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Friday, 11 March 2011

Babies...and Where I Stand on the Issue

Last week I went to my first ever baby shower.  I have to say I quite enjoyed it - but that could have a lot to do with seeing my friends, socialising in general and the really yummy food we ate!

Honestly, I'm not a baby person.  Sure, I'm over the moon that my best friend is pregnant.  But, it has to be said, it's because I know I won't be the one who has actually have the baby - I can just make a fuss of it every now and again (no offence meant BFF :P).

Yet, when I tell people I don't want to have children I usually am met with disbelief, or at the very worst, an assumption of naiveity.  Seriously, why is it so wrong that I don't want to have children?  I am a big believer that everyone has a right to choose how they live their life, as long as it doesn't intentionally harm anyone else.  So I have to say, that I am offended when people assume I'm either lying to them or to myself.  I am not stupid.  Yes, I am a woman.  And yes, I am aware that I may change my mind in the future.  But where I am now in my life and beliefs, I stand firm on not wanting kids.

The problem is, I never remember wanting children.  I never remember wanting to be a mother.  I have felt that motherly instinct in the past few years, when my little brother was born, but it was nowhere near strong enough to override my horror at the idea.

I know a few of you want to throw things at me right now.  Yes, I said the idea of having a baby horrifies me.  It terrifies me and it kind of makes me feel like throwing up.  But that's just me.  I don't care whether you want kids, have kids, wish you could have kids - that's your choice.  I respect your choice but it doesn't effect me because it's your life.  So why can't people respect me for my choice?

I writing this not to upset anyone (I think I've made it quite clear that is not my intention) but because I feel certain that I can't be the only woman to ever feel like this.  This is for them.  If you know that you don't want to be a mother, please, please don't let family, friends or society pressure you into it.  At the end of the day, it's your choice, your life.

I am well aware that I know nothing about being a mother, and I don't claim to.  I believe that for some people it is the most rewarding occupation.  And if you are one of those people - please try and remember that EVERYONE's choices are just as valid as yours.  If you are trying to talk someone into becoming a mother, that's like me trying to talk you into becoming a writer (if you hate writing) or a crafter, on the grounds that you won't be fulfilled if you don't follow in my footsteps.

EVERYONE has the choice to live their life as they want to.  NO ONE has the right to make someone else feel guilty for their choices.

(By the way, I wasn't met with that much prejudice at the baby shower - it just got me thinking about it and past experiences.)

6 comments:

Creative Chaos Art said...

As someone who is desperate to have a child I don't find this offensive at all! To take a different slant on it, I'm fed up of people (namely my family, half of whom already have children) telling me I DON'T want to have children!! Just as frustrating in a rather different way ;)

I love reading your blog btw :)

Helen x
(bicyclegasoline on AYME!)

Kess said...

Good on you for airing your views! There's nothing wrong with not wanting to have children. Everybody's different, and we're all entitled to our own views.

I'm sure you will be a brilliant aunty! You can enjoy the children and then hand them back when they cry! Lol

Bethany Mason said...

Hello Helen! Obviously I've never been in your position but I have to say it surprises me (though I'm guessing it could be related to your disability?). But thinking about it, I think if I wanted children and was told I didn't I'd find that even worse than not wanting children and people saying I'm naive.

And Kess - that's pretty much my feelings. I'm no longer as anti-children as I once was but I like knowing that I don't have to deal with them all the time as I don't know if I have the temperment for it!

Maria said...

I have a friend who has always said she doesn't want children and I respect that but I have ALWAYS wanted a big family ( I think it's because I have so many brothers and sisters!!)and I can't imagine not having children...

Maria xxx

Stephanie Faris said...

I never wanted children, really. I hit a period in my early 30s when everyone else was having them and I thought maybe I should, but then I went through a divorce and figured out it just wasn't in the cards. People just can't seem to believe anyone wouldn't want children. It's like you're supposed to want them and if you don't, you're different from the rest of the world. Says who? Can't our lives be about more than producing offspring?

Bethany Mason said...

Maria - I have many siblings too but I think it is exactly that reason that has made me not want children (on the other hand my brother wants a big family).

Stephanie - I read your blog and have to say that many of your posts on this issue (even those touching it barely) have helped me become much more confident in what I want rather than what I'm 'supposed' to want, so thank you.