An Open Letter to You Who Think I Should Have Children
Dear Well-Meaning Yet Oblivious Soul,
I know what you must be thinking. “How could she not want children?” How, in fact, could anyone not want children? That’s what people do. We are born, grow up, get married, have children, grow old, and die.
It’s the circle of life that’s been happening since God created man and woman.
For all of history.
And yet here I am, ending a line of mother and child unbroken since Eve.
You’re well-intentioned, I know. You think it’s our duty to procreate, to make sure our birth rate is high enough to sustain the American way. To preserve our culture and freedom. What a noble goal that is! It’s a valid opinion, to be sure, but not a sentiment that will change my mind.
Duty Doesn’t Shine Any Light On Wants and Needs.
Rare are the duties that have the potential to hurt our souls, to pierce and poison them with regret and depression.
You made the choice to have children, whether you thought about it or not. Even if you currently have none, the fact that you think others should mean you see children in your future.
You never questioned your Life Script like I’ve questioned mine.
So You Think I Should Have Kids.
What is your basis for this opinion, let alone the reason you’re telling me?
If you knew me as a child, you knew me as a child. Dispositions in childhood are not a guarantee of future personality.
Every child plays house.
Is it because I grew up and remained Christian? That the values of procreation and progeny are too high to dismiss?
Another valid opinion.
But it’s funny because Jesus never had children.
He didn’t hate them (obviously), and nor do I. I just have the golden opportunity to hand them back to their parents when I need to.
Do You Know Me?
Perhaps you don’t know me at all, or only know me from one facet of my life. Perhaps you only see me once a year volunteering at day camp for type 1 diabetic kids and can’t possibly fathom that I wouldn’t want my own.
But do you know the risks for carrying a pregnancy with type 1 diabetes, which has been my incurable companion since age two?
Or the reality of what actually happens during childbirth, what no mother will tell mothers-to-be until it’s too late?
Maybe You Do. And Maybe You Don’t.
Only one person besides God knows my facets enough to understand why I will never have children.
My husband, who made this decision with me.
But Are You Sure?
“Never say never” is a phrase filled with ignorance and dismissal to those of use who have made the choice to build lives without offspring in them.
It might be that I have tokophobia, which is the fear of pregnancy in all people, not just oneself.
(I don’t have tokophobia, but what if I did? “Never say never” might trigger a panic attack.)
Like politics and religion, the subject of children and whether or not someone is having any should be carefully approached.
Don’t Be That Person
Right after the bride and groom tie the knot, be respectful. Don’t ask when they’re having kids.
Instead, wish them a happy life in whatever direction it takes. And if you find yourself unable to resist asking about future offspring, phrase it differently.
“Are you going to have any kids?”
is far more respectful than asking:
“When are you having kids?”
One implies a choice, while the other implies inevitability.
No kids for me. Not ever, and not up for discussion.
A Childfree Conservative Christian
I’m going to say two things together that are going to sound totally contradictory and might make some people mad.medium.com