To the people who say I want a baby;
To the people who tell me having a puppy is great training for having a baby;
To the people who tell me I better enjoy [travel, dates, nice things…] because I won’t be able to when I have a baby;
To the people who tell me I’m too young to know if I want a baby;
I’m not too young. I’ve had these conversations for ten years, and I want to stop.
When you tell me that I will want kids later, I hear you telling me that I don’t know myself as well as you know me. I hear you telling me that the most value I can have as a woman is to add mother to my identity. I hear you telling me that my body dictates my role in society and trumps all the rest of me.
When you tell me that having a puppy is great practice for having a baby, I hear you telling me that the purpose of my puppy is to train me how to have a kid.
When you tell me that I better enjoy life as I know it because it will all change once I have babies, I hear you telling me that my relationship and hobbies and lifestyle can only be temporary because kids are an inevitable part of womanhood.
When you tell me that I’ll change my mind about having kids, you remind me that a woman’s body is never really her own. It’s a vessel. A woman is a host, and society treats her as such. It’s dehumanizing and humiliating.
There’s a million reasons that kids don’t fit into my life, but number one on that list is that I just don’t like them. I make a few exceptions for the amazing ones I’ve met along the way (you know who you are). Except for those, I don’t like the sounds kids make or the messes that follow them. I don’t like the autonomy they restrict or the patience they require. I don’t like losing games or simple kid food or books without plots.
And all of that is okay. I have the right and the resources to decide what happens to my body. That’s awesome. We live in a time where motherhood isn’t a requirement (although it is more dangerous here than literally every other developed country in the world). Let’s celebrate that. Let’s pause and mourn for the women who live in places where that isn’t true.
I love mothers, and I know it takes a very special, patient, sacrificing, loving kind of person to be one. Mothers and fathers are owed more appreciation they get. We all know this. I am not that kind of person, and after a decade of explaining that to people, I’m more sure of it now than I ever have been. I want to be the person who spoils the moms and kids in her life, and then leaves them to go day drink or hop on a plane to go skiing.
Most of all though, and here’s where I ask for your help, I want to be the kind of person who doesn’t get so fucking angry when she hears her 28-year old boyfriend has never heard any of these things. If I have to take a pregnancy test every time I go to the doctor complaining of a stomach ache, then the same people who give me daily shit for not wanting kids can at least tell my boyfriend that he’s too virile and young to decide for himself if he gets to have kids.