Tag Archives: Fiona Byrne

No Kids

It’s 4 o’clock on a sunny Sunday afternoon and the beer-garden and an ice cold Sauvignon Blanc is calling me. I make a few calls but alas, no friend can make it.

“Can we arrange it for next week” or “My babysitter is on holidays”

Undeterred, hubby and I totter up to the local sans friends and begin to enjoy a wee dram and a giggle when who walks in, Daddy number 1. Moments later, Daddy number 2 arrives followed closely by Daddy number 3. Each Daddy is checking his phone, hiding in the shadows and guzzling his beer as though his life depends on it. Their swift pint is a covert detour from a sudden supermarket emergency for nappies or an urgent need to ‘go for a jog.’ In minutes, they are gone.

It’s not the open throat quaffing of a 3-second pint, nor is it pity I feel for these house-bound young men, no, it is the necessity of utter deception between partners in order to enjoy something as routine as a Sunday drink that needles me. What happens between couples is their business and who am I to judge, but one thing I do know for sure is that I will never be that wife. My husband will never have to concoct some surreptitious activity so he can sneak out to the pub. The reason I am can be so certain, so irritatingly presumptuous, is because, this only seems to happen to couples with kids.

I have watched the transformation with my friends from easy-going, loving, fun couples to suspicious, cynical and frankly, mistrustful individuals who take note of the number of times he/she was ‘out’ this month because it would be a travesty if one spent 30 minutes more than the other outside of the home.

My man and I have decided not to have children.

We are both from solid loving families, we have nothing wrong with our bits and we actually really like kids. This is all very normal to me yet here I am explaining this very personal decision like a convict accused of treason

For years we were badgered about it, my mother begging to be a grandmother, our friends patting their swollen bellies and winking at us, and relatives constantly ‘reassuring’ us that it will happen soon. I can handle the parents and friends but when a 3-year-old godchild asks why we don’t have babies, as though there is something fundamentally wrong with us, then it bothers me. Are we hardwired to believe that a couple, or more poignantly, a woman is not “complete”, couldn’t possibly be “fulfilled” without becoming a mother?

Is it such a mortal sin to want to have a life of spontaneous sex, fun and travel? What is so wrong with a woman who likes her vagina just the way it is and why would I choose to inflate my perfectly fine breasts to vein popping bursting point, only to deflate them to a pair of unworn socks. Yes, I am being superficial and perhaps the profound love and rewarding experience of nurturing a child helps women look beyond the physical side effects of mothering – it must?

But – there are more philosophical questions to be asked.

What about our legacy, what about old age, what will we do when we are decrepit wrinkly old bags with no family around us? I’ll tell you what I’ll be doing, I’ll be spending the college funds, hospital bills, schools and sometimes bail money that my friends said goodbye to years ago. I will be sitting on a beach in Barbados tanning my wrinkly ass and sucking down a Pina Colada. There will be no son or daughter resenting the burden of nursing me, there will be no family feuds about inheritance and I will spend every penny on my autumn years parting with no vultures circling awaiting my death.

I realize there are many wonderful aspects to parenting and I am also aware that the very fate of mankind depends of women who do not think like me. But we live in an over populated world, full of terrible, terrible things. My choice to not become a mother will have zero impact on society and is causing no harm whatsoever. I cannot shake off the belief that it is the Man’s World we live in that has created an ideology to render it acceptable to openly pester and judge those who choose not to procreate.

I believe if men suffered childbirth and pregnancy, in fact, if men had to experience menstruation alone, my parental standpoint would need no defense.