Ever since I was a kid myself, I’ve held the conviction that I didn’t want kids. I found baby dolls creepy and real-life babies irritating.
Whenever I told my parents this, they’d say, “You’ll change your mind.” But at age 25, I still haven’t.
Children never appealed to me the way they do to many. I love animals but human infants just seem like tiny, screaming, pooping aliens to me. I’ve also read enough parenting articles to understand the stress of child-rearing, not to mention pregnancy and childbirth — all to create a human being who may not even grow up to like you. It seems like too big a gamble.
On top of that, I wouldn’t make a good parent. I hate being beholden to others. I’m relieved to say goodbye to friends after hosting them for weekends. Hell, I resented my pet gerbils for running on their wheel at night. Call it selfish, but I thrive off the freedom to do what I want when I want to, and extended infringements on my alone time disrupt my inner peace and productivity.
I’m passionate about my career, working nights and weekends, and I guard and nurture my time to work. You could say it’s my baby — except it doesn’t poop or cry.
Watch: Shelly Horton and Dr Ginni Mansberg explore what childbirth does to the bladder. (Post continues after video.)
My lack of interest in children doesn’t stop people from assuming I must just love kids, though. In casual conversations, friends have asked questions like “What do you want to name your kids?” and “How many kids do you want?” There’s often a look of shock on their faces when I say “zero.” And parents whose children stare at me or invade my personal space on public transportation smile knowingly as if I should feel blessed by the touch of their germ-ridden hands. I doubt I would be held to these same expectations if I were a man.
I’d hope none of the men I date operate under this assumption that all women instinctively like kids. In the past, I didn’t even consider my lack of desire for children a factor when deciding who to date. I figured maybe I’d change my mind or my partner would, and we probably wouldn’t last long enough to have that discussion in the first place. But now, after several friends’ relationships have gotten onto thin ice due to disagreements about children, I’ve realised it would be a waste of time to date someone who wants kids. I’d just be postponing a breakup.
Kids aren’t exactly something you bring up on the first date, but fortunately, some dating sites let you bypass this conversation, since preferences for children or lack thereof are included on profiles. I haven’t yet discovered a non-awkward way to get this information early on when I meet someone in real life, but I’ll definitely get back to you if I solve that puzzle. (Post continues after gallery).