I have decided not to have children. It seems as if there was always something tapping me on the shoulder that said, “Don’t do it!” It always terrified me to think of merging myself with another person (the father of the child) and having an obligation with this person who could and would inevitably change. That just seemed like a risk too great to take. In this article by Brainpickings, Marla Popova expresses her interest in famous women who have made the decision not to have children.
I like this quote: “Years ago, I remember watching The Tonight Show with Joan Rivers, who was the guest host. Gloria Steinem, who was about forty years old at the time, was her guest. In her usual obnoxious way, Joan said to Gloria, “You know, my daughter has been the biggest joy in my life and I can’t imagine not having her. Don’t you regret not having children?” Gloria Steinem didn’t miss a beat. She answered, “Well, Joan, if every woman had a child there wouldn’t be anybody here to tell you what it’s like not to have one.” Joan looked at her like that thought had honestly never crossed her mind. It was a true gift for me to be able to pull together writers who are here to tell you “what it’s like not to have one.”
In a gentle way, this quote resonates with me. Perhaps it is not that I am anti-parenting, or that I desire a great and angry opposition to having children as a way to be self righteous or some other heightened emotion. Rather, it is I want to be a woman who knows what it is like NOT to have kids. I like that.