At the age of 34, people (mainly strangers and acquaintances) seem to expect that I have children. They're shocked and somewhat appalled when I inform them that kids aren't in the picture for me. It's like I'm insulting them by not producing offspring; I'm doing a disservice to the world by choosing not to procreate. This bothers me to some degree. I understand that it's the social convention. We're all supposed to find someone to spend our lives with, get married, and start having babies. What could I possibly want that's different from that vision?
Well, where do I start? There are a million reasons why I've chosen not to have kids. Let me start with this one: Genetics. Simply put, I have enough medical issues that would make having a baby really difficult, if not impossible. I know some of my problems could be hereditary, and I don't think its fair for me to burden a child with said issues.
Reason #2: Our world is a frightening place. I have enough anxiety worrying about my loved ones. Add a child to that, and my brain can't compute how much worse it would get. The research I do for my books gives me a hard look at the seedy underbelly of the world. I know about all of the horrible monsters out there, the human traffickers, pedophiles, murderers...the list goes on. I would never sleep just worrying constantly about the well- being of my child. I hate to think of what would happen if I lost someone I loved now. Add a kid to that and it might just break me.
Reason #3: Yes, I am selfish. I have plenty I would love to accomplish in this lifetime, and I just don't see kids fitting into that picture. I don't get that feeling most other women get. Most times, when I hear a screaming child, it re-affirms my decision not to have children. To be honest, the only desire I have is to adopt dogs. I want a dog that had a rough start in life so that I can treat them with the love they deserve. I see so many animals out there that need (and deserve) a loving home. Focusing on that gives me purpose in life.
The take- away here is this: Don't assume someone is going to 'change their mind' or 'want kids someday.' It's not in the cards for everyone. Life can be fulfilling without children. I don't think our species will go extinct if a handful of us don't procreate. There are people having more than their fair share of kids (and I'm not judging them...that was their decision to make and if that's what makes them happy, good for them) that I'm not worried. We all make the decisions that are right for us. We only have this life. Do what makes you happy.