On Thursday, I’ll be 32 years old, a day that also marks 27 years of knowing fully and completely that I never want to have children. As a woman this is something that is frequently met with disbelief, like I just need the right partner or hit the right age for my biological clock to start ticking but I’ve been waiting and expecting and I haven’t heard a single tick yet. It’s not like I don’t have a sex drive or there’s something wrong with me (something people have brought up in the past) but rather, I don’t like children. I can tolerate children I’m related to for limited periods of time. I think babies on youtube can be frickin’ adorable, but I can also turn that shit off when I lose interest. The thought of having children around me with some frequency is exhausting enough and whatever maternal instinct people expect me to have, I sure as hell can’t find it.
Earlier this year I had a conversation with a woman at least twenty years my senior. She had been drinking a little bit (I had not) and decided that we were going to do some sisterly bonding, as heterosexual (I’m not) women (only on paper). At that point I had just started living with my current boyfriend, a temporary arrangement while his apartment was being renovated, and this was something she took as a great sign of romance and children to come. I’ve never been shy about how little I’m interested in offspring and I wasn’t shy that night either, but she was absolutely convinced – convinced! – that whoopsiedaisy one day a condom would be forgotten and I’d love the hell out of that little baby.
Ignoring the implications of how irresponsible she assumes people are about birth control and even more so what kind of sexual relationship I’m actually involved in, that’s a pretty interesting assumption to make about a person you barely know. For all she knows, I could be sterile. Or maybe just not that into children, which is the actual honest truth that I tried to explain to her several times, but it simply didn’t stick. You love kids when you have them. That’s the way it goes.
Except, that’s not the way it goes, is it? If that’s the way it goes so many kids wouldn’t have abusive, unhappy childhoods. They wouldn’t die from neglect or plain murder, or grow up emotionally stunted because their parents weren’t people who should be parents. I have friends who’d make great parents and some who absolutely shouldn’t ever be responsible for a child. For myself, I’m sure I could handle it if I absolutely had to but I’d hate it, I’d hate how it would completely change my life style and personality and crumble everything I actually do love without having responsibility forced upon me. There’s more to life than having children, people!
Anyway. I digress. The point of this is that Recent Events got me thinking about birth control and from that, I got to thinking about children and how I’ve never wanted them and probably never will want them either and all that thinking lead me to a pretty simple conclusion. As soon as I’m able, I’m getting myself sterilised. It’s something I’ve thought about rather seriously since I was maybe 22, and considering the side-effects of other birth control this is kind of the smartest thing I could do. Also, this way? No more arguments with drunk middle aged women. That alone is incentive enough.