Schnozz recently discussed the decision she and Mr. S made on having children. And, well, it’s a topic I think about every once in a while, so I thought I’d talk about it some myself.
For years, I was firmly ensconced in the “I’m never going to have children” category. Then I kind of moved into the “Well, maybe. Someday. In the far off future.” Now I’m swinging back to the “Probably not gonna happen” category. There are several reasons for me to seriously say this.
Let’s discuss this rationally.
- I am 31 years old.
- I am in Grad School. Again. I will be in grad school for at least the next 2 years, probably 4 if things go as planned and I go for the PhD.
- I work 40 hours a week in addition to school.
- I am single with few to no prospects on the horizon.
With that, even if I knew I wanted kids, it wouldn’t be smart to have them now. I barely have time to spend with Ziggy the Wondercat, and while he’s demanding, I’m sure a child would be much much much more demanding on the time I don’t have.
People tend to look at you like you have two heads when you say you don’t want kids. Or they say “Oh, you’ll change your mind later.” Maybe I will, but why do I have to feel guilty that I don’t want to raise a child? Really, isn’t making an active decision to not have children a smart thing to do if one doesn’t want to be a parent?
I like having the freedom I have now to travel (not that I do it much) or go out on the weekends, or make plans without worrying about a babysitter or the myriad of other worries that comes with being a parent.
Don’t get me wrong, I like kids. I also like being able to pass them back to their parents after I buy them a drum set for their birthday. But raise one? Be in charge of a child’s life? I don’t know if I’m cut out for that.
Let’s go back to the age thing for a bit. My ovaries are old. They’ve been cranking out eggs that have gone completely unused for about 20 years now. The good eggs have probably all turned to dust by now, and even if they haven’t, I’m still getting up there in years. I don’t want to feel like I’m rushing into decisions about my future based on pressure to procreate. At this rate, I’d have to meet someone tomorrow, get married quickly*, make the decision to have kids quickly, and get pregnant quickly. I don’t want to do things quickly. Sure, some of my best life decisions are spontaneous, but this would not be one of them. I want to meet someone I like, spend time developing a real relationship, get married eventually, spend more time together, and maybe then think about kids. Eventually. Not next week, next month, or even next year.
Maybe someday before my ovaries dry up I’ll be ready and want to have a child of my own, but I wouldn’t count on it. For now I’m going to stick with a child-free existence.
*I know that’s not a requirement to have kids these days, but I really don’t think I could be a single mom.