Society can make choosing not to have children feel like the mother of all mistakes. Whether it’s your gal pals or your parents, it seems like someone’s always asking you when you’re planning on producing some offspring. Well, news flash, people: some of us just don’t want kids and it’s perfectly OK to admit it.
So we’re changing the narrative from childless to child-free, because not bringing up a baby doesn’t make you lesser than. Too often, women are seen as selfish or spinsters if they don’t want kids, and that is absolute B-f*cking-S. In fact, the number of babies born in the U.S. hit a record 32-year low in 2017 and badass babes, like Jennifer Aniston, Oprah Winfrey and Helen Mirren have opened up about their decision to pass on procreating.
To end the stigma that surrounds choosing no children, SuperShe is sharing stories from ladies who decided to ditch diapers and do life their way in this ongoing series. If you’re one of them, we want to hear about your experience!
Child-Free Confession #2: “I’m Taking the Pressure Off Procreating”
“I’ve always known that I didn’t want kids. I started thinking about motherhood in my teens and 20s and the changes it would require of me and my lifestyle. I’m totally willing to alter my life and make sacrifices for the things that I want. That’s not the problem. I just realized that I didn’t want to be a mom. Having children is just not on my to-do list.
There’s, of course, societal pressure to be a mom. But what’s changed in my mind is that I’m not putting the pressure on myself anymore. The cultural expectation is still incredibly prevalent, but I know it doesn’t apply to me. I have confidence in my decision, and I feel like—especially as a writer—that it’s important to let other people know. It’s good to get it out there so other women can relate and realize they’re not alone. It also might even make some mothers realize, ‘Hey, this was really, really hard, and if I had to do it again, I’m not sure I would.’ There’s a lot of pressure for mothers to say that having kids was the best decision they ever made and, sometimes, it’s not exactly the case.
It took some time between realizing I didn’t want kids and owning that truth. I’m 35 now, and just recently, I’ve felt comfortable acknowledging that I don’t want children. It took working through a lot of shame and the, ‘What’s wrong with me?’ feeling. But once I decided that I didn’t have anything to feel ashamed of, I was able to feel so confident. Like, ‘Oh! This is OK.’ And it’s even better, in some ways, than having kids. For me personally, but also for overpopulation and whatnot.”
— Kerry from Maryland