I've always known kids were going to be part of my future, especially being the eldest grandchild on my mum's side of the family. I was only eight years old when my first cousin was born and I was smitten, my mum was his child minder for a while and I LOVED it when he came to ours for the day. I guess my maternal side kicked in when my twin brothers were born. In fact, I can remember the exact moment my parents told us they were expecting, they took us out for dinner, sitting opposite my brother and I, they said "we have something to tell you" and my brother said "you're pregnant aren't you?" my mum said "yes but there's something else" without missing a beat "it's twins isn't it?" I said. And that was that, we were expanding! I was fifteen when Harry and Elliot entered the world and I fell in love, they were just so small and precious. I spend a lot of time helping out with the twins and my mother would jokingly say she had a built in babysitter - which wasn't really a joke. We have an understanding though, my mum and I, I never say no when she asks me to babysit and she never says no when I ask her to! Whenever my parents were working and their shift patterns clashed (joys of NHS workers hey?) I would get up in the morning, give the boys breakfast and dress them for school. They were three and I was eighteen by this point, so I was fairly confident in making sure they were clean and fed. Life was great, I vould have babies to look after and play with, wind up a bit then hand them back over when I'd had enough.
There were many a time when I was a young,
innocent naive eighteen year old that I just thought everybody would want children, why wouldn't they? Babies were cute. One of my best friends told me she never wanted kids and I was shocked "you'll change your mind, everyone wants kids!" Oh how stupid I was. It wasn't for the fact I was ignorant but I just thought she was saying it because she was young and wanted to live her life first. To this day, she still does not want children. And that's okay! She isn't some spinster woman who lives on her own with a million cats (she just has the one yet so there's still time for that) but she's great with my boys and has nieces and nephews of her own who she's equally amazing with.
Another close friend on the other hand doesn't like children at all and that's okay too. I don't really like other people's children myself unless they're tiny babies who I can just snuggle with. She's a good friend though because in all her awkwardness, she asked to hold George when he was born and she's put up with being slapped and kicked by him as well. Who can blame the girl for not wanting kids when she has been subjected to that?
Some women are maternal and want children. Some women don't. It doesn't mean they hate children, it just means they do not want to become a mother. Society just expects women to become mothers but why? We don't expect all men to become fathers and it seems totally okay for a man to be a bachelor, but when a woman says they won't want children why do we react like they're about to shoot us in the face?
If your response when someone says this is like mine when I was younger, stop and think first. I actually know someone who has been asked "what's wrong with you" because she doesn't want children. How is that an acceptable thing to say to anyone? It is so disrespectful! Women who do not want children are only the same as people who don't want pets. If I told you I didn't have any pets or didn't want any pets in future, you woudn't ask why or tell me I may change my mind, you would accept it.
That's what we should be doing for these women. Respect their choice and if you can't, just keep your mouth shut and smile :)
Their body. Their life. Their choice.