I know several women who don’t want kids. They don’t plan on getting pregnant, not now and not in the future. Their reasons are varied and well thought out. When I ask why they don’t want kids and they tell me those reasons, I listen. To me it’s a little bit like listening in another language, the main point is getting across but I have some trouble with comprehension.
Growing up, I always wanted to be a mom, looked forward to it, planned on it. It was an easy expectation to slip into. I’m treated as normal for having them. So it’s like we’re on two different continents, exchanging ideas from across a vast gap. There are times when I honestly don’t understand that decision. There may have been times I added to the immense social pressure on these women to reproduce, without meaning to.
To the woman who doesn’t want kids, I have some promises to make.
Number 1: I promise to show your decision the same respect you show mine. It’s your life, your body that would have to grow the baby, your time, your finances and schedule and job and relationships that would completely change. I can respect that, and accept your choice.
Number 2: I promise NOT to let the words, “biological clock” or silly phrases like, “you’ll change your mind someday” pass my lips. I will pay you the compliment of believing, without you having to argue me into it, that you are smart enough to know what your own feelings are. I will trust your intelligence when it comes to you making up your own mind.
Number 3: I have had thoughts like, “I hope your fur babies appreciate getting your nice house and all of your property when you pass away.” and I want to ask your forgiveness for those thoughts. I promise to work hard on changing my attitude, even though I keep it internal. I will remember that most of society already treats you as weird or defective for not wanting children. I don’t need to add to that weight with my own thoughts about things that really aren’t my business.
To the woman who doesn’t want any kids: I’m here to support your choice. Not to judge you or try to change your mind. It may be hard for me to understand, but I don’t have to understand to accept. I hope these three promises are a start to changing some of the attitudes you have to deal with. Someday we may live in a world where there is nothing to discuss and no letters like this to write, because each choice will be as valid as the other.