Disclaimer: This is just a sort of ‘stream of consciousness’ type post of some random thoughts that have been percolating in my brain for some time…
Solo Non-Breeder: No Kids, Thank You
Are you a solo non-breeder? What? You haven’t heard that turn of phrase before? I actually thought I heard it somewhere, but every time I “Google it”, nothing close even comes up. Maybe I have, in fact, made it up? I am not too sure. Frankly it doesn’t really matter anyway. It simply means a woman who is single and never had kids, usually, but not always, by choice.
Some Women are Simply Made Differently
We all know women who categorically knew they wanted to grow up and have kids. Being a mom was never questioned, even for a moment, for these women. They planned to have a baby, or two or ten, and they set about achieving that goal.
Some ladies didn’t even wait to grow up to have kids, and they started popping them out as teenagers, and kept on going…
There is another camp of women who grow up knowing they wanted to have kids, but life had a different plan. Maybe the babies were lost due miscarriage or death early on.
Perhaps some of the women really wanted them but were unable conceive to due to health reasons or something.
There also maybe a simple lack of opportunity for some of these wanna-be moms. In other words, maybe they just never met the “right guy”, and didn’t want to do it alone.
Some women have had kids and gave them up for adoption, were surrogates, or let family members bring them up.
I have personally know women in all the above camps.
Also I’ve had good friends who stated, for years, that they never wanted to have kids, only to go on to do so (with rather mixed results).
Though I am sure there are many other examples, let’s fast forward to my last group, those women that I call the non-breeders.
These women too can come into a few different categories too – essentially ones who like kids, and ones who don’t.
No Kids, Thank You
You know what? I have a confession to start off with: I have never wanted to pro-create.
I am not sure why not, but I simply haven’t.
Sure, I like kids. (Well, usually, some are frankly brats, not yours I am sure, but some are…)
Kids actually tend to like me and even gravitate toward me.
Somewhat strangely, for many years, I’ve considered fostering kids.
I have even dated several men with kids (and loved it).
I’d classify myself as a woman who’s actually quite maternal, ironically. The crux of it though, and I am not sure why, but I simply never wanted to physically be pregnant and have kids.
Maybe my biological clock was broken from birth? Or maybe it’s due to other reasons…
My Mom’s Life Lessons
If kids are your thing, then that’s great, but it’s not the case for everyone and nor should it be.
Take my own mother, for instance. (I keep wanting to add the word “Please” at the end of that!)
My mom was one of five kids (three other girls and one boy) – all of whom were pretty screwed up due to their own dysfunctional and abusive upbringing.
In spite of it all, mommy dearest went on to have two kids of her own, myself and my big sister, Wendy.
Being a mom was never something my own mother actually wanted to be. As soon as I became a teenager, she really just wanted to be my “friend” (and didn’t even want to be called “mom”!)
From early on, it was clear that she only had kids out of some sort of sense of obligation.
It was like it was expected of her, and she met her duties by having two kids. End of story.
There wasn’t any real nastiness towards me, apart from the odd spanking with a wooden spoon as a child (That was the done thing in those days…)
It was more of a general ambivalence toward myself and sister.
So, I suspect some of that attitude toward us has inadvertently rubbed off on me. (My sister, it should be pointed out here, got married young and went on to have two lovely daughters who are grown up themselves now…and they will likely go on to have kids too…)
For me though, I guess if truth be told, I didn’t pick up the societal feeling that children were a joy or blessing, and so to this day, I suspect that is why never really wanted to have them.
Society’s View of Women
Though I think it may be slightly changing, one who chooses to not have kids seems to be viewed as almost peculiar – especially, in my sexperience amongst other women have chosen to.
“Are you ever going to have kids?” I’d be asked whenever I was in relationships.
Or sometimes it was even more accusatorially, “you don’t have kids??” – as if to say “what’s wrong with you that you don’t want to be pregnant and have a kids?”
We Need Other Measuring Sticks
Why is that so often the measuring stick with which to gauge women on?
Not the variety of other choices in terms of education, careers, travel experiences, or other contributions to the world.
Hopefully that wider viewpoint is changing. I believe it’s starting to.
Frankly, at my age, I’m just glad I’m passed the point where it would even be appropriate to ask if I am going to have kids!
It’s definitely time that people start looking at us non-breeders as the perfectly normal women that we are, and to remember it takes all kinds. There is no one right path – only what’s right for us.
Some of us can and do live full lives without choosing motherhood! We are not simply “selfish” because we choose not to.
We all have a purpose here, and for many women that goes beyond the need or desire to pro-create.
Some of us are not here to be wives either, but I’ll save that topic for next time…
Share Your Experience
In the mean time, please feel free to share your thoughts on the right to choose not to have kids. Or how it feels to be a women without kids for whatever reason. How have you been treated? Have you ever felt odd for being a non-breeder? I’d love to hear from you.