Where should I start on my list of My Big Ten Final Topics? Let’s start at the beginning of everything shall we, with babies.
I don’t want a baby. I don’t want any baby. I don’t want to be a mother. I want to be childless.
I think that’s the first time I’ve ever said that so clear and bold in public.
Usually that statement comes with a precursory “I don’t think…” or “I’m pretty sure…” or is followed with a “…I mean, I’m like, 96% certain?”.
For a long time I wasn’t totally sure. But I was mostly sure. I guess I’ve been at 70% since as long as I can remember. Since a kid, even. I never played with baby dolls. I had a toy pram but it collected dust and I think I used it to dump my clothes on it instead, which sums me up perfectly, to be honest.
Sometimes I’d have little romantic visions of telling the love of my life that we’re having a family, and him weeping with joy, and lying next to me, lovingly stroking my adorable growing belly. But that’s where it ends.
Because an actual baby, or toddler, child or teenager, I haven't ever been able to imagine with me. Which is odd because I spend much of my life living in fantasies in my head. I always wonder this with people who have babies – like, you do know that it’s going to grow up, and one day you’ll be a parent to an actual adult person? Isn’t that weird?
And I think that's the point. They don't. And that's normal. It's me who is the minority, and I'm okay with that. That's not a woe-is-me statement. I'm cool with this. I accept this truth.
Since I hit my 30’s my certainty went up to around 95%, as I finally grew comfortable in my skin and who I am and what I stand for.
But this year, as I finally become outnumbered in my friends, as the minority of being childless, and more and more friends announce their happy news (and I don’t want to detract from them, because I’m so utterly happy for those who do want children who find themselves pregnant) the more it’s struck me with alarming strength: I DO NOT WANT THAT.
Yeah I could justify it with excuses to soften the blow like “it’s an environmental choice” because by god, society does not like hearing a woman say this. But actually, I have no reason, other than I literally feel no desire to raise a child. I like children. I like other peoples children. I even kinda love some. But I’m perfectly happy being a cool auntie.
They say “But you’ll be such a good parent!”. I know I would. But I’d probably make a good Police Officer too, it doesn't means it’s what I have to do.
People will call me selfish. Plead reconsideration on the basis of my inevitable sad and lonely death, my cold grey body slowly disintegrating into the floorboards, being found six months later after a local dog walker notices the stench coming from my house. But I have arguments against both of these that I won’t insult you with because I know you know better.
My only fear, if I’m honest, is how this affects my future chances of love. I guess I’d date someone with kids…like, old kids. But otherwise I don’t want to inherit children. Which means I need to find someone else who thinks the same as me. Which is the worry. My only two serious boyfriends weren’t fussed on kids, but they were both also emotionally unavailable types, who couldn’t fully let me into their hearts, futures or simply say ‘I love you’. And since I’m wishing to break that trend of self-harm, and generally getting my heart broken, I need to rethink my choices.
But, as Jeff Goldblum famously said – “life finds a way”.
And it will. And I guess knowing my limits and boundaries is a good starting point, right?
The rest will find its natural course. In that I just have to trust. And believe.