As I’ve discussed previously, I have no desire to have children. I would listen to my friends’ dreams of being mothers and I just could not relate at all! I dreamt of getting a place of my own in southern California with my beautiful cat and then having friends over every now and then. That sounded like the ultimate dream to me. I didn’t even dream of a man in the future even though I fell deeply in love early in life. Even then, I was like nah! He and I had conversations about having a child, and I did go through short periods of considering it, but it was just too scary for me mainly due to my anxiety.
Here are three reasons I don’t feel bad for my decision to not have children:
I value my time alone
Even though I’m an extrovert, there is nothing better than coming home to an empty house. In my everyday life, I’m outgoing, love talking to people, and get super energized by deep authentic conversations. I enjoy a hard day’s work, dinner with my besties, and breakfast with my baby (my boyfriend!). Yet, at the end of the day, it brings me comfort and solitude that I have a silent home to step into. Everything was left the way it was when I left, I can crawl into bed, write in my journal, call a friend, watch a show, dance in my living room, or whatever I feel like doing or not doing.
I was raised as an only child and am used to being alone. I prefer it as an adult. It stresses me out when I’m around people 24/7 with no alone time and I get a little cranky and resentful. I’m not that woman who wants to host the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and I rarely have anyone over to my house. I love a silent house, not getting woken up in the night, sitting in my thoughts, and meditating. I don’t want to talk to anyone if I don’t have to.
My anxiety is too high
In public and at work I could contain my anxiety and it was a great distraction from what was playing in the background of my mind. Yet deep within my soul was excruciating anxiety.
I had anxiety about nearly everything: not being good enough, not having enough money, fear of dying and not making it to the pearly gates, fear of health issues, fear of something terrible happening to my family, my husband, or my animals. I wanted to control everything around me so I could feel safe but that just made it worse. The thought of having a baby was too overwhelming to even think about. I mean, how would I keep this child alive until adulthood?!
I had to shut down my thoughts after so long so I wouldn’t spiral out of control in my mind. I know Mother’s worry about their children constantly but I didn’t want to put myself through that agony, and still don’t. I do not feel bad or have any regrets for choosing not to have children, actually I feel really great about it! When my friends would say, “You’ll regret it when you get older.” I had brief moments where I thought they were right but then snapped out of it because that is not what I want my life to look like.
I expressed my deep fears as to why I didn’t want children with my husband at the time and the look on his face is etched into my brain. It was like he had seen a ghost and then walked off with a look of disgust. He never mentioned having children after that moment which was a huge relief. After all, I thought we had an understanding before we got married that I wasn’t interested in bearing children.
I need my sleep
Anyone that truly knows me understands this about me. I’ve always needed at least 8 hours of sleep, sometimes 9 hours. If I don’t get enough sleep, I get sick, severe headaches, brain fog, irritability, and it’s just not fun to be around me.
So, the thought of having children and losing so much sleep sounds like complete torture to me. If I get 6-7 hours of sleep, it’s not pretty and neither am I at that point.
I just can’t stand the thought of having children, getting up throughout the night and going to work the next day! I know as a parent you make sacrifices and they are worth every sleepless night because their children bring them so much joy but that’s not my path and I don’t feel bad about it.
I am self aware enough to know that I definitely have no desire to have children. I see a therapist regularly to keep my anxiety in check and it helps me tremendously. I feel free from the pressure of my peers and society and I’m going to do what brings me joy and that is vastly different from other women and it’s okay.
It’s taken me 43 years to get to this point and not feel bad for choosing not to have children but it feels good to talk about it and hear other woman’s struggle with their decisions too. In the past, when another woman would bring up the subject, I would cringe and wonder what my response would be. I mean, I don’t want to sound like a heartless baby hater but I also wanted to make it clear that wasn’t my life’s journey.
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