... but I'm getting really tired of talking to mothers.
About a year ago one of my online friends was pregnant, and she was complaining about morning sickness, and then a few months later about her cravings and how the kid had started kicking her in the bladder and GOD wasn't it awful...
... so I had to ask: if it's so awful, why do women always talk about how amazing being pregnant is?
Immediately she and another woman, who had just moments before been talking about how AWFUL her pregnancy was, said "Oh, but it IS amazing! It's the most wonderful thing ever!"
I listen to you complain about how wretched your pregnancy makes you feel, about what wretched little brats your kids are, and then... the moment I say 'this is why I don't want kids' you flip-flop and tell me it's the best thing in the world, it's so amazing and magical and it's such a miracle! Then they go on to say that it's a pity I don't want kids, I'd be a wonderful mother.
No, I would not. If I wanted a child, perhaps I might be a good mother. But I don't. I have too many ambitious plans for my career. If I had a child, I would have to put things on hold, take time off, spend a lot of money and time taking care of the child... and there would always be a bit of resentment. No matter how much I came to love the child I would always resent it, just a little bit, for all the things I had to give up for it. A child deserves a mother who is happy to give up anything for it. My child would not have that. I would not be a "great mother" just because... what? Because I'm a good teacher, or because I always go out of my way to help my friends?
Then they tell me that the fact that I "worry" about being a good mother means I would probably be one. I'm not *worried* about it. I'm explaining. I don't think about it. It doesn't keep me up at night.
The most irritating comes from my grandmother, and other older, "wiser" women, who tell me I'll change my mind when I'm older. I'm 26. Most of my friends either have babies or want them. Maybe there are a few years left before my "biological clock" start ticking, but...
I have many, many years of school ahead of me. I took a rather circuitous route to where I'm at, and I've got four more years on my current degree at least, I don't know how many more for the PhD I plan to do, and then I'd want to get settled into my career before starting a family (if I wanted one, which I don't)... and that would put me well into my thirties. Sure, women can have children later in life. I was born when my mom was 32. So sure, maybe it would be possible. But I add up the years before I would even consider it, my ambitious plans and the time my career will likely take up, the fact that my boyfriend (who is the most likely candidate for a father) has plans at least as ambitious as mine, the amount of student loan debt we will both have, and the fact that neither of have any desire to have children (see the above comments about resentment) and I think, well, it makes sense for me to say no, I don't plan to have kids.
And then EVERY MOTHER I HAVE EVER TALKED TO ABOUT THIS smiles condescendingly and tells me "Well, you just wait and see."
I don't judge you for having children. Please don't judge me for saying I don't want them.
Even when I was still a churchgoer, I believed it was a worse sin to bring an unwanted child into this world than to have an abortion.
I never thought I was mentally or emotionally fit to spend 20 or more years raising one or more children to adulthood without going crazy. And I didn't really trust any of the boys or men that I dated to stay with me that long. Or, in some cases, I didn't trust myself to stay with them. They were either boring or absolute rascals, and the rascals were more interesting.
This this this!
I haven't found a SINGLE guy my age I trust to raise a kid--yes, even the ones who I talked to for 5 minutes and subsequently avoided when he divulged the fact that he wanted like 6 kids and had already picked out the full names of each child.
Yes, it's one thing to raise a kid--it's another thing to raise a kid alone. I don't trust a single guy I've met to be remotely responsible enough to raise a child. Most of these guys didn't even know how to do laundry or cook or feed themselves--they simply assumed they'd find a wife who could take care of all of that "unimportant stuff". Blurgh.
I still have people tell me that it's "not too late" to have kids. I'll be 41 in a couple of months and I am SOOOOO happy with my choice to be child-free. My "biological clock" has never ticked....not once. Personally I think 40+ is too late to have kids. Old eggs= bad omelets. The older I get, the less I see the appeal of children. They are cute, some of them, for a little while. I love baby animals, so I think human babies are kind of cute. But I like puppies better!
Of course your comments are welcome! That's why I always hesitate to call out trolls like TByte-- I don't want people to think I'm always bitchy about differing opinions.
As to your daughter... I envy her, to be honest. I love my mom, she's an amazing lady, but we have never been close, and I don't really understand how some of my friends are such good friends with their moms. Perhaps that is a factor in my not wanting children of my own-- my mom and I are a constant source of irritation to each other much of the time, it seems, as are my mom and her mom. My sister and my mom seem to get along fabulously, but I recall the shouting matches they had when she was younger. So I am glad for you and your daughter. :)
I won't jump all over you, either. You made an initially difficult but mature decision, and perhaps that has contributed to your family's happiness now.
My own problem was that when my friiends were getting married and having children, I didn't know myself very well. I thought infants were cute, and sometimes fun to play with...like baby dolls...but older children made me nervous, and the 24/7 responsibility terrified me.
Also, at that time there was NO Pill, or any other contraceptive except condoms and diaphragms (sp?), and most men I knew believed that once they had a wife, they could forget the condoms, etc. (And in some states a woman could not even get a diaphragm until after the wedding night. And in a few other states a doctor could still be arrested for even discussing contraception with a patient.)
AND...what I heard most often, from my mother, from friends who had children, or any other women I told that I didn't want to be a mother, was, "Oh, you'll feel differently/change your mind once you have one of your own." My only answer was, "But what if I don't?!?" That was a horrible thought!
I haven't either, but what they were telling me was that I would change my mind after the hypothetical baby was born. I was horrified at the idea of taking a chance, and finding myself responsible for this little person that I still didn't want.
Worse gamble than Pascal's Wager.
(I have also known a few adults who knew from the time they were very small that they weren't wanted by their mothers. How did they know? "Mama" would get drunk and tell them so. I think I mentioned that I spent 2 years going to a 12-Step group for Adult Children of Alcoholics...and Addicts. More than one guy eventually committed suicide. At least I knew that both my parents wanted me very much....they've been gone a long time, but I still have tons of evidence. I just didn't feel that passing along my DNA was all that important.)
I think the point is once you have kids, your values/emotions get reset in a way, and the child must hold a great importance, for this is the way mammals work. But in no way do the post procreation feelings need to take precedence over the non procreated mother.
They are simply two entirely independent paths in life, one does not impose onto the other :)
I vowed when I was 17 to never regret any actions, to stand by my values.