By the time my mother was 29 she’d had 5 children. Myself being her oldest and then 11 years old. In comparison my Nan by 29 had 4 children, her oldest being 8.
In a few weeks time I’ll be 29, and I have 0. With no intention of having my own children.
There’s a few questions I’ve asked myself over the years, and I’ve asked myself these questions because it’s been made apparent that there’s something wrong about not wanting children.
One of the biggest questions and probably the most obvious one is. Would I feel different if I were straight?
There’s nothing stopping gay men from having children – we find a way if it’s something we want. But just like marriage, I didn’t grow up with an example of gay men having children, so it wasn’t a reality in my world – which was my same mentality about marrige. I grew up with no example of it, it wasn’t even legal, so I never dreamt it could happen.
With children, I’ve never felt this maternal instinct to want my own. I don’t know if it’s because of my experiences growing up with my maternal mother (Who actually has no maternal instinct – even after 5 children) or whether I’m just one of those people that just don’t want children.
What get’s really annoying is when people tell me I’ll change my mind. I don’t understand what the problem is with not wanting children. Surely a parent should be someone who actually wants to have children? Surely in most circumstances, wanting a child makes a better parent?
Over the years I’ve heard people assume it’s because “people like me” (who don’t want children) don’t like children. Which is completely untrue – in my case. We’ve had loads of children in my family, and holding a new born baby and watching them go through their life stages. Seeing them walk for the first time and talk. Watching them grow into little human beings is one of the greatest things to witness. I just don’t want my own. I’m happy watching from the sidelines.
Part of this might be fear. Which would be understandable, I grew up with a mother that didn’t want me, and grandparents who divorced. I watched my Nan struggle to make ends meet and provide me with everything I needed, and safe to say. I wouldn’t want that for a child. In my mind it’s unlikely, I genuinely think I just don’t want children.
That doesn’t mean I won’t change my mind.
Personally wanting children – I think, isn’t a choice, it’s more of a feeling. I didn’t wake up one morning and actively decide I didn’t want children. It’s just something I’ve always felt wasn’t for me. There may be a time this feeling changes. There may be a time that I want nothing more than my own children. Which sounds contradictory or maybe even hypocritical, but I’ve learned in life that things change without warning. And I’m keeping myself open to those changes.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic.
Take care, stay safe.
James. aka Anothermaleblogger.