Can I tell you something? It’s okay to not want kids.
No, really. It is. I promise. Your mom may not think that’s okay. Your friends may not think it’s okay. But I’m here to tell you that it is okay. It is very much okay.
It isn’t that I dislike children or anything like that. Some children are very lovely. I just know that I don’t want kids. My mom is aghast. She frequently asks me if I’ve changed my mind. I know she’s hoping that one day I will tell her, “Yes, I have absolutely changed my mind, I want children, lots of them, and very soon.” But that’s not going to happen.
And that’s okay. Even though I’m in my ’20s and am still “very young” (I’ve been told), in fact, “too young” to decide I don’t want kids, I know that I’m very comfortable with my decision not to procreate. You can be “very young” and know that you don’t want children. That’s perfectly okay.
Why is it okay?
I’ve given birth to a human child. My friend Randi has given birth to TWO human children. We sat down to discuss how it affected our bodies, ourselves, and our relationships.
Warning: A little graphic. A lot of funny!
Kate Middleton, as hip and young a royal as we’ve seen, is still abiding by some old traditions regarding her birth plan. NY Mag, via the Telegraph, gave us some info about her birth plans. For example, Middleton wants to have a “natural birth”, meaning that she would like to avoid having a cesarean section. Because I guess a cesarean section isn’t natural? Does the term “natural birth” bother anyone else? Is birth not natural all by itself? For even happening?
Anyway. Kate and William (ha! There he is!) do not know what the sex of their baby is, because they opted to be surprised. Prince William gets 2 weeks paternity leave (so modern!). And they will announce the birth of their baby via…parchment. No, really. From NY Mag:
No information about the birth will be shared until an aide is dispatched from the hospital with the baby’s sex, weight, and time of birth written on a piece of paper. Said paper will be hand-delivered to a driver, who will then take it to Buckingham Palace, where it will be placed on an easel for the public to see.
A piece of paper. On an easel.
I’m at that point in my 20′s where, even though I think it’s too soon to think about, I’m having to answer hypothetical questions like, “So, do you want to have kids?” or even worse, “When do you plan on having kids?”
I plan on having kids right around the time I plan on having tea with Michael Caine in a gumdrop palace on the moon. So, never. Never is when all of these things are planned.
Because, okay, wait? You mean since 1979 there has been a way to simply, cheaply and impermanently sterilize men with zero hormonal side effects? But it’s not available because of 1) misogyny and 2) big pharma can’t make money off of a simple process that cost $100 every ten years? Did you just tell me that, Internet?
Indeed, Internet did totally just tell me this. The drug is called Vasagel or RISUG.
The 30-year struggle (AHHHH) to bring Vasagel to market was first chronicled in this fascinating and detailed Wired piece (Warning: includes informative yet balls-tastic video.) that ran this time last year. And this week, there has been a growing buzz about Vasalgel after an article in TechCitement went viral because animal testing on the drug started in America in March. Yay. Currently, it’s in the last phase of clinical trials in India, where the drug was first invented, meaning it may be on the market (at least there) in two years.
My laissez-faire parents have always been pretty cool about not pressuring me about marriage or grandchildren. Seeing as they are both Jewish, it’s actually pretty amazing that I haven’t been guilted into a husband, or at the very least, a crippling insecurity.
Perhaps it’s because they settled down later in life, my mother was thirty and my father was thirty-seven on the day of their wedding. They didn’t take the marital plunge until their thirties, so why ask anything different from their one and only child? I suppose we’ll need to re-evaluate their coolness towards the whole situation once I turn thirty, but for now, both parents are riding the awesome wave.
I have little understanding when friends complain that their parents are not so subtly demanding grandchildren on a fixed timeline. Apparently this verbal abuse afflicts both singles and couples alike, and some parents are so desperate that they are even forgiving “first comes love.”
If you’re one of these poor souls, you’re probably rolling your eyes pretty hard right now. But let me tell you, I am no smug asshole. Well, not any more anyway. I recently experienced my first brush with marriage and baby shaming, but not from my parents. It was from my gynecologist.
Let me just say, my gynecologist is one cool dude, as far as lady part doctors go. He never makes me feel weird that he’s doing awful things to my downstairs, and he reassures me that I’ve got good plumbing. How do I know this? Because last year he told me I should date his son.
As per a recent email strain with Heather…
I have had several pregnancy nightmares. The latest involved me giving a totally painless birth to a baby boy whom I could not name for the life of me. My boyfriend from high school was the father, but since he is a deadbeat my current boyfriend was going to help raise the baby. Except, he was nowhere to be found in the dream. Then, when I got home from the hospital my boyfriend’s cat was there with no litter box. AND I DID NOT KNOW WHAT THE HELL TO DO. I was like, I don’t want a baby! I think the dream’s message was very clear.
Jessica Valenti’s Atlantic piece on the assumption that women want children and are fulfilled by motherhood is the kind of good, smart read that also gives me nightmares.
At the beach with my family recently, I got a rare lone moment with my mother. For a vacation, the week had been chaotic. Both my boyfriend and I had to work through the trip, and “relax” had ended up to be more of a line-item on our to do lists than a state of being. Add to that ten family members with differing vacation agendas (bike rides! fireworks! beach!), one of whom was a toddler, and my mom and I had hardly hardly had a moment just the two of us.
Then at last, I got some time…even if it was only as we drove to pick up ingredients for fish tacos. In the car we talked about her business, my recent move to LA, and my relationship, which is very happy and now a year old. And then from her camp, this interjection:
Here’s a detailed breakdown of all the good things women and their parts now receive under The Affordable Care Act, such as: maternity care, domestic violence counseling, cervical cancer screenings, contraception, STI screenings, breastfeeding supplies, and “well woman” visits to the doctor.
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
Follow Dating & Hookup on Instagram
Follow Jess on Instagram
Follow Becky on Instagram
Follow me on Twitter