Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch

My Decision to not have Children

When the Mister and I got married fourteen years ago, we assumed we’d have kids. That’s what you do, right? You get married, finish school, and then have kids.

Well, one day while doing grad school homework, I look up and realize it’s my sister’s 25th birthday. Then I realize, at this point, I’m older than my mother was by the time she’d had both my sister and I. And then I realize… “Wait, I haven’t had kids yet… I don’t HAVE to.”

That weekend, because the Mister was working in Seattle at the time, about 2 hours from where I went to Grad School, I said, “We need to talk about kids.”

His eyes got really big.

I said, “You know, I don’t think I want them.”

“Ohthankgod!” he breathed. “I was terrified that you were going to say we had to get started having them, and I didn’t really think I wanted any either.”

My complete and utter lack of maternal instinct was further demonstrated by the one pregnancy scare we’d had in five years of marriage at that point. Because my first thought was not, “I wonder if we could do this…” or “Would it have his eyes?” My first thought, “Oh crap, where the hell am I going to get the money for an abortion?” And that’s what my thoughts continued to be, up until the point when it was obvious that there was no pregnancy and I could quit hyperventilating and counting the weeks between then and my next financial aid check.

Would I have spent my financial aid money on an abortion? You bet your sweet ass I would have.

I finally made the decision to get permanently sterilized when I was 34. I have not regretted it for a moment. Bush had just gotten re-elected and I knew that the Right would continue to chip away at women’s reproductive freedom. I walked into my GYN, and said, “I want to be sterilized, and then launched into a ten minute spiel outlining my reasons. When I paused for a breath, she said, “Ok.”
After hearing all of the difficulties friends and others had had getting sterilized, I stared at her.
“You’re in your 30s, and you’ve obviously put a lot of thought into this decision. Ok.”
“Oh, you have no idea how relieved I am to hear that.”

So for Christmas that year, I got fixed. I received the Essure sterilization, as they could go in vaginally and through the cervix, instead of having to have my abdomen inflated with gas and deal with the attendant discomfort of that. The only real discomfort was what my GYN referred to as an “insult to my cervix” as I’d never had children, my cervix had never had anything of substance passed through it. I had cramps of doom for about two or three days, and then… nothing.

I wound up staying on the pills for another year until I could get an ablation, because my uterus is mighty and I bleed constantly, or I did. Now thanks to the ablation I have an almost normal period. It’s much, much lighter than it was and sometimes it skips a month, and I’m ok with that.

Last week, in therapy, I talked with my therapist about just not getting the whole “Baby Rabies” thing. She told me that about 20% of women don’t have that biological urge. They’ve done studies. I am, apparently, just part of that 20%. So, telling me what a super mom I’d make, or waving babies in front of me like little pink carrots, isn’t going to make a lick of difference.

I don’t hate kids. I’m actually very fond of them. Fond enough of them to not want to saddle any of them with a mom who’s going to resent their intrusion on her life and freedoms. No one needs that.

13 comments on “My Decision to not have Children

  1. garpu
    August 1, 2008

    I’ve never wanted children, either. To be perfectly honest, I’d be resentful that they take up my time for other things. That, and I’m bored stupid by childcare. Babysitting? Dear, God, I wanted to chew my own arm off. I used to get roped into babysitting for people, since my family thought it was a good way to convince me that kids weren’t all that bad. Nope, it had the opposite effect. One Christmas my mom and grandmother sat me down and talked about how wonderful babies are and how sad they were that I’d never have them. Was one of the last times I’ve ever seen either one of them. I love my nieces dearly, but I really need my time away from them, too.
    I love how we’re the selfish ones for not having children, yet it’s everyone else that feels they’re entitled to kids. The phrase, “It’s different, when they’re your own,” makes me want to throw up. Yeah, tell that to the millions of children in foster care, know what I mean?
    I’ve always been upfront that I don’t want kids, and I think dating someone who wanted them would be a deal-breaker, even if the Frood suddenly decided he wanted them. I’m not willing to compromise.


  2. synabetic
    August 1, 2008

    Sharon and I wanted kids from the get-go. Hell, we’d have another one if we thought it wouldn’t take away from Drake and Vance. But having children is a choice. You either want them or you don’t. I hate it when people try to tell others what to do in that situation. Both radical child-free types and the radical family breeding values crowd.
    I love being a father. It’s a fucking cool ass job. But it’s not for everyone, and I think it’s awesome you and your partner decided that it wasn’t for you.
    Besides, this only means we can get more attention for the boys when we visit, or whenever you guys visit! 😛


    • staxxy
      August 1, 2008

      I am glad you and Sharon wanted to have kids, and did. You are perfect daddy material, and are awesome at it. Some people aren’t, and I don’t think they have any business having children if they aren’t capable of raising them.
      I have a handful of friends that are in the “will/do make amazing parents” category, and I am thrilled any time one of them has a baby. By the same token, I have several friends who aren’t of that ilk (and KNOW it), and I am just as thrilled when they get it permanently solved (up to, and including, going to the hospital to visit and shaking my pompoms for them (the black and white ones). You should see the hospital staff when I go happily wandering up the halls with my pompoms in hand. 😉


  3. m_cobweb
    August 1, 2008

    Between my reproductive organs trying to kill me from the get-go, and my experience of family life as constant fighting, having kids was never something I wanted to do. (And how weary I got of trying to explain that to people in Texas.) I’m happy with my furry kids, and that, said she, is that.


  4. staxxy
    August 1, 2008

    no kids was something that Spydrman and I both agreed on from the start, each for our own reasons. When things looked like they were actually going to last, we talked about it and marriage. We decided that neither sounded like a good fit for either of us, so that was it.
    I was glad when I got sick, because it meant that yanking the works COULD happen. It was still a struggle, but getting most of my plumbing removed without the cancer would have been impossible.
    I am still damn happy to be rid of it. I am glad I can never get pregnant (my line stops here), and I am glad that there won’t be any children sucking up what little energy I have. I am a staunch supporter of and firm believer in permanent birth control.
    woot *shakes pompoms*


  5. sarmonster
    August 1, 2008

    20% ?! Yikes.
    The part that creeps me out are the ones out of that crowd that have children anyway. They must hate it.
    I will ask you more about essure one of these days. I’ve been lazy, as Mike’s had the snip it hasn’t been a concern. I’ve heard nothing but good things abotu ablation.


  6. javagoth
    August 1, 2008

    I got married (at 19) because I was floundering in college, I was asked, and that’s what you do isn’t it – grow up and get married? Fortunately I stopped with that line of thinking soon after. I supposed it helped in a way that we struggled so much to make ends meet and I couldn’t think of taking time to have a kid when I was working 2 jobs or 1 job with an average of 18 hours of OT per week.
    I really thought about it though. I wondered for awhile what was wrong with me that I didn’t feel an urge to have kids. I felt bringing a kid into that situation would be nothing short of a disaster. There was no way we could live on one salary. There was no way we could afford daycare even if we were both working – given the wages we were making. I had seen a couple who were struggling with low paying jobs and 3 kids. Their situation had changed for the worse from when they first had kids and they were solidly stuck in the welfare loop. It’s much harder than people think to get off because they cut assistance so much every time they got a better wage that they ended up being in an even worse situation. They got kicked out of low income housing because they weren’t able to make their rent one month – how fucked up is that??
    I thought – is it fair to put a kid through that just for the sake of having a kid? If I really wanted a kid – then maybe it would be. I didn’t. I might have for my husband but I put down the boundary that he had to become more responsible about money before I would. He wouldn’t.
    I’m 41 and if I have a biological clock it’s pounding about owning a place of my own – not having a baby.
    Like you and others – I don’t hate kids – though I’m much better with older kids and teens then I am with small kids.


  7. nihil_duce
    August 1, 2008

    It is practically guaranteed I would be a bad parent because I feel no inclination towards being a good one.


  8. sheyeblaze
    August 2, 2008

    I still highly suggest the gynecologist who did my tubal ligation (Cedar Finkle). I was 24, did have a child and had long list of reasons why if I couldn’t afford adoption, in vitro, or one of the alternatives why I could not afford another child. She didn’t overly question me. It’s the easiest surgery that I’ve had done. All I took afterward was ibuprofen. Turns out it possibly saved my life, too. I have a “uteran anomaly” that would’ve all but guaranteed an ectopic pregnancy if I did not ovulated from the correct side. I was very lucky when I got pregnant with my baby…


  9. lexica510
    August 5, 2008

    [Hi – followed a link over from .]
    That’s almost exactly the conversation that and I had, right down to the “Ohthankgod!”
    Nobody in my family seems to care whether we have kids, so I’ve been mercifully spared any lectures, and as a result have not developed the knee-jerk antipathy to the mere mention of children that some people without kids display. I must admit I’ve been in cranky mode lately, though, since reading a discussion on Jezebel about a 24-year-old who’d gotten her tubes tied. As you’d expect, a number of people made comments about “How can anyone make a permanent decision like that at that age? It’s just terrible to close off your options like that! What if you change your mind?”
    Funny, I don’t notice people asking 24-year-old parents “How can anyone make a permanent decision like that at that age? It’s just terrible to close off your options like that! What if you change your mind?”


    • polimicks
      August 5, 2008

      Yeah, I don’t ever remember especially wanting kids, just thinking that it was something that “happened.”
      Thankfully with birth control technology, we can avoid that.
      My boss is still determined that I’ll change my mind and have kids, even with the sterilization. Sigh.


      • icprncs
        August 6, 2008

        You know, our families are pretty good about this, all in all. For my part, I told my mother when I was 16 that I didn’t think I wanted children.
        And yet…when I told my mother we’d gotten engaged, she asked a bunch of questions, one of them being about children. I said that we agreed we didn’t want them and that I was on the far end of the age scale for that anyway (and, I note, whenever I’ve said this, it’s been as much about being old enough to know my mind and to understand the effort involved in raising children as about anything biological). And apparently without even considering what she was saying, she babbled, “Well, if you do change your mind, you could always adopt, maybe a little girl from China…”


      • garpu
        August 6, 2008

        I really think you should set your boss on fire, because it’s none of his damn business.


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