If my house was full of vomit, urine and faeces that didn’t belong to me, and I was haunted day and night by the sound of constant crying, I would speak to an exorcist. Unless I had just brought home my newborn baby, in which case this scenario would be completely normal.
There are lots of things about being pregnant, and indeed being a parent, that sound extremely unappealing or downright terrifying. Yet, we’re weirded out when someone tells us that they don’t want to have children? We seem especially preoccupied with women that don’t want to have children and that’s because, for thousands of years, spawning crotch fruit was all women were meant to do.
During a time when pregnancy photo shoots and gender reveal videos are all the rage, I spoke to a variety of young women who already know that they won’t be having children.
- Claire is a 26-year-old actor and theatre-maker.
- Emmie is 19. She’s a student and blogger who lives with multiple rare diseases and educates others about them (you can follow her here).
- Renee* is a 25-year-old allied health professional.
- Kate is 26, and about to become a teacher.
When did you decide that you didn’t want to have children?
Emmie: “I decided this August when I was discharged from hospital. I know I’m only 19 but I know what my life is like with EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes). I’m not ashamed of having EDS or raising awareness but I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.”
Claire: “I don’t know if there was ever a moment where I fully decided it wasn’t for me, I think it gradually became a stronger feeling. However, I do remember telling my mother at around age three that my children (if I ever had them) would sleep in her room and she would have to raise them, so I guess the non-committal aspect of children was still there. Because of my career, I’ve also realised that practicality of children, and dedicating your whole life to someone, is more work than I’m willing to put in.”
Kate: “When I was about 17, because of all the food you can’t eat for nine months and the fun you can’t have. You also have to be stupidly financially stable to bring a child into this world.”