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>