I know that it's it's almost 2021 and people have a hard time not being invasive during the social media age, but can I make a request? Can we stop asking women when they're going to get pregnant? After all, you never know someone's circumstances; they could be trying but are unable to get pregnant or they may be infertile. Honestly, no matter what the extenuating circumstances are, all you're really doing is making that person uncomfortable.
There are so many reasons why someone may not be pregnant (or want to be pregnant). It could be because of Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), premature ovarian failure, early menopause or other fertility issues. Not to mention miscarriages, money, mental health reasons, they have kids already and don't want more, congenital heart defects or other health related issues. Maybe it's not the right time in that woman's life, or she just straight up doesn't want to get pregnant. I mean, there are plenty more reasons than those I listed just now, but guess what? Whatever the reason, it's none of our business why someone doesn't want to have kids (or want more of them) or doesn't currently have kids. Imagine asking someone how come they don't have any kids, only for the reason to be that she can't have any. Can you see how that might make her uncomfortable and upset?
Even though it's no one else's business whether or not I want kids (except for my husband), I'm going to tell you my viewpoint. Honestly, I've never wanted children. I'm a 29 year old female and I still don't want kids. When most people hear this, they tell me that I'll 'change my mind' or eventually 'my clock will start ticking.' But why is it seemingly unacceptable to just...not want kids? If I had a penny for every time I've been asked about when I plan to have kids or been told that I'll eventually change my mind, I'd be rich. Like, filthy rich. As soon as you're an adult, the questions seem to start right away, like clockwork:
"When are you getting married?!?”
Then, after marriage, it immediately shifts to, "When are you two having kids?"
Listen, kids bring joy and meaning to so many peoples' lives, but just because someone doesn't want them doesn't mean that his or her life somehow won't be as meaningful. Trust me, I've been asked all of the trademark questions at this point:
"What will give your life meaning?"
"Who will take care of you when you are older?"
I've even heard, "I hope you get accidentally pregnant." That one still pisses me off. Sure, let's bring a kid into a home that didn't plan on or want children, or maybe isn't financially stable enough for children, etc. That one gets a serious eye roll from me.
There are multiple reasons why I don't want kids. I also want to point out before I get into those that my husband also doesn't want kids, so it's not like I'm somehow keeping him from becoming a father. As an aside, make sure to have those types of discussions before you get married. Anyways, back to the point: I don't want kids because, plain and simple, I just...don't. Period. It's not a sudden change in mindset, I've just never wanted them. I really enjoy being an aunt, but that still doesn't give me the desire to be a mother. To be honest, I do sometimes consider possibly changing my mind, but after much deliberation, I always arrive back at the same conclusion. Nope, I don't want 'em!
Another reason is money; as any parent will tell you: kids are expensive. They're still expensive even after becoming adults (thank you Mom and Dad for still taking care of me sometimes!). My husband and I decided that, instead of having kids (because, remember, we didn't want them to begin with), we would take a vacation together once a year. That way, we're able to see the world and experience new things together. Of course, you can vacation with kids, but we all know that vacationing with children (especially young children) is difficult and different. Plus, in addition to vacations, my money has to go to other important things, like my health. Which brings me to my next reason; it's honestly become the biggest one in recent years.
I have two autoimmune disorders: Type 1 Diabetes and Hashimoto's Disease, the latter of which puts me at risk of even more autoimmune disorders. I'm also positive for Ovarian antibodies, which could cause me to go into menopause early. My doctor even advised me that, at 28 years old with positive Ovarian antibodies, I should consider freezing my eggs if I thought I wanted children; in a few years, the option may no longer be there. In case you were unaware, freezing your eggs is very expensive and it's also not covered by insurance. I don't have the exact numbers, but it's somewhere around $8,000 to freeze them, on top of the storage fee (however much that may be). That's just not an option, especially because we don't even want kids. While Type 1 Diabetics can, of course, have successful pregnancies and healthy babies, there are risks. If your blood sugars aren't controlled, those risks can be a lot higher and include birth defects, premature births, miscarriages, stillborns, etc.
Unfortunately, I'm also concerned about the possibility of passing Diabetes on to a child. This disease is hard and sometimes it's honestly just plain depressing. I would never wish it on another person, especially not my own kid. That's just my opinion; as I just said, Diabetics can have great pregnancies and healthy babies. I was under the impression that I'd be putting a child at a very high risk of having Type 1 Diabetes due to having it myself. I found out recently that this was wrong from a Facebook Diabetes group I am involved with; apparently, babies have a 15% chance of having Type 1 if their father has it and a 10% chance if it's their mother. These are surprisingly low percentages, in my opinion, and I was pleased to learn of them. That being said, the risk is still there and it's one that I do not wish to take.
With my health being what it is and my diagnosis still being fairly new to me, I'd say that my mental health is another factor at play when it comes to my disinterest in having kids. I'm honestly still in the stages of grief with my diagnosis and sometimes feel depressed over it. I won't go too deep into how living with diabetes makes me feel, as I have enough thoughts there for a whole other article. I'll just say that my mental health could not take on the stress of parenthood right now; I can't add much more to my plate at the moment. I currently work full time and take care of my two dogs as well. I'm in a constant battle with my health, that fight can be downright exhausting and demoralizing at times.
My husband also had surgery recently, so most of the housework has been on me and I've had to help him around more. So, to say that there's some stress present in my life at the moment would be an understatement; adding any more would probably cause an overload. I need to be responsible and take care of me and my mental health first, especially right now, and that's exactly what I'm doing. So, these are the main reasons that I don't want to have kids; I may change my mind or I may not. But you know what? That's no one else's business.
I want to point out a few other reasons that I didn't mention in the intro that could make people not want kids, or at least not want them right now. They might be working on their marriage. Marriages are hard work; there are both good times and bad ones, definite ebbs and flows. Having kids definitely isn't going to solve any of the problems those couples could be having; in my opinion, it would only make some situations worse. So, they may be working on themselves first before bringing another person into that family. That person could also be in an abusive or unsafe relationship; the last thing they'll want is to bring kids into that.
The point that I'm trying to make is that we just don't know why a person may not want to start a family. It's none of our business and asking them may bring up some unwanted feelings and emotions. If someone just had a miscarriage, cannot have kids, etc., the last thing she may want is to explain the gravity of that situation. These people may even be telling you that they just don't want children because they don't want to divulge the real reasons. So, let's be more considerate human beings and stop pressuring people to tell us when they're having kids or why they don't want to have any.
It's none of our business. Period.
- Haley (@CSIHALEY)