couples

"He wants babies. I don't."

He knew my choices when we met and said it was fine.

I’ve come to realise that I did not choose to be child-free.

In fact, I feel it is like your gender or sexual orientation. Being child free is part of who I am.

While I grieve for those who are child-less, those who have not been able to have children, being child free is quite different.

My reasons to be child-free are many. Mostly, I am just not maternal. I will NOT risk having children that I may not come to love.

I have heard all the arguments.

“It’s different when they’re yours.”

“You’re too young to really know.”

“You’ll want them when you find the right man”.

But, I know who I am, and I’m not mother-material. I am old enough to decide to be a parent, which means I am also old enough to decide not be a parent. I strongly believe it is much better to regret not having kids than to regret having them.

But here is where it gets complicated.

"I see none of this in my future." Image via iStock.

I am in a long-term, loving relationship and I have always been adamant about my stance on children. Right from the beginning.

The other day, I spoke to my partner about getting permanent birth control. That is when he dropped a bombshell.

He actually wants at least one child with me. Turns out, he had spoken to friends and family about my decision to be child-free and they all told him a version of, "she'll one day change her mind". So, he has been waiting for me to change my mind.

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I was pissed to say the least.

Listen to Mamamia's Shelly Horton about her choice to not have children on the Mamamia Outloud podcast (you can download the whole series here). Post continues after the audio...

Why would he not believe me? Why would he go to his family and friends instead of speaking to me? Why wait all this time to tell me that he wanted to have a child with me? Why does he think I will change my mind when I have told him how annoying it is for me when people say I will change my mind?

For me, not having children is non-negotiable, which is exactly what I said when we first went out. I'm not prepared to have a baby for him. 

"I feel nothing when I look at images like these." Image via iStock.

We are now at a standstill. I love him and he loves me. We want to be together.

But neither of us will jump the fence.

I don't want to lose him, but I also don't want to hold him back from having the future he wants, a future with children in his life. I don't want him to stay and run out of time to meet someone else and have children before he gets too old.

What should I do now? Should I break it off with him straight away? Or should I wait and hope that he will change his mind as he waited hoping I would change mine?

The reader who submitted this post has chosen to remain anonymous. If you have any advice for her, please share it in the comments below.

If, like this reader, you have a dilemma that you would like advice about, please email [email protected] with Don’t Judge Me in the subject field. You will be contacted before publication, and your identity will be protected.

Want more? Try:

“Don’t tell me I have an ‘easy’ baby.”

“It’s actually none of your business how many kids I have.”

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