What!!? You’re not going to have children? A mother finally understands why…

I have to admit, that once upon a time, when someone told me they were  not going to have children, particularly when that person was someone of the fairer sex, my eyes practically popped in disbelief.

In my head my train of thought used to follow something along these lines…

  1. You’re mad
  2. You’re in denial
  3. There’s must be something wrong with you
  4. What will you do with the whole of your life without kids?
  5. You’ll end up having them in the end, anyway, once your body clock kicks in

Yes I was someone who although not hugely gushy or maternal, knew that I always wanted kids when I met the right person. Before having a child, I couldn’t possibly have got my head around why someone might not what to have children, as hard as I tried…it was something totally alien to me. That’s the reason we are all here, after all – to procreate – isn’t it!?

The strange thing is that having now had a child, while absolutely the most amazing (but insanely hard) thing, I can now finally understand where people who say they don’t want to have children, are coming from.

As hugely rewarding though it is, having children is a lot of hard work

There is no getting around it and there is no understanding just how much work they are until you actually have them. And there is no off button. Ever.

Having children also presents a seismic shift in your life and lifestyle choices, when you will rarely, if ever, get to think about your own needs first, or have that freedom to do what you want, whenever you want. You will sacrifice so much, more than you could ever have dreamed of, in order to bring an offspring into this world. On top of that, you will probably soon start to realize that those dreamy visions of parenthood you used to conjure up whilst feeling all loved up and childless at the time, are not quite reality.

Having experienced this all first hand, I have now moved from a place where I think – WTF!!? how can you not want kids to…hey, you know what…I can totally understand why you are not going to have children. It’s a lot of work, a lot of hassle, and the trade off you get – all the nice gooey stuff you always hear about parenthood which is of course, totally true, but not without it’s own challenging backdrop – is just too big for you to go there.

You’re the ones who are going to grown old more gracefully; you’re the ones who are going to be sleeping until whenever you like for the rest of your days; you’re the ones who can actually rest in bed when you’re sick; and you’re the ones who are probably going to be travelling the world, living the life of riley for the foreseeable.

And though I personally could not imagine doing that for the rest of my life, I can now totally understand where those who are not going to have children are coming from. You comprehend it’s too great an endeavour, too great a responsibility, and too great a sacrifice, and you won’t go there, and for that – I totally respect you.

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  1. This is a really interesting post as you are so right; having kids changes everything!! I was having this discussion with hubby not to long again. I think after having my daughter like you I can understand why people may say they don’t want children but there is still that part of me that thinks it’s really sad! Maybe if I have another…I’ll lose that bit hehe xx #mummymonday

  2. Definitely hard work and there are quite a few moments when I wish for a lie-in or to be able to do what I like when I like. However, I would miss out on all the laughter and the ‘firsts’ that come with being a mum. No decision is perfect – just what is right for you.

  3. I don’t understand why you hear so many people with kids trying to persuade those without to have them! I secretly think it’s because we want all those non-childed people to suffer like we do. I love my kids, I’m glad I had them and I wouldn’t change things but, like you, I can totally understand why people chose not to have them. #twinklytuesday

    • It’s weird how people make everybody’s business their business when it comes to kids! I feel guilty of having judged in the past, but would have never tried to persuade anyone of anything of that nature. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  4. It’s definitely a big decision to have a child and I can definitely see why some people would prefer not too. I just can’t imagine growing old without a family to have round for dinner, grandchildren to spoil. It’s not just about the here and now, it’s about the future! Thanks for linking up with #twinklytuesday

  5. Having children is life changing is so so many ways and for that reason I can understand why some people choose not too. I personally couldn’t imagine my life without Amelia or before I had her I knew I would always have children at some point. Really interesting post! Thanks for linking up and hope to see you again tomorrow! #MummyMonday xx

  6. Interesting that I came upon your post right now. I’m writing a post on my choice to not have children. I have lots of reasons why I don’t (and one is because I’ve simply never felt the urge), but I do see children as a HUGE responsibility, one that I gladly passed off to my sister who has six beautiful and incredibly smart grandchildren. There’s nothing that says I can’t be a doting aunt 🙂 Appreciate your post and the respect 🙂

  7. […] And all is not lost.  As the percentage of women who choose not to have children grows, we might also see an increase in the percentage of people who understand:  https://motherhoodtherealdeal.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/what-youre-not-going-to-have-children-a-mothe… […]

  8. It’s funny isn’t it? I hear so many parents trying to convince their un-childed friends to have kids. It really irritates me – If people have chosen not to have kids just let them be – I love my kids but I do envy people who don’t have them!! #bestandworst

  9. I agree with the above comment! I obviously wouldn’t change my life at all but sometimes find myself being a tad jealous of those that can lie in, have a hangover and head out for a romantic meal! Having children is a full time job and it literally takes over your life and I can see why some people may not want to have children to change this. Thanks for linking up to the #bestandworst linky and hope to see you again next week!

    Helen X

  10. I’m one of those women who don’t want children. Don’t get me wrong, I love children, but I also love handing them back. I am much more suited to the role of “aunt”. People say not wanting children is selfish – personally I think it worse to have children you resent because you have to change your lifestyle. I think having children is a huge commitment and I admire anyone who chooses to make that commitment. I also imagine it is very rewarding, but wouldn’t the world be a boring place if we all wanted the exact same life. Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes

  11. I started out thinking I didn’t want kids. I was an only child and had no interactions with children and figured I probably just didn’t like them. I ended up with two and wouldn’t change to for the world. I now plan to have more with my new husband and I am so glad I decided to have them. However, I do believe that it takes a strong person to make the decision not to have children and stick with it. There is so much pressure on married couples to have children, and if you’re not up to it, thats perfectly fine! 🙂

    • I actually think it is a wonderful thing to think – really think about your choices – rather than going ahead and doing whatever without giving it a second thought…whilst of course that can make things more complicated. We are currently in the 2nd child conundrum!

  12. Thank you! I am 39, Childless by Choice, and have blogged about this recently, which led me here. Your post made me ask myself about boredom: will being childless all my life mean I’ll be more bored? Probably only in the sense that I’ll be more aware of it than if I was busy being a parent, and not having time to notice!

    Many of my parent friends my own age tell me they understand my decision to not have kids, because parenting is an incessant battle of finding time for everything you HAVE to do, let alone WANT to do.

  13. I was nodding along to this post as I was exactly the same – kids where always part of my plan and I simply couldn’t understand why some people didn’t want them. That was until I had kids of my own, now I 100% get it. Kids are life changers. Since becoming a Mum I have no spare time, no spare money, no career as such. My life is so different now you sacrifice a lot. I wouldn’t have it any other way I love my girls unconditionally but I understand why people choose not to have that and I completely respect them for it.

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