What legacy do we want to leave behind?

At this point of my life, I have no intention of having kids. Some people say I’m selfish for not wanting kids. Selfish because I mentally don’t feel ready to have kids? Selfish because I’m not ready to give up being young, to travel, to have money to enjoy? I feel like my life has hardly begun. Why would I want to cut my own joys short to satisfy another when I’m not ready to? Am I really selfish for being aware of all the things I’m not yet ready to give up?

On the surface this is what it is, under that is a much more tragic reason. I don’t know what it’s like to raise a child. I know that everyone will say that no one knows how before they do but that’s not what I mean. I mean I don’t know how to be a mom. I don’t know how to care about something that much. I don’t know how to be compassionate towards a small person and I’m afraid I simply won’t care. I’m very stubborn, I’m very demanding and I don’t like people to cross me. But under that is a much much more deeper reason that I don’t feel comfortable talking about here.

I feel like society tells us that we should have children. That our lives would be empty without them. Our “purpose” would not be fulfilled if we didn’t have children. To an extent I think that’s bullshit.

I believe my life will still be filled with purpose with or without children. If I managed to cross everything off my bucket list, I would feel like my life didn’t go to waste. If I got to travel the world, see sights and try all the foods I wanted, my life would be complete. I honestly do not feel like I need to have children to bring purpose into my life. But that’s just me.

M says that I would make a good mom, despite what I say. He sees me with our furbabies and he sees the fury and the love I have with Snow. How I couldn’t think to hurt her no matter how angry she makes me. How I cradle her and talk to her and sing to her. But a cat is different from a human baby. A cat doesn’t need to be watched all the time. A cat won’t cry for attention (okay maybe they do), at least not in the annoying way where you just want to duck tape the damn baby’s mouth shut. I know I’m my own person, I know I don’t have to be what I have experience with but who’s to say I won’t end up like that? Who’s to say my child will end up like me?

I fear I will never be the “cool” mom or the “cool” grandma. I fear I’ll be the bitter one no one wants to be around and no one will have fond memories of me. But without children, my name would be forgotten eventually too, wouldn’t it? I don’t know if any one else wonders this but do you ever fear your name, your existence would be forgotten? If anything would convince me to have children it would be that, long after I’m gone, I want to be remembered.

And yet, that’s a selfish reason as well isn’t it?


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