Stories are written by people who don’t necessarily work or study in fields related to sexology. They convey emotions, perceptions, and subjective perspectives. Opinions voiced in the stories are those of their authors, and in no way represent Les 3 sex* position.
Translated by Florence Bois-Villeneuve.
From a very young age, I knew motherhood was not meant for me. I’ve always felt it, and as I got older, it only became clearer. I made the choice not to have children a long time ago, and it’s one that I am happy with.
In my twenties, people constantly told me things like “you’ll change your mind” or “when you meet the right guy, it’ll just happen” or “it’ll feel like the right thing to do after you graduate.”
Now, I’m 34 years old. I’ve been with a man for eight years, I have a career that I love, and I still haven’t changed my mind. Weird? I don’t think so. Predictable? Absolutely!
Now in my thirties, I still get surprised (or downright discouraged) when people say stuff like “you still have time” or “you’ll see, your biological clock will start ticking,” as if I was absolutely meant to conceive children at some point. As if they knew better. As if they were right, and I was wrong, about the decisions and choices I’ve made for myself and my lifestyle since the days I played Barbie with my little cousin and she got to play the mommy.
I get that very few people choose not to have children and that it may seem unfathomable to those who decide to become parents. Not that many people are interested in hearing why I don’t want children or take the time to discuss it without trying to change my mind. Yet, I have arguments that deserve to be heard.
So why did I choose not to have children?
I believe my decision stems from not wanting to live the same kind of life as my mother, or the mom lifestyle in general. Kids, commute, work, kids, bedtime … you get the picture? Devoting your life (or at least 18 years of it) to providing for someone else … no thanks! Just thinking about it makes me feel anxious, like I’m suffocating. Constantly being responsible for another human being would spell the end of my freedom.
I also have several friends who have had children at different times in their lives, and at no time did this make me want to change my mind. The stories I heard confirmed that this wasn’t the life I wanted: childbirth, fatigue, tantrums, arguments with their partners, daycare, ungrateful children, no time for themselves … the list goes on and on. The optimistic parents would tell me, “When your child says ‘I love you,’ it makes it all worthwhile.” Well, I don’t think that’s worth spending 18 years of my life putting up with the rest of it.
What’s more, I’m terrified of ultimately deciding to have a child and then regretting it. Regret is a feeling that has the potential to eat away at me. What would happen if I didn’t listen to myself and gave in to social pressure? I would have a hard time living with that choice and the regrets that come with it.
Let’s talk about social pressure. I sometimes wonder if it’s possible that no parent ever regrets the choice they made. I often feel jealousy from other women. They tell me that if they’d known what it was really like to have children, they wouldn’t have had them. Really? That’s quite the confession. Did they cave into social pressure? Did they think about it a lot beforehand? Or did they simply follow a path that had been mapped out for them by our society?
Sometimes, parents act like I owe them something. At work, I’ve heard things like “Parents should be able to pick their vacation weeks first.” Excuse me? As if my 15 years of seniority don’t count for anything. I’ve also been told that I should attend a party because I had no excuse not to, since I was childfree. I should not refuse an invitation, because how could a non-child-related excuse possibly be valid? Absurd.
I have so often heard: “It’s selfish not to have children.” Living my life the way I want to isn’t selfish, it’s smart. It sounds much more selfish to me to have children to stave off loneliness and fill a need for company and unconditional love.
I consider that my life is full as it is right now, I do not feel a void because I don’t have children. At 34 years old, it just feels right to me. Childfree for life!