No kids for me, thanks.

 

I always thought I wanted children, that’s the role women play, we keep house and we have children. I spent my entire youth fighting this role, yet as I got older it became more appealing. When I married my ex husband at the age of 27, we had previously discussed having children. I said I wanted to be married first, fooling myself, and him, that I was a traditionalist, really I was just putting things off. I didn’t know this at the time, I thought that I genuinely was a traditionalist, I wanted to do things “properly”. I would be the first person on both sides of my family to do this.

After we separated, my “plan” of having 3-4 children seemed to go out the window. It plagued me at times, I ached for what I thought was wanting to be a parent, but now I know it was more about wanting what I couldn’t have.

I had this desperate need to settle down, yet, I didn’t want to grow up. I had missed out on so many years of just being on my own, I loved it. I was independent by nature, yet I had always seemed to get myself into relationships, I wanted to be needed, wanted.

I had friend say to me “Oh you’ll be a great mum” or “I can’t wait for you to be a mum” this used to make me really sad as at the time, I had no boyfriend in sight and I was on the wrong side of 30. The odds were against me and I found it quite a cruel thing to hear, given all my friends knew about how I felt about having children.

After a couple of years of being mostly single, I came around to the idea of no children. A lot of my friends were having children and the idea wasnt really growing on me! I loved my new-found freedom, I couldn’t imagine a life where you couldnt just decide to do something on the spur of the moment, or sleep for a whole night, or think about anyone else but yourself if you didn’t want to. This sounds selfish and its is and precisely the reason I shouldnt have a child.

I didn’t feel natural around babies or children like some people do, I didnt get that warm fuzzy feeling when looking at a baby, I didnt understand being “broody”. When I met my boyfriend, it genuinely didnt bother me that he had children, it surprised me more than anyone. This was how I knew I liked him rather a lot. However, me being in a steady relationship brought on the continuous questions about us starting a family of our own, even from the very beginning. I had been quite comfortable in the fact that I was to be childless, I would have step children and therefore get the best of both worlds, but apparently not, according to other people. This then made me doubt my own mind.

I don’t know why people think its acceptable to comment on people’s family planning, I mean some people are desperately trying to conceive and are unable to, if I find being questioned annoying and upsetting how must these people feel? It’s no ones business and if its something they wish to share they will. It’s not just people without children either, I have friends who have one child and they are constantly being asked when more will come and it really bothers them, some have struggled to cope with their first and dont want to put themselves or their family through it again and some are trying and struggling to conceive and feel like failures.

Here are some of the things I have had people say to me:

You’ll change your mind.

This is my number one most hated thing people say. Like I don’t have a brain in my head and can’t make decisions? I am 35 years old, I think if I was going to change my mind I would have done it by now. Why do I have to change my mind? Are they psychic?

You don’t know tiredness until you have kids.

I don’t want to either. This is one of the reasons why I dont want them, I am the bitch from hell if I dont get my 7 hours. Whereas you chose to have a child and should have been aware that tiredness is part of the little bundle of “joy” so stop complaining.

Who will take care of you when you’re old.

Wow. Is this an actual reason for people having kids? Well lets see, who looks after me now? Oh yeah, me and if I can’t there are places to go and be looked after.

You’ll never know love like it.

Personally, I never want to love anyone more than I love my boyfriend, it’s the most love I have ever felt.I have seen the most closest of couples fall apart as one them is being neglected by their partner as they are so in love with their child. Who’s measuring love anyway? How do they know? Is this another thing that comes becoming a parent? A loveometer?

You are really selfish.

Yes, a family member actually said this to me. It actually really upset me at the time. Surely the most selfish thing I can do is bring an unwanted child into this world? And surely if I am this terrible selfish person, I would be a terrible selfish mother.

It no longer upsets me when I get asked these questions as I am now fully comfortable with my decision and realise I know my own mind better than anyone and there is nothing wrong with not wanting children. Dont get me wrong, I don’t hate children or people with children. I even like some children. My very best friends have children who I adore and I love my stepchildren, it hasn’t always been easy. But I’ll write about that another day.

 

Freaky Dreams!

Last night I had a rather disturbing dream. I dreamt that I was pregnant! In my dream I was shocked but ok with it and more concerned about not being able to drink at a party I was going to. This would not be my reaction in real life, I would be totally freaked out! Babies or not on my agenda anymore, they were once, up until I was around 30 I guess.

As a teenager I had a life plan, get married at 25, have four children and be a stay at home mum, I got married at 27, to the wrong man, I knew that having children with him would be a mistake and we broke up, as did my life plan, which was already 2 years behind schedule. Having never been single since I was 15, I partied hard for a few years, I discovered a side of myself I never knew existed. I experimented, I met lots of new, different people and I felt like for the first time in my life, I was really living. I didn’t even do anything drastic, I just did what I wanted, I had no one to answer to. I had moved back into my parents home after splitting with my ex, which has an adult is always difficult. I resorted to my teenage self, locking myself away in my room when I was at home,  watching crappy american teen dramas and sorting out my iTunes. My dad and I fought a lot as we’re so alike and I’m not sure he appreciated his new party animal daughter, I was always a pretty sensible girl.

After a couple of years I moved into a flat on my own. I had always feared living alone, worried I would be scared and lonely but as I sat there on my first night, with a glass of wine, in my own (rented) living room, I could not have been happier. For the first time in my life, it was just me. Who decides what time I get up? Me, no one to share the bathroom with. Who decides if I can stay out for drinks after work? Me, nothing to rush home for. Who decides who comes over and when? Me, its my home. It was lovely.

I honestly thought be single and living on my own would be a lonely life, but it really wasnt! I realised I had never really been in charge of my life as I was always revolving it around others, which led me to a realisation. Maybe I don’t want children? I have only just found my freedom, having children would take that away from me! Not that I had anything to worry about at the time as I wasnt dating anyone, if anything I was actively avoiding the male species.

A few of my friends starting having children and I would see how the other girls would flock around coo-ing and getting all broody. I just didn’t feel like that. I spent many years thinking that something was wrong with me as a woman to not feel like that, wasnt it a natural thing to love babies? If someone brought a dog in I would melt behave like this, maybe I was a dog in a previous life?

When I met my boyfriend and we became serious, which was pretty quickly, we had the discussion about children, he already has children, so for him, he would happily stop there but he said if I wanted children then he was open to the idea. I still wasnt sure, I loved him, surely I was meant to want children with him? When people asked me if I wanted kids, as people tend to do and its pretty bloody annoying and personal in my opinion, I mean what if you can’t have kids and its devastating you? When I say I’m not sure or I don’t think so, people then decide for me. “Oh you’ll change your mind” Why did you even ask me then? If you knew I was going to eventually want kids? You clearly have all the answers. One friend, every conversation we had, would speak in a patronising tone, “Oh you will, I cant see you not having kids, you’ll be a great mum” No I wont, I am far too selfish, I like my life, I like going on holidays, I like my job, I like drinking, I like doing what I want when I want, oh and I really like going to the bathroom undisturbed, you know all of those things you moan about not having in your life every time I speak to you? Eventually it became clear to me that I really didn’t want children of my own, we have my boyfriends children every other weekend and its lovely, but the way I see it is I get the best of both worlds. I was just worried about one thing, my parents. We’d never really spoken about me having kids, my parents are great they have never made me feel pressurised into doing anything, they have no expectations from my or my siblings, they just want us to be happy & safe, so lord only knows why I got myself into such a state, thinking that I would be letting them down by not providing a grandchild as they only had one. I blame Barry.

One night I was at my parents house having red wine, when I felt like confessing my lack of maternal feelings to them. I steeled myself for the “reassuring” comments about changing my mind and feeling differently in a couple of years but to my surprise they said that they never thought I would have children anyway, they said I had a great life and wouldn’t understand why I would want to change that. My parents were pretty young when I was born, my mum loves children, she works with them and she’s great with my boyfriends kids so I thought she might find it difficult to understand, but she does. So after that I don’t worry about it anymore, I dont explain myself to people when they are horrified that I am to be a childless wench for all eternity and “will never know love like it” What I will have is the love for my soon to be husband, I dont want to love anybody else as much as I love him.

So after the brief confusion of wondering what this dream meant, which I looked up on Dreammoods (I do this quite a lot) dreaming about being pregnant apparently means:

To dream that you are pregnant symbolizes an aspect of yourself or some aspect of your personal life that is growing and developing. You may not be ready to talk about it or act on it. Being pregnant in your dream may also represent the birth of a new idea, direction, project or goal.

Well how about that then!