Ticking Clock

All women want babies eventually, right?

I come from a big family. I mean huge. My second cousins are starting to have children, so now I even have third cousins -- third cousins who require lots of family celebrations. Every baby shower or child's birthday party I go to, I get asked the same question: “So Alicia...when are YOU having kids?”

I always respond the exact same way with, “I'm not.”

And like clock-work, I always get told the same thing: “One of these days, when you're older, you'll WANT kids." or “Every woman wants kids eventually. It's natural.”

Which leads me to wonder: What is all this B.S. about a biological clock?

Is there really some crazy ticking time bomb in my uterus ready to break out in some crazy baby fever and impregnate me? Am I some unnatural freak for not wanting children? Somehow, I think not.

We're constantly exposed to the stereotype that the only type of women who don't want kids are the ones that choose a career over a family and who end up old, crazy cat ladies after retirement. Women are never told that we can get married and have a life without children. I just don't believe that having children is a requirement to be in a long-term, happy relationship. I really don't believe that if you don't want kids, you'll end up a lonely cat woman.

My boyfriend feels the same way about children. He never wants them. But for some reason, this same opinion when expressed by a guy seems perfectly normal to our friends and family. It just seems more acceptable to them -- and to most people -- for a guy not to want kids.

Is it just me, or does this all seem a little gender stereotypey?

I think it's just safe to say that some guys don't want kids, and some girls just don't want kids. It's as simple as that.

There is no “ biological clock.” Seriously, there isn't. Don't believe the bullshit that some day you are going to have an intense longing for an offspring. I mean, you might, but that isn't because something inside you is compulsively making you want to breed -- it means you are at a place in your life when you feel ready to and want to have kids. It's a choice.

I think the reason so many people assume I want kids is because that's what women are supposed to do: have babies and raise them while the hubby brings home the bacon.

Just like marriage isn't for everyone, college isn't for everyone, straight relationships aren't for everyone -- having kids just isn't for everyone, either. People are different. Just because society says it's “natural” for all women to want children doesn't mean it's true. And just because society says it's “un-natural” for men to want kids, even in their 20's, doesn't mean that's true, either.

Who knows -- maybe one day I will have kids, but it will be because I make the decision to have that child not because some biological timer has gone off.

So don't like anyone tell you that you are “un-natural” or “a freak” for not wanting kids. You're not, I promise.

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Alicia L
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