My sister has five children; I have none, by choice. I do not want children, nor have I ever wanted children. I enjoy my life as-is, child-free. My sister finds this hard to believe and tells me that I am just trying to fool myself because I have not met the right man yet, that “everyone wants babies”. To this end, she keeps trying to set me up with marriage-minded men who want children.
Tazi, I am not trying to fool myself. I am happily single with a fulfilling career that would have to be put on hold if I had children. I travel frequently for work (about one week a month) which is something a lot of men do not understand. My last boyfriend asked me if I would “stop travelling so much” if I got married; I told him I had no intention of putting my career in the backseat if I got married and we broke up. I have been happily single ever since.
My sister keeps trying to get me to babysit for her children in an attempt to show me how fulfilling children can be and to expose me to all that I am missing. I refuse, telling her that I am not good with children. I have a good relationship with all of my nephews and nieces and they love to see me, and I would like to keep it that way; being put in charge of them for an evening would only ruin the dynamic we currently have.
How can I get it through my sister’s thick skull that I am perfectly content with my life the way it is?
A few weeks ago Time magazine had a cover story about child-free couples (“The Child Free Life”). The fact that a national magazine with the reach and clout of Time gave this story such prominent coverage tells me that you are not alone in your desires – or your need to defend your decision to remain child-free.
Native-born Americans of Generations X and Y are putting off marriage and child-bearing altogether. According to a 2010 study by the Pew Research Center, 20% of fertile women are choosing not to have children, up from 10% in the 1970's. If such trends continue it will be your sister who is in the minority. As it is, she is already in the minority with regard to the number of children she has – census figures show the average number of children per family to be less than two. Since you already have a good relationship with your nephews and nieces, do not allow your sister to pressure you into taking on responsibilities that you feel would upset that balance and don’t allow her to guilt you into accepting a date with someone who has a different ideal of the perfect future – you will only be setting yourself up with what could be a painful failure, for you or the man who has stars in his eyes over you. In time, your sister will come to realize that you mean what you say and will hopefully let you alone.
Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.