Friday, April 25, 2014

The Miracle I Don't Want

Hello everyone! I hope your weeks have been more fantastic than the thought of a thousand Ewoks jamming out to a jazz cover of Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby!"

So this week I turned 25. That's right, I am the ripe old age of 25 and despite paying for and earning a four-year university degree, having managed multiple non-profit programs and being a published author, it seems that I am lacking the true requirement to be a successful human being: I don't have kids.

Please don't take the following as a condemnation of any woman who wants to have kids; motherhood is a noble and daring vocation. However, it is not for me.

Don't get me wrong, I like kids when I can hand them back to their parents the second they start to make a sound/ooze/smell. As a long term enterprise, however, child rearing is not something I'm really interested in.

Your first clue that I should not be having kids, by the way, is that I just referred to them as a "long term enterprise."

I am not going into all of the reasons I don't want to have kids here, because that could be it's own book to be perfectly honest.

It is incredible to me, though, how many things people are willing to say in judgement when I honestly say that I do not wish to procreate.

Today's post is the things that people need to stop saying to women who don't want children. All of these things have been said to me on more than one occasion, and I've had other friends who have corroborated that these statements happen as well. So please just stop.

"But you're a woman, don't you have a natural/biological desire to have kids?"

My Reaction to that Question
Alrighty, not only is that sexist, but utterly illogical. The human body is capable of a great many things that come as part of the packaged deal that we don't necessarily want to experience.  My body is naturally capable of developing kidney stones, hypothyroidism and blood clots, that doesn't mean that I have a "natural" desire to have these conditions manifest.

Believe it or not, not every person on the planet with a uterus wants to have kids.

 "Oh, well, you'll change your mind."

Funny, that's what people said to me 20 years ago when I was happily coloring in my dinosaur coloring book. Strange thing is, my mind has yet to change (and I am still coloring in my dinosaur coloring book).

That's Right, You're Jealous of My Tye-Dye Dinosaur
"What do you do all day?"

Oh, you know, mostly this:

Yep, I spend all day engaged in shenanigans and useless activities that basically make me a breathing, sushi consuming, water-filled waste of space.

Or I could be working my forty-plus-hours a week job, volunteering my time in my community, writing books, helping my elderly neighbor get her groceries into her apartment...

"Who will take care of you when you get older?"

This Cat Has No Kittens
Hopefully a really hot in-home nurse at my beachfront condo, who will think it's super precocious when I click the "Life Alert" button every five minutes.

After all I'm not spending the $241,080 that the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates it costs to raise a child until the age of eighteen, so why not? (Then again, I am a social worker...)

"But Babies Are So Precious!"

Yes, I will concede, babies are adorable.

However, the parents of small children are not. I have yet to run into the parent of a newborn who didn't look something like the picture to the right.

I have a friend who didn't realize that she had a Cheeto stuck in her hair for three days because her baby was teething. Thanks, but I think I'd prefer to avoid a period in my life where I have all the functioning capacity of a zombie due to something small and cute.

"Kids Give Your Life Meaning!"

Even the Octopus is Sick of that One
Nope, I think you're mistaking me with you. Kids might give your life meaning, but not mine.

Also, if kids are the only thing that can give your life meaning on this planet, might I point out that life is going to be rather unpleasant for you when your kids grow up and you become an empty-nester.

It is possible to lead a rich and fulfilling life without having children, I promise.

"But, you have nothing to talk about with people who are parents."

Sorry, I don't feel like pushing the equivalent of a nine pound breathing watermelon out of my body just so I can have a conversation piece.

"Your biological clock is ticking!"

This would be sooooo much more meaningful if I actually wanted kids. Since I don't, that's kind of an empty threat. It's kind of like telling me that if I don't jump into the shark tank, I won't ever get to experience being eaten by sharks!

I don't want kids, so whatever reproductive abilities I lose with age really don't concern me much. If I could sum it up:

"You're just being selfish."

Really? I am acknowledging that I do not have the desire or motivation to have children instead of begrudgingly bringing them into the world, which is already overpopulated and plagued with a million and one ills, due to some ancient entrenched societal expectation. Yep, I'm "being selfish."

To any other women out there who don't have or don't want kids, what are you sick of hearing people say?

As always you can find my childless self on Facebook, Twitter (@AllisonHawn) and Goodreads!


  1. I have one kid, But I don't want anymore. The one I hear the most is...but you made one beautiful smart baby. WHY NOT have more?

  2. I would just respond with, "Because the world wouldn't be able to handle that much awesomeness."

  3. I have heard this many times from a friend of mine (now *ahem* not 25) who has been asked/told these things since she was in her twenties.

    Hasn't changed her mind. Doesn't regret it. Is happy. Hates (HATES) these stupid comments.

    I love my kids more than anything and could not imagine my life without them but I don't understand what makes people think saying these things is okay. Gah!