I Don't Want Kids: Don't Tell Me I Will Change My Mind

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serious woman
Contributor
Self

I do not want kids. I can’t picture myself waking up at 3 am to the sound of a screaming baby and have to change a diaper. I can’t picture myself in a department store with little kids running around trying to pick out the first day of school outfit. I can’t picture myself talking to a 13-year-old kid about their blooming and the effect it could have on their future.

Hell, I check my purse seven times for my keys when I leave the car and still manage to lock the keys in there. Imagine how many times I would have to check my purse for a baby.

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I haven’t always felt this way. I come from a big family. I have four brothers, so as a kid I used to picture myself with a large family. I used to want to have more kids than anyone else in my class.

Part of that is because I am super competitive and I wanted to shove it in the faces of all the kids in my class who thought that one or two was a suitable number of offspring.

Part of it was probably also that I was never alone as a child, and perhaps I was a little afraid of being alone. I figured having kids was like having built-in company all of the time.

Partly also because I think because that's how we talk to little girls. We say "one day when you're a mom," or we say "how many kids are you going to have?

When you're a little girl people assume you are going to grow up into a mother. So that's what I did. I assumed I would grow up into someone's mother. But things change.

Here I am a fully functioning (eh almost fully functioning) who has made up her mind. I do not want kids. A lot of times I will tell this to people and they are very surprised. They say things like, “I assumed that you would want to be a mom, you’re naturally a very nurturing person.” Or they will say things like “Oh girl, you’re missing out.

But my least favorite response is “You’re still young. You’ll change your mind when you’re older.

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This is just plain rude. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, and maybe it's not, but for the sake of commiserating or self-betterment, I will continue. It IS very annoying.

What saying something like that tells me is that you under-value my thoughts and ideas. 

Telling me that I'll change my mind about having children when I'm older is like telling me I don’t understand what it means to be a woman in the world — and when I finally do, my mind will change.

It is telling me that I may have a grasp on who I am right now, but one day I'll realize that who I am right now isn’t good enough. One day I'll change my selfish ways.

I know who I am. I am a woman who enjoys a cocktail in the evenings. I am a woman who finds her inner stillness and calm when she is reading quietly. I am a woman who doesn’t like it when other people rely on her for their emotional support. I am a woman who likes to have complete control over her life and not only values but desperately relies on her independence.

None of this sounds particularly maternal.

One thing I will concede is that things can and do change.

I could have a near-death experience tomorrow and see the light and realize that I have been living my life all wrong. I could wake up tomorrow morning and say, now I want kids. I very well could change my mind, but if I do, it will be because I made the decision to.

Not because someone else said I would. I doubt it will happen, but that’s not what we are arguing today.

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It is not my duty as a woman to have children. If I never have the desire to have kids, that doesn’t make me any less of a woman.

I am a strong, smart, independent person that has a lot more to offer this world than my womb.

I have a lot I want from this world too, and one of those things is not to start a college fund for a stranger I haven’t made yet.

I don’t want to have children. This is not a phrase that lives on my tongue, but when asked I say it with a firm, casual voice. Feel free to ask me to explain me. I invite the inquiry. Feel free to ask me if I think I’ll change my mind.

Get into my brain and see how it works if you want to. But don’t dismiss my opinion and tell me what I want or don’t want or will want or won’t want. Listen if you’re curious and I’ll take care of the rest.

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Kaitlin Kaiser is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture, and relationship topics. Follow her on Facebook.