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The Luxury to Design My Own Life

“We’re adults without children. We have the luxury to design our own life.” – Sex and the City 2

I must remember to paraphrase this quote the next time someone questions my decision to not have children. Ever.

“I want the luxury to design my own life.”

One of my best friends is married with two children and is the happiest she’s ever been. And I’m happy for her. I’m happy to spend time with her and her husband and her little cuties when they come home for a visit. Do I want to cuddle with her baby and play with her toddler? Yes. Do I want to change diapers, be up all night breast feeding, and have my entire life revolve around keeping another human being alive and happy? No.

Nothing I have ever wanted in my life has included having children. Nothing I want to do in my life, my future, would work if I had children. I know there are people out there who seem to balance a great career, a relationship, travel, fun times and their children. But I don’t want it all. I just want the fun stuff. I want to design my own life. My own schedule. My own home. My own plans. I never want to have to consider another person’s needs and wants before my own. If I decide I want to go rent a villa in Tuscany for a month, then I can save up my money and go. I don’t have to bring kids, or arrange to have them taken care of. I don’t have to give up the idea all together because I can’t afford a fabulous holiday and college tuition. The only other person I want to have to consider in that situation is whomever I want to bring with me to make the trip more fun.

Is it selfish? I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s ever selfish to put yourself first. You have to in order to survive. Would it be a little selfish to leave your kids at home so you can go lie on a beach for a month? Maybe. It seems to me that no kids means no guilt. If I only have myself to worry about, I’m never disappointing or neglecting anyone.

What bothers me most about the formerly mentioned situation is when someone says “You’re still young. You’ll change your mind.” I find this infuriating and insulting for someone to tell me that I don’t know what I want. I’m not so young. I’m old enough to be planning the rest of my life. A lot of girls my age have already made the decision to have kids. Why am I too young to have made the decision not to?

I know that I still have a lot of growing up to do in a lot of ways. I’m always growing, maturing, changing. While the specific details of what I want to be “when I grow up” are always changing, the main idea has been pretty constant since I was about 12. I never considered kids in my grown-up dreams. I dreamed about my career, my lifestyle, my friends and lovers. I thought about being a filmmaker, being an entrepreneur, being a writer, being a creative businesswoman, being a traveler. Sometimes I think all that would be nice with that one special person by my side, but sometimes I think how boring to be stuck with just one person, I want some freedom and some fun.

Married or single. In Ontario, Vancouver, LA, or Europe. Filmmaker, writer, or business owner. One thing I will never be is a mother.

Read more from Tish Chambers here.

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