How to Decide When to Write That Article About Deciding to Not Have Children
You’re a powerful woman.
You have a great job, with great friends, and a lover who isn’t that demanding of your time. But, lately, something has been bothering you about your life: you’re not sure when is the right time to write that article about deciding to not have children.
It’s something you know you want to do someday. It seems like women all over the place have been writing their articles, and you’ve been feeling the pressure now that your friend from Time magazine wrote about not wanting to have children. But when is the right time for you?
It’s a question I hear important women like you asking all the time. And, the truth is, it’s a very personal choice about when to write an article about not having children. So, how do you know the time is right?
What I usually suggest is that you ask yourself a few questions. Here are some examples:
1. Are you ready to make sure people know how satisfied you are with your life?
Just publicly informing people of your decision to not have children is not enough. It should be clear that your life lacks for nothing, and little happiness could be gained from children (considering the trade-offs). Are you certain that your accomplishments are impressive, enough that people with children would say, “Gosh, that’s just as impressive as my own children”? You should at least have either really interesting hobbies or some important achievements before writing that up in your article.
2. Do you hate when people have feelings at you?
You’ve heard your friends say it. “I didn’t know what love was until I had children,” they’ve said. Little did your friends know how offensive it would be to you that they had these feelings. Regardless of whether or not that was true for them or a common experience of many people, how dare those facts imply that you don’t know what love is! Just because some experiences might bring greater awareness of something as a direct result of that experience, it’s offensive to suggest you can’t have that same awareness without going through the experience that directly creates it. People need to know how offended you are by that. But you don’t want to tell them directly, so you should probably write that article.
3. Do you want friends to know you’ll be the “really cool auntie”?
There’s no reason you can’t support your parenting friends by using your abundantly disposable income to buy expensive gifts for their babies. You’ll be the one to get the kids inappropriately loud gifts, because that’s hilarious fun for everyone. And your friends should know that when their kiddo turns 16, you’ll slip them a vodka martini, because being a source of alcohol for children is probably something your friends could appreciate, and there’s nothing a 16-year-old wants more than to hang out and become drinking buddies with his cool auntie who is, by that time, pushing 50. (And you know what he’ll probably want to drink? A vodka martini. You nailed it.)
And, if you really think about it, there’s not much else to do between baby age (whatever that is) and age 16. If you can show up for both of those times, you can be an important part of that child’s life. None of these goals are weird, and it’s important that you share this perspective, so you might as well stick that in your article.
4. Do you just want to be happy?
No, you’re not implying that people with kids aren’t as focused on being happy as you are. This is just your experience, that truest happiness for you is focusing entirely on yourself. Look, kids aren’t for everyone. Some people choose to have kids, and some people, like you, want to fill your life with as much richness and abundance as life can afford. You like having endless time to explore and travel. You like being able to by nice things, which you can easily afford not only because you only need to support yourself, but because many of those items are made cheaper by an abundance of human capital in countries where low education rates and lack of access to resources produce high birth rates and thus a larger labor force with lower wages. Or whatever.
Just because other people decide to have children is not your responsibility, so even government taxation of everyone in order to create any sort of financial relief for mothers is unfair, frankly. Let other people have their kids if they want to, and meanwhile, you’ll be out shopping at H&M in the morning, sipping your morning caramel macchiato, marvelling at the great deals on summer dresses. How do they get those prices so cheap!
Yes, life is good for you, and all you ask is that people respect that, just like you respect their choices. You value your happiness, you value your freedom, and all you want is to get 16-year-olds inebriated in secret without people judging you.
So, if any of that is true for you, then you should probably write that article. Otherwise, people might misunderstand you. And being judged by parents is the hardest life challenge any woman can face.