Women choosing not to have children has become a hot topic lately., Time and Slate have weighed in on the issue. Are women selfish for not wanting children? Am I, at 28, a neglecting my womanly duties by not settling down, getting married and popping out babies like the rest of those I graduated high school with?
In short, no. I’m pretty content how I am. I’m not saying that won’t change. Maybe some day I will meet someone I actually want to have kids with.
But honestly, I don’t see what the appeal is sometimes. I’ve watched my sister and her husband become parents over the last couple years. They could give safe-sex seminars to teenagers with the stories they tell about their toddler daughters. Once they were in a restaurant when their 2-year-old soiled her pants. In my sister’s attempt to take her to a restroom to clean her up, some of the the, uh, mess, somehow made it onto the table. Before my brother-in-law could stop her, their 4-year-old daughter had it in her mouth. Forget those crying dolls they give high school students so they understand parenting, these kids need to hear that story. I’m telling you, they’ll never have sex without a condom again.
Then there are those times when I’m in the restroom at the shopping mall overhearing a mother talking to her child while she’s going to the bathroom. I understand the need to keep the child in sight at all times, but every time it happens it’s a reminder of the privacy you give up when you become a mom. It starts at the very beginning – childbirth, when a team of doctors and nurses stare at your hoo-ha waiting for the baby to appear (or at least that’s how I imagine it to happen. What do I know? I’m childless).
And honestly, I don’t understand the argument that women who don’t have children are selfish. People bring children into the world for selfish reasons all the time. I commend my friends and family who are rocking parenthood, but not everyone can. Raising children takes a lot of time, energy, love, affection and money that not everyone has.
There’s a reason the foster care system in this country has so many kids.
I have enough trouble taking care of myself and my cats.