People my age are starting to get married and have kids. Not necessarily in that order but it’s happening one after the other and it almost feels like an epidemic—and that’s probably because I don’t want any. I’ve been saying that since I was 20-years-old—that I don’t want kids—but no one takes me seriously.
“You’re young, you’ll change your mind,” they say, like it’s not a completely legitimate desire to not want children. I do feel young still, but when the average age of women having children is somewhere between 25 and 30, it doesn’t feel so young. I wonder…if a 25-year-old is old enough to have a child, when will I be old enough to say I don’t want any?
It seems scary to me because I’m not at all where I wanted to be in life: graduated university, moved out of my mothers, debt-free, well traveled. It wasn’t even until recently that I started a career, so that’s one of five things I’ve accomplished. I know I’m not alone in this. There are plenty of women my age who are still working minimum wage, part-time jobs while going to school and yet they are already thinking about babies. I don’t understand what the rush is, but there’s something about having kids before 30 that seems to be the concern.
My main concern is trying to find someone who feels the same way I do. I’m at the age where people don’t typically date to date—it’s usually date for keeps. The whole “children” convo isn’t exactly talked about early on in a relationship, as I think it’s assumed that both people want them…but what happens if one doesn’t?
Since I was 21-years-old I have dated several guys who have definitely wanted kids and it’s been a struggle to voice my opinion on the subject—half because I’m not taken seriously and half because it’s really hard to tell someone you like so much, who wants a family, that you don’t. So, when is a good time to talk about it? There are hazards: if you bring it up too soon you’re likely to seem a bit crazy; however, if you bring it up too late you run the risk of hurting someone’s feelings or angering them for having wasted their time on you.
A guy I recently started dating told me he thought I’d make a great mother. His instincts were an assumption based on my repeated Instagram photos and Snap Chats of my friend’s 3-year-old daughter, whom I treat as my own child. I couldn’t bring myself to respond with more than a smile to his comment because it felt too soon to break the news. Not to mention, the conflicted messages I have of what I believe I want and what others tell me will happen, have often swayed me to keep quite. I thought about what he said over the next few days though, and I started to feel guilty for not being honest. I later told him of my uncertainty towards children, which felt more like a confession. I’m not sure what that information will make of us long-term—no one can be sure how that information will affect the future of a relationship—but saying it when I did was the right time.