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A Rosser’s Story: Having children just so I could keep my friendship with friends who had become mothers was out of the question

When I hit 40 I realised that I was in a minority. I was different, because all the women I knew had children or wanted children. I did not have any and I did not want any. All my female friends, bar one, have at least one child. I chose having a career over having children. It took me 10 years to achieve my career goals and that was in the year of my 40th birthday, but that’s when I looked around and suddenly felt alone and isolated.

Some of my friends could no longer relate to me or understand me and I certainly could never understand what it was like in their world of motherhood and child-rearing, part-time working or staying at home because I worked full-time. The thought of having children and all that entailed was unthinkable. Thankfully, my husband feels the same. But had he wanted children I would have had at least one and it would have taken a lot longer to have a career, if ever.

At a point when my feeling of isolation was quite low, my closest friend suggested I had a baby so I would make and have friends. Another friend told me she had children even though she didn’t really want them when she got married, but had them anyway and told me that I should have had them early on in my marriage.

Having children to make friends or because it is what you are supposed to do is not a reason to have a baby. I have never physically wanted to have a baby. I have never felt that intrinsic maternal yearning, so I wonder how I could have had a baby simply because I was married and it was the norm and what I should do. I sometimes wonder if I will regret not having children. I am envious of my friends who have close mum friends they can share mum-related things with and will probably always be friends because of their children. I may not have any non-mum friends yet, but I cherish the friends I have and their children!

I enjoy my job; I know money isn’t everything, but I like that I have enough of my own to provide myself and my husband with security for the future. I know I made the right decision for me not to have children, even though I often feel isolated because of it.

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First published on December 3, 2014

Comments

  1. Hi A,
    Thanks for sharing your story. I admire your honesty and courage. You chose to do what was best for you, even though your circle of friends is made up of people with children. That you remained true to yourself is quite commendable! In this age of keeping up with the Joneses, you could have just had children in order to fit in like many people do, however, you stood firm and I applaud you for that. Thanks for being part of this community and for inspiring others.

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