I decided not to, at a rather early age. But unlike most people, I barely wavered as I grew older. I did go through a few years where I was open to the idea, but now that door is once again shut (in my mind).
My reasons are straightforward:
- I grew up with a single mom and it was difficult. I struggled with a lot of things like my identity, knowing right from wrong, and having confidence. I'm not saying everyone's situation is like this, but that's what my experience was like. As I grew up, I knew that I wouldn't intentionally want to have a kid UNLESS there was a stable partner in my life who had the same goals to raise a child with me. Life happens, and I know there are no guarantees, but I didn't want to start out on what I felt was the wrong foot.
- Pain. I know I can handle a fair amount of pain, but the whole pain of childbirth thing has always been terrifying to me. There's no reasoning behind it. Women give birth every day and are totally fine. I fear the worst for myself. I want to run and hide in a secret "safe" cave every time I think about the idea.
- Referring back to #1, I've had total shit luck with relationships and haven't found that stable partner that I wanted to have kids with. I had one, briefly, but it also went the way of the dodo. For the record, that was the only time I seriously considered it and was open to it and wasn't totally terrified. I had also been watching the British show "Call the Midwife" and found that seeing so many women go through childbirth unscathed did actually help my attitude.
- I'm not trying to say that insanity runs in my family, but they crazy. I come from hoarders who can't show emotion in a healthy way. Add a side of alcoholism, and mix thoroughly. I am more like my grandma in temperament; my mom is not. They say these things skip generations because we are all reacting to the generation before us. With my luck, my child would be another crazy Gemini like my mom. I don't have the energy.
- I'm pretty damn immature for my age. There are days I don't know how I managed to get myself this far. I know a lot of parents are probably more like this than they should be, but I don't want to be that kind of parent. I feel like I'm still very much in the child role in some ways. But maybe that just naturally changes when you have kids.
- I'm not going to be tied to some guy for the rest of my life just because he knocked me up. Nope. Thank you, Roe vs. Wade!
I do have one (very good) reason for having kids. One I cannot deny and would succumb to if all other factors could be dealt with (pain, fear, devoted father figure): passing on that knowledge. I feel that I have a lot to offer the world because of my varied life experience and broad worldview. However, I can pass this on to other people's kids instead. I can pass this on to non-kids as well. And I would still be free to keep searching for whatever it is that I don't know I need to find.