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Why Do You Immediately Ask "Why" When I Say I Don't Want Kids?

Let it be said, this is not a post about the many personal reasons I never want to birth my own children. Doing that, would defeat the purpose of this story. So let the record show, this story is not about me, but rather, it's about you. (Well, not you specifically, just generally.) 

When I mention I don't want kids, and never want to experience pregnancy or childbirth, nine times out of ten the response is "Why?" Why not?  
Followed by a little bit of shock, the inability to imagine I wouldn't want to conceive and, sometimes, a little bit of judgment. They genuinely want to know why and expect me to have a list of really good reasons. Almost as if I need to have good reasons.
Sometimes even, "So that means you don't want to get married? You want to stay single and alone." (?)
There have been times where I've been treated like I'm horrible, weird, or heartless because I don't want kids. Sometimes, when people ask why, they don't say it with a kind tone. Their face wrinkles up, and suddenly I'm the anti-christ. Every reason I have followed with, "But..." Because none of my reasons are simple enough, they must be challenged. It's tiring because I never asked to be analysed.

But the real question here is not why I don't want to have kids. The real question is why do you feel the need to ask me why? And quite frankly, why is it such a big deal? Why is it bothering you so much?
Why is it so shocking that I, a 21st-century woman, would choose to not have babies? And let me just ask, if I were a man, would you be asking me why? 
I'm almost certain there are hundreds of other women out there, who are also in the same position. Getting the same questions. While I understand some may be curious, why are you curious in the first place? This question is not to tell you that you shouldn't be curious. You're allowed to be. It's to get you to think about why you're so curious in the first place. 
Sometimes, I get the feeling that others take my decision personally. As if by saying pregnancy doesn't appeal to me, I'm offending them. I would like to take this time to assure you, I'm not, in any way, out to offend you. I'm happy that you're excited to fall pregnant. 

If you're asking why in a harsh tone, almost like I'm weird or a cold-hearted heathen, try turning the situation around.
Do people ask you why you want to have babies? Do you have a list of reasons as to why you want a baby, ready for when that question pops up?
I guarantee you, the women who don't want to birth a human, have a list ready as they've had to repeat it over a dozen times. 
And even after they hear my list of personal reasons, they continue to tell me that I'll "change my mind later" or convince me that my reasons are invalid. Why? 

The real question here is why do you try to convince me to have a baby? Why do you brush my reasons off and tell me I'll change my mind? Why do you assume because you want kids/have kids, I will/should want them too? 
The fact is, I will never tell someone who wants a baby not to have one. I will be happy for you and your pregnancy, and I will support you. I just don't want to experience those things for myself. 

Also the assumption that because I never want to conceive, I never want to get married or have a man in my life, is ridiculous. I'm a girl, I do dream of the perfect wedding and groom.
It's almost as if, there's no reason to have a husband if there aren't plans to have a baby. Almost as if, the only reason one would get married is to have kids. 

The point of this story is not to abuse you the way I sometimes am for my personal choice. But to simply get you to think about your response before you say it. To think about your reaction the next time, a woman mentions she doesn't want to have her own kids. Society is asking me why and then berating me for my answers. But why does society feel the need to ask a woman why?
If it's normal to want kids, why shouldn't it be normal to not want them?
What was your answer, and furthermore, is your answer okay? Are you accidentally being sexist? 

See, my issue is not so much having to answer why, It's the repercussions that follow after and the reactions I get. And sometimes, it's because while you can't imagine I would want to be childless, I can't imagine why you'd even imagine I wouldn't. That was probably confusing, the fact is my choice is normal to me. I want to know why you ask why because I can't imagine why you'd want to know why. 

We're all different, and in this day-and-age, not having kids isn't the end of the world. 

Photo edited by Sheree Grace.

- Sheree



  1. I experience the same thing. Especially with being in my 30's and living in the south. Me saying I don't want children usually goes something like this...
    "I love them and I think they're great. I just don't have the desire that's needed to do something as serious as mother a child".
    It's like I feel the need to explain a personal decision to people. Your post has empowered me to stop doing that.

    Thanks for writing this!

    1. Yes! And I get that this isn't a huge deal, but having to repeat yourself enough times get's you thinking and get's a bit annoying, especially when it's not a big deal yet people make it out to be.
      I'm glad my post did that for you!


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