Hi. My name is Marissa, I’m 24 and…I don’t know if I want kids. Some people reading this might agree, others vehemently disagree. If you’re my mother, you might be clutching your metaphorical pearls and gasping, “Why would she do this to me?!”
Now listen, I said I don’t know if I want kids. I’m not saying I will. I’m not saying I won’t. It wavers and changes. All I can say with certainty is that I don’t want kids now or in the near future, for a variety of reasons. Those reasons may change, they may not, but they are my reasons and, ultimately, my decisions to make.
Young, Dumb and Broke
While I am young, I am not particularly dumb and broke, and I’d like to keep toeing the line between poverty and living above my adequate means for the foreseeable future. Having a kid tends to drain a lot of economic resources. I know what you are thinking, “There is no perfect time to start a family,” but I’m going to live my life as if there is. Not only do I not have or want to spend the finances associated with raising a small human, I’m not in the place I want to be to start a family anyway, mainly because I don’t know if or where that place exists.
Oh The Places I’ll Go
I have heard many friends, family members, and celebrity talk show guests describe how having a child changes all of your priorities, as they rightfully should. But, what if I don’t want my priorities to change? I’m content with all of my priorities and admitting that my priorities are purely selfish. I entered my 20s with the mindset that if there is any time for me to explore, invent/reinvent myself, and take risks, it’s my 20s. That is where my priorities lie. Four years in and I still have no regrets. I’ve lived in the UK and Alaska, I’ve traveled to Europe twice, I have my dream apartment, a good job, a kick-ass dog, and time to spare. As far as my priorities go, I’m right on track.
The More Babies I Meet, The More I Love My Dog
People tend to compare babies and puppies. They both have very little to no bladder control, they’re cute and squishy, need a specific feeding schedule, and love you unendingly. However, despite my uterus’ best arguments, and she makes some pretty good ones, the more babies I meet, the less I really want one. But, the more puppies I meet, the more I want. At this moment in time, my dog is more than enough to feed my maternal instincts. I’ll be able to force him into cuddles as long as he lives. The same can’t be said for humans.
Why Should People Stay the Same?
As you have probably deduced by my very obvious reasoning, I do not want a kid. Not now. Maybe not ever. Call me selfish, call me lazy. You’re not wrong. But don’t hold me to it. I am not the same person I was 5 years ago. I am not living the life I thought I would be living 5 years ago. And I won’t be the same person 5, 10, 15 years from now.
Asking me if I want kids is liking asking a kindergartener what they want to be when they grow up: the answer will probably change day to day, week to week, year to year.
I shouldn’t be expected to have my life figured out with little over two decades of experience being a human. I’ve been an “adult” maybe 3 years. Let me be confused, let me selfish, let me wander and not assume I’m completely lost. J.R.R. Tolkien said it was okay.
I don’t want kids. Maybe I will someday, maybe I won’t. And that’s okay. Not only am I privileged enough to control when and if I have kids, I’m allowed to change my mind too.