I always knew I wanted to get married, have a house (with the housing market at its current rate, that won’t be until I’m old and wrinkly but a girl can dream to a cupboard under the stairs) and do well in my career. I always knew I wanted to go to university and live in London. What I’ve never really known is if I want kids.
Throughout most of my childhood I was drip fed the idea my life would only be complete when I’d pushed a watermelon sized (or bigger) human child out of my v*gina. In school the sex education for the girls was taught through a familial lens; about menstrual cycles, childbirth and how *not* to get pregnant. While the boys learnt about safe sex, porn and pleasure, the girls were brainwashed into believing sex was about getting pregnant (or not depending on the bias of the teacher). It was all portrayed as if I wouldn’t have achieved anything in life should I not have children or as they liked to put it “start a family”.
As I moved into my late teens, I always joked (and still do) about my children being dogs and horses. The response from the boomers is always “oh it’s just a phase. You’ll grow out of it one day and realise just how much you want to be a mother”. Now I’m coming closer to the idea that it isn’t a phase. Im 25 years old and some of my friends and family are either getting engaged or having kids (or both), yet I am still so unsure about having my own children for a number of reasons:
- Childbirth doesn’t sound all that fun and it can be more complex when you have a stoma. To my knowledge, you can have a healthy pregnancy with a stoma! It is of course all case dependent. I was told by a gynaecologist you are classified as “higher risk” with a stoma due to the fact your small intestine pokes through your stomach wall but it won’t always impact the pregnancy. Physically my body has been through a fair bit. Stoma surgery isn’t a walk in the park and it might sound selfish but I don’t think I want to put my body through another big change. I am just getting grips with my stoma tum and I don’t think I would be physically or mentally ready for another change.
- Although the cause for IBD is still under debate, there is some science that suggests genes may play a role in a diagnosis and there are chances of passing it down. I honestly wouldn’t wish IBD on my worst enemy and especially your own flesh and blood! When you have no idea if you will or won’t pass it down, that feels like enough of a reason not to have a child. Of course this is still very much up for debate but it’s something I’ve considered.
- I’m only just getting started in my career! I want to fly high and be the best I can be. I am not saying you can’t work and be pregnant or a working mum but I want to invest my heart and soul into building my career. Plus, I can only just about do that AND look after myself, let alone a tiny human.
4. I think the main is reason is I don’t know and last time I checked you can’t return a child once it’s arrived… So in my mind, if you aren’t 100% about it, I don’t think it is fair to myself or the kid if I choose to go down that route as an experiment to see if do want a child or not.
All of this may sound selfish to some people so I come back to my first point. Having children isn’t always the best path and procreating doesn’t always lead to feeling complete in life. This is also something myself and Marcus have talked about and we are on the same page, so before you come at me asking “iS yOuR bOyFrIeNd oK WiTH tHAt?”, yes he is (and if he wasn’t. It wouldn’t matter. He isn’t the one pushing a baby elephant out of their cooch).
Not wanting children is not selfish, I am not on this earth to be a baby making machine and you know what, it doesn’t need a reason or explanation. I am content with the idea that my family unit might just be Me and Marcus. I am trying to unlearn the idea my life will “mean something” when I have kids. I am open to the idea of this changing but who knows! Stay tuned 😂