I'm 32 years old and I know I don't want children. I've never wanted children. The truth is, I don't really even like children.
I find with being childless and knowing you don't want children, you are treated like the atheist in a religious group. Why am I always the one to justify why I don't want kids, rather than putting the onus back on those who do want children. Why can't they be the topic of conversation to justify why they DO want children?
How can they want children in a world of over population? How can they want children when they can't even afford rent?
For me, I'm tired of being the one that has to always justify why I don't want children, as though I need to experience it to change my mind. It's not like buying a new dress, being able to take it back "if I change my mind". A kid is for life, and I can't take it back, and for me, how I picture my life has no room for children.
I had a magical childhood growing up. My mother was wonderful, and spent every moment making sure I was happy. She was a stay at home mother, but occasionally worked from home teaching pottery to children, or running a B&B and our house. I loved my childhood, and I always thought that I didn't want children until I could give them the upbringing I had.
But looking back, I only ever thought I wanted children because "that's what is supposed to happen". But I realise now it's not, and children don't have to be a part of everyone's life.
First, I don't want to go through childbirth. Yes, it's natural. Yes, women's bodies were designed for it, but my body was also designed to be a vehicle to take me through life, to enable me to do and create things that make me happy. Life is about happiness, and I don't want to give up my body or happiness to bring another person in the world.
I also like the idea of my freedom. I see friends who can't leave the house without an hour of getting bottles and nappies ready, if they can leave at all. I like my freedom. I like being able to plan a three month trip to Ibiza at a moments notice, or feeling like I have the world at my fingertips.
I know that children won't bring me the magic that they bring some people. I have no maternal bones in my body, and that will never change.
People have the right to choose if they want children or not. I am not against people having, or wanting, children. Not at all. I would just like the same respect that people who want children get.
I am tired of people telling me "oh, but when you have your own children, you will like them. It's just other people's you don't like". No I won't. "You will be such a good mother, you should have children". No, I won't. "Who's going to look after you when you're in a retirement home?" The lovely nurses, and until then I will have my man at my side.
Children aren't for everyone, and I wish other people would accept that. I'm tired of being judged for not wanting children. Women's sole job in life isn't to have children. It's to give themselves the best life they can imagine, as we only have one shot at it.
I want to be climbing mountains, living in forests, experiencing the world...not doing the school run, attending PTA meetings and trying to get socks onto a toddler.
I look forward to a day when people treat those who don't want children as equals with their own opinion.
Perhaps the judgement comes from people who regret having children? Maybe. But I certainly won't regret my decision.