You love kids. You have some of your own, or you can’t wait to have them. Congratulations! What an awesome decision for you. But you’re also confused by some female friends of yours who have decided children are not in their future. Why not? Why wouldn’t they want the joy that you have or so desperately crave? You need to know.
But here’s the thing: Child-free women constantly have to defend their decision to friends, family, and even strangers. They’re constantly bombarded with unnecessary questions about their reproductive choices, and frankly, it gets a little old. If you love your child-free friends and want to keep them in your life, here are seven things you should never say to them about their decision not to have children — even if you desperately want to say it to them.
“But you’d make a great mom!”
There are many thing women would be good at. They’d make great city planners, lion tamers, airline pilots, plumbers, dental hygenists… The list goes on. But they’re not required to do any of those things, because they don’t want to. Their reasons beyond “nope, don’t wanna” aren’t really any of your business.
“It’s different when they’re your own.”
Maybe, sure. But can you guarantee that? What if a woman has children based on that belief, only to discover that it actually isn’t different and she still doesn’t like them? What if she raises the kid and the kid still turns out to be an asshole? She can’t exactly give the baby back. It’s dangerous to gamble a child’s well being on the assumption that the mother will automatically love it. Many child-free women would rather risk regretting not having kids far in the future than risk having a child now that she’ll end up resenting.
“Who will look after you when you’re older?”
Children aren’t required to look after their parents, and there are plenty of them who don’t. And according to MoneySense.ca, the cost of raising one child to the age of 18 is nearly a quarter of a million dollars. If they skip the baby and keep the money, they can probably afford a really bitchin’ nursing home, where they can party with all the other child-free old people.
“It’s unnatural not to have children.”
This ignores the millions of women in the world with fertility issues, or women who don’t want to pass down mental illnesses or other potentially negative genetic traits. Furthermore, just because someone possesses a working uterus does not mean they’re required to use it. The oven in your house is capable of making a soufflé, but do you necessarily want to go through all that effort? If so, great! If not, nobody’s going to judge you for it. If only everyone had the same attitude towards our uteruses.
“You’ll change your mind.”
Not only is this incredibly insulting and condescending, it also doesn’t make any sense. If the woman is old enough to decide that she wants children, then why isn’t she old enough to decide that she doesn’t? Grown women are more than capable of making their own decisions, regardless of whether you agree with them. You wouldn’t like someone telling you (over and over again) that you’ll change your mind about having kids, would you?
You weren’t exactly unselfish when you decided you wanted kids, were you? After all, you wanted kids, so you had them. You did what you wanted, which makes it selfish. Does that make it any less valid of a decision? Of course not. The same goes for women who don’t want kids.
“I don’t understand your decision.”
Good news! You don’t have to understand their decision! You just need to respect it. And if you can’t, maybe you should think long and hard about why you’re so invested in someone else’s uterus. Hmm?