From a very young age I have understood that the patriarchal view of my purpose on this earth is to bear children and raise them, the way my mother did, and generations of women before her. I remember expressing fear of the pain of childbirth to my mother in elementary school, and she told me “millions of women have done it, you will get through it the same way they did”. Accept I won’t. I do not want my own biological children, and nothing anyone has said to me about that decision in the last twenty one years has changed that.
I told my boss at my first job that I didn’t want children, and he told me the same thing adults love to tell me, that I would “change my mind in time, once I meet the right person”, like he knew my body and mind better than I did. It is time as a society that we agree to never say this to another human being ever again. Ever since I was old enough to understand that I could bear children, I knew that I did not want to. I am an adult capable of making sound decisions for my body and mind, and one of those decisions is the choice not to bear children. Therefore I have decided to compile a short list of reasons why I personally do not want children. All reasoning to not have children is valid, but these options have received the strangest looks and the most pushback. Anyone with a uterus is free to cite any of these reasons when they are intrusively asked if they plan to procreate:
- Clitoral tearing is a real thing. Many people with uteruses are aware of the concept of a “perineal tear”, but once I learned that my clitoris and all future potential sexual satisfaction was at risk, I decided I was not actually that interested in preserving my genetic material via reproduction.
- Having depression and anxiety at any point in your life before becoming pregnant increases the chances that you will experience postpartum depression or anxiety of some kind. As someone who experiences both, kindly no thank you.
- Experiencing sexual assault or abuse at some point in your life before becoming pregnant also increases the risk of developing PPA or PPD. No thank you.
- Selfishly, one of my biggest fears about pregnancy is one that many women have been socialized to fear. Despite how amazing it is to create human life, weight loss after pregnancy is one of the most focused on aspects of postpartum. After spending most of my pre-child life trying to survive an eating disorder, I have no interest in “learning to love my new body” or “bouncing back to my pre-baby-body”. In fact I am almost certain I would resent the baby for changing my body, the same way I am fairly sure my mother resents me for changing hers.
- I got my nipples pierced, and while it is possible to breastfeed with the rings in, it is also a choking hazard. I would have to remove my nipple rings for a baby, but I could commit to a needle through my nipple more readily than I could commit to the idea of a child. Also nipple piercings have dramatically increased my self esteem, a baby could not do the same.
- The idea of a future with Dual Income and No Kids sounds amazing, and the kind of lifestyle I could definitely be interested in.
- I love to cook, and I would have to make much lamer food to feed a baby.
- Not even counting addiction, there are so many types of mental illness, cancer, and other genetic predispositions in my family that I have no desire to pass down!
Even though I am twenty one, I have pondered the idea of motherhood for my entire life because I was socialized to think it was the most important thing I could ever accomplish. I have had a list of potential baby names picked out since I was a child as a result of that socialization, but I just use it to name cats. Now that I am about to graduate college and begin the next chapter of my life, I am more sure than ever that I would prefer a childless existence. Please do not let people tell you what you should do with your body.
The best way to protect your bodily autonomy however is to make sure that your representatives have your best interests at heart while creating legislation! Today is the last day to vote in the Midterm elections, where every single seat in the House of Representatives is up for election, among other things. President Joe Biden has promised to codify abortion protection if Democrats can gain two more seats in the Senate, which would protect abortion rights across the country. Voting is so important, please check out your registration status and the location of polling places here.
2 thoughts on “No I Don’t Want A Baby, Stop Asking.”
You put such a good voice to the many individuals with uteruses who don’t want children! Mental health fears in particular are something that I have always worried about, and it’s so important to remember that NO ONE but you should be able to decide whether you have a child.
This post really stuck out to me and pulled some heart strings. I feel like there are so many pressures around us just because we are women that we are ‘ suppose’ to create new life..like it’s a requirement. When in fact, it is not. It should be completely up you YOU and YOU only.
NO persuasion should even exist.
I also appreciate the personal touch you put on it. Fun fact, I have my nipples pierced too and my confidence absolutely SKYROCKETED. Changing my entire lifestyle for a child right now is unimaginable and I just know the ‘baby weight’ and bounce back will be absolutely terrible for me personally — mentally and physically.