Why I am Child Free By Choice

Uncle Curt and Aunt Ann with our niece and nephews during a visit a few years ago.

I think being a mom is the most important job in the world. The second most important job is being president of the United States.
I don’t want to be either.
This post is about why I, along with my husband, have chosen to be Child Free By Choice. It is not a reflection on or judgment  on anyone else. This is about ME.
I don’t ever remember having an overwhelming desire to have a baby.
At some point in my 20s I decided if I was still single at 30 I would adopt a baby.
By the time I was 30 I was married. When Curt and I got married I figured we would have kids. Because that is what you do, right? Get married … have kids …
A little more than a year after we were married we moved to the Bay Area. We were no longer in newspapers, which meant we were no longer working nights, weekends, holidays. We had the same days off and could actually do stuff together. What an amazing concept.
About six months after moving to Berkeley my temporary gig became a full-time job and money was starting to be less of a struggle. We got into a fun and comfortable lifestyle.
In the summer of 2006 Curt and I went to the World Cup in Germany. That was my first trip to Europe. We visited parts of Germany, Amsterdam and Paris. I slept terribly but got the travel bug, which is still in me, as is, unfortunately the bad sleep.
I have encountered some interesting responses to my choice. I have been told that I am selfish. I find this hilarious. So it is less selfish for me to have a baby when I really don’t want one? Hmmm. This is not meant as a slight at all–but aren’t most of the reasons people have babies for selfish reasons? (Which I have absolutely no issues with.)
I have had people tell me: You will change your mind. I am almost 38 and so far no baby urges. I know I could change my mind and I don’t need anyone else telling me that. And if I do change my mind and it is “too late” because of my age I can always adopt. There are so many unwanted children needing someone to love them.
I have been told I will regret my choice. I could. But that will be something I have to deal with. And really, I can always adopt.
Another response I heard in regards to my choice is … But you love kids. … You are so good with kids. Yes, I am a kid magnet. I’m not sure what it is, but kids love me. But just because I love being around kids or am pretty awesome with them doesn’t mean I want any of my own.
I love being an Auntie. I really do. I feel like I was born to be an aunt–to my niece and two nephews and to the many kids I am an an Auntie By Choice (ABC) to.
My favorite response: Who is gonna take care of you when you get old and sick? Really? (That doesn’t sound selfish, does it?) And we all know that there is no guarantee your kids are going to take care of you when you are old. Or all of those kids I am such an awesome Auntie to will take care of me, right? 🙂
I have an amazing doctor who is supportive of my decision and doesn’t pressure me to change my mind. But she has reminded me that because of my age if I want a baby I need to do it now. My awesome doctor and I talk about travel and the amazing places we get to see and visit.
Curt and I love to travel. Before I knew Curt he worked for a company that had him traveling all over the US and Europe. He has already seen so many places. But there are some he wants to see again (with me) and other places he hasn’t see yet as well. I want to see the world.
We are going to Mexico City next month, which I am excited to see and get to know the area where my great-grandmother grew up.
Last month I was able to drop pretty much everything and head to Tucson for my 90-year-old grandpa’s unexpected surgery and recovery. My main issue was work, which was doable with a supportive team and technology.
I lost my furbaby at the beginning of December. I am still heartbroken by the loss of Joey, one of the most beautiful and coolest cats anyone could meet. We were together for 17 12 years.
At some point Curt and I would like to get a dog. We see dogs in the neighborhood and our hearts melt. And the first thought for me is, I want. I think babies are cute, but I don’t have quite the same reaction.
Because Curt and I don’t have to buy diapers or save for college we are able to give a lot to charities. As human beings who are fortunate enough to be fairly comfortable it is our duty to help others.
Some of the charities we support are food banks, Planned Parenthood, alma maters, Pajama Program, public TV, Heifer International, shelters, Habitat for Humanity, Humane Society, a local organization called Brighter Beginnings, which helps children, moms, dads and families.
If we had kids we wouldn’t be able to help others as much. We just wouldn’t be able to afford it.
My mom would be the most amazing grandma. I think my dad would be a pretty great grandpa, too. And Curt’s parents are already awesome grandparents to our niece and two nephews. But I can’t have a baby just because my mom would be Super Grandma.
My heart aches for those who want a baby and can’t have one. It’s just not fair.
Plain and simple: I don’t want kids. I like my life just the way it is.
Curt and I were a family of three when we had our furbaby, Joey. And now we are a family of two. And we are happy.
I wish and hope everyone who made the choice to have kids gave it as much thought as I do to not have them. My choice comes up daily in my life. And I don’t take it lightly at all.