Why I Decided Not To Have Kids And Why You Should Stop Asking

It has come to my attention that people in my family have been asking me the same question for a few years now; “when do you plan on having children?” Now some may not have said this upfront, but I know an indirect comment/ question when I hear it. Now it is my turn to finally answer that question once and for all (drum roll please)…. I am not planning on having children.

Yes, I can hear most of the women in my family give the fearsome gasp. Now comes the rebuttal questions:

“Why not?”

“Whats wrong about having children?”

“You don’t like kids?”

And my favorite annoying comment:

“You say that now, but in the future you will have them. It will change your life.”

Ay Dios Mio! Yes, I agree. Having children is a life changing experience, however I don’t see them in my future. I adore children. I am good with them and I love making kids smile. I plan to create different programs that can be used in schools for kids. Does that mean I see myself having my own? No. Deciding not to have children is a LIFE CHOICE. There are many women who have made the same choice I have and its okay.

Now of course when I explain this I hear “how can you be so selfish?” I am not being selfish at all. I have discussed this issue with my boyfriend in the event that we do decided to get married. He is fine with it and respects my decision. My parents want  a child to call them “Abuelo” and “Abuela”, but I cannot make a life changing choice based on their desires either. Again, this is not me being selfish. I considered their feelings and as much as I would love to grant all their wishes a baby was never a part of my life plan.

I know there are a lot of women who under different circumstances are unable to have children. For those of you who tell me “you should be thankful you are fertile” (believe me I have gotten this comment before) I get it. I am thankful, but that still does not mean I am obligated to get pregnant. People will argue with me and say that it is God’s will to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 9:1). Some people take this quote out of context and I will not get into that debate, but for the few who do take this in the context I am explaining here is my respectful response; God also gave us free will, and with that I chose not to have a baby.

Another question I have been asked is “is your career choice preventing you from having children?” Absolutely not. I will have a busy schedule, but its not my personal excuse to decide not to be a mother. Motherhood is an amazing gift and I congratulate all moms and moms to be on their bundles of joy. I have seen that its a beautiful experience, but its not for me.

Its cultural that I get pressured to have a child. As a Latina it is looked upon for a woman to expand the family. Its traditional thinking, but I do not follow all traditions. Its not that I grew up in New York City and the island was not able to knock the “mom radar” in me. My instincts just don’t have the desire for it.

I have thought about the possibility of adoption. That possibility is still way off, but I know there are many children out there who need parents. Most people say “its not the same as having your own child.” True, but for an adopted child who has probably gone through a lot, having someone who will take them in will mean the world.

So for those of you who keep asking me about the children thing, even if its joking around just stop. Its annoying and if you insist then that means you don’t respect my decision. I am happy with my choice. I will not feel like my life lacks purpose without them or that my biological clock is ticking away. This is what I want for myself.

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