If you had asked me one year ago when I was going to have my first child, I would've told you within the next two years (three years at the latest). Now, I don't want kids of my own anymore.
It's always seemed obvious that I would have children. I've talked about it myself since I was a child. I'm the oldest of five girls (yikes, I know) so I've had my fair share of helping with babies and small children. I have baby sat and was even a Sunday school teacher for the nursery and toddlers for many years. I'm naturally good with kids. I love them and they love me. I think people who want to have children and go on to have them are amazing people with beautiful souls! I have absolutely nothing against children or people who have children. Birthing them just isn't for me.
Culturally, it's common to have kids by my age. Being a 22 year old Latina, it wouldn't be uncommon for me to have one or two children by now. By the age of 21, my dad already had my sister and me. I am the oldest person in my family to not have had children, but I'm perfectly happy with that. I work full-time, am a full-time grad school student, and love to travel! I am in love with the life I am living, and I couldn't possibly want to exchange that for financial struggles, raising another human, and making sacrifices of experiences.
Children are enormous blessings to those who want them, but it wasn't until this past year that I had the personal realization that they are not essential to make life complete and full of meaning. In learning to love myself, I am learning that I've barely scratched the surface of my potential and experiences. I am enough. I am more than enough to keep my life fun and exciting. To explore the world however I want is fulfilling me. To love the life I am living where I am at has been more than enough.
My struggle with PCOS has also shaped this decision for me. The struggles with my health over the last year due to this condition have shown me how difficult it would be to get to a point of fertility. I'd put my body through an entire shift in hormones and physical changes, just to start the battle all over again. It's been a year of fighting my PCOS and I still haven't been able to manage it consistently. From five months without a menstrual cycle to having one every week (including all the PMS symptoms), weight struggles, acne trouble, unpredictable depression and anxiety, and stubborn hair growth, I've experienced all the signature PCOS symptoms.
The thought of putting my body through a pregnancy, which would require me to stop the medications that are helping me and throw off my entire body, doesn't sound worth the struggle to me. To then start the process over again with the PCOS after childbirth? No thank you.
Another factor that has shifted my desire to birth my own children has been my time working in a Family Medicine clinic. Working in a doctor's office where I see how sick children can be has un-romanticized the idea of having babies for me. I don't mean boogers or a cold. I'm talking legit illnesses. For some reason, this has lessened my want to have kids. Why would I want to create something that could struggle so much at such a young age? It's a strange way of thinking about it, but it has changed things for me.
Now I know people's typical "well you will change your mind." Maybe, maybe not. One thing I know for sure is adoption has always been strong on my mind and heart. More specifically, I would like to foster-to-adopt older children. There are children who need a home where they can be loved. This is something I would love to provide to children later on in my life without the urgency of having my own by a certain biological age.
This is a non-negotiable for me in the future, so it's something I tell potential partners. My ex-boyfriend was very against the idea because "they will come with problems." Ummm, that's wrong on so many levels. But that was a clear indicator that he wasn't of the same capacity and desire for that kind of future.
No matter what happens in the future, I know everything will play out the way is it meant to if I stay true to myself. Admitting not wanting to birth children of my own, despite my love of children, has been a difficult self-realization to accept. However, it is part of growth to accept new and uncomfortable things, even if they are about yourself.
About the Creator
As a 23 year old grad school student, I spend a lot of time writing academically. Now I’m taking time to write creatively and enjoy creating stories about whatever makes me happy.
Follow my journey on instagram too: @nani.cruz.writes
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