Confession: I don’t like kids

There, I said it and it feels good to get off of my chest. I am now at an age where having them in the future isn’t possible. I have passed the point of no return and it’s a relief.

It seems that lately I am being asked more and more if I have kids. Over the years I have answered that question in a myriad of different ways (from a simple no to a more humorous, no that I know of), depending on who was asking, how they asked and the look of expectation on their face. Usually I try to answer in such a way as not to invite more questions, unfortunately that rarely works.

I don’t understand why people think it’s okay to pry into my reproductive life upon first meeting me. Let me take you on a little trip through a typical conversation upon meeting another woman who does have children.

Her- Do you have kids? (or the alternate, How many kids do you have? because she can’t fathom a grown woman not having any)

Me- No (or none)

Her- Why not?

Me- It just wasn’t in the cards for me. (but I’m thinking, none of your damned business)

Her- You know you can always adopt.

Me- Yes, I know.

Her- Or there’s in vitro, or surrogacy.

Me- Yes, I know.

Her- But you have kids in your life, right? Like Nieces and Nephews?

Me- No.

Then I politely change the subject so as to get that puzzled look off of her face.

I know that it would be more honest to just say I don’t have kids because I don’t want kids, but this seems to invite hostility from women who do have children and there’s no need to push those buttons. Women who are mothers tend to feel that I am somehow negatively judging them if I say I never wanted children. Honestly, I think it’s great that you had kids and that you are loving being a mother. I’m just not that kind of woman, so I chose not to have children.

I don’t like children. Even when I was a child I played with older children. I never played with baby dolls, instead playing with Barbie dolls and dreaming of the day when I would be a big girl. I never dressed my cat up as a baby. I dressed him up as a groom and married him weekly (poor Softie), but that’s another story. I had very little interest in my little brother when he was a baby. The one memory I have of any intrigue I had surrounding babies was when my Mother was breast feeding my brother. I was about 4. I recall just staring and trying to figure it out. Finally I had a eureka moment and said, “I get it! One is for milk and the other is for orange juice!” Even just a couple of years ago, I was walking down the sidewalk and almost tripped over a stroller while I was noticing a cute dog.

I am just not meant to be a Mother, that’s my choice and that’s okay.

25 responses to “Confession: I don’t like kids

  1. It’s an interesting phenomenon among human beings – “How could you possibly have made a different decision than I did?” If we could only realize that we are each different creatures and so need different things in our lives, the world would be a much better (and more peaceful) place.

    • Kim,

      You are so on point. I mean, yes, I have kids and I love them, but hey, it was never something I dreamed about. I honestly didn’t see them in my life’s plans. I am still constantly surprised a.) that I’m a mother and b.) that I don’t suck at it… but that’s another story. Anyhow, what is with this obsession with people over everyone someone how needing to have kids.. like it completes them or something??? Kids do NOT complete you. YOU complete you.

      🙂 Erika

      P.S. It’s not like the species won’t continue, we’re worse than rabbits.

  2. I find it ridiculous that people think it’s okay to ask personal questions. None of their business! You should never have to explain to anyone what your decisions are or why you made them. I used to get the “do you have kids?” question, followed by the “aren’t you married?” and “how long have you been married?” which led to “are you not able to have kids? etc.” Then when I did get pregnant, people would questions like “are your nipples tender?” and “do you plan to breastfeed?” Um, none of your business!

    • Of course, you’re right. But people have this irritating habit of trying to find commonality with others so they, themselves can have something to talk about. Think how much more interesting the world would be if people talked openly about their differences in order to learn about each other instead.

  3. I don’t want kids, but I’m fine with being an uncle. I don’t have to deal with somebody’s kids if they are misbehaving, dirty, or whatever I don’t like.

    The personal questions are really only annoying when people don’t listen to the answers. My family still dismisses any statement of mine regarding not having children.

  4. Not all women are born with maternal instincts, and many men are born with them. It’s your choice and no one else’s business anyway. I am enjoying your confessions!

  5. When I lived in the US I rarely got those responses. Israel, however, is an EXTREMELY pro-natal country. I have been threatened with violence, called mentally ill, or an “unnatural woman”, and other lovely epithets when I’ve stated I don’t want kids. It is considered a social taboo, and many women/couples have children because of social pressure (or at least conditioning) rather than a true, thought-out desire to procreate.

    Only in the last couple of years are there beginning to be signs that this is not all that unusual or unnatural, and some academic work and books and online forums are being dedicated to the topic. Still a long way to go, though.

    • I live in Canada, a country that really is a melting pot. The women I meet on a regular basis come from all parts of the globe and, sadly, these responses are still prevalent.

  6. You are so awesome for making the decision to not have children. Only people who can love children and welcome them into their family should have them – and it’s okay to not want this. I pity the poor children whose parents had them for some reason other than that they want and love them.

  7. what really makes me laugh is people with kids are so deep into their issues that they dont realize it’s airly common now to be single and/or without kids, But they still like to treat us as if we are some kind of oddball !

  8. Great post! (Sorry it needs to be written!) I’m 24 now, and whenever people ask me if I have kids, I laugh snidely. First, it’s rude to ask a complete stranger if they have children or siblings. What if the stranger’s family was killed in a horrific circus accident? Now it’s awkward. Second, just because I’m female does not mean I enjoy being puked on by miniature humans. I assure the Universe, here and now, I will never enjoy that.

  9. I am a woman 45 , and I don’t like children , I prefer pets.
    That is a choice, not everybody share, but it is mine..

  10. Some friends of my husband have just invited themselves here for the weekend, and they have two children of 2 and 4 years of age. It will be a weekend wholly focused on their kids. I don’t like being around children and prefer to have nothing to do with them so I am not looking forward now to the only weekend of warm weather we’ve had in weeks.

    The children’s father is into designer this and designer that and he is making sure each mini-me. The conversation is going to be thrilling.

  11. Some friends of my husband have just invited themselves here for the weekend, and they have two children of 2 and 4 years of age. It will be a weekend wholly focused on their kids. I don’t like being around children and prefer to have nothing to do with them so I am not looking forward now to the only weekend of warm weather we’ve had in weeks.

    The children’s father is into designer this and designer that and he is making sure each mini-me is the same. The conversation is going to be thrilling.

    • OMG! you too…my friends just did the same thing, i managed to put it off for a week but just delayed the inevitable…now i will clench my teeth and try not to throttle (or swear at) the darling in an effort to maintain the friendship…makes me feel like a bad friend that i feel this way, but they know i don’t like kids never did, (but sigh) i guess their kid is “special”…then i look forward to the bucket of bleach after the little snot picker leaves… (i’m not kidding) don’t even get me started on his lack of aim and the toilet bowl…

  12. ha,it’s as if my subconscious mind wrote this post, I never wanted or dreamed of having them either, I will pick up dog poop and cat barf any day, but leave diaper changing to the parents who inflict their children upon me…unfortunately for me a few of my friends have chosen to go the mommy route, and on occasion in order to salvage our friendship i must tolerate their children…ungh
    needles to say U R not alone…

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