childless by choice

“But you’re so good with kids…”

A few weeks back, my brother commented “You’re so good with kids.” It came a bit out of nowhere, but I said thank you and genuinely accepted the compliment. Something I’m not normally that good at doing. I went back to playing ‘tea party’ with my nieces and felt satisfied. HE GOT IT.

I’m tearing up right now, writing this.

You see, normally when people give you such a compliment, they have to go and ruin it by adding “You’d be such a good mother…” or “When *are* you having kids?” or my personal favourite: “You’ll feel ready / change your mind one day…”

I can’t tell you how frustrating it is.

I am child free, by choice.

If you’re good at cooking, no one bangs on about how you MUST be a chef. (Unless you’re like reaaaaaaally good, Masterchef standard, and then they’ll just send the application off for you! Bastards!) Anyway, just because you’re good at cooking doesn’t mean you want to dedicate your life to it, to spending your evenings and weekends in a hot, sweaty kitchen. The long hours, the pressure.

Maybe you just want to cook in your own kitchen on a Sunday afternoon, at your own pace, with a glass of wine.

I’ve got plenty of other metaphors and I could bang on for another few paragraphs, but I’m sure you get my point.

I’m 35 now. Almost 36. Most people have stopped asking me if/when I’m going to have kids… thank god! I think about 90% of my close friends and family now understand and accept the fact that it’s not going to happen.

But maybe you’re not so lucky – and I feel for you. Really I do.

I’ll just wrap up by saying another thank you to my brother. You are a legend in many ways, and this is just one of them.

Hayley x

 

Are you child free? What have your experiences been? Please do share – if you feel able. It’s good to talk! πŸ˜€

 

Advertisements

I don’t want kids.

Now that I’m engaged, this is the question people ask me all the time. “When are you going to have kids?” Like I don’t have an option, but I just have to decide when I’m going to do it. Not “Are you going to have kids?” which is much more appropriate. No, I’m not going to have kids. SHOCK… HORROR… twisted confused faces, glaring at me like I’m some kind of freak.

Me in 1984

Me, in August 1984 (almost 3 years old)

I’m 31. I haven’t been to Australia, I haven’t been to New Zealand, Canada, Japan China, India… and countless other places. Hell, I haven’t even been to Scotland, Wales OR Ireland!! I haven’t been unemployed, I haven’t run more than 10k, I haven’t cycled somewhere crazy for charity or jumped out of a plane*. You get what I’m saying. There are so many things I haven’t done yet… and so many things I would like to do that don’t include having a baby. And not that I’m saying you can’t do all these things once you’ve had a baby, but it’s a bit hard to jump out of a plane with your baby in your arm, right?Β 

Don’t get me wrong, maybe when I’ve done all the things I want to do (which includes living in another country!) I might change my mind. Never say never. I don’t know how I’m going to feel in a year, let alone two, five or ten! Β But at the moment it’s a definite no. And people just can’t seem to get their heads around that! I don’t feel broody, I don’t see my friends kids and think “ooh I really want to be a mother!”

I like kids, especially my friends kids. They’re funny, unpredictable and ridiculously cute! I buy them presents, I remember their birthdays (ok, that’s a lie – I have a calendar – I’m RUBBISH at remembering dates!!) I like spending time with them. But I don’t want a baby of my own. I’m happy it just being me and the Dutchie. Together forever, enjoying life and the challenges it throws our way… luckily, he feels the same!

I’m not ready to put another life before mine. Selfish, right? Wrong. My life, my way. I’m not going to have a baby because it’s the ‘done thing’ once you’re married. I’m not going to have a baby if I don’t want to. And who knows, maybe I can’t even have kids! It’s assumed that you can have kids, but what if you can’t? What if there are problems with you or your partner that affect your fertility? Never assume.

I don’t want a baby. This doesn’t make me a freak.

Now I’m going to pack. It looks like we’re moving to the Netherlands sooner rather than later!

Hayley x

*I’m not even sure if I WANT to jump out of a plane! But a girl needs options!! πŸ˜‰