Mabel d’Cruz (name changed) owns a catering company.
I grew up a rebel. I’ve lived together with boyfriends, I am not married despite being of appropriate age, and horror of horrors, I don’t want children.
It’s been a constant struggle, living with these decisions of mine. I deal with it by making light of the situation. Let me tell you about some of the comments I’ve heard over the last few years.
Child-free not childless
I love babies, I do! I have reached that stage in life where I am godmother to many of my close friends’ children.
I love children but I don’t want to have any of my own.
I read an article once about people who are ‘child-free’ adults. These are not people who cannot have children and thus ‘childless’ but are child-free because they have taken a conscious decision not to have children. It is a personal decision.
You will change your mind once you hold your child in your arms
I’ve had well-meaning friends describe that moment, the one right after they’ve given birth where they hold their child for the first time in their hands. My mother has written it down for me in a letter so that I can read it at will and hopefully tear up at the thought. I don’t.
My decision is not one of those that will change because I am ‘still young and will feel different later’ or if I ‘meet the right person’ or once I ‘make enough money’ etc.
I just don’t have maternal instincts. My ‘womb doesn’t leap’ when I carry a child or when I see one being born. I love children as much as I would love a pet or a cherished friend. There is just no overwhelming desire to look at one and call them my own.
It is amazing how society automatically ostracises someone who doesn’t conform to their idea of what is right and what is necessary. My family has had to bear the brunt of my decision to be child-free the most. I’ve been called a workaholic (the mildest comment), immature, irresponsible, and a slut (you know, someone who has responsible sex so that ‘accidents’ don’t happen).
I do not fit the stereotype. I am a very independent woman who has her own company. I am hardworking, fair and dependable. I treat people with respect. I am prudent with money.
Not a thing-to-do
The truth is I don’t want the responsibility. I don’t want to hold the future of anyone in my hands. I think a large part of my decision is based on the fact that I don’t want to bring another person into this world. It is a horrible world where women are treated with disrespect, where rape is as common as the flu, where people don’t have the freedom to speak out against injustice and where money and power are all that matter.
I am happier child-free. My company, my social life, my travel, my home library make me happy. In the future I want to explore new places, live in different cities, volunteer at different places. I want to use my talents to make a difference in the world.
I want to do a lot of things with my life. Raising a child isn’t one of them.
Do you think it’s okay for women not to bear children? Leave your thoughts below or on Facebook.