No, I’m Not a Mommy

3 min read

In the past 6 months I’ve received various inquiries into the state of my womb, specifically about the fact that it’s empty.

When visiting my mom* on the East Coast recently, I reconnected with an aunt whom I haven’t seen since my kid days. I warmed to her immediately; her personality fills a room.

[*I have two moms through a remarriage (dad’s) – one on the East Coast, one in Texas (with dad).]

After exchanging pleasantries and hugs, my aunt said,

“Keisha, you don’t want no husband or children?” It didn’t seem so much a question, but more of a statement of fact. The implication being that if I hadn’t done something by now, I’m not going to.

I laughed. “I wouldn’t say that. It’s not that easy.” I explained that I hadn’t met the right person and have no interest in being a single parent by choice.

I also met a new cousin, my aunt’s tween son, whom my aunt said she calls he`r “menopause baby” because her other four children were nearly grown when she had him.

“May I ask how old you were when he was born?”

She counted silently before saying “35 or 36?”

35 or 36?! That’s not menopause!”

She shrugged, “Yeah, I guess not. How old are you again?” She leaned back on the maroon leather couch.

“3-.”

Her eyebrows raised slightly; I could see her contemplating how much longer I have in Fertile-ville.

I interrupted her thoughts with, “I’m thinking of getting my eggs frozen.”

She nodded, “I’ve heard about that.”

That seemed to placate her as she turned her attention back to the movie playing the background, White Chicks.

Egg Freezing from "No I'm Not a Mommy" | The Girl Next Door is Black

Egg Freezing | Source

It’s true. Several women I know aged 35+,  have chosen to freeze their eggs.

Mere minutes later, my mom, whose quieter nature balances my aunt’s more boisterous one, let out:

“Do you know I am the only one of all my brothers and sisters [all 7 of them] who doesn’t have any grandchildren?”

“You should talk to your other daughter,” I teased her, referring to my younger sister.

A couple of months later, during a call with another older relative with whom I speak regularly, she commented as we were discussing her upcoming 7-th birthday, “I hope I’m around to see you have your first child.”

Ouch!

I know she didn’t mean for her words to sting, but they kind of did. Sometimes septuagenarians keep it a little too real. Still, I agree, if the kids are gonna happen, it’d be nice for them to meet her. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do about that though.

A few weeks after, I was chatting to my Texas mom when she non sequitured:

“I miss holding a baby on my chest. I want to be a grandmother. Hold a baby for a week.”

“You have two grandchildren!” I reminded her, speaking of my niece and nephew, my oldest sister’s children.

“They are not babies anymore!” They sure aren’t. My little nephew ain’t so little anymore and he speaks with a man’s voice. He’ll be attending college soon. The last time I visited, my niece – his younger sister – asked me about my makeup and jewelry.

I suppose I should take it as a good sign that people are even asking me about my baby plans. At some point, if I still don’t have children, people will stop asking because they’ll assume I’ve moved into uterine retirement and it’s a moot point. Though, that day may not come for a while longer if the trend of women having children in their 40s and 50s continues.

Old Time Clock from "No, I'm Not a Mommy on the The Girl Next Door is Black. Photo cr: Ales Krivec

“Oh hey, I’m time. Here to be annoying and complicate things.”

I read an article not too long ago that mentioned how more and more women are admitting to ambivalence toward motherhood.

I appreciate articles like this that cover an often overlooked perspective. It’s as though as women we’re supposed to feel strongly one way or the other about having kids. Like there’s no room for a less vehement conviction. I can see a future for myself with or without kids.

I think I’d like to be a mom. I know I would work hard at it. Occasionally, I’ll see a chubby-cheeked brown baby or toddler who looks like they could be mine and I think about what my children might look like. Then again, some days I really appreciate being able to sleep in and only having to deal with swatting away the cat. And quite frankly, I have personal misgivings about from time to time about bringing another human into this at times, terrible, scary world.

With each passing birthday, I wonder if that will be the year I’m suddenly going to be overcome with hormone-infused baby obsession. Where every man I approach is not just a man, but a potential co-conspirator in baby-production shenanigans. “Is it you? Are you my baby’s daddy? You smell like you’d be a good dad. Do you have parents within a two-hour radius who could help with childrearing? It takes a village, you know. How do you feel about spanking, co-sleeping and helicopter parents?” The day has yet to arrive.

Baby Fever from "No, I'm Not a Mommy" on The Girl Next Door is Black | Photo credit: drolesdemums.comThat’s not to say that there aren’t women who have clearly defined views on personal motherhood. I have friends who say they knew they wanted to be a mom the instant they picked up their first babydoll. On the other hand, I know more than a few women whom are content to be awesome aunts. For them, kids are cool as long as they can be returned to sender.  Then there are those who would rather kids stay the hell away from them, the creepy creatures.

Maybe one day I’ll be a mom, but it’s possible that kids of my own aren’t in my future. I know what my options are and I will do what I can to maximize them, but I’m not interested in spending too much energy stressing out about it.

A guy I once dated lectured me: “Keisha, as an intelligent, successful black woman, don’t you feel somewhat morally obligated to produce and raise the next generation’s successes? We need people like you to have children.”

As if I don’t have enough on my shoulders.

If you are a parent, did you always know you wanted to have children? If you don’t have children, do you have strong feelings one way or the other about having kids? Or are you ambivalent?

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75 Comments
  • tunisiajolyn84
    January 1, 2016

    I do not have children and like you, I can see myself with kids and I can see myself without them. *kanyeshrugs* Great article. I’m glad someone understands that not every woman is strongly for or against kids. Some of us can be neutral on the whole idea and that’s okay.

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      January 3, 2016

      One day there will be a generation of women who won’t have baby pressure put on them – at least I hope so. Having children isn’t a decision to be made lightly and it should be a choice, not an assumption.

      • tunisiajolyn84
        January 3, 2016

        I hope so too. Children aren’t cute accessories you can dingle in front of family and friends to please them.

  • Sonia
    April 15, 2015

    btw. Just discovered your blog. Really like what you have to say on a number of issues. You have an interesting and creative point of view!!

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      April 15, 2015

      “You have an interesting and creative point of view!!” You know, you’re not the first person to tell me that. I’m not quite sure what I do differently, but I’ll take it. Haha. Thank you! Nice to have you here.

  • Sonia
    April 14, 2015

    I really love what you have to say on this. It’s definitely tough to deal with the family pressure as well as the personal conflict that you may be feeling. All I can say is try to make yourself happy and make a good life for yourself. If you are meant to be a mother and have a child, hopefully it will happen.

    But I do have to add that it is a lot easier to have a baby if you have a extended support system around you. These women who decide to do it “on their own”, are SUPER WOMEN because in my view it takes a number of people to love, help and support you in raising a child. So if you choose, wait on it. If it happens great. I found a great guy, got married and had my boys in my late 30’s and early 40’s, just under the wire. It just happened to work out that way. But have to say I’m lovin’ it.

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      April 15, 2015

      That’s great to hear that you love it, Sonia!

      I hear you on the extended support system. When I was growing up in the early years I had lots of family and family friends around who could help my parents out with looking after me. I am grateful for them and I’m sure my parents are too! It’s incredibly valuable to have such people in close proximity if you have kids.

      Thanks for sharing!

  • fromthestickstothebricksandbackagain
    April 12, 2015

    I always thought I would have children, so much so that in my early 20s, I decided that if I hadn’t met the father of my children by age 27 (don’t know why that was my magic number), I would choose to have children on my own with a little help from science. When 27 came, I went back to college and finished my degree. When I found a good candidate for the role of my baby daddy, I went years leaving it in God’s hands. Then I went to fertility doctors trying to figure out why I wasn’t conceiving. Meanwhile Baby Daddy Candidate #2 came into my life and eventually I got pregnant. We were thrilled and then devastated when I had a second trimester miscarriage. Long story short is we were so devastated by the loss, we never reached a point where we tried to conceive again. I do sometimes regret that I didn’t push the issue; we are a great aunt and uncle but as much as our nieces and nephews adore us it is not the same as being their parents. Sometimes it is better than being their parents sometimes it is not enough.

    In the last six months my uterus was lobbied by the most unusual lobbyist; my 13 year old niece was hanging out with me when she announced that she and her 10 year old sister wanted another cousin and that her health teacher told her class that women could have babies until they were 55. “So you and Unkie better get going,” she pleaded.

    I do think there is something to be said for freezing your eggs as an insurance policy of sorts.

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      April 14, 2015

      I’m so sorry for what happened with your pregnancy. That must have been tough. Thank you for sharing your experience.

      What a sweet sentiment from your niece. Has she heard about the 65-year old woman currently pregnant with quadruplets?

  • laureeo
    April 6, 2015

    Great post, Keisha. A lot of women feel this way — first, I have felt this way since I was 30 years old, nearly ten years ago now! Second, I coach other women who are on fence about motherhood. It can feel like this assumption people are making about you, and it just isn’t fair, as you describe so well. This decision is ours to make for ourselves. It’s important to weed out other (well-meaning, I’m sure) opinions/voices in order to hear your own, so you can feel confident. I believe in you! You’re already asking the right questions. Good luck.

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      April 6, 2015

      Thanks, Laura! It’s great that women have someone like you they can turn to help them work through this decision. I mentioned to another reply that I don’t necessarily feel pressure from family, but I have friends who sure get a hard time of it from *their* parents!

  • trininista
    April 4, 2015

    I know I want children. I want to be a mother, probably more than anything. But I know kids ain’t no joke. Time is against me but it would be selfish of me to just jump into it without ensuring I am 100% ready or as close to 100% as possible. All the old biddies in the family and in the network can say what they want – are they gonna be there when the kid is crying, needs clothes and food, or when I need a sanity break? I doubt it. So it is something that noone should rush you into or force you into if your heart is not ready or if your heart just does not want it. I just roll my eyes at them and keep it movin’. lol

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      April 5, 2015

      I don’t mind questions from my family, mostly. I know they come from love and I usually am able to find humor in it.

      The societal expectations bother me more. The assumption that if you’re 30+ you have children. If you don’t, almost immediately people wonder – if they don’t outright question – why not. I understand curiosity, but it should be up to the woman (or sometimes man) to address the topic if she or he wants to.

      I do hope you get your wish to be a mom one day!

  • adrianscrazylife
    April 4, 2015

    It’s a tough question. I was very ambivalent about having children, so I ended up having my first son at 28 and we thought he might be an only child. But we decided to have another and then lost four in a row. That taught me that having babies is a chancy thing and is never a guarantee. Happily, we had another healthy son after that, but by then I was 38 and they were 10 years apart. I’m now 54 and dealing with a teenager, which is a little weird. I was always the only one on school field trips who had grandchildren and my oldest stepson and I are both raising teens at the same time. But my motto is “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit”. If you want to have a child and it’s meant to be, it will come about. I believe things happen for a reason. But I would just put a gentle hint around to the folks to quit pestering you about it. It’s not going to help anyway. #SITSSharefest

    PS: I was so on the fence about having children that I interviewed EVERY mother I knew. And I asked them all the same question. If you had to do it over again, would you have had your kids? And with the exception of my mother-in-law (which tells you something about my odd family) every single one of them said a definite and loud YES. So that was the deciding factor for me – but I get it. It’s like jumping off a cliff. You don’t know what it’s like until you do it and by then, it’s too dang late to go back!

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      April 5, 2015

      Oh Adrian, I’m so sorry for the losses you and your husband endured. I’m happy to hear though that you have two wonderful children!

      My youngest sister and I have over 10 years between us. She said she almost always had the oldest parents among her classmates. The crazy thing is, that wasn’t that long ago and since then more and more people are having kids later. In SF, I am one of many single thirty-somethings without children.

      I tend to agree with you that things will happen for a reason. Most of the rest of my life hasn’t gone according to plans I’ve tried to put in place, so why should I expect this to?

      Thanks for your great comment!

  • lorilschafer
    April 1, 2015

    Never really wanted children myself, and I know what you’re talking about – you start approaching “a certain age” and everyone wants to know when you’re going to hurry up and do it already. I think the problem for a lot of people is that they don’t want to be forced into it, or have to do it in a hurry, but biology interferes. When you’re in your thirties, it feels as though your life is just getting started, but your childbearing years are already drawing to an end. We’re not like men, who can wait it out to see what happens – we have to decide, and on a deadline, no less – which makes ambivalence a difficult stance. I think it’s a good place to be, though. I know any number of women who have chosen poor mates just because they realized their time for children was running out, and if your dream for your life doesn’t revolve entirely around raising a family, that gives you more options.

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      April 1, 2015

      Yeah once I hit 30, it was like a switch turned on and the questions began!

      I try not to make choices in my life based on fear and that includes the decision of whether or not to have children.

      Thanks for your comment, Lori!

  • Mrs. AOK
    March 30, 2015

    I sure do love my visits here you always have my wheels turning, thank you! I have been a mother for 13 years, I had my daughter, the 13 year-old, when I was 21. I’m going to keep it real with you and everyone reading this, she wasn’t planned. The fear that fell over me when I found out I was pregnant was something I had NEVER experienced. The thought of raising and caring for another human being was like someone was tightening a zip tie around my lungs, I couldn’t catch a good breath.
    When I was younger I knew I wanted to be a mother. At twenty however I did not see myself “mothering” until I was at least in my 30s. I grew up quick, I lived life differently than I had planned but I fell in love with my Mommy gig.

    I appreciate that you know what you want and you aren’t rushing to check off a box. I have a higher regard for someone who truly wants the part of mom, and isn’t just filling in a box because “the powers that be: friends, family, media” say we should. It’s terribly rude for people to assume they should ask such invasive questions: when are you having a baby, when are having another baby, do you know what causes babies…..
    Do you know what causes me to lose my mind? Rude.

    You know you, you know what you want, and when you want it. Go for what you want and press mute on the critics.
    :::HUGS:::
    XOXO

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      March 30, 2015

      Wow, that is such a vivid description of the fear of impending parenthood. The first time I truly thought about what being a parent might be like, it scared me. It’s a tremendous responsibility and there are no take-backs.

      I feel pretty fortunate that although my family has asked me about having children, they don’t press the issue. I know people whose parents are still living the days of old maids and spinsters. The worst is random people who barely know you who get all up in your business. “You know you have to get on that!” >< Press mute is right! Thanks for sharing, A!

  • Divorced Kat (@1stYrDivorce)
    March 30, 2015

    Oh my gosh, do I relate to this. Thankfully, I don’t get a million questions about my uterus and my parents have four grandchildren. But I too go back and forth on wanting kids, and I sure would not choose to be a single parent. That said, I could see myself totally wanting to pop out babies if I found a terrific partner.

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      March 30, 2015

      Four grandchildren definitely help take the pressure off. Good on your brother or sister! Haha.

      I read your post about being a godmother. Sounds like even if you don’t have children of your own, you still have plenty of them in your life. 🙂

  • Latonya Mo
    March 30, 2015

    I’m not certain if I always knew I wanted to be a mom. I am thankful that I have my girls.

  • Mexi_Alyssa
    March 30, 2015

    I am 30, single, and without kids. I personally think that it would be great to have children- if it didn’t break the bank and if the father would pull his weight financially. Having children is not something that should only be done to fight against time. Once a child it born, you can’t take it back if it becomes too expensive or too hard to handle. I live in California where rent is ridiculously expensive, and I personally cannot fathom how people can afford to have children here. I myself have decided that children are not gonna happen unless I have a nice enough financial cushion to support a child and I’ve met a guy that’s not a loser. If all those things fall into place, then children is something I’ll start to think about. If those things never happen, then a kid is never going to happen either. Taking on the responsibility of raising a child includes being responsible enough to take care of your financial health, retirement accounts, and property. Once these things fall into place, then a child shouldn’t be too much of a stress on a parent-to-be.
    Ultimately, what I’m saying is that if you feel badly about not having kids yet, then you shouldn’t be. You have focused more on your career and taken bigger strides in it than other current moms your age have. You also don’t have to worry about having a husband divorcing you when you’re in your 40s-50s without an established career and a bunch of kids to take care of. Believe me, this future sounds a lot scarier than the road we’re on now. Take solace in it. 🙂

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      March 30, 2015

      Yeah, there is A LOT to think about when it comes to having kids. As someone else commented, nothing can really prepare you for having kids. It’s an experience all its own.

      However things pan out for you, I wish you happiness! Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  • KC Johnson
    March 30, 2015

    I always wanted to have kids someday, so for me it was the right decision. But I see the continual posts on Facebook from my friends without kids – they are up to some amazing stuff and having a blast. I stay at home a lot more. All of our lives are full – just in different ways. 🙂

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      March 30, 2015

      Exactly. I wish everyone would be content with that. We don’t all have to make the same choices, nor do our lives unfold in the same way. It’s not like all women who are single feel this huge gap in their lives. We have plenty of ways to make our lives fulfilling just as women with children do.

      Thanks for your comment, KC! 🙂

  • Monster Mermaid
    March 29, 2015

    Thanks for writing this. I am 48, single no kids. I decided when I was younger not to have any because I suffered depression until I got it sorted I didn’t want to inflict myself on anyone and later on, I, like you never met anyone and single parenthood by choice was just not on. I don’t regret not having kids and I am saddened that women are still, in this day and age, expected to have children and are often deemed lesser because they don’t. So many women are child centred too. Support groups for the childless seem involve a lot of wailing and regret!Yawn! There is so much more to life. And I have loads of great kids in my life from nieces and nephews to friends children…How bad?JGreat post, thanks 🙂

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      March 29, 2015

      The number of women who are aunts and not mothers continues to rise as our times change. I think the roles of aunt and uncle (or “aunt” and “uncle”) are underrated. We can be meaningful contributors to the development of our nieces and nephews. Kids who we get to watch grow up too. These aren’t insignificant things.

      Thank you for your honest share!

  • Holly Thomas
    March 29, 2015

    My husband and I knew that we did not want to have children, so whenever anyone asked us about it we told them we knew how to prevent it, each person only asked once!

  • Linkouture
    March 29, 2015

    I’ve pretty much always known that I wanted to have children, but I’ll admit after I got married and it became more of a possibility, it freaked me out a bit. I had worked with children and families for years and had a better understanding of what it meant to be a parent (though nothing truly can prepare you for it). I still wanted to have children, but the realness of it really hit me. After I became pregnant, though, I stopped worrying as much about it. Now that I am a mom, I am so happy about it and knew it was the right decision for me. That said, I can completely understand that now all women want to have children, and it bothers me that some people assume that just because they are parents they think everyone should want to have children. I think you have to do what feels right to you! The most important thing is to make sure that whatever you decide that you don’t later regret it. Thanks for sharing your very thoughtful post, stopping by from SITS!

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      March 29, 2015

      The worst is when people say stuff like “You can’t know what love is like unless you have a child,” or some other variation of presumption. I think that’s especially inconsiderate given some women want children and can’t have them. I agree – we have to do what feels right for us

      Thanks for sharing your story!

  • BritishMumUSA
    March 28, 2015

    I will never and have never asked a girlfriend “So, when are you having the babies” Who the heck am I to ask that flipping question.

    So we were married five years before we felt adult enough to even think about messing around and having a child. My mother never asked. My MIL on the other hand would come on over to the house and pester me and the Hubs about it, she would cry, beg, demand, and then cry some more. She even asked me if I was doing it right!!!!!!! Holy crap!!!!!!!!

    One day I took her aside and told her if she even as much as brought the subject up again at a family get together I would take myself, and her son away and have many babies and she would never see them. It shut her up!!!!! I so wanted to smack the living day lights out of her. My womb, my deal don’t ask!!!!

    If I were honest I have loved and hated it. There I said it. There have been good, great, amazing times, and bad, horrid and down right flipping ugly times. I have wanted to run away more times as an adult than I ever did as a kid. Would I change any of it, who the heck knows. I love being a mum, I don’t like all that I have to do in being a mum. Make sense????

    As for peeps asking you, tell them to go get some ice cream and a life of there own 🙂

    Love this post!!!

    xoxoxo

    PS after two they out number you, we kept it to two….. One hand for each of them !!!!!

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      March 29, 2015

      OMG, were you “doing it right?” Lol! What a conversation that must have been!

      I appreciate your honesty. I think more than a few parents probably feel this way and I don’t see anything wrong with that. Life gets hard, we find ourselves in difficult situations at times, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t grateful or appreciative for what we have. Kids aren’t a cakewalk. We’ve all been children and we weren’t all saints all the time.

      “Go get some ice cream.” Heehee.

      I’ve heard that about not letting the kids outnumber you. I think two would be plenty for me – though I do enjoy having three siblings.

      • BritishMumUSA
        March 29, 2015

        I seriously just about died when she asked me that. Then froze as I thought she was going to give me a lesson right there and then on it. I looked at her and said, yes thank you and it is just wonderful!!!! Oh that woman!!!!!

        Once we had our first after about 6 months I also had to remind her that I not she was the mother, and that she was always more than welcome to be the Grandmother, not mother!!!

        17 years later, it is all good……

        I tell people that all the time, go get ice cream, and then under my breath and a life!!!!

        xoxoxo

        • The Girl Next Door is Black
          March 29, 2015

          LMAO at the idea that she might want to tell you how to do it. I’m glad things are much better all these years later. Good for you for standing your ground!

          I seriously love the ice cream retort. I will have to add that to my list of ways to tell people to mind their own without being mean.

  • nikkifrankhamilton
    March 28, 2015

    Both of my lovely children was a surprise. I think that they were supposed to be here, I just wasn’t ready, so God pushed the issue. I am not a baby lover, but I loved mine. I mean I love all children, I am just not a caretaker, per se. Don’t beat yourself up. Maybe tomorrow you will meet the man that will be the father of your child, then again, maybe not. Do some soul searching, perhaps it really is not a role that you are supposed to play. Either way, it sounds like you are surrounded by lots of love.

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      March 29, 2015

      I like how you framed that: your children are “lovely surprises.”

      Wise older people say that life is a lot like a puzzle. I may not understand or know why things have unfolded the way they have, but I trust that things are happening in a way that’s right for me.

      Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  • Vashelle (@ShellysCabaret)
    March 28, 2015

    I spent a good portion of my teenage years claiming that I never wanted kids, and then when I met my husband I became a bit more ambivalent about it (read: irresponsible). I became pregnant at 19 and gave birth at 20.

    The reason I had felt like I never wanted kids is because I enjoy freedom too much. I love to do what I want, when I want. I would quickly learn that my original hunch about having kids was spot on: You cannot live for yourself anymore! It was a difficult transition, but I stepped up and learned to love someone more than myself. Actually, it didn’t have to be learned. It happened by default :).

    I ADMIRE women who know themselves well enough to decide one way or the other. I see nothing at all wrong with not wanting children. There are other ways to feel love, loved and fulfilled. My neighbor in Texas, she and her husband were in their 60s and had no regrets about never having children. She says she decided against it after having worked in a middle school library. Ha!

    As for me, motherhood is as hard as I imagined. But it is proprtionately rewarding. No regrets here.

    P.S. “Sometimes septuagenarians keep it a little too real.” I suddenly want to call my grandmother to see how she’s doing. Haha

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      March 29, 2015

      There is a lot to consider when deciding whether or not to have children. Sometimes the question is posed as though the answer is as simple as if you were asked, “Coke or Sprite?” The stakes are quite a bit higher in this case. I always joke that my youngest sister being born when I was a teenager was the best birth control. Babies are work! Though, from what I’ve heard/read, many parents, like you, say it’s rewarding and worth it despite the tough times.

      IME, grandmas love phone calls from grandchildren (as long as they’re not asking for money!). ;p

      • Vashelle (@ShellysCabaret)
        March 29, 2015

        Yes!! I use whatever opportunity I can to teach my 13 year-old daughter that raising a baby is tough stuff. She sees how exhausted I am getting up with Apollo all night and tending to his every protest during the day. She says “Mama, you need a break!” And in my head I’m like ‘thank God she is seeing this, and thank God she’s reflective enough to know that moms need a break too.’

        Sometimes, if I’m going to take a little break by going to Starbucks for an hour or something like that, my middle child will be like “Why? Can I come?” Then my oldest will go into this whole feminist spill, “Mama needs a break, Amaya! Don’t you know that moms have the hardest job in the world?! They’re human just like everyone else. Just because they’re not men doesn’t mean they don’t need a break!”

        ::internal cheering::

        • The Girl Next Door is Black
          March 29, 2015

          LOL! Your lessons are definitely sinking in. I love it! And just think: there was once a time when it wasn’t unheard of for 13-year olds to have babies. Gah!

  • lifeofatravelingnavywife
    March 28, 2015

    I never wanted kids. Like ever. I marched up to my mom at five years of age and exclaimed, “I am NEVER having kids.” She said she knew then and there I would never have kids. My dad never pressured me, but my mom did ask a few times. Luckily my sister has three gorgeous children haha. I am turning 39 in less than two months and still have no desire to have children (disclaimer: I also do not have a uterus anymore due to health issues, but I do have ovaries and could freeze eggs if I wanted to. I don’t want to). So at 37 (after being married once before at 23), I married a man with 4 kids (one is not his biological child, but he raised her since three months of age, therefore she is HIS). I love those kids madly, but I am sure it is not as a mother loves her biological children. I do NOT consider myself a parent because I am now proud owner of a magical piece of paper known as a marriage license and a piece of metal referred to as a wedding ring. It takes more than marriage to become a parent and I have written a post on it for which I was thrashed – even my husband was thrashed for being in the military and away from his kids…but that is another topic. Anyway, I do provide for and love the girls. But they have parents and I respect that. I am there whenever they need me and as my 15-year old bonus daughter told me she sees me and her bonus (aka step) dad – “I see you as an adult friend who I can trust and confide in.” I am more than okay with that. It works for all of us.

    Anyway, I think you have a great perspective. I look at the world today and I am glad I did not bring kids into it. That is not to say other people are wrong for doing so. With or without children you will thrive and be an example for others. That’s a beautiful thing.

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      March 28, 2015

      Lol, you knew early!

      I remember reading your post about your bonus kids and figuring out your place in their life. It was honest and real. I still can’t believe you got so attacked for it. Relationships within families differ and that’s okay as long as people find what works for them. Sounds like you guys have and continue to build upon that.

      Thanks for your kind words. 🙂

  • Liz
    March 28, 2015

    Wonderful post. I have the same perspective. I was fine with it either way. No burning desire. No shutting the door on it either. In my 30s when I was the only married woman of childbearing age who didn’t have kids at the annual family Mother’s Day brunch, it was like people didn’t know what to say to me. One did, he said, I guess you’re just not maternal. (!) Um, thanks? Eventually at 38 we decided to go for it. Definitely don’t regret it and glad I waited till I was older. Of course, chasing my 4yo at 42 is no great shakes either!

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      March 28, 2015

      “Chasing my 4yo at 42 is no great shakes either!”

      Lol. This reminds me of when my nephew was a toddler and I was in college. He wore me out then! I don’t understand why as adults, we don’t get the energy kids have. Seems like it should be reversed!

      As far as that “not maternal” comment – what a rude and presumptuous thing to say. One can be maternal and not be a mother. And if you’re not, that’s not a bad thing either. Sheesh. The things people say!

      Thanks for your share!

  • K. Renae P.
    March 28, 2015

    I’ve always felt bad that I didn’t want/need a baby like some of my friends and girls in movies. If I had kids, I know I’d love them more than anything & they would change my life but that doesn’t mean I yearn for motherhood. And that’s okay even though my mother does not agree with me. At all. But she’ll be alright.

    Maybe I’ll be a mom or stepmom <- I'm now at the age where this is a very real possibility if I choose to settle down (I'm ambivalent about settling down too btw). Maybe I won't. I'm happy either way.

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      March 29, 2015

      “And that’s okay even though my mother does not agree with me. At all. But she’ll be alright.”

      Haha! Oh parents. They mean well, but sometimes that pressure…

      I say cheers to your ambivalence. It sounds like you are content with the way things are, but open to possibility and that seems more than reasonable.

  • firsttimetravel
    March 28, 2015

    Dropping by from SITS. I got interested about your post and clicked on it right away. It’s a good read, especially from a single woman who happens to kinda relate with almost everything you wrote. I love kids and if the day comes that I’ll be a mom, I welcome it with open arms. But if that does not happen, I still love my life as is. 🙂

  • rlcarterrn
    March 27, 2015

    I love this post! I am only 26 but I’ve been married for almost 4 years so sometimes people give me grief about not yet having kids. More importantly I can relate to the ambivalence about motherhood. Some days I feel like “Yes, I’m sure I’ll be a mom someday. I can’t imagine not doing it.” Other days I think to myself “Hell, no! I’d be a terrible mom & there’s no way I should even consider it at all.” Quite often when I admit to my ambivalence about motherhood, people seem to be very confused by that. They don’t understand how I don’t have really strong feelings about it. I played with Barbies as a kid but never baby dolls, & I just never saw myself as a mother. Rather I saw myself as a doctor or a photographer who traveled the world taking pictures for Nat Geo or something like that. As it turns out I’m very happy being a nurse who lives in one place & only travels for vacation. But even so, I still have a hard time imagining myself as a mom, mostly because I’ve never been very fond of small children & babies. Kids older than about 5 are ok, & oddly enough I don’t mind pre-teens & teenagers even though they are often considered to be the worst by most parents. But the idea of having a baby or a toddler who is totally dependent on me for every little thing is just terrifying. And I too worry about whether it is responsible to bring children into such a scary world. But then I also think about how many wonderful things there are in this life that I would like to share with kids. In the end, I don’t have an answer & sometimes I think the only way I’ll ever be able to decide to become a mom is if it happens completely by accident… which is unlikely b/c I’m too OCD about birth control to let that happen. Gahh, sorry for the long comment, but I just really love this post!

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      March 28, 2015

      And I love your comment. It’s beautiful and complex.

      It’s funny you mention playing with dolls and wanting to be a photographer or doctor. My dolls were either an audience (I liked performing / entertaining) or customers of my businesses. Haha. Things like that make me wonder just how innate these feelings are.

      You and your husband will decide what’s right for you regardless of other people’s questions and input.

      Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • Margaret DTH
    March 27, 2015

    This is such a complicated topic. My first gut one is always “Back off on the baby pressure, society!” It’s so unfair how having a child or not is used to define a woman. You are more than a uterus! We all are.

    And then…. then there’s the situation I found myself in which is being 35 with virtually no eggs. I am 1 of 4 kids, my mom is 1 of 4 kids (and her mom started aged 38! Way back when!) so I never thought I’d have this kind of problem. I think if I had known at age 26 that this was my lot in life I would have frozen my eggs.

    So my completely unmedical recommendation? Next time you see your ObGyn, have her count your follicles, maybe get some genetic blood testing done to see if you need to be wary of the quality of your eggs, ask her if there’s anything you should be aware of regarding your eggs, then decide about freezing them. Extracting them is not that hard, the meds for a month or so is pretty manageable. And meanwhile tell everybody to MYOB over the stupid baby pressure.

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      March 28, 2015

      That must have been tough to go through. Thanks for sharing your experience.

      Also, this is fantastic advice that I hope is seen by others too. These kinds of specifics aren’t talked about enough. Thanks again!

  • Queen
    March 27, 2015

    For pretty much my entire life I didn’t want a baby. I was one of those people who avoided them at all costs. Even after marriage. Then one day that thought just literally changed and I decided “hm, why not?” and it wasn’t until after I saw her face for the first time in the sonogram that I got really excited to have a baby. Pregnancy was super exciting for me, I always thought “I’m making a little person!” Now that I’m due to give birth next week I’m nothing but tired and ready for her to come out! It’s not glamorous towards the end, trust me! But soon I’ll see her and we’ll have all the matching outfits I decided to obtain as a result of my creepiness.

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      March 27, 2015

      Wow, that’s fascinating that you changed your mind so drastically. Congrats to you! And here’s to a safe and easy (as possible) delivery!

      Lol at the matching outfits. Just don’t put her in fashion bulletproof vests like North West. 😉

  • Ally
    March 27, 2015

    Wanting to have a baby doesn’t always mean that a baby will happen, either. We get asked about our plans for children pretty often, too, and it’s not a matter of not wanting one or not being “ready,” whatever that means, but about my body just not working. I’ve wanted a big family forever, since I was a little girl… but as my 3-yr-old niece said, “You’re a mommy… you just don’t have a baby, yet.”

    • Queen
      March 27, 2015

      Ain’t that the truth! I was always told that it “takes time” to make a baby. I knew people who were trying for months, even over a year or much longer. Because of them I always thought that if I didn’t get a baby on the first few tries that that was completely normal/expected but low and behold within 2 weeks of trying here she came!

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      March 27, 2015

      Yep, that’s definitely another factor women have to consider – when I’m “ready” will my body be?

      What a sweet thing for your niece to say! 🙂 I wish for things to work the way you want them to.

  • Heidi Miner
    March 27, 2015

    Once you’re in your 40’s the question doesn’t stop…. Although luckily for me, it’s not from my parents. They know me and they know well enough that when I say I don’t want kids, I mean what I say. It is strange to live in a world where you are thought of as ‘strange’ to not procreate.
    My friend has just gone through IVF as she is in her 40’s and really wants a baby – she was hoping to not be a single mom, but it just hasn’t worked out like that. I hope she is successful. I wouldn’t mind being an auntie to another little person!

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      March 27, 2015

      I hope your friend is successful too!

      Oh I believe it doesn’t stop the day you turn 40. Jennifer Aniston still makes the cover of tabloids for suspicion of “baby bump” and she’s 46.

  • samdfb1
    March 27, 2015

    oh my goodness. this was a FANTASTIC blog post. I could have written this. Seriously. SMH. I often hear, ‘by the time I was your age, I already had you’ What does that even mean? Does that require a gold star or something? Please talk to me about paint drying or leaves blowing in the wind or….
    Great blog post. Cheers.

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      March 28, 2015

      LMAO: “Please talk about leaves blowing or paint drying…” I’ll have to save that response for the non-elders in my life.

      Thank you. 🙂

      • samdfb1
        March 28, 2015

        No problem at all. Thank you for your blog post. When I read it, I was like…Yasssss……there is more than one of me. I am not the ONLY unicorn round here!

  • edwinasepisodes
    March 27, 2015

    I always wanted to have kids. In the end I thought It was never going to happen. All of my siblings (5 brothers and sisters) had kids already, and although I loved being an aunty, I wanted to be a Mum. Finally when I was 37 I had my beautiful daughter. 🙂

  • Kim @ 2justByou
    March 26, 2015

    I guess I’m ambivalent, because I never cared one way or the other. Now that I have kids, though, I couldn’t picture my life without them. Some people just don’t want kids, and I respect that. And then there are those who can’t have their own kids, and my heart aches for them. There are those that have a whole bunch of kids too, and I think, “Wow! How do they do it?”
    I agree with you, don’t stress on it. =0)

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      March 28, 2015

      One thing I am sure of is that I don’t want A LOT of kids. I know some women who want a basketball team or their own scout troop, lol. More power to ’em, that wouldn’t be me.

      Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • chanelle
    March 26, 2015

    I always wanted kids. And trust me, just because you have one, it does NOT stop people from asking about numbers 2, 3, 4…. I find it funny and sometimes annoying that people are so obsessed with uterus; as a result I try not to ask others the same. It’s a personal choice, but for many people I think it’s just their reflex that causes them to ask.

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      March 27, 2015

      Oh I’m sure! I posted similar sentiments recently on another blogger’s post who said that she is getting pressure to have a second child. It’s like a never-ending question cycle. 🙂

      So…when IS the next one coming? :p kidding!

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