My Truth about Motherhood:
Why I'm Consciously Choosing Not To Have Kids
3-minute read | By Rania Naim
I can't count the number of times I've been attacked for saying that I don't want to have children. It's usually a question like, "well, you will when you meet the right person," or, "do you really want to grow old alone?"
Here’s what most people don’t understand about women who decide not to have kids: it’s a conscious choice, unrelated to finding the right mate or wanting to have a family. Their choice is based on their own readiness to take care of another human being; on their own willingness to dedicate their lives to someone else when they know they’re not ready or capable to give their all. They’re aware that if they can’t provide the best life for their children, if they still have a lot to figure out, then they’d rather go through life alone, without dragging anyone else along.
I decided not to have kids when I realized that I’ll always be a lost soul, looking for adventure, for freedom, for newness, for independence, and I know I will never be ready for that kind of responsibility. I’m not sure if I can give my kids stability and security when I’m still searching for those things. I think it’s brave to be honest with yourself; it’s brave to admit that you may never be ready to mother and you may never want to. It’s brave to subvert the notion that unless a woman becomes a mother, she’s incomplete.
It was never a question of the right person for me, it was always a matter of being honest with myself about what kind of mother I would be, because here’s the thing about motherhood:
If you’re not ready to give your child everything you’ve got, your undivided attention, your unconditional love and all of your time; if you’re not ready to give your child the world or the best life they could ever have, then don’t do it.
It’s the one thing that can’t be done half-way. The one job you have to be overqualified for.
I see so many children become the victims of their parents’ choices. So many children suffer because they’re forced to grow up in a toxic or unhealthy environment because their parents weren’t ready to nurture them when they decided to bring them into this world.
It irritates me how little emphasis parents put on bringing up their kids in a healthy and loving environment... If you don’t make their childhood easier, you’re making their adulthood harder.
Please don’t make your decision to have kids based on your biological clock, or your age, or even worse, a bargain to salvage your marriage or keep your partner. Don’t use children to evade your own problems. Don’t use children to keep someone in your life. All you’re really doing is ruining and complicating your life and theirs.
If you’re going to decide to bring another human being into this world, then the least you can do is protect them and take care of them until they can take care of themselves. The least you can do is give them a healthy and safe environment to grow up in so they will feel safe in their own skin, instead of growing up with issues they spend the rest of their life trying to resolve.
I’ll forever admire M. Scott Peck’s words on parenthood and children, in his masterpiece “The Road Less Traveled” he discusses two vital points:
1 — The importance of making the kids feel valued and appreciated “The feeling of being valuable— “I am a valuable person” —is essential to mental health and is a cornerstone of self-discipline. It is a direct product of parental love. Such a conviction must be gained in childhood; it is extremely difficult to acquire it during adulthood. Conversely, when children have learned through the love of their parents to feel valuable, it is almost impossible for the vicissitudes of adulthood to destroy their spirit.”
2 — Teaching them through actions, not words “It is not so much what our parents say that determines our world view as it is the unique world they create for us by their behavior.
And I believe this is where most parents fall short. They give their children all the reasons to doubt themselves and doubt love and then expect them to grow up and find the perfect job, perfect partner, be mentally and emotionally stable at the age of 25, as if it’s suddenly their responsibility, as if the years of bringing them up had nothing to do with who they are becoming.
I have been the victim of such an environment myself and it could be part of the reason I refuse to bring children into this world.
So if you’re not sure what you’re getting yourself into, if you’re not ready to give your kids a world where they can grow up feeling valued, safe and loved; then they will grow up suffering, fighting a battle their parents will never understand.
Having children is a blessing and having a loving family is a beautiful gift, but only if you can do it right. It can only work if you’re truly willing to give them a home that they don’t want to leave. A safe-haven they go back to when they want to run away from the chaos of life.