Why I Chose Not to Have Children
Today’s guest post comes from my friend Christina who I met last year through Meetup last year. She is pretty clear on why she chose not have children. Instead, she’s decided to travel all around the world, learn salsa and follow her passion for running. Thanks Christina for your writing.
I’ve never been one of those girls who knew from age five what I was going to name my future daughter. The youngest of three and with no cousins nearby, I was almost never surrounded by younger kids. And today, when I’m around them, nothing resonates. No affinity toward them. A disconnect, you could say. “Oh my God, what a cute baby!” These words don’t come out of my mouth.
In addition to a lack of interest in children, I think my relationship with my mother is what mostly contributed to my decision not to have kids.
Constantly stressed, always late to everything, putting herself last. Common traits of many good moms. Not to say that you have to put yourself last all the time to be a “good mom” but such is often the case. This nurturing, loving, angel of a woman. Hair undone, makeup doer in the car ride to work, people pleaser. Everything was for her kids and she forgot about herself.
When I think of my mom then and even now, I remember a sad, exhausted woman who seemed to have lost who she once was. I wish I could have seen her—met her—before she was my mom. Did she always want to have kids? What was she like before? I try to imagine—the young woman I see in old photos whose eyes aren’t yet tired, the woman who hasn’t yet given up.
I think my mother pictured a different life for herself. The cold and distant man she married, the angry children she had, working a stressful job for years to help support her family—this couldn’t have been what she envisioned.
What did she want to do? What kind of person did she want to be? She spent so much time living for others, particularly for her kids, that I think my mom never really got to find herself.
Had things been different, had she not had kids, who would she have been? (Not that you can’t fully develop and have a family meanwhile, but I think she needed more time first.) What if she had lived for herself? What kind of things would she have done? Places traveled, romances had, exposure to new ideas outside her comfort zone perhaps?
I appreciate all she did for us and it sounds terrible but I never wanted to be like my mother, a martyr who never seemed to have realized her worth. Her constant state of endless sacrifice and hard work rendered her even to this day an ever-anxious woman never allowing herself to enjoy life—to live life for herself from time to time. Observing this made me want to be the woman my mom maybe wanted to be, but never was.
I think a life of children can be a valuable and beautiful experience. I see some friends, married with a couple of little munchkins running around, happy. Meanwhile, I chose a different route, had time to travel alone, leave on last minute spontaneous adventures, and work on myself to be the person I want to be one day. Many of my friends with kids are jealous of my carefree, seemingly easy life. But then again, maybe I’ve missed out on something too. Who knows? I’ve still got time to change my mind.
Christina Vega, 33
What did you think your mom was like before she had kids?
If you would like to submit a guest post, please write me at nokidwoman (at) gmail (dot) com!
Image by Thomas Hawk via Flickr Creative Commons