No babies, please
I was born with a part missing. I don't have a biological clock. Or maybe it's just broken. I don't want to have children. The question, "when are you going to have kids?" has plagued me for two decades. My usual response has been the vague, time-buying, "maybe one day..."
I don’t advise going around telling people that you don’t want to have children. Throughout history, different hasn’t been overly popular. Not to mention that barren is such an awesome word, isn’t it?
Finding others in this hidden minority can be tough. It’s simply unfeminine and unseemly not to want to have them. Someone once said to me, “You can’t be a real woman if you don’t have children.” So you can imagine my reluctance for wanting to discuss it. I have met other women who don’t want kids and conversations with them have been a monumental relief.
This hasn’t only been an adult phenomenon for me. When I was four, I was pushing along a baby carriage when a nice lady asked me if I wanted to have kids when I grew up. I famously answered, “No, I just want to get married.” (And I’ve done that, twice!)
So the big question is, why not? Why don’t I want to have kids? I just don’t. I’ve never had even the smallest tweak of a yearning. I once pretended to have the urge and “tried”for a while. It didn’t work. When I went to the doctor, lying there in the stirrups to see what was going on, all I could think about was how wrong it felt. That was the last visit to the fertility specialist.
You’re thinking I’m too selfish. And yes, I like my space and my alone time. Although I consider myself a very responsible person, it’s too much responsibility, one that never ends. And frankly, it seems so hard. People often say, “They don’t tell you how hard it is to have kids.” Really? Because that’s all I hear. Maybe if they’d sell it better I’d be into it.
I think kids can be super cute, as long as they’re yours and you take them with you when you go. I do love to care for something and I’ve always had pets. But I can go out and leave them at home for hours on end. How brilliant is that?
I know, I’ve heard it, I’m missing out. There’s no love like it, etc., etc. Well, here’s the thing. You’re (most likely) missing out on being a TV producer/host and on having a mop-like dog named Ruby. We can’t have every experience in life. I have chosen not to have this one. And I’m okay with that. Finally.
Join the conversation:
On 05 7, 2012 at 09:50:43 AM, Jerrie W. said:
There is nothing wrong with you. Think of all of the changes the world would see if fewer women caved to the pressure to have children when they really don’t want to do so. Thanks for being mature enough to deal with your desires honestly. I agree. We can’t all do everything. No one will ever call me “mom” but someone wonderful calls me aunt. And people call me daughter, sister, cousin, friend. I think that is enough. And by the way, we came into this world as women … no need to reproduce to become one. That is a gift or a gag, depending on one’s take, straight from God.
I too have chosen not to have children. I can totally relate to what you are saying and feeling, When I try to explain to someone that has kids why I chose not to have any I ask them ” Have you always known you wanted kids”? and once they reply yes I then tell them ” I have those same feelings except that I have always known that I don’t want kids.
I find it frustrating when people question a woman on whether she will have a child. What if she physically can’t? The pain she will feel upon hearing that question repeatidly is almost too much to bare. I have one son who is 12 and to this day I am asked why I didn’t have more. Do I not realize how cruel it is to raise a child without siblings? He will be selfish. He will be spoiled. He will never learn to treat others with kindness. Those are the things I hear from strangers. I applaud you for not only making that decision but sticking to it. I think a higher power had a plan for you and it was to enrich other people’s lives 🙂
On 05 7, 2012 at 12:15:38 PM, Bobbi C. said:
I was just recently talking to a girl friend about this exact thing.In some ways it’s great how much life has changed for women in the last even 50yrs.However it’s sad in some ways too,why would someone even expect a person to answer a personal question like that.I have 3 children, (18,4 and 3) nobody asked me why I did. I stay home with them (I’ve also been a working mom)and that’s really,really hard and I know people judge that as well.How long will we have to wait till a women can either decide, yes I want to have children or no I don’t, and not ever be questioned by that. Thank you for sharing on such an interesting topic!
I have three lovely ‘babies’…all boys. I adore them, and they are a tremendous amount of work. I’ve been sleep deprived since halfway through the first pregnancy. He’ll be nine years old this week. That’s a very long time to be sleep deprived. I wouldn’t change having my boys for anything, but I know this one thing better than I know anything else–I. am. done. No more kids for me. I’m divorced, so there’s a possibility that I could meet someone who wants more babies–not by me. Some things you just know without a doubt–nothing wrong with that.
I’d much rather have someone say I don’t want kids, than have kids for the sake of having them. There are also several people out there who have been able to reproduce – and never should have. Nurturing doesn’t always come naturally – and saying no, and teaching kids that not everything is handed to them on a silver platter should be part of Parenting 101. I’m a mum to a 13-year-old girl and 15 year-old boy and love them to death, but there are still a lot of days where I’d love to have my child-free life back. My hubby lives and dotes on the kids. I was never quite there. It just seemed like the right thing to do at the time. LOL. The childless and parents of single children need more posts like this just to remind them they’re not alone. And that it’s OK!!!
Loved this Article! I am almost 40, married, and childless by choice. We do have 2 rescued pets that fill our life, Milton the cat and Peanut the pit bull. Someone once asked me when I was going to have a baby. I made the saddest face I could and told them “Oh we can’t”. I watched her become embarrassed and then told her I was kidding but that maybe she should consider that when asking women in their late 30’s & early 40’s about having babies.
I have been tempted to do the same thing Christine. It is a very personal question and there can be many reasons why someone doesn’t have kids. As far as I’m concerned, unless you are a close friend or family member, it is inappropriate to ask.
An Italian friend used to get constantly asked by her family and relatives – when are you going to get married and have kids? It put so much pressure on her, even though that’s what she wanted! On a side note…. Your doll is blond, just like your friend and business partner. Have you been holding a place for her in your live since you were a kid? Or is that just a coincidence? Love the pics – you started doing fashion shoots early. 😉
Kristina, that took guts to write! I mean you’re in the public eye and the public can be (ok, is) very judgemental. I too was constantly asked when I was going to settle down and have a family. Aunts, mother, siblings…from all angles. There came a point when I said enough was enough. I told anyone that asked me, point blank… “Thank you for your interest. I’d like you to know I’m happy the way my life is now.” I have no regrets. It’s my life not theirs. They should learn to check their expectations at the door. Another thing I tell people (and this really pisses them off) is my will dictates that all my liquid assets (cash, stocks, etc) is split between the schools I’ve attended for bursaries, scholarships.
Kristina, I was so happy to see your article. Thank-you! More women need to really think about and be honest about what they want, and not just feel pressured into having children. There is nothing wrong with not having children and it certainly is not selfish. Being a parent is not the only way one can enjoy life. I don’t understand all of the people ( even ones you’ve just been introduced to) who ask ” when are you going to have children?” Why do they just assume that you want them, and why do they think it’s somehow any of their business? I also have been plagued by being asked this question as I have been married for almost 19 years and have no children by choice. Congrat’s on being true to yourself & also on all of your success. P.S. I live in Edmonton where there’s actually a group where childless women can get together for suppers / events & mingle with like-minded women and have conversations that will never turn into chatting about children all evening.
I agree that this took guts to write – very brave. I have two boys that I love to death but am definitely not one to gush about how much I love kids. I am a proud parent, among other things like wife, boss, daughter, friend etc.
On 06 8, 2012 at 09:19:40 AM, heather l. said:
I am in the exact same boat as you, and have felt the same way for years. never once had the maternal spark. I find it hard to empathize with people who go through so much heart ache and pain to have children when they don’t happen immediately (although I feel a great deal of sympathy for those folks). I just cannot imagine how they feel. I have not had any negativity towards it, and people rarely ask us about it. I think we make our choice fairly clear. We are heading into a time where all our friends are having kids, things will definitely be changing, luckily we make great Aunts and Uncles, but it would be nice to meet some people who are like minded to focus on activities that are not child based.
Hi Kristine, late post but new to your site. I really wanted to thank you for your honesty – so little going around these days – and for bringing awareness to a subject that needed it. Im one of those women who did want kids but thought I would have time…and I would have if I had not had to have a hysterectomy a few yrs ago. The choice was taken away from me and it was harder to deal with than the pain of surgery. I could adopt but I believe you have to feel called to that, and I don’t. I do wish others would either stop asking me about kids and or when I say I’m not able to not compound the invasion and awkwardness by bringing up adoption. Intentions are good I’m sure but as you say, just don’t go there unless its appropriate. BTW as soon as I recover from some recent back surgery I too will be getting a dog!
Hi Jo, I’m sorry to hear about what you are going through, I appreciate that it must be very hard. I just wanted to share with you that getting a dog may be one of the best things I have ever done. I love animals, always had cats growing up. Ruby is my first pooch and she makes me laugh, keeps me company and gets me outside every day. It’s so worth it.
Hi ladies! Thanks for the great blog entry Kristina. My husband and I are at a point in our life where most of our friends/family all have kids. They all want to hang out with other people who have kids and when they do hang out with us they want to talk about how great it is to be away from their kids. Thanks for making me feel a little less abnormal for our choice. A side not to fellow Shopping Bag, Lynne V from Edmonton, I live in Calgary and would love to find a group of women/couples without kids to meet up with. Does your group have a Calgary branch? Who couldn’t use more friends?!
Just joined today, as I watch you two cooking Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook, came across your blog. I am 4 months away from 50, I have always said I never wanted kids, that has never changed for me, no clock ticking, not one maternal bone in my body and I am very happy! I am not missing out on anything in life. I’ve always had dogs and cats and they are like kids to me. My partner has kids and grand kids and that’s fine. I like them, I’m just glad they’re not mine :0)