I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t want to have kids.
It never occurred to me that maybe it wouldn’t happen, and that I would be child-free forever. But as I ease into my 30s with no partner, no plan and no desire to parent alone, I’ve had to revise my expectations.
Before my 30th birthday I was in a heightened state of panic. I could not stop thinking about what a failure I was. I googled relentlessly about fertility. I felt irrationally jealous when friends told me they were pregnant. I decided to sign up for online dating sites, then spent a couple of days ghosting around on them and never ever following through.
I’m glad I’m not 30 yet. I need to perfect my response for when people ask me why I’m unmarried and childless.
— Not So Gentlewoman (@She_Que) November 17, 2015
All of this led me to the conclusion that maybe, just maybe, I didn’t want kids as much as I always thought I had. If I did, wouldn’t I have tried harder? Gone on any date that came my way? Decided to parent solo?
I just wasn’t prepared to do any of those things. So instead I have spent the past couple of years getting my head around the frankly still a bit terrifying possibility that I might not ever have children.
I hadn’t really come to terms with it at all until last October, when on a holiday with my Dad. We stayed a few days in Italy with friends of his who were happily child-free, and for the first time I saw possibility, not closed doors and missed opportunities in my future.