I knew from a young age I didn’t want to have children. I remember clearly being quite disgusting when friends at school talked about just wanting to get married and have kids. That was probably about age 16/17. I remember when I was 9/10 thinking I wanted to be a career women and most of my cubby house playtime was spent playing career women not mums and dads.
For some having children is a definite yet, for others like me, it was a definite no and then there is a grey area of undecided people. You might be one of them.
I don’t think age has any bearing on this decision and I think you know what you want, like everything else in life
Hear some other perspectives on this discussion below:
I suspect more than a few people will disagree with me, maybe vehemently, but here goes. No, you are not too young to make the decision not to have kids.
Funny thing, I never wanted kids when I was a kid and teen. I had my son when I was 18, though not for particularly sound reasons. My two daughters, born when I was 20 and 27, were both unplanned. I had become reasonably comfortable as a parent by the time my first daughter came along, so I was okay going ahead with it. I was…not the worst parent in the world. Also, not the best. I did a few things pretty well, and a lot of others less so. But, total candor here, I never really liked the job of parenting. It terrified me. It stressed me.
Please note, I adore my kids. I think they’re the three best humans on the planet (they are pretty cool people, even outside my obvious bias, according to plenty of other people!). They love me—and maybe more importantly, like me—too. We have really good relationships, and I really love being a parent to adult children.
My son knew he didn’t want kids from the time he was very young. He tried to get a vasectomy when he was 18, but wasn’t permitted to. He finally got it a few years ago (he’s in his mid-30s now). He has never, ever wanted to be a parent. He has never, ever wavered from that. He married a woman who feels just as strongly in this regard. They are both teachers, they travel, have many interests and activities (he designs board games, she does a variety of art projects). They dote on their cats. They love their life. I supported my son in this from the beginning. When people said, “oh, he’ll probably change his mind” or “but he’d make such a good dad!” I said, “nope, he won’t. I know him. And while he would never hurt someone deliberately, he would hate being a dad, and that’s not a good way to parent. Also, it’s his decision.”
My older daughter has two daughters with her husband, and they’ve stopped there. They are magnificent parents, and I love my grandkids. I’m fine that they are the only ones I’ll have.
My younger daughter also decided she didn’t want to be a parent—or more accurately, to have children of her own. She has felt this way since her late teens. She has been a nanny and was really good at it, but if anything, that confirmed her own disinterest in choosing that for herself. Her husband has children from a former marriage, and she’s fine with that, though the children don’t live with them, and she isn’t a parent to them.
My youngest sister is also childless and knew this about herself from her 20s.
I believe that children should only be had by people who really, really want them. It’s an intensely hard job, and though it can be rewarding, it doesn’t always go as planned. Yes, sometimes it can turn out okay even when it’s not the original goal…but gambling with the life of an entire, autonomous human is not a great idea in my view. If you don’t want kids, you don’t have to have them, no matter what anyone else says. If you ever change your mind, that’s your business, too, but worrying that you might is no reason to doubt how you feel now. No one else knows you as well as you.
You can certainly make that decision now, but it doesn’t mean you won’t change your mind as you get older. Biology is funny that way. Of course, you might not change your mind.
When I was 18, if you had told me I’d be living the life I’m currently living, I would have said you’re crazy! I had dreams of going into politics and having a high powered career if I settled down, it would be with some sensitive artist type, but kids? No way, not me!
I spent a few years trying to figure out “what now.” I even ended up with a long-term boyfriend, so settling down started to feel like something I might want.
That relationship didn’t last, but shortly after my breakup, I met my husband. He loved and supported me, pushed me to figure out my dream and follow it. So I went to business school to get my MBA, not really sure what I wanted to do, though I seriously doubted it would be Marketing, I’d probably do Finance or General Management.
Guess what? Every aptitude test I took pointed me towards Marketing. Then I got into my Marketing classes and I fell in love! At the end of grad school, I got engaged, and we got married a few months later. We moved back to Texas so my husband could finish his degree and I went to work in Marketing. I still wasn’t 100% sure I would ever want kids, and I certainly didn’t want them at that moment.
About 3 years later, I was sitting in church, and I kid you not, I just got this overwhelming feeling that it was time to start trying for a baby. My husband could sense it, he looked over at me and said “you want a baby, don’t you?” Less than a year later, our first child was born, and I swore we were done at one. I hated pregnancy, if we ever had another, we’d adopt.
But boy, did I ever LOVE being a mom, as in, more than I ever thought I could love it. I knew I’d love my son, but never knew I’d love being a mom so much! Here I was at age 32, still figuring out that I didn’t really know what I wanted from life.
Almost 6 years to the day after finding out we were pregnant with my first, we finally found out we were having a second. I said if I wasn’t pregnant by my 38th birthday we would quit trying (the little stinker got in a few weeks prior to my birthday).
You are never too young to decide what you do NOT want. You always have the option to change your mind later.
My own daughter always knew she didn’t want children. She put me through the third degree about contraception when she was 11 – what methods exist and with what % of efficiency, can you get pregnant the first time (“Yes”), and can a virgin girl have an IUV implanted. She was very thorough. And, since I believe kids who are ready for the question are ready for the answer, I was also thorough.
She just turned 43, doesn’t have children and still doesn’t want any. She has zero patience for physical pain and discomfort (forget pregnancy and labour pains) and she’s not big on life commitments. And yet she loves children – in someone else’s life and going back to someone else’s house.
Personally, I much prefer a childless woman to a negligent mother.
I would advise you to make sure you take the safest precautions against getting pregnant, but don’t do anything drastic like tubal ligation (which is not always reversible), as there isa possibility you may change your mind later. It does happen. Keep your options open.
I would also advise you strongly to keep your intentions and feelings to yourself on the matter, as women who do not want children are treated like selfish bitches in our society. Answer neutrally and vaguely to any inquiry.
You know who you are. And you are never too young to know what you want.
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