“I’m pretty sure I don’t want to have children.”
*GASP OF INDIGNATION* “BUT CHILDREN ARE PRECIOUS ANGELS SENT FROM ABOVE! WHY WOULD SOMEONE OF CHILD BEARING AGE EVER THINK THEY DON’T WANT PRECIOUS ANGELS???”
“I just don’t want to have any.”
“Oh come now dear, it’s worth it! You’ll change your mind when you get older.”
Pretty sure I know several people in their thirties who haven’t changed their minds yet but please, continue to make my life choices for me.
I am not vehemently opposed to having children in the future but I’m also not all for it. But right now, I know I SHOULDN’T have children. I’m 22 years old and for some reason, people feel like that gives them the right to decide that I’m wrong about choices I’m making for the rest of my life when barely four years ago I was thrown into adulthood and told I had to start making choices for the rest of my life. Now that I’m “of marrying age” and “childbearing age” I’m expected to get married, settle down, and have children sometime soon.
Happily, my parents do not do this to me so I only deal with it when I’m not at home. My parents are far more concerned that their children are financially stable and healthy rather than pushing out grand-babies and adding in-laws to the Christmas shopping (Side note: My parents love my brother and sisters in law very much! They are zero hassle and 100% part of the family!).
So I’m asked about future children and family plans and marriage and it’s annoying because if I share my actual thoughts then I’m wrong. Not just me though, my younger sister has decided she’s not interested in having children (she’s 19) and she was told by a 13 year old girl that she was crazy.
It’s not even just talking about children. It’s about boyfriends, future husbands, what profession I’ve chosen, how I’m spending my time, when is the rest of my life, etc.
Okay so here you go:
- Not interested in boyfriends right now (so no future husbands)
- I KNOW THE PROFESSION I CHOSE IS DIFFICULT TO GET INTO AND I KNOW IT TAKES TIME TO BUILD A BASE OF READERS STOP TELLING ME THIS AS IF I DIDN’T SPEND FOUR YEARS FIGURING OUT WHAT I WANT TO DO
- How I spend my time on a daily basis is my business, not yours. I know you’re curious and you ask because you sincerely want to know but don’t condescend if YOU think I’m wasting my time.
- The rest of my life is here and now. If you haven’t noticed, point B from birth is death, and I’m going to get there the best way I can, trusting God and following Him. My time is not being wasted because I haven’t made a 50 year plan yet.
The problem is not asking a 20-something human being what they’re doing with their life, the problem is acting like whatever they say is either unrealistic or stupid. If a 20-something tells you that their plan is to spend the next 3 years in Asia feeding homeless people then that’s a great plan. If their plan is to spend the next 3 years building a video gaming Youtube channel to try to break into professional gaming, that’s a great plan too. And if they have no plan, don’t suggest one unless you REALLY believe it fits their personality and life (it probably won’t so maybe ask about that plan before you decide that it’s stupid). So if I say I want to live off my writing and am working on building readers, don’t ask when I’m going to “get a real job” because you don’t think that writing will pay the bills.
If you care, ask. At the same time, don’t tell me I’m wrong just because you think I could or should be doing something else with my life. It’s not wrong to decide in your 20s that you don’t want children. I’ve thought very hard about my reasoning behind my choices. I know myself and I know I’m not suited to raise a child right now. I know myself and I know I’m not ready to enter a romantic relationship right now. Maybe I’ll be ready in a few years, maybe I’ll never be ready for these things. That’s my decision, not yours. Just because you think your children are the best decision you ever made, doesn’t mean they would be the best decision for me. Just because your marriage is wonderful and fantastic, doesn’t mean marriage is the best thing for every person on the planet.
Consider this post a PSA to everyone who knows a 20-something millenial: feel free to ask about our lives but analyze your own motives before you criticize our decisions. Is it really about helping us make better decisions? Or is it about us doing what YOU would do in our situation?