Childless Ruminations


I’ll probably come back to this topic several times in different ways over the next several months. Most of my friends are either working on having their first kids, or their second kids, or working on raising the kids they already have. I’m really happy for them — the babies are cute, the toddlers are even cuter, and the older kids have captured pieces of my heart.

Meanwhile, I have a boyfriend but I’m in no rush to get married, and I just renewed my birth control prescription. If I could have gotten the 5 year prescription I would have — I have absolutely no plans for ditching the birth control.

So, what’s wrong with me? I should be in a rush to get married and have some kids. I’m 37, which means that I’m towards the end of my biological pregnancy window. I have a steady relationship with someone I really love. I even co-own a house with said boyfriend, where we have 4 bedrooms…which, if we tried, we could probably sandwich six kids into. Not that we could afford to have 6 kids in the Bay Area…but we’d have space for six little beds.

Let me tell you what’s NOT wrong with me. I don’t hate kids. I’m also not selfish to the point where I couldn’t imagine giving up personal time to be a mom. I have a strong relationship – I love Per and trust him, and he’d probably make a better dad than I’d be a mom. I could afford to have a kid or two — it would slow down retirement, but I could make the budget work. And, to my knowledge, I believe I’m capable of having babies (my Gynecologist seems to think I should be).

In summary, there’s nothing structural preventing me from having kids. I have the money, time, capability, and resources to become a mother if I should choose to do so. Sure, it might be hard and would require tradeoffs…but it’s possible.

So, what’s wrong with me? The short answer is that I am simply happy with my life as is. I’ve never looked at a baby or one of my friend’s children and wanted one. I’ve never dreamed of being a parent. And parenthood is resource intensive…doing it right takes tons of hours and commitment. I refuse to have a child just because I “should” or “everyone’s doing it” when I don’t really, viscerally want one.

I’ll just enjoy everyone else’s kids and be the cool aunt. And look for other ways to reach self-actualization. From a Darwinian perspective, that means I am absolutely a failed genetic experiment…but from a personal perspective, it feels like the right decision for me.


3 thoughts on “Childless Ruminations

  1. Actually, I think from a Darwinian perspective you’re right on, if you look at the choice to not be a mom as helping to promote the health of the species rather than just the spreading of one’s personal genes. It also affords you the opportunity to put your energy into something besides childrearing, so you’re picking up my slack (which I greatly appreciate, by the way).

    • I mean, “…rather than as just opting out of spreading your personal genes.” (Or something like that. It’s been a long day hanging out with the kids, and I’m kind of fried.)

  2. Being a happy, successful and self-actualized person is the best gift anyone can give to their child. Never say never, which you don’t I realize, but keep an open mind. I never thought I wanted kids but when I finally had them (at 37 and 39 years old) I was ecstatic. Today is my older son’s 19th birthday. I can’t think of a better time in my life than these last 19 years.

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