(Originally posted: July 20, 2015)
BRONX, NY- It has come to my attention that people in my family have been asking me the same question for a few years now; “when do you plan on having children?” Now some may not have said this upfront, but I know an indirect comment or question when I hear it. Now it’s my turn to finally answer that question once and for all (drum roll please)…. I am not planning on having children.
I can hear most of the women in my family give the fearsome gasp already. Now comes the rebuttal questions:
“What’s wrong about having children?”
“You don’t like kids?”
And my favorite annoying comment:
“You say that now, but in the future you will have them. It will change your life.”
Ay, Dios Mio! Yes, I agree. Having children is a life changing experience, however I don’t see them in my future. I adore children. I am good with them and I love making kids smile. Does that mean I see myself having my own? No. Deciding not to have children is a LIFE CHOICE. There are many women who have chosen the same path and it’s okay.
Now of course when I explain this I hear “how can you be so selfish?” I am not being selfish at all. I have discussed this issue with my boyfriend in the event that we do decided to get married. He is fine with it and respects my decision. My parents want a child to call them “Abuelo” and “Abuela”, but I cannot make a life changing choice based on their desires either. Again, this is not me being selfish. I considered their feelings and as much as I would love to grant all their wishes a baby was never a part of my life plan.
I know there are a lot of women who under different circumstances are unable to have children. For those of you who tell me “you should be thankful you are fertile” (believe me I have gotten this comment before) I get it. I am thankful, but that still does not mean I am obligated to get pregnant. People will argue with me and say that it is God’s will to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 9:1). Some people take this quote out of context and I will not get into that debate, but for the few who do take this in the context I am explaining here is my respectful response; God also gave us free will, and with that I chose not to have a baby.
Another question I been asked is “is your career choice preventing you from having children?” Absolutely not. I have a busy schedule, but it’s not my personal excuse to decide not to be a mother. Motherhood is an amazing gift and I congratulate all moms and moms to be on their bundles of joy. I have seen that it can be a beautiful experience, but it’s not for me.
There is a bit of cultural pressure for Latinas to become mothers and expand the family. I refuse to fall for that bullshit. Why be pressured to have a family? In the media, Latinas are depicted with teen pregnancies and usually have more than three kids. Have you seen a Latina mother make a dramatic scene because their daughter does not want children? You would swear the apocalypse arrived. Sometimes, family won’t accept your life choices, but at the end of the day it’s your life and you get to live it how you want.
I have thought about the possibility of adoption. That possibility is still way off, but I know there are many children out there who need parents. Most people say “it won’t be the same as having your own child.” True, but for an adopted child who has probably experienced a lot, having someone who will take them in will mean the world.
So for those of you who keep asking me about the children thing, even if it’s joking around just stop. Take a seat and respect my decision. I am happy with my choice and I won’t feel as if my life lacks purpose without kids or that my biological clock is ticking. To my readers out there who feel me on this, be yourself and be happy.
Lat updated: July 17, 2019