READING

Dear everyone: stop telling me I’ll change m...

Dear everyone: stop telling me I’ll change my mind about having kids one day, yeah?

In case you haven’t realised, and unless you’ve been indoors all week then you may not have, it was half term last week. As kids, it was great. It was freedom. It was playing out with friends until dusk then mum having pie, chips and peas ready. It was mentioned on 8 Out Of 10 Cats as being the most favourite memory of being at school (which is stupid as unless you were in boarding school and lived at school (such hell) then school holidays were precisely all about not being in school).

Now, as a bona fide twenty-something, I can see just how annoying half terms are. Why? Because kids are annoying. They’re like those half dead flies that no swatting will remove. They totally oblivious to the fact I’m walking behind them and then they stop to look at who knows what on the floor, a stone or something, causing me to trip over them and subsequently get glares off mother for harming precious little idiot Henry. They hang around McDonald’s getting in the way, and make the queue in Starbucks a thirty minute ordeal. They’re loud, dirty and in my way.

I recently found myself in charge of three children, from age 10 to age 3. It was a fate worse that death. The littlest kid got her dirty hands all over the glass doors. The oldest one, in fairness, sat there. The middle one ran around doing skids on his knees nearly knocking over a lady in his path. The ordeal lasted 20 minutes and by the end I was done for life, and done with life. The worst part though? Mother dearest telling me I’ll know what her life’s like when I have my own. I laughed, saying it wasn’t going to happen in my lifetime. Then I got, The Lecture. If you’re a childless woman who would rather spend her days trapped in a rat infested Room 101, you’ll know what I mean.

So here are five reasons why I don’t want kids and why parents need to stop telling me I should want them so we can all just get along. And because I don’t think babies or children are cute (really) this feature shall have nothing but kittens and puppies and a trio of rabbits.

sleeping bunnies crop

I’m free

I love living my life on a whim. Fancy a trip to London? Let’s go! Don’t feel like staying in the country this weekend? Pack a bag and join me, baby! Except if you actually have a baby. In which case you’ll need twenty bags, an arsenal of toys, a breast milk expresser, dummies of all shapes and sizes, formulas of all kinds, and those pink weird-smelling nappy bags. I would hate to lose that freedom, and to me, a kid is a massive millstone around my neck, keeping me in one planned home-by-7pm-because-of-the-baby night out to the next. I appreciate the sacrifices my parents made, purely because I can’t imagine the number of plans they put on hold when they had me.

I just don’t like kids. I never ever have.

‘BUT YOU’LL CHANGE YOUR MIND’ I hear a thousand mummy bloggers yell at me. ‘WHEN IT’S YOUR OWN FLESH AND BLOOD YOU KNOW A BOND LIKE NO OTHER’. Well, Mrs Mumsnet, I happen to have a cat I love and that’s good enough for me. The great thing about cats is they mind themselves, they take themselves out when they want and they’re actually nice to cuddle and so damn cute and fluffy. But yeah, you carry on telling me how adorable Bobby is while he’s screaming for literally no reason and little Alice is vomming all over you in Starbucks (actual experience).

I’m selfish, but not that selfish.

I don’t see the need to carry on my bloodline, nor do I care if I’m the last of my family. I don’t have that urge to breed, like a lion or mongoose, or jellyfish, or any other being with half a brain cell. So when people are all like, OMG UR SEH SELFISH, I remind them that the selfish thing to do would be bringing up a child I don’t want in a world that’s pretty crowded already to please the inane babble of friends who tell me I’m a moron for making a decision they don’t personally agree with. Yeah, they may think it’s my role to have babies and it’s my PURPOSE as a lady. I say we’re not in the 1800s any more and women are more than just baby machines. Way to champion feminism there, sisters.

kittens and puppies

Contrary to your beliefs, I know myself.

I’ll change my mind. How many times have I heard that. Does having children automatically make parents spew this nonsense out at those who don’t have them? Like zombies, crying out for norms to jooooooooin ussssssssssss, brrrraaaaaaaaains and bbbbaaaaaaaaaaaabyyyyyy foooooooooooddd, they just can’t accept we’re not all like them, craving a baby like a heroin addict craves his next fix. As a child, playing mummies and babies made me physically sick. I know I don’t want children, thank you. I have a lovely boy in my life, I’m as settled as I’ll ever be, and yes, those wrinkles tell me I’m not getting any younger! I don’t care if that clock stops. I never asked for the batteries in the first place. Saying I’ll change my mind just shows how arrogant they are in thinking I don’t know my own self – thanks for that.

You’ll never know the joy a mother and baby can have.

Nope. I’ll also never know the joy of a private island with a butler called Leigh Halfpenny, nor the joy of what it’s like to have wings and fly, nor the joy of my own personal Mr Whippy machine for 99s on demand, nor the joy being able to drink a milkshake without agonising stomach cramps, or the joy of painting. There are lots of things I’ll probably never get to enjoy or experience, but, OMG this is so weird, life goes on merrily without them. Just because I’ll never experience the joy in a semi-naked curly-haired Leigh Halfpenny bringing me a candyfloss cocktail doesn’t mean I can’t find joy in other things. Like a good night’s sleep, an uninterrupted dinner with family, or knowing my life is mine for the next decade or two.

So please, keep the pictures of your kids on Facebook and out of my day. Remember that your little baby isn’t the first one to have ever weed in a potty and some (most) people just don’t care about this, and please don’t assume I’ll want to hold your newborn because not only am I terrified, I just don’t see the point of it. Like, what am I meant to do, have a life-changing experience because I’m holding a smaller version of you with no teeth or hair?

So parents, you enjoy your life, I’ll enjoy mine. Live, and let live. Right? Right.