It’s not that I don’t want children, but I don’t not want them either. I’m indifferent.
When I was younger, I remember saying that I’d be married and having kids when I was 25. At 10, or whatever age it was, 25 seemed a long way off. I was sure I’d be adult enough then. I grew up with the notion of meeting someone, getting married, having kids. I didn’t give much thought to anything different, I just assumed that’s what you did.
Fast forward to being 25 and it was the year I got engaged. I definitely didn’t feel ready to have kids, but I felt I was ready to get married. Mainly because a lot of our friends were getting married, we’d been together a long time and it seemed the logical thing to do. Note: these are not necessarily good reasons to get married
We’d been married for about 3 years when we started to talk about children. Most of our friends who’d got hitched around the same time as us were having kids. It was both exciting and terrifying. I’d started to think about what family life would be like, and what kind of parents we might be (very different). I think I was juggling the idea of wanting kids (yes) but did I want them with my ex-husband (not sure), which is a tricky thing to navigate given I’d just promised we’d be together for the rest of our lives.
So I pushed down any negative thoughts and jumped on the ‘Children! How exciting!’ band wagon.
I stopped taking the pill and we decided to see ‘what would happen’. What happened was about six months went by where I gradually got more and more panicked by the idea of having kids with someone I realised I wasn’t in love with anymore and didn’t want to be with. I started to realise how much I wanted to do with my life, and how trapped I felt. How I didn’t want any [metaphorical] kids to take our relationship as a benchmark, which in turn made me question why I was accepting it.
Cue me leaving, and cue our divorce. Cue me wanting to go off and explore the world and myself. Relationships and children took a backseat. To some extent, they still do.
This was all in my thirties, already getting past a woman’s ‘prime’ time to have kids. Each year that goes by, according to research, my fertility (whatever state it’s in anyway, I have no idea) is in decline.
I’m ok with this. I mean, I have to be, but I also genuinely am. It is what it is. It would have been a monumental mistake to have children with my ex husband; I can guarantee it would have been miserable lives all round.
I can see a perfectly fulfilled life without kids. Equally, I could see the most rich and full family life with the right partner.
If I meet someone who wants a family, I’m absolutely open to it. My ex in New Zealand wanted them (in general) and I knew that if we’d stayed together, that’d been on the cards. With him, it would have been a fun, outdoorsy laid back family life, which is absolutely the type I’d want. After we broke up, I did wonder whether that was the last chance I’d have. After all, I’m 38 and time is ticking on.
But life is what it is, and I don’t have too much control over that part of my life. Love is the one thing you can’t make happen, or go pick off a shelf.
I want love; a partnership of epic proportions, a solid foundation, a seed to sow. Only then can anything else grow and thrive.
If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, then it doesn’t. Either way is really ok with me.