Why I never wanted kids. And what changed it all.

Most girls grow up knowing they want children. Some even knew how many they want, going so far as to pick out names years in advance. But there’s another group of women who have decided they just aren’t going to have children at all.

I used to think I would never have kids. I had a huge long list of why’s:

  • What if something happens to my child? I couldn’t cope with that.
  • I don’t think I would have the energy to keep up with chasing kids all day.
  • I like my lifestyle. I don’t want to give up my freedom to become domesticated.
  • What if I end up divorced? I don’t like what that might mean for my kids. So why have them in the first place and risk it?
  • What if the father just turns out to be unreliable? In fact, I don’t think I’ll ever find a husband who I can count on to be the kind of father I’d want for my children. (Perfect men only exist in fairy tales.)
  • I’ll lose my best career years to my kids.
  • My body will have to endure hell to bring kids into the world, right? Then I’ll just become a lumpy sack of fat.
  • The world’s a scary place. The economy is shot. Morals are unheard of. Drug use and teen pregnancy is on the rise. I just don’t like where the world is heading and I’m not sure I’d want to bring a kid into this place.
  • I’d have to cook more. I’d rather go out to eat and party than slave in the kitchen day and night.
  • What if my child hates me when he or she is a teenager?
  • I just don’t think I can be all that being a mother requires to do it well.
  • I don’t know if I’ll be able to discipline my child. Or make tough decisions.
  • I wouldn’t want to NOT pay for my kids’ education. If I’m going to have children, then I want them to grow up understanding I’ve got the basics covered for them. So I’d have to funnel all my money into that, right?
  • Having kids is dang expensive. I’d rather travel or go shopping than put all my money into college savings.
  • What about when they get old enough that they want to start dating? How on earth would I handle THAT?
  • I don’t particularly like children. Most seem quite obnoxious and needy, don’t you think?
  • How on earth can you bear knowing you are fully responsible for the health, safety, and happiness of another being?
  • I’ll get droopy boobs from breastfeeding. Because I wouldn’t want to have a baby and not breastfeed it.
  • What if I die during childbirth?

I’m sure there were many, many more reasons. I had a very complicated, detailed list. It’s just a little fuzzy now…

Yes, even with all those fears, I’ve gone ahead and done it. I’ve got an almost 3-year-old son and another little boy on the way now.

Why did I choose to have kids in the end?

It’s my husband’s fault, really. He wanted children as part of his future. If I wanted to marry him, then they would have to be part of my future, too. I was so sure of him as a person that I knew he was the man I wanted to share my life with, and he would be all that I wanted in a father for my children. Turns out that was the biggest issue for me.

Still, I was scared to death when we actually got around to that first baby.

But having children has been so worth all the risk, sacrifices, and lifestyle adjustments…

I can’t imagine it any other way. In fact, I’m going to pack up my laptop and go home to a pile of sloppy kisses waiting for me right now.

I know having children isn’t for everyone. What say you?

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Comments (4)

  1. Maribeth Reed Mrugalski

    I have always wanted tons of kids since I was a little girl. I was so excited when we got pregnant with out first. He is now 3 and we have a little girl on the way. I have to admit that this pregnancy I have been super nervous about bringing a child into the world for many reasons you listed above. The economy scares me and most of all the weather lately! From earthquakes to tornadoes and hurricanes and flooding in one week. All things we don’t usually deal with here in South Jersey, but I know everything will work out and be okay. Anytime I question it I look into my son’s eyes and know why I did this again <3

  2. Lisa

    Maribeth, it’s so interesting to hear you had some of the same fears I had, even after having a child! Yes, it does seem that even natural disasters have increased recently, too. But I suppose we coped with the world as it changed when we were growing up, and our children will, too, with our help. In the end, it’s our kids who really give meaning to life, isn’t it?

  3. Uma

    Great post Lisa. Glad I stumbled upon this blog. I am right where you were all those years ago. My list also includes unstability and a long distance relationship. I am surrounded by women who have kids or want kids and sometimes I find myself lost in that group. I am glad to hear that these fears are not that uncommon.

    • Lisa

      Uma, I know just how you feel. There was a time where I was simply uninterested in kids, and moms, too, for that matter. Bit once you’re in the club, it feels like a whole different world you never really knew about. Take it from someone who’s been on both sides, it’s totally worth it, once you’re feeling things are stable. Now I feel like my life would have been so empty without my little guys, even though I probably would have been blind to
      that, just not understanding how fulfilling kids are. And I say this going on 3 hours of sleep every night for the last 6 weeks since our second was born! But seriously, that stability was key for me, too.

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