Fleur*, 35, says she feels almost “ostracised” from society because she doesn’t want children. She tells Mamamia’s Rachel Curtis about why she prefers cats over children.
“No, I don’t want children.”
I have no desire to have children and I’ve never wanted them.
Ever since I was a child I’ve never felt like I’ve wanted to have kids. I’ve never really felt maternal at all.
I never really played with baby doll toys. I had toys like Care Bears and My Little Pony and Barbie but I never had those baby dolls that you see adverts on TV where four-year-old girls carry a baby and squeeze them and the dolls wee. I’ve always thought it’s kind of weird that you would want a little child to play with – a baby.
I didn’t have any little brothers and sisters so I never had to do that kind of thing, which is I guess how other people feel who have little brothers and sisters and they feel like they’re caring for them. I don’t feel that at all.
When I look at children in the street I just think urgh. I just think hassle, noise.
I think the first thing is noise, the noise that children and babies make. The squealing. The unnecessary squealing just grates through me. I can’t stand it.
That’s one of the reasons why I like kittens and cats because every noise that comes out of the cat’s mouth is cute and no noise that comes out of a baby, for me, is cute.
Fleur loves her cats. File image via iStock.
"I can binge watch Netflix."
I guess I don’t see any benefit for me to have children. I like my life the way it is.
I like that I can go away on holiday whenever I want wherever I want. I like how I can have a lie-in everyday if I want to or I can just have a lazy day at the weekend and not get dressed, not leave the house and not do anything.
I can binge watch Netflix for six hours if I want to and in the evening if we’re not hungry then we just don’t have to eat anything or if I can’t be bothered cooking we can eat doughnuts for dinner.
I like my freedom. I like being able to do all that stuff and I feel like having a child would ruin it for me. It would ruin my life the way it is.
The expense of having a child doesn’t appeal to me, the extra money that I am going to have means that I can retire and I can have a comfortable enjoyable lifestyle that I want to have now.
I like not having something that is dependent on me. But we’ve got cats and they are dependent on me, I’ve got to come home and feed them at the end of the day and they show us love but if they make noise we can just kick them out at night-time.
"That's a selfish reason to have a child."
I don’t see any good reasons to have children.
My mum says to me: “If you don’t have children who is going to look after you when you are older?”.
I don’t think that’s a good enough reason to have children if anything that’s a selfish reason to have children.
There’s no guarantee that your kids will even be living in the same country as you when you’re older or even if they’re in the same country they could be on the opposite side of the country.
By that time, they may have their own families and their own priorities so they’re still not going to come and visit you.
Fleur's weekends will never look like this. File image via iStock.
"I'm not going to change my mind."
If I had $1 for every time someone said to me - "You’ll change your mind" - I’d be a millionaire.
If you’re a woman and you don’t want to have children, you are almost ostracised from society. You are seen as weird.
It is the ingrained sort of mentality that the whole purpose of being a woman is to have children.
People argue that it’s our purpose to keep the human race going but I am sure my decision not to have children is not going to effect the human race a s a whole. The number of women that don't want to have children are far in the minority so I am pretty sure the human race is safe.
I get a lot of people saying: "Why don’t you want to have children?"
Or "You're missing out."
and "They’ll show you a lot of love back."
I get a lot of love from my cats and they don’t answer back.
"Society pushes women into having children."
If I was gay people would probably be more accepting of my decision to not have a child but it’s not OK for a straight female to not want to have children...
I guess I am lucky that I have a husband who is on the same page as me and is not particularly bothered about having children, but he did say to me if I wanted to have children he would have them with me but the fact that I don’t want to have them he’s fine with that.
When we go out to a restaurant or a cinema and we have a kid screaming at the table next to us or a kid kicking the back of my seat, he says: "Yeah, I am glad we don’t have kids."
Society effectively pushes women into having children.
People say: "Your biological clock will start ticking" or "I used to think that at your age but you’ll change your mind."
I’m going to be 36 this year and I still haven’t changed my mind and I doubt I am going to.
Until I hear a good reason to have children I am not going to have children.
*Fleur's name has been changed.
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