Childfree by Choice & FOMO

Growing up I always imagined having kids, a few of them perhaps three by 30 (that was my child mind’s plan). I played with Barbies and dolls constantly. It was my favorite thing to do by myself. And I had a lot of free time spent in my room. Our journey started off rough financially-it never seemed like the right time. We decided to throw caution to the wind for a month or two and just “try” unprotected….. but nothing happened. Then we just agreed we should wait until we were A) more ready and B) more stable and have a good foundation for life. 

Most of my friends growing up had children young and started families before the right time. It can be argued there is no right time which I understand but also I’m sure most people want to have a suitable place, have the means and resources and also be financially sound. I just never felt like I was responsible and ready for the weight of having a child of our own (even married and being supported). As I started seeing a majority of said friends struggle and be on assistance-the more I just knew I didn’t want to be in that situation, if I knew I could do better and give more. Then, we started seeing unruly kids and (actual) lazy parents who didn’t care and wouldn’t take responsibility for their kids out in public. It worried, scared me and pissed me off. Sean and I both started to think again about this whole “kids” thing- we felt pressured by family and guilty for not being more ready for it. On other occasions, kids I came in contact with were not disciplined, had too much freedom or were scared of their own shadow, talked back, screamed and had behavioral issues. Now I realize, with small children this may happen but it was another strike on my board for not wanting to participate in parenthood. Don’t get me wrong- I love kids but I don’t want them for myself. I’m good with being at an arm’s length and giving them back when it’s time. 

Years passed and we became a bit more stable, the cost of everything grew and I evaluated what we’d be spending on a baby. It was an ungodly amount of money for my region and I was very shocked and turned off by the thought. Okay, don’t get me wrong I wanted to be a mom, to do better than my own childhood (which wasn’t all terrible-but not all good either). I love the idea of being pregnant and growing a human inside my body- truly what a miracle; when so many women can’t. To feel the baby kick and move and watch your belly grow and change are all things I want to experience. I would love to see what it’s like to be a parent, to know a small human being relies on you and loves you no matter what, and to watch Sean be a father too. But I just don’t think going into parenthood with 50% excitement is enough.

However here’s where it gets tricky- this new feeling started happening after all these baby announcements of my friends. I got really sad and a little bit jealous. Ooh, it was an icky feeling. I WAS SOBBING IN MY BATHROOM-for no reason, or so I thought. Now of course, I’m over the moon for my friends, few who have been trying and waiting and praying for a baby. But nevertheless, inside, my motherly instincts wished it was me announcing to them. Congratulations were always in order and my excitement is true-I wanted to be fully present but; these feelings ate me up inside. However my decision did not change. I’m writing this to be honest, not for sympathy but maybe to ask anyone if they’ve felt this way. After speaking to my husband and a few friends (in all different stages of life, with and without kids) I’ve realized I’m not alone so I shouldn’t be ashamed or feel guilty for these emotions. It just is what I’m experiencing. I know it’s okay to feel this way and that it is alright IF I change my mind.

I’m thankful that I have freedom to choose and I can be an “auntie” to many kids I know in my life. I am also an auntie in real life to many nieces and nephews, one of which being my brother in laws kiddo-who is a gem, an adorable, smart little boy who we miss very much (lives in AK). My in-laws and family now understand better after years of explaining and insisting, we aren’t the people for kids, that now they just welcome their fur-grandkids. Which I think is almost just as good. I’m lucky I’m blessed with so many people who love and support us no matter what. I’m validated in my feelings with my friends which feels good and honorable. 

Despite our solid decision, I wouldn’t say I am not upset about not being a part of motherhood. (And I know I could change my mind if we wanted; but we don’t).There are so many parts that I would love to participate in and few pieces of parenthood I would severely dread. I am hopeful that I can be involved in other kids’ lives, spoil them and make other plans in our familys’ future. We would love to travel post COVID and do more home projects including our turf going in this month. I am glad that I have the option to decide what we want for our family and I know our future is bright! 

I want to thank you for allowing me to be vulnerable and open on this touchy topic. Leave any comments below! Talk soon.

2 Responses

  1. I feel this in my soul. When I was younger, I always just assumed I would have kids, because that’s what you do.

    When I was with my first husband, we discussed children, but like you, financially we were not in a good place. Right after we split up, he got a girl pregnant, which really hurt me because it felt like our marriage had meant nothing to him and he just went and acting like he’d learned nothing.

    I met and married Izzy. And we very briefly discussed kids. But as the idea became more realistic, I realized how much I didn’t want our life to change. It’s hard enough with dogs. I like being able to plan vacations for just us, buy whatever I want (within reason), sleep till whenever I want (when I don’t have to work). The idea of having to revolve my life arounds kids just sounded less and less fun. And I’m terrified of being pregnant.

    So we made the choice to not have kids. And sometimes I feel a little fomo. My nephew is so amazing and my brother is such a good dad, and I know Izzy would be too. Sometimes I get sad that it’ll only ever just be the two of us and our dogs. But mostly, I’m totally okay with our decision. And if I ever do change my mind, adoption is on the table.

    Thanks for this post Nora. It’s important, and helps us get to know you better.

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