17 June 2014

Maybe When I'm 30

I started another blog a while back to talk about being childfree, but I haven't updated it in quite a while and decided there's no reason I can't share all my thoughts right here. So over the next few weeks I'll be re-posting some of the things I originally posted there. This post was originally from last year, just as I turned 30.

Maybe when I’m 30

That’s what I used to say when people asked me about having kids. I always thought that I’d have kids at some point because I figured I’d want to at some point. No one ever tells you it’s perfectly fine to neither want nor have kids. They spend most of their time, in fact, telling you the exact opposite.

You’ll change your mind… One day you’ll have kids… You’re too young to know yet…

Whenever anyone asked what my plans for kids were, I certainly did know that they were not in my near future. I just didn’t have that urge. But I swallowed what they were feeding me and was convinced that one day I’d wake up and realize Oh my god, I’m ready. I want to be a mom! So in high school, and college, and after college when I got married, whenever anyone asked about kids, I told them maybe we’d start trying when I was 30. That seemed like a good age. I figured we’d be financially established by then, but it wasn’t so late in life that I’d be risking health issues for either myself or a potential baby.

Well, yesterday I turned 30. (Edit: Actually, now I'm 31!)

A few years ago I started getting a little anxious about that number. Not because it means I’m getting older, like many people seem to assume. Hell, I’m excited to be 30 years old! I feel like this will be a great year for me. No, the reason I started looking at 30 a bit sideways when I was still in my 20s was because there were still so many goals I hadn’t reached and that seemed like they would be ten times more difficult if I suddenly had children to care for. I’d been saying maybe when I’m 30 for so long, but I was starting to think I should start saying maybe when I’m 35. That wasn’t too late, right?

My concerns over the age at which to have my first child were superficial at best. It was a distraction from the real reason I was wary about reaching the maybe when I’m 30 deadline. The truth was that I just didn’t want kids. I still hadn’t had any urge or desire to have a child. Whenever I thought of my future – where I’d be or what I’d be doing – kids never factored into my daydreams and desires.

But… I couldn’t say that… could I? It seemed so strange. So foreign. As I mentioned before, we’re all indoctrinated with the message that we will all be parents one day, and it will be glorious, and hard, and rewarding, and frustrating, and miraculous, and fulfilling, all at the same time!

No one tells you that you can choose not to have kids.

When I first realized that I didn’t want kids, period, I couldn’t even assert myself fully. It was all I don’t think I want kids… Maybe I’ll want them in the far-off future, who knows? But I doubt it… Who knows, who knows… Because I was afraid of the reactions I would get. I mean, doesn’t everyone want kids? How weird was I for not wanting what everyone else wanted?

It’s taken a few years, but it finally doesn’t feel weird to say it. I’m not having kids.

Okay, I lied, it’s still weird. I still struggle with worrying what people will say or how they’ll look at me when I say firmly, “I am not having children.” But even though I worry about that, I’ll still tell them.

No kids for me. Not even when I’m 30.


  1. It's not weird. (I'm all in for anti-conformity, though.) It's life. What is weird is the fictions we tell ourselves and then believe them. I've always wanted to be a mom but also had strong career ambitions at the time & told myself I would have so many kids, a SUV, and a successful practice by age 25. Ha! I'm rounding the corner for 25 shortly with none of the said fictions. But that's life. Besides, planning life is total conformity. ;)
    Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Megan! It's funny, because now that I'm 31, I'm like 25 is soooo young! Whereas when I was younger than that I would've thought similarly to you, that I should have X, Y, and Z done by the time I turn 25.

      Now I'm the one who keeps telling my husband "We're young! We're doing fine! We have time to do all the things!" whenever he feels like we're getting old and should have accomplished more by now. :-) We tend not to plan too concretely outside of the short-term stuff, either. It's fun just to see where life takes you and what you can make of it, right?

  2. You're welcome! Haha. I know in my head 25 isn't old but I'm fearfully of my 25th birthday!
    Yes! Life is better when you improvise a little bit. If nothing else it makes for a great story later on.

  3. You're not weird. It's ok to say you don't want something, and then avoid having that in your life. I'm 42, married, and I've never had the urge to have kids either. Now people ask me if we plan to adopt, as if I still might change my mind. Don't live a script someone else wrote for you. Stay strong and be yourself!


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