'Judged and ridiculed' for not having kids

Last updated 08:00 13/12/2013
FREE TO BE A COUPLE: Sarah Nichols and her partner have made the decision not to have children.

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My partner and I have been together for nearly five years and we have made the decision that we don't want to have children.

We aren't sure yet whether or not we never want children, but we definitely know that children are not in our life plans at the moment. We are both in our mid-twenties and are working in careers that would be flexible enough for us to work around having children, but right now, we can't imagine anything worse than having a child.

We have become accustomed to a certain lifestyle and the ease at which we can make plans at the drop of a hat to do whatever we want without having to think about babysitters, staying sober to look after a baby, etc.

I understand to most people this statement may sound selfish, which is exactly the reason why we are both aware that having children is not for us. The concept of having a child now is terrifying to us and, frankly, we have discussed that if I were to fall pregnant now (if birth control failed) then we would likely abort.

We feel a lot of pressure and judgement from our friends and families when we share this view point, particularly from my family and my mother who very much wants a grandchild or three from me and calls me "selfish" for not falling pregnant at her say so.

My partner's parents have dropped the hint more than once that they too would love grandchildren.

Our friends are all getting married and having children, planned and unplanned, which only adds to the pressure on us being in a relationship for as long as we have to hurry up and take the next step because it would seem from the conversations around us that we cannot just be in a relationship and enjoy our love for one another without adding a child to the mix.

We have been ridiculed and judged for our decision and our reasons not to have offspring. It seems so hard for people to accept our point of view.

Maybe one day we will change our minds but for now we don't want people telling us that our relationship will be complete with a baby, or that I should start having children before I get too old because I'm 24 now and I won't be fertile forever (yes, I have been told that).

Should the day come that we change our minds and have children or adopt a child into our home, I have no doubt that we will love him or her as much as we love one another.

My partner and I both know however that that day will not come until we are more financially stable and less selfish about sharing each other with another human being.

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For now, we want to enjoy being young, travel, see the world and enjoy one another's company.

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