I was 16 when I began my battle with teen pregnancy.
I fought the good fight and when I turned 20, it was apparent that I was the unanimous winner. It also was apparent that my feelings on pregnancy and motherhood had not changed in those four years.
I'm now 23 and I still feel the same way: I never want to be pregnant. I never want to birth a child. I never want to be a mother.
Many women have a small window in their lives when pregnancy and motherhood is not an attractive thought.
I believe that my whole life is made up of this window and I don’t mind talking about it. But, by talking about it so freely, I have apparently opened a door for people to tell me how wrong I am.
I have heard numerous older women tell me that they felt the same way at my age, but that when they "met the right person, it all changed," or "things happen and you just go with it," or "children are the greatest reward we can receive in our lives."
This type of talk spews from the mouths of my mother, aunts and even my uncles. I've even heard things like this from friends, coworkers, coaches and seemingly everyone else I know. Why is everyone so adamant about trying to convince me that I will eventually want to have children?
Here's the thing: No one gets to have an opinion or a say about what I want to do — or more specifically, not do — with my uterus.
There are many reasons why I and many other women don't want to have kids. Let me lay out this thought process for you:
1. The idea of something growing inside of me is terrifying. Yes, I am a woman and I am made to have a child inside of me, but I didn't choose to have a uterus.
I do, however, have a choice on whether or not I wish to utilize my uterus.
My choice is to let it remain vacant for the entirety of my life because imagining having a child inside of me reminds me of alien movies, when alien fetuses burst from people's stomachs. That is what having a baby seems like to me. It is alien; it is obtrusive; it is undesirable.
2. I'm selfish and being a parent requires a sh*t ton of selflessness. Being pregnant changes your body: the stretch marks, the fat, the boobs! No, thanks.
I like my body the way it is. Being a mother is exhausting and once you're a mother, you will always be one.
Having kids, statistically, is one of the least happy times during a marriage. I'm not married, but if I ever am, having kids sounds like a death sentence for spousal happiness.
3. There is no part of me that wants to be a mother. I wouldn't enjoy it. I dislike when something or someone is dependent upon me. I hate expectations.
I don't like heavy commitments. Hell, I don't even like making plans a day in advance because what if I change my mind? The dedication and desire that is necessary to be a parent escapes me. I don't have it. I don't want it.
Obviously, I have thought this through.
Yes, if I fall into motherhood, I would do my best to be the greatest mother I could be because a child is a child and I'm not a heartless wench. However, I will never choose it.
Motherhood is a choice, not a predetermined obligation for being a woman. It should not even be an expectation.
So, when you hear me or anyone else say, "I don't want kids," it is the same as someone saying, "I'm a democrat," or "I'm a republican."
It is not a stance to negotiate or persuade. It can certainly be discussed, but please, as a personal life choice, I don't really care what your opinion is. You don't get to have one.
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