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The moment I knew I didn’t want children

By Victoria Fryer 

Do you remember the exact moment that you knew you didn’t want children? I do. I always assumed I would eventually want children. When I was a child myself, I recognized motherhood as something women just did—the next progression in life, after college graduation, marriage, and buying a home.

After college, I assumed meeting the “right person” would inspire my biological clock to start ticking. And after getting married, I figured I just needed a little bit more time. But I remember the moment my ambivalence turned into something more: believing I would probably never want children after all.

It was my 27th birthday, and I was out to dinner with my husband. I remember what I was wearing. I remember what I was eating. (Pumpkin soup, if you’re curious—I have a November birthday.) He asked me if I thought I was ready to start “trying,” as they say.

My stomach dropped. My heart started pounding. I shook my head. It wasn’t just nerves or not being ready. I felt like I would never get to that point. I was pretty sure, at that moment, children were not in the cards for me.

But I still felt a bit uncomfortable with sounding so sure with my, “I don’t want children, ever.” Perhaps a part of me still hoped I’d change my mind. Maybe I just needed to turn thirty and feel my opportunity slipping away. Maybe I just needed one of my friends to ‘go first’ so I could understand more acutely what it would be like.

But those moments have come and gone now.

And there was another experience last year, after which I knew there was no turning back. We had a scare. I was—ahem—late.

For the first couple of days of worry, my head spun with thoughts of day care and finances and nurseries. But as we waited for the test to come up, my hands were shaking and I was sobbing into my husband’s chest. I did not want this. I did not want this at all.

Ever since then, I’ve been more comfortable with telling people that I’m not interested in having children. I’ve never felt so sure. I certainly understand that it’s still possible for life to happen, for surprises to change our lives. But, as I get older, I feel more and more sure about what I want out of my life, and what I don’t.

If you had a standout moment that made you more sure than ever, what did that look like for you?

Victoria Fryer is a writer and content strategist. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two pit bulls. You can find her on Twitter @extoria.

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