I don't want to have children.
But I absolutely love kids - I'm always the one to hang out with my friend's kids and entertain them for a bit at social gatherings. I also love playing with babies, seeing them grow and learn, their little babbles and coos and chunky buttery baby thighs - so precious!
I respect my friends and other women who have children ('sup, mom!), and I truly think they are beautiful, strong, selfless human beings. I'm so proud of my friends who have had kids or are currently pregnant, and I love that I get to be a part of their lives and their child's lives. It's an exciting time for their growing families. I think pregnancy, childbirth, and raising a child is an amazing thing and it takes such strength and grace. How empowering - I mean, men can't grow another human!
Currently, though, I personally don't feel an urge to have a child of my own, or to share that experience with my husband. Sometimes I think about how amazing my brother would be with my child, how great my father-in-law would be and how happy it would make him, how happy it would make my parents and my in-laws, and so on and on and on... But that's not a reason for me to procreate.
My husband and I have had several conversations about whether or not to have kids, and we go back and forth. Some days we think how great it would be to have a mini us, how we know we'd be great role models and [the cool] parents and we could offer a lot to the little babe. But other days we are selfish - yup, I said it. We prefer to spend time with each other devoted to each other, to travel when we want, to go out and have fun and not worry about rushing to get to anywhere. We also (for the sake of transparency) worry about how the dynamic would change between us after having a child; that happens, it's no secret. While most people are able to keep it together and things are utterly blissful, sometimes it pushes people apart.
Let me be clear - this isn't a rant on me telling anyone how to live their life. I'm not offering any advice or telling someone whether or not they should have kids. This is my personal opinion on the matter, for myself. Whether or not I have a child or children is only my decision (well, and the hubs's decision); no one can decide for me. It is my right. As much as I would want to make others happy (total people-pleaser, here!), and as much as I would unconditionally love and devote my life to my child, I also recognize that right now in my life it is not something I plan to make happen.
And I can change my mind if I want - I remember years ago reading an interview Zooey Deschanel did in her 20s (I believe) where she mentioned not wanting to have children; well, she's got one and another on the way! The beauty and freedom of changing your mind...mm.
We are not cookie cutter humanoids. There is no mold, no perfect, idyllic life, no one-size-fits-all. As a woman, I am whole and beautiful as I am, even without having a child. I'm fortunate to have a partner who agrees, and who is as flexible as I am in this major life choice. I continue to learn and grow in various forms in my life, and I have many passions and interests and pursuits (as does my partner). I'm grateful that we have the health and stability to be and do and live. For right now, having a child is on the back-burner, and that's ok.
This does not make me selfish. This does not make me stupid. This does not make me a lousy person. This does not make me have FOMO when I see sweet family photos on my Instagram and Facebook feeds. This does not make me less of a woman or a human or a wife or a daughter or a sister or a friend. It is what it is and it's mine.
So if you're reading this and this resonates with you, I'm grateful. Know that this is your choice and your right, and do whatever makes you happy. You are whole and strong and beautiful and enough.
PS: Here's an article I found that mentions how Ina Garten and Jeffrey decided not to have kids - respect. And, for an even different POV, here's another article a friend had posted to Facebook which I found powerful and thought-provoking.