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"It's hard for people to understand, especially women." Why can't people accept Ricki-Lee doesn't want kids?

Image: Twitter.

In an interview last year, Ricki-Lee Coulter admitted she didn’t want to have chidren, a feeling shared by her then-fiance Rich Harrison.

Now, a few months after the couple’s Paris wedding, the topic has been raised again — and Coulter has perfectly articulated the feelings of every woman whose decision not to be a mother has been met with confusion or even criticism from others.

On KIIS FM this morning, host Jackie O asked the 29-year-old whether she and Harrison were “still on the same page” when it came to kids. Coulter confirmed this was the case, but went on to express her love of children.

“I love kids … I’m the greatest baby sitter of all time. When I was 13, my aunties would go out and leave me with their two-week-old babies and I loved it. I was like a little mum and I’d be feeding them at 2am and burping them and changing their nappies,” she laughed.

After remarking that we usually hear the opposite — that people don’t like kids unless they’re their own — Jackie took a step further, asking the question some viewers were probably wondering themselves.

Coulter and Harrison: Very much in love, do not want children. (Instagram)
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"Tell me if I'm prying too much, but I don't understand, then, why you wouldn't want to have kids? If you really love kids, what's the reason for not?"

"It's just something that we both don't want for ourselves," the Dance in the Rain singer responded.

"It's hard for people to understand, especially women, because I think a lot of women feel like maybe it's a shallow decision or that I haven't thought about it enough or it's something I'm taking lightly. But it's just something that we don't want and it's a personal decision." (Post continues after gallery.)

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Just for emphasis, and because it's at the very heart of this issue, here's that last bit again: it's a personal decision.

So often, a woman's admission she has no desire to be a mother is met with skepticism, if not outright condemnation from other people. It's like mainstream society still can't accept, understand or trust that a woman would willingly opt out of having children despite being biologically capable of doing so.

Sometimes, the response from others can be harsh. It's not uncommon to hear the decision to remain child-free labelled "selfish", which is as confusing as it is cruel. In many cases, the sheer curiosity can be entirely well-meaning, but comes across as patronising at the same time — particularly if the reaction is along the lines of "But you might regret it one day!" or "You'll probably change your mind".

This is something Coulter herself acknowledged last year; that one day, she and Harrison might desire children.

"It is a great thing that both of us are on the same page with it and neither one of us has to compromise. You never know, I might turn 40 and go, 'All right come on! Let's pop one out'," she told Nova hosts Fitzy and Wippa at the time.

However, she was adamant that her current lifestyle was simply not conducive to parenthood, saying: “I know what my life is like and how crazy it is and how all over the place it is. You have to be selfish to do what I do.” (Post continues after gallery.)

Coulter was also candid about the fact her not wanting to be a parent was influenced by her own experiences and observations as a child.

"My mum had me when she was really young, and so I was dumped with whoever aunty or friend or cousin who would take me while she went out partying, being an 18-year-old", she recalled.

When she was just three months of age, Coulter's parents separated and she was moved to the Gold Coast with her mother, who worked two jobs to make ends meet. "I have so much respect for people who actually do do it but I wouldn't want to put a kid through what I went through", she said.

Regardless of why Coulter has decided not to start a family, and whether or not that decision aligns with what anyone else thinks she should do, her decision — and that of any other woman or man in her position — should be respected, not questioned. Because it's really nobody else's business.

Do you want to have children? If not, how do people respond to that decision?

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