Do I need to have children?

Do I need to have children?

At age 26 I’m at my fertile peak right? Well, that’s what I read somewhere so if it’s true, now is as good as it’s gonna get for me and my ‘eggies’. And whether or not it’s true that’s stuck with me. I feel as if I’m surrounded by people who are at or approaching ages where they are starting to consider (or seriously worry about) their fertility. This might be due to lack of a partner or a partner who isn’t ready and seems to think eggs stay fresh forever. The reality is they don’t and the longer you leave it the harder it gets. We know this, its biological fact. OK.

But there are women (who may well get shouted down and berated on social media) who feel it might well be OK not to have kids of our own. Going a step further there are women who have chosen to have hysterectomies because they don’t want to have them at all and they are happy with this choice. I’m not quite on that train, I’d like the option as I think it’s a unique and wonderful gift and I always wonder how men are not more jealous of us for it haha – we know why.

Even though I’d like to keep the option available I feel that I would be ok if I never had children of my own. I’ve got a very strong drive to nurture. This comes in handy via my job working with vulnerable adults, I think you can nurture animals if you’re that way inclined and then there’s always the joy of spending time with other people’s children that you can hand back at the end of the day. But do they have to be my own? Not necessarily.

When I read an article recently about a woman who was trolled on twitter for posting about her decision to get her tubes tied it was a shock that people could find somebody’s personal decision so offensive to them. I mean, aren’t we all entitled to seek out personal fulfilment in our own ways without being shouted down for it?

The way I see it there are so many children in the world in need of a home, so many opportunities to be involved with shaping and nurturing young lives if we look for them, that it is possible to find fulfilment without bringing another life into the world yourself. I think of it, god forbid, one of my sisters wasn’t able to raise their children for whatever reason, I would step in without a doubt. I think of the masses of children fleeing abusive parents who need so much love and care and I think ‘I could do that, I could be there for them and show them what having a parent should be.’

I don’t know where this revelation has come from, it’s kind of crept up on me over the past year or two. Maybe ageing and the reality that things don’t always go according to plan has leant me a more balanced outlook or maybe it’s the pessimistic side of me always prepared for disappointment. Maybe it’s my dating experiences and frustrations at so rarely meeting men I’d considered allowing to parent my kids. Maybe it’s seeing the reality of close friends who are approaching 40 childless and seeing that they can be happy regardless or, on the flip side, seeing that some aren’t and not wanting to be where they are. If the option was taken away would I feel different?

There’s always the possibility that this is an ‘I didn’t know what I had until it was gone’ type of situation and, should the option be taken away from me completely, I might be devastated. I do suppose there would be a grieving period but I like to think it wouldn’t be too long or too deep and that I’d latch on to the other possibilities with excitement. I guess we’ll see what happens in the not so distant future! One thing I do know is that there are many ways to find fulfilment in life and what works for everyone is different. Nobody should be berated for making a decision that is right for them, even if it might be wrong for the masses.

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