Idk if I wanna have kids.
And I don’t mean “I don’t know” as in it’s something I routinely waffle back and forth on I mean “I don’t know” as in, I just… don’t really think about it? As in I’ve pushed back the due date for this article six times because I’ve really needed to sit down and gather my actual internal thoughts about bringing a child into this world that aren’t just “Yeah! Probably! Eventually! Sure! I think!”
I know that it’s fine. For now. Because I’m 27. And even though some people I went to high school with have three kids (LITERALLY! HOW! I CAN’T EVEN TAKE CARE OF MYSELF), it’s still fine. But when is it not fine? When do we start tapping our finger on the proverbial wrist watch while giving me raised eyebrows? Is THAT something I need to think about? Do I need to think about THINKING about having kids? Jesus, I need to sit down.
*Lies down on a couch, stares up at the ceiling, and folds hands on chest, like you are my therapist* I feel… EXTREMELY not ready for that (I can’t even take care of myself) which I’m very fine and comfortable with. But my tendency to deal with things that feel very *fluttery hand motion* distant into the future is to keep pushing back, pushing back, pushing back until it’s too late to do anything at all (hey, we all have behavior patterns we are not jazzed about).
I know there are ways to hold off. You can have kids at, say, 40 if you want (not without a sh*t ton of people making you the topic of their weekly gossip sessions which is a whole ‘nother article in itself don’t even get me started!! Men are free to be first-time dads at goddamn 65 but women need to be these spring chickens or it’s all frowned upon!!!) but not without some serious financial implications (you’re probably looking at a $20,000 egg-freezing scenario), which, to speak as eloquently as I can on the subject: sucks ass.
Back to it not being something I give much thought to. Does that mean I *don’t* want to have kids??? I can’t tell you how many “NEED. BABY. NOW.” friends I have (though, I have just as many in my boat as well), and I’m just so curious to know what that feels like? Sometimes it’s hard to not feel like there’s this essential “womanly” part of you that somehow forgot to get hardwired.
But then you hear from the “one day it just turned on” people, which seems… plausible? Even my own boyfriend, who I shouted “DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU SHOULD HAVE KIDS?” at in the middle of writing this with absolutely no accompanying context said for him it definitely became something he thought about more and more when he hit 32. Which begs the question: “Can ur girl bank on waiting for this ‘me want child’ lightbulb to flicker on? Is 32 too late? (This is me hint – begging for you to tell me that 32 is not too late.)”
But will it even? Will it just go off in my head and in my ovaries at some point? I’m like sitting in a packed lobby with a ticket number waiting for them to yell “NUMBER SEVEN!!!”
Do I see how I feel when It’s time to get my IUD out? I think I have like three years left idk. Oh also, shout out to the IUD for absolutely murdering your sex drive. Cool options women have: either probably get pregnant, or be “meh, whatever” about ever seeing a penis again in your life.
Let’s just ponder some things in the mind of a woman who doesn’t quite need to make a decision yet but is Thinking About Some Things:
Would not having kids be a relief? Would I get to do more? Experience more? LIVE more? Are all the moms reading this thinking “Having children is the most you could EVER live you young little silly thing?”
Would not having kids mean skipping out on a very particular and special dimension of life? Do I care? Would it mean getting pushed out of social circles I can no longer identify with? Would that kill me?
How will I keep the parts of me right now when I have the mom version of me take over?
Also! Also. The world, if you’ve had a chance to look around lately, is uh, a little bit of a hell hole, which you may or may not agree with depending on how sucked into your own personal bubble you are. And if you’re a climate change denier then I guess skip this part and look at a video of bunnies hopping over rainbows or something but like, do we REALLY know how much a kid born in 2025 is going to struggle with the given state of the planet? THESE ARE THE THINGS I THINK ABOUT. People who feel inclined to tell me not to worry about this with all due respect, keep your fingers idle on that keyboard. Love you.
I also occasionally think about things like “Who will take care of me when I get older?” and then picture myself sitting alone in a nursing home and get too emotional to function but truthfully it’s really hard to grasp things that are so far into the future that they feel fake. Kind of like having kids. We’ve come full circle.
No okay for real: having kids sounds like one of the most wonderful, meaningful, “couldn’t imagine my life without this” parts of the human experience. I get that.
Much to my inner editor’s disdain, I don’t have a perfect bow to tie this article together with. It kind of just feels like a “Here Are My Thoughts And Feelings Please Tell Me If This Is Where You’re At” kind of piece. Kids just very fiercely seem like something that are part of other people’s lives. Something that exists for me in a different universe that is “My Future, Probably.” How is it ever a definitive decision you make one way or the other? Just kinda wondering if anyone out there in Internet Land feels the same way.
I’m thankful for the community we have here on Wit & Delight; a community where we can vent and talk and share advice and feelings. So please, weigh in. Just don’t tell me not to worry about climate change.
BY Liz Welle - April 16, 2018
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.