Envision this. You come home late, tired from work. The floor is spotlessly clean, just the way you left it in the morning. There are no Legos sinisterly waiting for you to step on them, no notices requiring your signature, no homework to check, no worrying about tiffins to be packed, no bedtime. Nothing. This is the life I want, a life without children of my own.
If I were to describe myself, “ambitious” is definitely on the list. I wish to have a thriving career and a personal life rich in experiences gained from traveling the world, meeting new people, and immersing myself in their culture.
Not only will having a child limit the time I will have for myself, but I might not indulge in certain thrilling yet dangerous activities that are on my bucket list, for fear of not being there for my child. In today’s world, where jobs are becoming increasingly stressful, worrying about a child is the last thing I need.
From vaccinations to illnesses, from homework to college admissions, children need their parents, and I am certainly not ready for that kind of additional responsibility.
Growing up, I have seen my parents sacrificing their needs and wants just for my happiness. While that is incredibly selfless, I do not think I can give up on my dreams and not regret it later on in life. At the same time, I don’t want to work on my goals and have a child for fear of not able to commit to either satisfactorily.
To the women who manage to balance their work life and personal life, you have my utmost respect; I just don’t think I am cut out for that kind of life. You will never catch me buying diapers or strolling down the baby food aisle.
Besides, I seem to lack maternal instincts. Sure, babies are cute, but I do not feel the need to have one of my own. Taking care of myself physically, mentally, and emotionally is draining enough.
Moreover, I do not wish to project any of my insecurities or problems onto my child. People often laugh at my decision citing my “immaturity” as a reason for feeling the way I do. I have also been labeled “selfish” for merely making a personal choice. It’s funny how people think they have the right to criticize my life and decisions with my own body.
I’ve lost count of the sheer number of relatives whose jaws have dropped wide when they hear about this particular decision. From “continuing the bloodline” to “motherhood completes a woman,” I have heard all their arguments, but somehow, they haven’t been convincing enough.
I have often seen people treat their children as “insurance policies” for their child is nothing but a crutch for them at old age. I do not wish to burden anyone else with the responsibility of taking care of me, even if they want to. Taking care of someone is demanding, and hampering their life is not something I would choose for my loved ones.
I think having children is a very personal choice and shouldn’t be forced upon a woman. Just because we are biologically capable doesn’t make it a necessity.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against having children; It’s just that I don’t wish to have my own. I want to support my friends as they navigate the ups and downs of parenthood, to see their children grow, and there’s nothing more I’d like than to love and spoil them. All I wish for in return is for my decision to be accepted and not owe anybody an explanation.
Written by Shivangi Acharya for MTTN
Edited by Saher Kalra for MTTN
Featured image by @shadingemotions on Instagram
Artwork by @pregs_spam on Instagram