Motherhood is a choice and I chose to opt out of motherhood. Long time ago I had names picked out for some “future” children: Zoey for a girl and Richard, nicknamed Richie, for a boy, but I lived my 20s knowing that child bearing will not be part of my life.
When I entered my 30s, uncertainty started to creep in. However, by the end of 2011, I was more resolute than ever that Zoey and Richie will never be my children because motherhood was not for me. Here is why I decided to leave no child behind… me.
Motherhood Is A Choice
The opportunity to choose whether you want or don’t want to be a parent is another testament to the greatness of this country. In January 2003, I met Doug, my future husband. I was in my early 20’s then.
Very soon after Doug and I started dating, he informed me that he didn’t want children. He added that he wanted me to know that because, if I wanted children sometimes in the future, he was not the man for me. I appreciated his honesty and his directness. Momentarily I was moved a bit to tears because I’ve never heard anyone talk so openly about not wanting children.
Until then I considered parenthood a natural course of life – you grow up, get married, have children – not a choice. I found the idea of choosing whether or not I wanted to have children liberating. I chose to continue dating Doug and in 2009 we got married. We were happy and complete.
Doubting My Choice
A couple of years into my marriage, I entered my 30s and I started to hear my fertility clock ticking. Doubts about my stance on motherhood began whispering into my ear as I grew concerned about who would take care of me in my old age.
I shared my concerns with my husband. I told him that having a child just to have someone take care of me when I was old was not a reason to birth a child, but I was concerned that I’d have no one care for me when I was old. My husband replied that if that was my concern, I just needed to have enough money to pay someone to take care of me. That sounded like a good plan but doubt continued to build.
A Taste of Motherhood
Doubts and worries continued to linger until late 2011 when I got a taste of motherhood and my uncertainty was wiped away. In November 2011 I bought a puppy whom my husband named Chadwick. That was the first time ever in my life I had to care for “a living thing” 24/7.
For two weeks I had to wake up at 3am to take the puppy outside for potty training, on top of the puppy waking up at 7am everyday including holidays and weekends! Whenever Chadwick was not in his playpen, I had to watch him constantly so my work in the office and any household chores became cumbersome. It was a struggle to get 30 minutes to myself in the morning to take a bath because Chadwick wanted to be with me all the time!
I was tired and I wanted my pre-puppy life back. Twice I broke down in tears and I wanted to give Chadwick away but my husband told me to be patient because puppies grow up quickly. Exhausted I would go to bed, resigned I needed to endure just a little more…
Caring for Chadwick through his puppyhood made me realize I was not cut to be a mother. Luckily 4 months later Chadwick left his puppyhood behind before I had a chance to give him away… and then I remembered: a child takes 18 years to grow up! 18 years!!!
While some women find motherhood a sacred honor, if I had a child of my own, I would grow into a tired, resentful, frustrated woman and that child would feel my frustration and resent. I do not want to put myself or a child through that. Raising a puppy made me face the reality that children require many sacrifices from parents. By choosing not to have children, I do not have to sacrifice. Does this make me a selfish person? Yes! But am I a happy person? Yes.
No Child Left Behind… Me
By the time 2012 rolled around any maternal instincts I had in me died out. Now I do not want to have children! If for some reason my husband decided to have children, I would say yes, but I would ask for a surrogate mother, two nannies and separate living quarters for the child so I can still have my privacy and only see the child when my schedule allows.
What do I do with the baby when I take a bath every morning? What do I do with the baby when I’m out running? When I’m working out with my trainer? When I’m working in the office? When I get my hair or my nails done? When I get my Botox injections and other fillers? When I want to go on vacation with my husband? When I want to be alone and bothered by no one? People say that I will gladly change my routine once I have a baby… but I don’t want to change! I love my life the way it is. My life feels complete, full, fulfilled, happy.
Will I one day be in my 60s or 70s and regret my decision? I do not think so but it’s possible. If I end up regretting my choice, I will live with the consequences. In reality I think when I’ll grow to be 60 and 70 years old I’ll be content that I’ve lived my life on my own terms and enjoyed my life the way I intended it. Nonetheless, if I do grow to be feel lonely when I’m old, I can always move in with my friends who have children and borrow their children… I always have a plan…
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