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Guest Blog: Choosing NOT to be a Parent

 

Our next Guest Blogger, for National Tell A Story Month is, Natasha Davidson. Our fabulous Scottish lady shares with us her story of why she has chosen to not have children. A personal, honest and thought provoking blog from a very lovely lady.

Choosing NOT to be a Parent by Natasha Davidson.

So I decided to write this post, not to defend my decision because I shouldn’t need to, but more to explain it and share a different point of view.  While people opting out of becoming a parent is much more common nowadays, I still think the decision I have made is largely viewed as strange to most, especially amongst my friends and family who are already parents.  I am often told ‘you will one day’.

Having children is highly romanticised, and women are still led to believe it’s the ultimate goal, and the only thing you need to feel fulfilled. Many still hold the view having a child is the only way to live a meaningful life and that I am being selfish.

I believe our purpose is to experience life and be happy — not simply reproduce. That is just one of the countless experiences available to us.

While I don’t remember giving this matter much thought in my early adult life, I do know for certain there was never a time when I felt like I wanted children.  I enjoy the company of children (in small doses lol) and adore the kids of friends and family. I think there are lots of great things about having kids, but that urge to have one of my own just doesn’t exist.

I remember bringing up the topic with my then-boyfriend, now husband, and he felt the same way I do and we still do nearly 16 years on.

Fear of regretting this choice is a major issue for many and obviously I would have no idea how I truly felt about having a child unless I had one.

Is it possible all my fears and doubts would be totally unfounded? Maybe.

Is it possible I would absolutely love being a parent, and declare it the best decision I ever made? Maybe.

Is it possible I would experience a total transformation where my preferences, personality traits and vision for my life, changed into ones more aligned with enjoying the parenting experience? Maybe.

But considering the impact that this permanent, life-changing decision will have, is a pretty big gamble to take. Having a child would completely change the way I live my life, a life I love, and I’m happy now so if it ain’t broke why fix it?

This might sound like a strange statement to say but I am totally in touch with who I am as a person.  We get so swept up in people-pleasing, conforming, pursuing what we think we ‘should’ want, valuing other people’s opinions over our own, and ignoring our intuition, the true us never really rises to the surface.

Many people don’t realise this, but most people who make this decision give it a lot of thought and discussion with their partner, even if they have always had strong leanings in this direction. When you find yourself not wanting to do something that the majority of people do, you tend to wonder why you don’t want to do it and for me personally, I wasn’t convinced it would be worth it.

I think I might make a great parent who would raise a semi-decent child. But as for truly enjoying the experience, and it being the best way for me to love my life, my gut tells me absolutely not!!

Instinctively, I know I am making the right choice.

Will people make inaccurate assumptions about me and conclude my not being a mum, makes for a selfish self-centred existence? Possibly.

Will there be parents, who having known a life, with and without children, feel very confident in their conclusion I am missing out and have made a mistake based on their experience look down on me? Definitely

But no matter what type of life you live, there will always be someone who has something to say or thinks they know better than you about how you should live your life.

I believe as long as you stay true to yourself and what you believe then you can …blah blah blah <insert witty inspirational ending here>

The reality is that kids do change everything about your life and it’s a hard job… emotionally and physically draining. Yes the joy they bring out ways those tough days (most days) but I totally get where your coming from Natasha and I’m a firm believer in trusting your gut (as cliché as it is!). 

Thanks for putting this out there and I hope it makes people think twice… I know I will… it’s seems OK to ask people questions like that but in actual fact its just none of our damn business 🤣

Totally agree with you and I am genuinely in awe of anyone who is a parent. It’s understandable that people will ask the question ‘why don’t you want to have kids?’ as it’s perceived as not the normal thing to do, and I never have a problem with people asking that question.  My problem is with those who don’t accept my answer and say, ‘you’ll change’. It always seemed so unfair that my feelings can be dismissed in such a way and that I am in some way wrong.

So the glaringly obvious question is… your free to babysit then yeah???

Always!! Although maybe wait until they’re 18 and I can ‘babysit’ them on holiday in Ibiza.

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8 Comments

  • Suzanne Rust

    I think this is a fab piece and like you, I married a man who doesn’t want children either. It’s actually a deal breaker for me now. I love kids like friends children or my assorted nephews/niece but I simply have no maternal instincts whatsoever and that is more than OK.

    • pips@parentingphils

      Thank you so much for reading our guest post. Like you, we think it’s a fab read which raises a really important message of live your life how you wish to. Pips x

  • Yeah Lifestyle

    Such a beautiful sharing! I totally agree, each person has a right to their own opinion and their way of live. Maybe 20 years ago I would have said that everyone must have kids, but now that I have my own, I think its important that people can decide for themselves as it is hard work and not everyone’s cup of tea.

    • pips@parentingphils

      Agreed. Having a family is hard work and you have to be sure that’s it’s the right decision for you. Thank you so much for reading our blog. Pips x

    • pips@parentingphils

      Agreed, what ever life choice you make, we should all respect it. Thank you so much for reading our blog. Pips x

  • Linda Hobbis

    It is an incredibly personal choice and there are no right or wrong answers. I had my kids in my 40s and I am glad I did because I wouldn’t want to get to the end of my days and think ‘what if’. There are only so many holidays, trips, restaurant meals you can have before it all gets a bit meaningless. But I agree that no woman should be pressurized into having kids and I think society in general does tend to do that.

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