’ve even gotten the occasional “but think of the women who want children but can’t have them” comment. Ummm..excuse me? What does that have to do with me? Trust me, if I could give them my (possibly-working) uterus so they can have a kid, I would. But unfortunately that’s not an option, so how does that comment even relate to my situation?

I think more and more women are getting comfortable admitting that they don’t want to be mothers (dog and cat moms don’t count!). Example, these memes. 

On a more serious note, there are statistics to prove this. Of the 2,000 people ages 20 to 45 surveyed in a 2018 poll from Morning Consult for The New York Times, 36 percent who did not want children or weren’t sure about having kids wanted more leisure time (I must fall into that 36 percent!).

The question remains, however, will society ever fully accept that?

 

10 comments

  1. Mishira Davis · May 6

    I share the same feelings as you on numerous points of why I dont want kids. At the same point I do enjoy kids. I enjoy their innocence and their views on life. They really have it easy lol. The only time I worry about not having kids now is I often wonder who will take care of me when I get old (so selfish, but a real concern). I pray I nurture my niece enough where she would take care of me lol

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  2. Brow · May 6

    Totally agree!! Great post

    Like

  3. Darell · May 6

    I’m happy you noted that dog and cat moms don’t count.

    Attached to your notions of selfishness, you’ve listed fears in them. It’s understandable and given every pregnancy is different, it’s almost the fear of the unknown preventing more so than the fear of doing.

    The downside to selfish desires are they eventually leave an itching resentment (sometimes) where you’d look back on life’s actions and wish a different route was taken. You’re right, that unconditional love can come (unless you’re just sadistic) but with that love comes a sacrifice where you don’t necessarily mind giving up some things.

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    • Zahra H · August 19

      Your post is nothing but truth! I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and comment. I don’t think I’ll ever regret not having kids — but I’m only 35, so who knows!

      Like

  4. Micheal Webster · May 7

    This was an amazing blog. I was never sure it I wanted children. Then I fell in love with a woman who had one, and shortly after we were married child #2 blessed our home. At 24 years old, I was barely able to take care of myself. Let alone a wife and 2 children. Then throw in, I was in the military. And my annual salary that first year of marriage (she did not work) was less than $15,000. Now before you go crazy, I did also receive another nearly $6000 in housing allowance. That was 1997. It was still a huge struggle.

    I never thought I would be able to be responsible for another living being. I mean hell the only qualification for being a father was having your significant other FAIL a pregnancy test… or however you wish to word it.

    Regardless of whether you think you are qualified or able to care for another human, especially one so small……. you are. Instinct takes over and your life is changed forever.

    Ad far as not wanting to have children. I run across more and more people who feel that way. I respect their decision. And it should not be expected of anyone to have children.

    Thanks for the blog. Sorry for the long response.

    Like

    • Zahra H · August 19

      I really appreciate you taking the time to read this! And your comment!

      Like

  5. rababalrayes · May 7

    So well said. Everyone should be able to make their own life decisions without judgment from others…. Mind ya bizzness!!!

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  6. I’m one of those “what about the women who can’t have children” women people like to use to make the childless feel bad… And I’m here to tell you it’s a-fucking-ok with me if you don’t want kids! You have the infertile woman stamp of approval to do whatever the heck you want with your body and life- including not having kids! So go forth and choose not to procreate! Don’t bother me none!

    Course I’m not sure wtf that has anything to do with me, anyways, but hey!

    Like

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