People love to ask. They’re primed to tell me why my choice is wrong instead of simply respecting my decision.

I’ve been told I’d change my mind, or regret it for decades, and was criticized for making the choice that best suited me. I’ve even have doctors attempt to gaslight me with their own personal opinions as to why I should have children whenever I asked about alternatives to prevent getting pregnant in the first place. Not a single one ever gave me a valid medical point invalidating my reasons. Just their own personal ones citing that marriage and childbirth were the only things that women were born to do. I even had one who screamed at me, asking, “but what if one day you find him and he wants to have babies?” Then obviously we wouldn’t be well-suited for each other in the first place. But she was very young, an up-and-coming successful gynecologist, married with a huge rock on her finger, and two gorgeous young boys. She was obviously not raised with the same experiences or mindset and would never have understood where I was coming from. Instead she bought into the fable that all women want to be mothers and it is all we are good for. And while I know it’s an extremely difficult, at times exhausting, rewarding life choice, and I applaud mothers for the things they sacrifice and do for their children, it’s not for everyone. Also you don’t often hear about people giving guys the same level of judgment when they say they don’t want to be fathers. You don’t hear people telling them how unnatural that is or they’ll change their minds in a chagrined patronizing fashion.

I’ve always known, as far back as elementary school anyway, I’d never have my own kids. As for the “ when you get old” statement, just because you have kids does not automatically mean there is built-in elder care. It is rude and patronizing to tell someone they’ll change their mind. You don’t know what circumstances have brought them to the decisions they’ve made. There could be serious medical issues preventing them from having children for all you know. And you’re not coming to my house to clean, cook, pay bills, stay up all night with the kid, fight the stigma of the mommy wage gap, fight the criticisms of how you are raising said child, judgement about me working, not working, nor are you the one who’s going to be responsible for carrying and birthing this child, or be paying for the small fortune it will cost to both birth this child and raise it.

Respectfully, the choice to not have kids is a “choice.” It isn’t better or worse, just different. You want kids, blessed be. Have as many as you want. But it would be nice if people respected and responded in kind instead of with ridicule.

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