I don’t want children. I cannot think of a time in my 26 years when I’ve ever longed to be a mother. I have zero maternal desires and I’m absolutely OK with that.
However, some people aren’t. Despite the fact that more women than ever are choosing to remain child-free, we are still sold the standard progression of marriage, kids, happy ending. Should a woman stray from that, she is often met with disapproval and suspicion. From abortion to breastfeeding, it’s open season where women’s reproductive choices are concerned and being questioned on those very personal choices gets really boring really quickly.
If you know a woman who doesn’t want kids, here’s what not to say to her:
1. You’ll change your mind.
OK, cool, just let me know when you change your mind about those kids of yours and put them up for adoption...
2. I bet your partner wants kids, though.
Nope. Just as you might have discussed having kids with your partner, I have discussed not having them with mine.
3. I just wouldn’t feel like a woman if I didn’t have kids.
That’s fine for you. But I don’t define my womanhood by whether or not I become a mother.
4. Who’s going to look after you when you’re old?!
Firstly, if you’re having children purely so they can look after you when beige slacks become a viable style choice, then perhaps you should have a rethink. Secondly, I plan to be terribly, terribly wealthy when I’m an old woman, and I’ll spend the £230k I save PER CHILD on hiring a non-threateningly attractive young man to attend to my every need.
5. We’re put on this earth to reproduce.
I am a sentient being with more to offer the world than my uterus. Plus, we’re eating up the earth’s resources at an unsustainable rate and I’m cool with not adding to that.
6. Having children is so fulfilling.
So is travelling outside of the school holidays, having a disposable income, sleep and not having to watch kids' TV.
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Sophie Benson is a freelance writer and stylist with a focus on sustainable fashion, feminism and all things bright and colourful. After starting her career as editor and fashion director of a print publication, she now specialises in working with bold, innovative designers and writes for a variety of brands and publications. She also lectures at a handful of universities, crochets, and hangs out with her cat, Vashka. You can find her work at sophiebenson.com and sophiebenson.blogspot.com. Follow her on Twitter @SophieBenson_ and Instagram @SophieBenson