Not Wanting Children: Selfish or Strategic?

August 2, 2016 2 By Bethanie

I don’t want children, there I said it, it’s out in the world, think what you will of me for it, however this is my choice and has been my choice for as long as I can remember.

For years, this statement has plagued me with a barrage of dirty looks and intrusive questions, none of which are something that I felt that I deserved. Being a grown woman, I feel (scratch that, I know) that it is my reproductive right to decide whether or not I reproduce, there is no contract that you sign either at birth or the age of 16 when you become consenting, that says that you agree to have children, because if such a thing were to exist, then all ideologies of consent, reproductive rights and individual autonomy would go out of the window.

My personal reasoning for not wanting children has always been down to my choice in career, and the fact that within this career path, my working hours would be so varied that I just wouldn’t have the time to give my child the time and attention that they deserved/needed. Now, a lot of people may believe this to be selfish of me, putting my career before my family, however, I truly believe the complete opposite of this to be true, I believe that it would be completely selfish of me to bring a child into this world and then basically become a ghost parent to them because I would be too busy with manic working hours to spend any proper time with them. I think that the latter option would be more damaging than just not having a child at all, don’t you?

I understand that it is possible to take time out of work in order to have a child, however, within the legal world, I feel like it would be a complete battle to get back into the work place at the same stature that I was when I left, as clients will surely notice your absence and in light of that absence will have found an alternative, which is completely understandable, lets be honest.

I’ll be honest, there was even a time when I had shut myself off from the idea of even having a relationship because I didn’t believe that I would have time for my significant other, however over time (and with age/greater maturity) I have come to realise that many career focused people manage to balance having a successful career and also a successful marriage/relationship, so relationships are now back on the table!

I honestly feel that whether or not, as a woman, you decide to have a child, is a decision that is completely yours and is not a decision that you can be forced into making. Whilst I understand that there are many situations and circumstances that may remove that choice from you, I feel that just because you are able to have a child, does not mean that you should by right of passage, have a child.

So, what is my message here?

My message is that it is okay for a woman to not want children and as a society, we need to start accepting this, If a man says that he doesn’t want children, it isn’t seen as a big deal, yet if a woman makes the same decision, it is frowned upon, why? A woman has the right to decide what she does with her body, and if she decides that she does not want to bear a child with her body, accept it! She is not telling you that you aren’t allowed to have children, she is just saying that personally, she doesn’t want children. In the modern society that we live in, more and more woman are becoming career orientated and making the decision to remain childless, this is something that should be celebrated, as it shows that women can be successful outside of the home!

So ladies, rock your choice, whether it’s to have a family, have a career or both! Own your freedom to choose, because nobody can take that away from you!

As always thank you for reading and be sure to let me know what your views on this topic are in the comments, also if you have any experiences that relate to this topic then please do share them with me as I’d love to hear/read them!

Until next time!

Beth x