Is not wanting children something I’ll regret?

You know when people say you can change your mind, well that’s just it. This decision comes with a time limit.

I’ve never wanted children, but sometimes I think about it. There are moments of doubt so strong that it causes severe emotional turmoil. It’s a big decision, bringing life into this world. People make it work every day, but it changes your life forever.

Then there are the deep, painful questions that come to light. Like, am I comfortable ending the family line? If my brother doesn’t have children (and that’s absolutely fine too), it all ends with us – generations of our family just gone. Obviously, the ‘line’ continues with cousins and other family members, but for us, and my partner’s family (especially if his brother doesn’t have children), that’s it for them too.

I realise that’s pretty morbid, and likely a much darker scenario than most would think about. But we’re really only here for a short time, and if we’re it, and there’s nothing after. What kind of legacy is that? NOW, I am not for one second saying people should base their decision to have children on legacy, or achieving something. You should have children because you want to. But what if you don’t?

I’ve met people and I’ve asked, I’ve talked about this with friends a lot too. For most people, it either has just happened (some not by choice, hell, even I was an accident). But most people I’ve asked can say with conviction that they wanted their children or did want kids. I cannot say that. I don’t want to regret not having children, but I don’t want to regret having them either. And that happens more than we want to talk about.

I’m turning 33 in April, so whether I’d like to admit it to myself, my time to make a decision is running out. Especially when you throw endometriosis into the mix. Once my time is up, that’s it. The decision is out of my hands, and I will have to make peace with that.

I wanted to write about it, one because it’s cathartic, but two, because I know I’m not the only one who has wrestled with this kind of decision. I like my life, there’s so much I still want to do. Granted, I would still be able to do it with a little more planning if children were involved, but I don’t know if I want to make that sacrifice. Because it is. Having children is a sacrifice. You have to give up who you are (for the most part) and become a parent.

Do I feel pressure? Not really, but do I feel guilt? Sometimes, yes. Sometimes I think about having children because I know it will make people happy, and of course, I want that. But I shouldn’t have a child to make someone else happy. Obviously, this is all hypothetical, you don’t know what will happen until it happens, but whichever way you slice it, having children is a big deal. I think I’d be a good mother, but I’m also aware that I’m deeply selfish. I like making my own decisions, like to do things when I want to do them. I’m getting older and have only now become comfortable with who I am as a person, and I’m acutely aware of my failings. I consider whether I would be enough, or whether I’d resent what having a child would mean for my life.

Maybe that’s just it, I know what I’ve already decided and even though I know it’s what I want, I can’t help but mourn a little. Just because I don’t want children, doesn’t mean it’s an easy decision. But, as time goes by my mind doesn’t change, and I’m not really sure if it ever will. So sleep tight, little one. Whatever you are, whatever you could be. I don’t think I can ever be what you need. And I’m sorry.