5 Reasons Why It's Perfectly Okay To Be A Woman Who Doesn't Want Children

by Lauren Martin

“Excuse me sir, but can you please control your crying baby or at least don’t bring him on the subway until he’s learned to control his fits..." is something I wish I could say to the men and women on the train, subway, airplane, restaurant, deli (and just about anywhere) with a screaming toddler.

I don’t mean to be to be insensitive, but if you ask me, they’re the ones being insensitive to all the people who have chosen not to indulge in the “miracle of life” and who live without the promise of a next generation.

If I were a man stating this, this declaration would seem normal, even masculine. However, because I’m a woman, it just seems wrong. I hear how it sounds; I understand the implications and the stigmas attached to being a woman who doesn’t want children, but I’m tired of pretending like they are the only reason for my existence.

After years of babysitting, watching my parents slowly fall into a life they never wanted, and one too many babies aboard one too many planes, I’m at a point where I can’t help but want to scream from every Manhattan rooftop that I am a woman and I never, ever want to have children.

Sometimes my roommate and I joke when we’re sitting around, stressed about “Real Housewives” not recording and say something like, “Dude, what if you had a baby right now?” The hypothetical idea of it sends us both into fits of laughter because even in our 20s, having a baby seems like the most irresponsible, impossible and downright worst thing that would happen.

However, we’re at an age when just a previous generation ago, it was normal to be married and have children. It was frowned upon to be a woman in her late 30s and childless. Women were in a mad dash to the altar, then the nursery, and I can’t help but thank God every day that I was not born in a time in which spinsterhood was punishable by death and infertility was deemed unholy.

Today, being single and childless is just “modern.” And I’ll take being a modern woman over a baby mama any day. Not to be too hard on babies, but the moment you have a child is the moment your life is over. You may as well die right then and there because a pulse does not make for a living soul. I have countless witnesses and victims to attest to this.

Why can't women want something besides fertility? In a society in which feminism has become a more acceptable word and women everywhere are standing up for their right to lead countries and companies as equally as their male counterparts, it seems backwards to chastise the woman who doesn't want to give up her power for a child.

When did it become so wrong not to want to have kids? What's wrong with wanting to fulfill your own life, before someone else's? From the moment your children are born to the moment you actually turn cold and die, your life is all about them. These screaming, dirty lumps of exhaustion and reliability consume your days and nights, turning you into that haggard shell of someone you used to know, with early age lines and a horrible sense of humor.

There's no time for dreams, passions or everyday whims. Your old friends, hobbies and pursuits fade into the heaping mound of diapers, college tuition funds and braces. So for all those women out there holding their tongue and desperately wondering how to tell their parents they don’t see themselves giving them grandchildren anytime soon, here are all the reasons it’s okay:

You Refuse To Do Two Jobs Half-Assed

Isn’t it worse to have kids raised by nannies and strangers than not to have kids at all? It seems selfish to want to chase both the career and the baby train when you only have time to fully devote to one.

Today, women are running billion-dollar companies and leading creative fields to the glory land of Emmys and Golden Globes. There is no longer the stigma that comes with the working woman who decides to chase a career over a toddler.

It’s okay to replace storks with Golden Globes and dirty diapers with overfilled emails. "Having it all" is increasingly impossible and even irresponsible; there will always be one side left neglected.

There Are Thrills You Want To Seek Beyond Childbirth

Yes, it’s thrilling to have a child. Maybe one of the most thrilling and pants-sh*tting experiences out there. However, just because you choose to experience that one thrilling event doesn’t mean all the other exciting adventures of the world aren’t worth it.

Having a baby disqualifies you from chasing other types of thrills, ones that wouldn’t be possible with a toddler strapped to your front.

Your Career Is Your Child

As stated before, having both a child and career is difficult. For many people, their careers become their lives, and the job becomes their child. You spend nights up with it, weekends with it and are always watching out for it. You watch it grow, feed it and nurse it back to health.

When it comes to your job, you are its caretaker and its sole provider. Your livelihood is in this career, this job; this profession is what gives you purpose. Your career will never leave you, get into hard drugs or put you into debt.

You Have More To Offer Than Children

While repopulating the world is an admirable feat, what if everyone just chose to have babies and no one wanted to help other kids? There are many noble things one can do besides producing children.

Many times those without children choose to devote their lives to kids without families, homeless people without shelters and hundreds of other causes that need as much specialized attention as bratty kids who just want the newest Lego set for Christmas.

You're Admonished Either Way

If you have kids, you’re just one of those women who gave up her career to stay home. If you don’t have kids, something’s wrong with you. Either way, people are always going to have something to say.

Though we respect the career woman, we don’t always feel her path was the natural course to take. And while we love our mothers, many times we wonder if they gave up on their dreams too quickly. Everyone always has, and always will have, an opinion of you and it’s your choice to either lead your life based on others' opinions or to follow your barren womb to greatness.

Photo via Netflix