Okay, so we had a discussion a few weeks ago about my uterus. And the fact that I don’t ever want it to contain a baby. And some of you were very forthright and honest, saying that I “had no business” having children.
Well, I’m back. And this time, I’m going to tell you the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. You’ll probably still see me as an unfit mother, but maybe you’ll understand why having children is a big, scary decision that I, personally, hope to never make.
Kids are beautiful. They are precious, special, honest creatures that make me smile. When I volunteered with them, teaching a class on Wednesday nights all throughout middle and high school, I remember one particular night (I was in high school at the time) going to the class with some pretty terrible menstrual cramps. The kind where you just want to not move or be touched or function.
When I got to the class, one of the kids—he happened to be a twin—ran up to me, and before I could understand what was happening, he was hugging my stomach so hard I couldn’t even move my lungs to take in air. Of course, it hurt. It hurt more than I can remember many things hurting. But the good it did my soul far outweighed the discomfort of the menstrual cramp/hug combo. I look back on that hug fondly.
So yeah, kids and I adore one another. If it’s a choice between the grown-ups and their wine or the kids’ table, I’m already grabbing my crayons.
But the thing that makes me nervous about being a parent—the thing that really cinched my decision not to have kids? People can do terrible things to people. And what’s worse? Sometimes people can do terrible things to children.
If you’re a parent, this might actually be a good place to stop reading. These aren’t fun thoughts, and if you have a child already, I don’t want to burden you with my paranoid fears.
If I were a parent, and something bad happened to my child, there are a number of fears that I have.
1. How would I “fix” the situation? Like, in terms of the child. How would I make their world safe and okay again, and make it so that they could continue?
2. How would I continue myself? I consider myself very strong. If something permanently removed the child from my life, such as death, I don’t know how I would continue. It might break me.
3. How would I deal with the perpetrator? I consider myself a pacifist. I want to be a pacifist. But if someone did harm to my child… I don’t think I could react in a reasonable, controlled manner.
There are so many ugly, horrible things in this world. And I don’t expect those ugly, horrible things to stay away from any section of the human population. No one and nowhere is entirely safe.
I don’t like thinking these thoughts. They bother me, they make me upset. The fact that I can’t trust other humans not to do perverse, messed-up, violent things to an innocent, bright piece of life… That’s a terrible thing. But I guess I’m not trusting enough to have a child.
In the future, I do hope to foster. I hope to build relationships with kids and teens who really need someone who will root for them, be their fan, help them with homework and relationship problems, and just be a listening ear. I hope that fostering will fill that motherhood instinct in me, and I hope it will help the world. If fostering leads to adoption, awesome.
This is me coming clean about why I don’t want to reproduce. If this has upset any parents out there, I apologize.
Do you want to have kids one day? Why or why not? Let’s continue the conversation in the comments.
Written by Becky Havens.