My Uterus, Husband, and I Agree – No Children

This woman does not want to have children and is standing behind her decision.

Divine Caroline

My Uterus, Husband, and I Agree – No Children

-Juniper, DivineCaroline.com

staring up at the ceilingI am a woman. I have all the biological requirements to have a child. Yet, I do not have the instincts or rational desire to do so. Does that make me less of a woman to not want to have a child either by using my body, my eggs, or my money to adopt?

My parents are the only people who, when I said I didn’t want to have kids, responded with, “Sounds like a good idea.” They married because I was on the way and had two more after me. They know how hard it is to raise kids, but they also love us very much. They wouldn’t change what had happened, but they wouldn’t force their want for a grandchild on me. Besides they have two already (I’m off the hook!)

How many times have I heard after saying that I don’t want children:

  • “Oh, I’m sorry.” Sorry for what? I’ve made a conscious choice and I’m proud to have the courage (because that’s what it takes in this society) to say no.
  • “Don’t you like kids?” LOVE ‘EM! They’re cute, huggable, sweet smelling, curious, and all that. I just don’t want one in my home relying on me.
  • “You’ll change your mind.” Isn’t it possible that as an adult, I’ve learned how to make a decision and stick to it?

My husband and I talked about kids before marriage. We both agreed we didn’t want any and the forward in our future rested on that. He had a bad first marriage and I had little instinct or physical and mental desire to invest. Subsequently we have prepared responses for those who invade our personal lives with the question, “Do you have kids?” as if that is the only characteristic about us that makes us worthy to get to know. How about, “Do you travel?” “Have you been to … ?” “What’s the last movie you saw?”

Why choose to be child-free? Well there are the selfish reasons (that’s what you tell me, I’m selfish) such as wanting a clean house, peace and quiet, financial and personal freedom, as well as an identity that isn’t bound to someone much younger than you. Then there is the “carbon footprint,” impact on society, society’s impact on the child, and overpopulation. Those are real concerns, but for our primary ones.

 We’re very free people and enjoyed fulfilling single lives before marrying. It’s been a journey to merge those lives alone that adding another wouldn’t give us the opportunity to learn about one another. Sure, after eighteen years the kids move away (but that’s not so sure anymore) and then you have time, but until they move out it’s all about the kids. I want it to be all about my husband; my happy, funny, loving, appreciative, and adorable husband. I want his life to be all about me, too.

If I re-read this I would agree that I’m selfish. I’d rather be selfish, know it and not have a child than to do otherwise. Don’t you? I’ve read your stories about resenting moms that have (or make) time to spend on themselves. “They should be taking care of their kids!” you say. “How dare they improve themselves? I can’t!” But shouldn’t you be happy that people, who know they don’t want to have kids, don’t have them? How many people have children, don’t appreciate it, end up on Nanny 911 because they don’t have a clue as to what they’re doing and ruin a child’s life? No parent really looks happy in the grocery store or mall. Few look happy when they’re in the park with their kids. Why would I follow in those footsteps?

I see having a child as a status symbol. It’s like that huge one day event we call a wedding (didn’t have one of those either) The months of preparation, cute little clothes and toys, the parties and such that results in a day of labor and boom … reality-marriage and/or child.

I could be mad at my uterus for placing me in a caste of women who aren’t worthy to be part of the in crowd dominated by mommies. I could be mad that I endure criticism for making a choice that is right for me (other than following the crowd.) Instead I embrace my uterus (and praise God for the IUD) as the logical partner to my brain that said to me, “I’m not going to define you. You define yourself. Forget I’m here.”

DivineCaroline.com is a website where health-conscious women like you can read and contribute stories, reviews, and forums. Please visit our vibrant community soon.


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36 thoughts on “My Uterus, Husband, and I Agree – No Children

  1. Leann says:

    Good for you!! I have encouraged my children (I have 4 ages 12-18) to strongly consider excluding children from their lives. I have repeatedly said ‘I don’t need grandchildren’. It is a huge responsibility and too many folks are really crappy at it. (I’m not saying you would be) I have had many wonderful moments with my children, I don’t regret them. And I did raise them on my own for many years after 2 divorces. But it was hard sometimes. I took some time for me when I could and now that they don’t need 24/7 mommy I do a number of things that I enjoy. I am married (no kids with this one), I work part time, I shop alone, and I go out alone and I love having ME time. I applaud those who decide to live life without children. I am a teen pregnancy statistic and while my guys are happy, well adjusted, productive, and a pleasure. I see the other side of the coin. I think it’s a good decision. I don’t think you owe the world an explanation. I don’t think it’s your job to take in children who’s parent have given them up.
    you probably never saw us in a store or park because I was usually in good mood. Mostly because I trained my children in proper behavior (a lost art and the reason so many moms are miserable) Here are some responses you may like when people say ‘I’m sorry’:
    “Should I say the same back?”
    “Don’t be, I enjoy quiet grocery excursions”
    “Don’t be, I love peaceful car rides”
    “Sorry….would that be because I can read a good book in a weekend and get up to ZERO messes?”
    And to the ‘You’ll change your mind crowd’
    “Actually, watching today’s parents is all the confirmation I need”

  2. deborah says:

    I think it is really important for parents to SERIOUSLY think out whether they want children or not. Have kids is so much more difficult than many people think, and I really admire people who either maturly make the decision to not have kids or just have one – as your life can continue on so much earier with one child rather than multiple ones.

  3. Carolyn88 says:

    I used to be on the fence about having kids, but now I feel confident that I will make a great mother one day. I do admire those who choose not to have kids though, as it’s a MAJOR decision that should not be taken lightly.

  4. needcoffee says:

    I never thought I wanted children, and I totally understand this way of thinking. I can’t imagine life now without them.

  5. kitty says:

    “No parent really looks happy in the grocery store or mall. Few look happy when they’re in the park with their kids. Why would I follow in those footsteps?”

    No one ever said being a parent is fun all the time. Sometimes it plain sucks. Sometimes it’s boring, and hard, and annoying. But that doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful, and rewarding, and joyous, and, for many people, the meaning of life.

    My problem with this article is you seem to look down on people WITH kids — so I’ll respect your choice, and you respect mine. You may catch me being crabby in the grocery store, but you aren’t there when I’m snuggled up with my daughter listening to her read me a story, and my heart feels it will literally burst with love.

  6. mk_ultra says:

    I’m not sure I want kids either. The only really happy mothers I see are the ones that can afford a full-time nanny!

  7. alterego says:

    Frankly, if you don’t have kids, you’re missing out.

  8. lotsowritin25 says:

    i agree with alterego – but, i’ve always wanted kids so…

  9. CM-JJordan says:

    Great article! Just because the majority’s doing it doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone :)

  10. loubell says:

    Well it’s not for everyone. And sometimes life doesn’t work out the way you dreamed when you were in your 20s.

  11. chaucerleelou says:

    With the cost of life these days, it’s hard to bring a kid into the world. It’s not a crime to not have kids, society likes to make you feel bad if you don’t.

  12. CAMUS890 says:

    In the end, it’s a personal choice, but sometime life just works out that way!

  13. LISHY says:

    Seems to be a sign of the times.

  14. VERUKA says:

    Seems to be the case these days, I know many friends who are not having kids.

  15. mfe says:

    How old are you?

    I am curious.

  16. RELLY says:

    Nothing wrong with not having them if you choose!

  17. LUGGY says:

    Sometimes things are just not meant to be!

  18. deborah says:

    I have to say that I never had fear until I had children!

  19. nstafate says:

    I’m glad for this article. My husband and I are in our 30s and childless. It is often difficult to go against the grain of society and as women, we are told explicitly and implicitly that we are somehow incomplete if we do not become mothers – the age-old idea of Shakespeare’s 3 stages of woman’s life, or some sexist nonsense like that. My husband and I both made the decisions long ago (and individually) that we did not want to have children. Contrary to Kitty’s comment above, I don’t think that us childless couples look down upon parents. There are many who parent and parent well. But the facts are actually out there – contrary to conventional belief, studies done on happiness show that having children DECREASES the level of happiness, rather than the traditional idea that one is not complete and thus happy w/o kids, AND, that happiness INCREASES when the kids leave the home. My personal take is that I have never yearned for that legacy instinct that (whether true or not) so many say drive their want for children. I think of what children growing up today go through and the world that we would be leaving behind in their hands. I think of the overpopulation of people, of our carbon footprint, and I say, one less child in this world on account of me may make this world a better place – and I don’t think for a moment that it’s selfish. My husband and I are everyday inundated by friends and colleagues who want to know what’s “wrong” with us because we don’t want kids. Of them, some we suspect have subscribed to the idea of misery loves company as they don’t seem to be happy, but then others I think just aren’t accepting that it’s ok if some people make this decision. I support plenty of children – I pay my taxes and am glad to pay for schools, for teachers, for our next generation. And what’s the matter with that?

  20. [anna] says:

    I can’t imagine anything worse than someone having a child strictly because they feel societal pressure to do so. Everyone suffers in that situation.

    Kudos to you for sticking to your guns. If you’re enjoying your life just as it is, why would you change it?

  21. Shivoe says:

    I wish more people would make this decision. Right now I know 6 teen girls that are having baby’s, and none of them are going to make good mothers. They are party freaks, and they are all talking about how after the baby is out, the first thing they are going to do is go out drinking, or do acid, or something crazy like that. I personally want children, along with my soon to be husband. We talked about it for a long time and we both agree that we will make good parents. If ether of us had a doubt in our mind about not being the right people for kids, we would not want to have them. People need to realize that not having kids is perfectly okay…and some times a better choice.

  22. Natalie000 says:

    The best thing about this is that there are so many options open to you. You can choose to keep your family as it is- you and your husband, happy together. Or, if at some point you decide you’d like to have the presence of children in your home, you could always become a foster parent. The foster care system is suffering, and lots of kids need places to live, sometimes just for a short time. Maybe an older child would suit your lifestyle more. And maybe not, but the point is that you don’t have to be “traditional” as long as you do what makes you happy.

  23. sjhett says:

    Thank you for saying this! It’s exactly what I have been thinking my entire life. A lot of my friends are getting married and having babies and I feel like I always have to defend my choice to not do those things. I am lucky to have found a guy that shares the same sentiment as me, whether it’s selfish or not. And yes- thank god for the IUD!

  24. iaretehsarah says:

    … I think you’re my soul mate… But, seriously, the older i get, the more and more I don’t want a kid of my own — I want to hold babies, and cuddle them, but not be responsible for them. But, I want a dog. Go figure.

  25. 8infinity8 says:

    Dear alterego nd lotsowritin25 – Frankly, if you Do have kids, you’re missing out. Either way you are missing out on something, but I’d trade having my traveling, career, living in the city, my boyfriend, and friends for not having children any day.

  26. keiraneas says:

    Brave decision! I wish you good luck for the rest of your life!

  27. tigerlily_808 says:

    So glad to hear i’m not alone! I personally don’t want kids… but my in laws are really pushing me. They keep saying they “deserve” grandkids because of what they went through with their kids. I feel like its really unfair of them to expect this of me. I should be able to make this decision for myself in my opinion. When I look at mothers I don’t see myself being happy in that role… My parents didn’t want kids but they ended up with us anyways, I ended up growing up with very neglectful parents and lots of babysitters. I don’t want to have a child just because its the “thing” to do.

  28. susalaska says:

    We’re child-free, too! I still haven’t quite figured out to say to those who say “When are you having kids… you’re getting kinda old” (and I am, I’m 39 and have always known that I didn’t want to have kids. There’s nothing selfish about being responsible. I heard my husband tell an inquirer “Nope, I don’t want to grow up, thanks”. (At least he’s honest…lol)

  29. mckjanet says:

    I did all the travelling, professional development and time-to-myself in my 20′s…give me a messy house and sticky fingers wrapped around my neck any day…you’re kidding yourself if you think that travelling and movies are going to make for a sense of fulfillment when you look back on life.

  30. haltinkr says:

    Cheers! I totally agree and feel the exact same way!

  31. sebastyne says:

    I have always known that I don’t want children, ever since I understood that it is optional, which was at a quite early age as of my 3 aunties and 2 uncles none have children, so naturally I wanted to know if I’d ever have cousins. I have never had to justify it my choice much, and I have only once met someone who simply could not wrap her mind around the idea that someone would CHOOSE not to have children. That is why it amazes me how it seems that in USA it is so expected of you that it clearly distresses women there. (I’m from Finland and live in Australia.) Sure, I’ve heard my share of “you’ll change your mind”s but they stopped when I turned 20 or so… (I’m now 33, happily married to the Right Guy.)

    I read through all the comments here and I found a couple that surprised me. The “you’re missing out” -comments, and the one saying that you can’t expect fulfillment in life without children (paraphrasing). What if I told you that I already feel fulfilled in my life? Every day? This Sunday morning when my dog jumped next to me on the bed and I was sandwiched between my dog and my husband, my two favourite boys, I was thinking to myself that what more could you possibly want… (Children definitely didn’t pop up in my thoughts at that moment as a possible “more”.) I understand that to a lot of women children are the fulfillment they need. That is not necessarily what other women need though. Certainly you wouldn’t want us to take your word for it, have children and notice that you no longer have time for those things that do fulfill you and resent the kid for taking all the time away? You don’t get returns with children, and you can’t experiment with them! It is better for us (and our potential children) not knowing what you’re missing out of than to try and find out that you weren’t really missing out on anything you desired.

    And the reason why these articles sound like they’re looking down on people with children is because that is the way childfree people are looked at by the (American) society. As the Finnish proverb goes: The forest repeats what you shout at it.

  32. Bonnie W says:

    #7 Alterego–I haven’t missed out on anything, thank you.

    The arrogance in that statement is just astounding. If you like your children, fine–but you are not superior to me just because you’re a mother. In fact, since my childfreeness is a decision I made after a great deal of thought, I would submit that I know myself far better than those who fall into parenting just because it’s the “thing to do.”

  33. MrsBray says:

    It’s your business whether you have children or not. I’m a “not” by choice, and it breaks my heart to see couples trying desperately to conceive when I’m pretty sure I could pop one out with little planning. Sometimes I regret our choice, but most of the time I enjoy being with my husband. And if I didn’t have a husband, I think I would still be child-free. I’m sure you made the right decision for yourself. Try not to judge other people’s decisions though!

  34. Anonymous Coward says:

    You know what I think? Screw you! Have kids!

    You know why?

    Because logical people like you realize that you shouldn't have kids. However, because you do not have kids, those logical genes are no longer spread to future generations.

    As a result, all we're left with are idiots.

    Thanks.

  35. Mary says:

    We don't remember trips, gifts or any indulgence like we remember our son's first words and how adorable he was. We are now grandparents and it is HEAVEN. Our son is a great dad and enjoys his children. However, if you really feel that you don't want children you shouldn't have them.

  36. I applaud you for putting this out there. I have children, but I always knew I wanted to have children, so it's hard for me to understand what NOT having that desire is like {purely because I didn't live it}. That being said, I don't frown upon those who choose not to have children, nor do I come at them with rude/insensitive comments. My sister-in-law often bounces back and forth on her decision to have kids, and since she hasn't made any conclusive decision, I usually reply with "you have time." BUT, if she decides for sure she doesn't want kids, then fine. That's her decision. I get the desire to have more money, more freedom, etc. To each his/her own!

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