As scary as it is to hit "Publish" on a controversial post, I truly admire those bloggers who put their thoughts and feelings out there for the world to see. One of the great things about blogging is being able to connect with people, to read a post and whisper to yourself, "Oh my gosh! I thought I was the only one!" and realize you're not. You already read the title, so you know what's up: I don't want kids. Or, more accurately, I don't know if I want kids. I usually say the latter, not because I really want to play both sides of the fence, but because I don't think that, at 26, I'm fully prepared to jump on one side or the other.
As I, a married woman closer to 30 than 20, navigate through Blogland, I have to admit that there are a lot of times I feel out of place. I find so many other bloggers that I share so many things in common with, except I'm missing that one key piece. They either have a kid or two, are pregnant (or trying), or are impatiently awaiting the day they can "start a family."
Growing up, I always thought I'd be a mom. It just seemed like a safe assumption. The same way I planned on going to college, getting married, buying a house, I also planned on having kids. That's just what you do, right? Then I grew up, and I started doing those other things, and I realized that I wasn't just doing them because I was "supposed" to - I made a choice to do them. I did them because I wanted to. Eventually I realized that, if I was going to have kids, I was going to have to decide to do so. It was a choice. The longer I wait, the less interested I become in making that choice.
I don't like kids. I don't hate them, but I don't like them either. To tell you the truth, I don't have a lot of experience being around them. I only had a brother and a couple of cousins growing up, and we were all nearly the same age. I never had younger family members to take care of or dote on. I never really got into babysitting. I have friends with kids, but I usually hang out with them sans kids (thankfully, they understand that, while I love them and know that they love their babies, babies just aren't my jam...and I like to think they appreciate the non-mom time). So maybe it's just a lack of experience. Totally possible. But I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything by not having a mini-me in my life.
I'm selfish. I have no problem admitting that. I'm not completely self-absorbed, of course, and I have friends and family I'd do absolutely anything for. But if we're talking about my day-to-day life...I like having time to do whatever I want. I like having money to spend on whatever I want. I like having the ability to spontaneously go to the movies or go out of town for the night. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity I have right now to go to school and get another degree, and to be able to focus solely on that. I love my life just the way it is. I recognize that being a parent would change my life in a fundamental and monumental way. I'm just not interested in giving up life as I know it for another person who doesn't even exist yet.
People tell me things like, "You'll change your mind!" or "It's different when it's your own!" (I think it's only fair that I should get to tell them they might change their mind, but now I'm just being snarky). I'm totally open to the possibility that those might be true. I also think those might just be things parents tell themselves to make themselves feel better. At this point, I have no way of knowing for sure.
I could fill a book (or blog) with all my feelings and reasons and thoughts on why I don't want to have kids, but I'll leave you with just those few. I have lots of dreams and goals and things I want to accomplish, in the next few years especially, and for now, none of them involve having a child. Maybe that will change, maybe it won't. I'm fully prepared for either scenario, but I'm approaching it with a "We'll see what happens" attitude. While my husband isn't quite as ready to jump on board the No-Baby Train as I am, we've agreed to wait until I'm 30 to really discuss it. For now, I'm just going to continue not exactly knowing how to respond when my friends tell me they're pregnant...