I celebrated my recent 29th birthday to the fullest, but when you reach a certain stage of adulthood, birthdays start to come with questions of the future and, inevitably, of children. I don’t want children – ever – but people in my surrounding apparently don’t want to accept my decision. Let’s put an end to this!
My uterus – my decision
I’m female, healthy and fertile: I meet all the biological criteria for an ideal human incubator. However, according to other criteria, I believe I’m not up to the challenge of having children. Personally, I find there are many more convincing arguments in favor of a life without children than a life with. Some of these arguments are more rational, some more emotional and others more selfish. However, the main argument is simple: it’s my uterus and I don’t wish to negotiate its use, nor be shamed for not wanting to share it.
I don’t want children, because I don’t even meet my own requirements
I make relatively high demands of myself, which constantly spark an inner existential debate. The questions I ask myself include: how can I behave morally at all times? What role do I play in this society and how can I best contribute? What does a responsible use of resources look like? These questions are just a small part of the internal questionnaire that moves me in my daily life. However, in search of answers, I am still far from finding a satisfactory solution. Therefore, I don’t feel up to the responsibility of creating a life that could make a positive contribution to society, because the latter is what I would almost certainly demand from my child.
A question of responsibility
Summer was great – that is, greatly worrying. The global climatic excesses are anything but normal and loudly scream out to anyone willing to listen: “climate change!” Indeed, I fear the consequences of climate change will be worse than anything we are currently capable of imagining. Life on this once beautiful earth is now becoming more difficult than ever. And I’m supposed to bring a child into it?! Then there are the populist, intolerant and often inhumane political appointments, which partly govern and shape our society. I’m not frightened into inaction by the present state of politics, but instead of using my energy to bring a child into this world, I’d rather use it to help build a better society for other people’s children.
A life without children – long live egoism
During my own childhood, our family didn’t travel far. We never made it further than Tunisia and my memory of it is as pale as my skin. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, I still have as many destinations on my bucket list as there are reclining chairs on Timmendorfer Beach (a place my family once did visit). Since then, I’ve been fortunate to travel to some other places, yet I’ve still seen far too little of the world. Sure, you can travel with a child, but, let’s be honest, it’s far easier without. Am I really supposed to work hard and limit my lifestyle just so some little spoiled brat can eat the hair off my head?! The celebrated feelings of motherhood don’t work for everyone – no matter how much society claims the opposite to be the case.
“I don’t want children” and I don’t need your approval
The societal pressure that weighs on women – as the child-bearing members of the species – isn’t fair. As soon as a woman decides to be childless, she is seen as abnormal or unemotional. I am far from any of those things. I like children. In fact, I’m looking forward to the kids my friends will have. However, my life plan is simply different. There are many singles and couples who are happy with their decision to remain childless. I consider it inappropriate – even presumptuous – to judge this decision or try to convince someone to do the opposite. This intrudes on my privacy, crossing important boundaries. So, the next time one of my parents’ friends questions my life choices, I might question their parenting choices. Let’s see how they feel about that.