I’ll be turning 32 in less than two months and I believe the 30s (and sometimes the 20s, 40s, hell, is there really a particular time at all nowadays?) are generally the time when women start considering their biological clock. The question of whether or not they want to birth their own little mini-people starts to pop up in their brains a bit more frequently, a bit more urgently.
Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of articles about women who choose not to have children, who never wanted children, who don’t particularly like children. The general consensus seems to be that society doesn’t quite know what to do with these women (and their partners). We tell them “it’s a phase” or “it’ll be different when you have your own” or that it’s “selfish” not to want kids. Like motherhood is the end goal of being a woman (I suppose it is biologically) and how could you possibly not have the same aim as the rest of us?
Some comic relief:
Well, I think I’m one of these women. When I was about 16 or 17, I went through a crazy burst of maternal desire. I thought I wanted a child. Being in Jamaica at the time, land of much, much teenage pregnancy, it was still a terrible idea but it wasn’t like I would have been the only teenage mum. Thank god, one of our tenants asked me to mind her baby one night and, just like that, I decided motherhood wasn’t for me. A screaming child when you’re trying to study for an exam will do that.
I never got that ‘maternal-ness’ back. Friends of mine are having kids and, yes, some of them are cute, some of them (not many) are well-behaved but I have no desire to spend a great deal of time with them. I definitely don’t want my own permanent, un-hand-back-able one. I breathe a sigh of relief when breakfast or lunch is done and I get to walk away sans child.
I know many people will talk about how much children enrich your lives (and I 100% believe that they do, if you want them) but, let’s be honest, life is pretty damn good without kids. I can go out whenever I like. I can go on holidays without having to factor kids into the equation. I can meet with friends without having to bring a bag of toys or an iPad to keep the little rugrat from terrorising the other café patrons. I can actually engage in uninterrupted conversation at said café. If I want to annoy people, I can bring my dogs. They’re old pros at pestering people for food and I think they’re cuter than kids as well. Really, unless you have a nanny or au pair or some very understanding family members, you just don’t have that much freedom anymore.
I say all these things but, at the same time, I know my partner wants children. I also know he’d make an incredible father, he’s great with kids, has much more patience than me (which isn’t hard). So, I suppose, at some stage, something will have to give. One of us will have to compromise. Who knows? Maybe in a few years, I’ll change my mind. We might agree to adopt or foster. I’m not ruling it out entirely. I’m just saying, right now, at this very moment, I don’t think I want any children.