December 1, 2023

May I please be excused?

The choice to have children is personal. When someone asks ‘WHY NO KIDS?’ I don’t really mind, but not all of the interrogators accept my responses.

In my twenties my excuse was that I didn’t think I could have kids. Fertility issues run in my family. In my early thirties, I answered with a variety of excuses, always apologetically:

“I’m an environmentalist…”

“Addictions and diseases run in my family…”

“Have you seen the size of my husband’s head?”

In my late thirties, my husband was diagnosed with a rare genetic eye disease that would leave our future generation with a 50% chance of macular degeneration and blindness. (That one shut people up pretty quickly.) As I too rapidly approach my forties, I could easily use the excuse that I’m too old. (More on that another time.) The truth is I don’t want kids and I’m happy. I’m happy teaching, playing, visiting and entertaining other people’s kids AND I’m happy to give them back when I’m done getting my kid fix. I’m happy in my marriage and in my family of two. And I’m really happy being alone and childless. Do I need any other reason?

Why no kids? Why kids? What’s your excuse?