Saturday, 16 July 2016

I don't want children and that's okay

Since I was about 10 years old (or maybe even younger) I've known that I don't want children, I didn't know it then but this would be the beginning of years of being told I was making the wrong decision or I would change my mind. This wasn't just a decision I'd woken up and made one morning, even though I was only 10 I had spent a lot of time thinking things through.

I have a genetic condition, Marfan Syndrome, and my Mum who also has it has always been very open with me about what it means for me, especially when it comes to having children. If I was with someone who doesn't have a condition the odds of passing it on would be 50/50, however I am now with someone with also has the condition. This means that there is a 50% chance we would pass it on, a 25% chance we wouldn't and a 25% chance that the baby would not even survive, not the best odds! Even with just the 50/50 odds when I was younger this was enough for me to make the decision to not have children. Marfan is not a nice condition and I don't want to pass it on, also after all my own health problems I'm not sure pregnancy would even be a wise thing to put myself through. I just want to say as well if you have a genetic condition and choose to have children then I am not putting you down or judging you, this is totally a personal thing and I would never hate my Mum for choosing to have children and therefore passing the condition on to me. I see people time and time again in online support groups arguing over this topic but when it comes down to it it's the individual's decision and only really their doctor can advise them or tell them what would be a good or bad decision.



I hope people would agree that this is a decision that I haven't made lightly and I think it is quite a wise decision, well like I said I can hope. Unfortunately thanks to societies idea that all women must have children because that's what we are on this earth to do I've come across some pretty ignorant people, including close family. I've been told countless times that I will change my mind because it is such a foreign idea to people that a woman would not want children, plus add in my age when I made this decision, people thought it was a phase. I'd like to say this changed when I turned 18 but sadly not, people still tell me I'll change my mind and I've even had people tell me I'll live my life alone if I don't want children as no man would ever want me, delightful! Even when people do seem to understand as my decision is mainly medical they try and offer me 'solutions' such as having IVF gene selection where specialists check the genes of an embryo before implantation so someone can pick an embryo that does not have the genetic condition. This is never something I've personally felt comfortable with though and I wonder why people cannot just listen to me and accept my decision.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that it is totally okay to decide that you don't want children, even if like me you make that decision quite young. Also though you're allowed to change your mind because funnily enough your body is your body and therefore it is only your decision about what you do with it. For me the decision is mainly a medical one but also I've never felt maternal in anyway which again is a difficult thing for some people (mainly men in my personal experience) to get their head round. I am no less of a woman just because I choose not to have children and hopefully one day more people will understand this.

I'm not sure what the aim of this post is really, I just wanted to talk a little about this as it's something that has come up in the media recently. I've wanted to talk about it for a while and I guess just let people know that whatever decision they make about having children is okay!
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18 comments

  1. Would you ever consider adoption or fostering ? Even if you didnt have a genetic condition you still shouldn't feel judged for not wanting children, its your choice. There are plenty of people out there that have multiple children which more than makes up for those who dont want, there are too many people on this earth(which creates environmental strains) now because we are surviving better than we ever did before. I sort of think people should only have one or two children, I mean its not like we dont have access to contraception in this country.

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    1. If I ever changed my mind then yes I would adopt but as I said above, as well as it being a medical decision I also have never felt maternal and don't really see my life ever having kids involved other than through other family members x

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  2. I have made a similar decision Shona, I've never wanted children and after all the things I've been through with my own health I wouldn't want to risk passing my problems on to another generation. Ehlers-Danlos is not my only rare condition, and not my only genetic one by the looks of it either.

    Kath | http://bendybeauty.com

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    1. Nice to find someone in a similar situation who understands! x

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  3. Thankyou for sharing this post :) Although I personally do want to have children some day, I have many friends who don't ever want childrean and I've seen first hand all of the comments they get from people because of their decision. Posts like yours will be really helpful for people who don't want children to read and know that they are not alone. It's also interesting for someone like me who does want children to read someone else's perspective on it. Well said, it's your body and no one has the right to tell you what you should and shouldn't do. It's ridiculous that society just expects all women to want to have children! x

    www.raiin-monkey.blogspot.com

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    1. I really do hope it will help people who feel the same as me feel less alone! It is ridiculous and hopefully one day things will change but I can't see that happening anytime soon x

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  4. I loved this post! I'm not sure I want kids but I know for fact I don't want them any time soon which I get a lot of criticism for, which is so stupid. In the end it's up to us if we want kids or not, nobody else! Great post lovely!

    Ella xx
    www.inellaselement.co.uk

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    1. Absolutely, why do people feel like they need to tell people how they should live their lives?! Thanks Ella x

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  5. Having children is such a personal decision. I have EDS and I have a kid. Lots of people with EDS don't have kids. Kids change your life AND your health- and not everyone wants that! Thanks for sharing your story and your decision. I love your honesty.

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    1. It is really is a very personal decision that is none of people's business, no one should have to justify themselves or explain their reasons and hopefully one day people will stop expecting others to! Thank you, glad you liked it! x

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  6. It's only in the last few years I decided I did want children so I understand the pressure people can put on you. End of the day you have to do what's right for you they aren't for everyone and it's a massive decision to make!
    People will eventually get bored of asking I promise!

    Becca
    Xxx
    Www.queenbeebecca.com

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    1. Exactly, all about what is right for you! I hope so! x

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  7. Wow! There is a few of us around then! I feel like every week my desire to have biological children decreases and a lot of that has to do with the various illness I have. I look forward to fostering one day, because I love children and have a maternal side, but I think being able to raise a child, already born, who needs love and care is a beautiful thing :) So, THANK YOU for sharing, I love and appreciate your honest post <3

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    1. Seems to be more than us than I thought! I know that if I ever did change my mind about wanting children then I would love to foster or adopt, as you say it is a beautiful thing! I'm glad you liked it! x

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  8. I can relate to this so much. Due to some health compilations, my chances of being able to conceive are less than average. However, I also have never been a maternal person, I don't particularly like children or find them cute or charming or even enjoyable or rewarding to be around.

    As a result of this, people (particularly mothers) think I'm some type of heartless monster. I'm not, it's just not for me. Parenting isn't for everyone but society has taught women in particular that if they can't or choose not to have children, they are in some way incomplete.

    Thank you for such an important and relatable post <3

    http://www.once-upon-a-sophie.blogspot.com/

    xx

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    1. Sorry to hear that Sophie. I can cope with children in very small doses, my sister is pregnant and being an aunt is more than enough for me! Yeah I find if I tell people that I just don't find being around children enjoyable they look at me as though I'm not human or something, so stupid!

      I'm glad you were able to relate and liked it! x

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  9. I admire your bravery to write this! Its so well written as well, I enjoyed reading it. I love personal posts when people like to voice their opinions online and looks like you've had a good reaction. I can't fault you at all for your decision either :)

    Beth | Polishedcouture.wordpress.com xx

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    1. Thank you so much! Glad you liked it :) x

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