I Don’t Know if I Ever Want To Start a Family of My Own
The baby wagon is in full motion for women around my age, and I have no intention of hopping on.
In primary school, the boys and girls had separate changing and shower rooms. I remember exchanging our ideal kid count, for later “when we’d grow up”. Every single girl convincingly stated how she wanted to have a boy and a girl, or two girls, or sometimes even three. I was eight years old. And the only one who stated she didn’t want to have any children at all.
I feel extremely disconnected from kids from my high school. When we last were hanging out, we were kids. Deciding where to steer our futures was a hot topic. We occasionally met up, went for dinner, had drinks in the city, or got completely shitfaced together. Those times are long gone.
Fast forward a decade. We’re not kids anymore. Our lives have drifted apart. With most people from back in the days, I’ve lost touch, as per how it usually goes when you spend a decade apart. This is not a bad thing. Our lives just went in different directions. The partying or casual meeting up has made room for baby cradles, owned property, and “settling down” on their end. There is nothing that binds us today. There is nothing to talk about and no desire to stay or get in touch.
When I compare my life to theirs, I feel a disconnect. One by one, couples are getting pregnant with their first or second baby. They seem to be intensely enjoying how their kids are growing up and saying their first words. I see the occasional birthday party on my Instagram scroll, which new parents proudly share with the world.
I know that for some, this has been their long-time, ultimate dream. I wonder if I am missing out, but I don’t feel like I am. I haven’t changed my mind since that eight year old stated she was too cool to have kids herself one day.
To me, having kids is something you do once you are:
• Financially stable, or earning enough to cover the cost of putting another human being on this planet. I imagine the cost of all these baby supplies shooting through the roof. Living in a studio apartment might not be ideal when you have a partner, and a young child who craves space to play, and you needing a separate room to get away from the action for a while.
• Settled in one place so the kid can have a secure, stable environment to grow up in.
• Feeling comfortable in your own skin, so that you can pass this self-confidence on to your newborn.
Meanwhile, here I am in my 27 square meter studio apartment in a metropole, still feeling like a kid, not being at all close to even thinking about getting pregnant or giving up my lifestyle for a life I never desired.
My idea of satisfaction has nothing to do with finding a partner, getting married, and starting a family. I feel nothing for any of those things. I know it makes me one of the odd ones out.
Moving from 30 upwards, as a woman, I’ll need to take into account my biological clock. That is if I want to have kids. The “older” you turn, the higher the risk of complications. Thus, to increase the chance of birthing a healthy child, you’d better do it, and do it while young.
I can always consider adopting or fostering, as there will unfortunately always be unwanted children, deserted ones, longing for love. They deserve it, and they need it. Someone needs to give it to them.
Maybe seeing friends lovingly go through the experience of getting pregnant and giving birth to their ultimate creation and their new life makes me change my mind and spark a new desire. By all means, I’m happy for them. I don’t think it’s for me. It might change. If it doesn’t, I won’t be any more or less bothered by it.
Choosing to not have children is a legit choice too. Luckily I don’t feel any societal pressure to hop on the baby wagon. People in my inner circle care more about me getting my shit together than me complicating my life by adding a second one to it.
When people close to me start having kids of their own, I feel weirded out. It’s a confirmation of having reached the age of “a mother”. Because that is the reality.
A child changes your life for good. Whether it’s only for the first 18 years of their existence, or forever thereafter, I’ll leave the parenting to those who choose that life. So that I can enjoy my lonesome, kidless existence, the way I prefer it.