That’s a question I get a lot when the topic comes to bebehs (which is cropping up pretty often since I’m now in my mid 20s). My answer is always a resounding no – but society can’t seem to stop telling me what to do with my own life.
“You’re just not ready yet. You’ll come around”
Or: “You’ll regret it when you’re older and there’s nobody to take care of you.”
Or:“Your life as a woman is not complete until you’ve experienced the joys of motherhood.”
To point 1: I felt the same way about babies as I did when I was 10 (annoying things), when I was 16 (annoying things) and when I was 21 (annoying things) – so I doubt there’d be a sudden change of heart. Some people love children, but I’ve never been comfortable with them. Some people are born with maternal instincts for kids. I was born with a maternal instinct for cats.
To point 2: That’s kind of a shaky investment, innit? Some children don’t even visit their parents once they’ve left the nest – there’s no guarantee that they’ll take care of you. Which is why I’m working hard so I don’t have to rely on my ‘kids’ to take care of me when I’m decrepit. It’s easier when you don’t have to blow like half a million in raising a child and saving for their college fees.
To point 3: I beg to differ. I’ve seen enough friends and colleagues to know that mothers look like perpetual zombies – especially those with new babies. The modern mother usually juggles work, kids and household chores – which is incredible, in my opinion. Maybe the joy you feel when your kid takes their first step makes you forget all the pain you suffered. It’s just not something I want to put myself through.
I don’t deny mothers sacrifice a lot for their children. Their dreams, their hopes, their time, sometimes even their wellbeing. I think it’s amazing, their capacity for love. But if I’m not 100% sure that I can love my own child that way, why even bring one into my life just because society tells me ‘its what life is about’? Life is not just about getting married, having babies, growing old and dying. If it is your choice, so be it. But life can be about so much more.