I’m not sure when I realised that my childfree decision was just about fair game for everyone to comment on but I am now 49 and realise that I will always have to have that awkward conversation when I meet people for the first/second time…. “oh you don’t have children?” they ask, “Was that your decision”, “won’t you be lonely”, “who will look after you when you are old”, “you don’t know what you are missing out on”…. The list goes on.
The strange thing is that I never say what I really want to say about their life with children, “Oh you must be miserable “oh you must be tired”, “do you and your partner actually get any time together”, “when did you last travel overseas”, again my list is end list but I actually respect other people’s decision to have or to not have children, and its frankly none of my business what another grown-up person decides to do with their uterus.
Of course, I tell people lots of different stories. I just never wanted them, I was never in the right relationship to have them, it was never the right time, I’m just not a fan of shit and puke, my partners infertile, I was really born a man and therefore it’s not going to happen, There are enough people in this world failing at parenthood without me doing it too, my siblings were creating enough grandchildren, I just forgot to have them, I was too busy enjoying life to stop and have children, I want to travel, I don’t like them. This is another list that is endless and yet some of it is true, not the born a man bit, that is not true!
I was around 16 when I first decided that I would never have children, my decision has never changed. Of course, due to the lovely hormones we have surging around, I have questioned my decision and have thought that of course, it may be nice to have children, but those thoughts were thankfully only fleeting. If I was truthful every time I was asked, there would be tears, there would be awkward silences, there would be anger, there would be downright “Please swallow me up universe “moments (not from me from the nosey person asking the question of course). But I am not truthful to anyone, even people close to me in life have no idea why and when I decided I was not going to have children.
And that is ok, I do not feel the need to tell the world my reason. It’s my decision what I do with my uterus and I am so very happy with my decision and have never regretted it. I travel, I live in the most beautiful country in the world, I have a beautiful partner that shares my childfree decision and I am looking forward to more travel and adventures in life.
I began writing this thinking that I would tell you all why I don’t have children and why as a sixteen-year-old child I decided not to have children, but the thing is it doesn’t matter why I decided to not have children, the most important point is that we should respect each other enough to respect each other’s decisions. Some of us have a big story to tell as to why we don’t have children and some of us don’t. The important thing is that we are happy with that decision and all you nosey buggers should mind their own business.
Jennifer Roders – The Menopausal Backpacker
You will Jennifer on Insta @the_menopausal_backpacker and on Facebook at The Menopausal Backpacker