My future does not involve children
Respect the decision of those who decide not to have children. | Creative Commons
I am 20 years old and I do not want children. "Oh, so you want to end up a crazy old woman with 20 cats?" No, but 20 dogs will do nicely. "You feel that way now, but just wait a couple of years or maybe you will meet your dream spouse and will want kids then!" Outwardly, I can only give them a small, tight lipped smile. Internally, I roll my eyes and imagine throwing myself off a cliff. I imagine my fellow peers have felt the very same way.
A daunting reputation
I do not want kids. I can say that for a fact because I have been saying so since I was very young. I have evidence of journals I wrote back in kindergarten, 16 years ago, saying I would never want them.
Biola has a daunting reputation of being a "ring by spring" school — with baby fever a real thing on campus to a lesser degree. Growing up in a Hispanic and Latino community, I count my blessings that my mother and father have never pressed me to have children. However, extended family and friends question when I will settle down and have kids. They are not pleased when I remain firm to not have children and often look to my parents as if they had raised a heathen. Women are expected to raise large families, working some but placing priority on family life.
I have found Christian communities have also placed a great expectation on women to have children. In 1 Corinthians, Paul says each person has different gifts, yet I find opinions persisting saying a woman’s purpose is not fulfilled until she has multiple children. It is an unfair opinion that should not be placed upon anyone. Different individuals grow and mature at varying rates. Such opinions would not be told to an infertile couple.
An individual calling
The US Census Bureau compared today’s 18 to 34 year olds to 18 to 34 year olds in 1975 finding the modern study group cared more about their jobs and education than marriage and children. By the age of 30, 8 in 10 were already married back in 1975. Today, 8 in 10 are married only by the time they are 45.
I am not advocating for everyone to adopt a childless marriage or swear an oath of celibacy. I have chosen this life because it benefits me and my goals and I believe it is my calling not to have children. I believe my strengths lie in contributing to the community, not taking care of pooping, crying children.
Just as I respect the decisions of others to have children, adopt or a variation of the two, please respect the decision made by those to not have children since our decision does not affect your decision to have children.