Why I Decided Not To Have A Kid

My life didn’t turn out the way I hoped. I’ve downsized my goals exponentially over the years, and at this point my expectations are modest: I want to create stuff, I hope people like it, and I don’t need to make money from it (but if I did, that would be amazing). But the dreamer in me still believes I have a shot at a big career.

I should have been a man. I have an ENTJ personality, I’m an Aries, I have more male personality traits than female, and all I’ve ever cared about was my work. I never wanted to be a wife or mother. My fantasy was to live a gypsy life roaming around the world with a different lover in every city, only married to my art.

But it’s lucky I’m not a man because I seem incapable of making money. As a woman, I’ve always been able to attract men who want to support me, the best one of these being my husband. Dr. G is great at being a man. He excelled at school, became a brilliant doctor, and is a great provider. Making money comes easily to him, and he makes it possible for me to focus on my art despite my lack of financial success.

So being a woman worked out for me after all. But being a mother is a different story. Being a mother means being the primary caretaker, which is a raw deal for an ambitious career woman as myself. There are scenarios where I could outsource most of the caretaking, but that would not be optimal for my child. Studies show that the best primary caretaker for a child (especially in the first year) is the mother, then the father, then a family member, then a nanny. The worst option is daycare, which can lead to recurring illnesses in the child, behavioral problems, and worse outcomes later in life.

I think it’s harmful to tell women they can “have it all.” There are simply not enough hours in the day to have a full-time career and be the primary caretaker. I’m struggling to “have it all” just as an artist. I have so many projects going on (this blog, that blog, poetry, art, music) that I feel like none of them get enough time. I constantly feel guilty that I’m not doing enough, and when I focus on one project I feel like I’m neglecting the others. I’m assuming this is exactly what it feels like to be a mother with a big career.

Being a mother is not just a time suck, it’s an energy suck. Have you ever tried to get work done on no sleep? For me, it’s basically impossible. I have chronic fatigue due to my illness, so most days feel like an uphill battle. Adding a kid to that seems crazy. I’m already overwhelmed taking care of myself and my three dependents: my husband who can provide but doesn’t know how to warm up soup, my dumb dog who keeps eating foreign objects, and my puppy who will forever piss in my house because I don’t have the energy to potty train him effectively.

Having a kid is emotionally draining as well. My head is already so jam-packed with worries that I’m not sure there is room for more. These are just a few of the thoughts swirling around in my head every day:

  1. If I write this article is anybody going to read it?
  2. If I share more about my life are people going to hate me?
  3. Am I ever going to be successful?
  4. Would it be career suicide to quit Instagram?
  5. I’m tired, why am I always tired?
  6. Are we going to be priced out of our city?
  7. Did I pay the utility bill?
  8. Do I want to spend an hour in traffic to go to the gym, or should I sit here and watch The Voice?
  9. Do I look my age? Can I get away with pretending I’m 28?
  10. Should I get my boobs done?

Life is hard enough as it is. Being a mother means giving up a lot, so you’ve really gotta want it. After years of disappointment with how my life has played out, maybe having a kid would be the highlight. But I’m not there yet. I’m not ready to let go of my dreams.

Continue reading: “I Got Pregnant Twice Last Year”

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3 Comments

  1. Blue
    April 5, 2018 / 12:08 am

    This is a beautiful piece of writing. Raw & vulnerable & honest, with remarkable self-awareness. More, please.

  2. Anonymous
    June 2, 2020 / 11:27 am

    I don’t hate you. You do what you want. It’s your life.
    But if you ask, I am sad for the beautiful, talented and smart children you could have but you don’t. Evolution is about making smarter, stronger, healthier offspring. I am sad for your ancestors who suffered so much to have descendants, you being the last link, so the journey of their genes can continue. Life is usually hard unlike today, they survived predators, famines, plagues, wars etc
    We are just leaves. The tree is your DNA. Our forest is the human DNA. When you don’t have children, your tree dies, your husband’s too, a little bit of that forest die with you both. Overpopulation is the problem of those who make eight kids, not those who make one or two.

    Like every living organism, moreover living creature, we want to reproduce. It’s in our genes, it’s what we are programmed for. I think as much if not more than love of art or dreams of success etc I fear one day you will realize this but it may be too late. Many older women who chose the same path than you, do regret. Also your loving husband may regret too. If I may, a child, children, are the most amazing poetry, the most beautiful master piece, the most wonderful music someone like you can ever made. Not everybody do those kind of children, but you and your husband can obviously.
    I love animals, I have a dog, but if time and energy is the problem, why having dogs then, but not a child. Don’t they take your energy and time away from your art?
    This world is upside down…

    Regarding your points: #5, maybe it’s your diet. Check the carnivore diet, the diet humans ate for 2.5 million years until agriculture. Check of course both sides, writings from carnivores and from anti-carnivores, and make your opinion. Since then, but especially in the last decades due to bio-engineering, mass and mono crops etc, a lot of metabolic diseases have plagued us. It’s not only that meat and animal products are good for us but that plants are not exactly good for us. The fact they have nutrients doesn’t mean we can absorb them, as they are loaded with anti-nutrients as well. Duh, they too want to live and reproduce: they don’t want predators, including humans, to eat them! Animals flee or fight back with fangs and claws, plants just make toxins. It can kill a caterpillar on the spot. We are bigger, it doesn’t kill us right away but slowly: heart diseases, cancers, diabetes, obesity, depression, dementia etc Check Zoe Harcombe, Sally Fallon Morell, Lierre Keith, Kevin Stock, Paul Saladino etc
    #8, I have the feeling you live in a nice neighborhood with parks. Just walk, run and do some weight for two hours a day in the sun, instead of those one hour gym and two hours drive. You now saved one hour and did more healthy activities. You’re welcomed lol

    • Margot Loren
      Author
      June 3, 2020 / 4:25 pm

      Hi there, thank you so much for your thorough and thoughtful comment. I think you make valid points, and I encourage you to continue reading my posts about motherhood- there are some recent developments on that front. My husband and I recently did IVF, and I will be sharing that story on my blog within the next week. I have also made several lifestyle changes around fitness and diet (I eat a meat heavy diet) and that has helped improve my health.

      I agree that it is a shame for couples that are affluent and intelligent not to have kids. It is a cause for concern when the only people procreating are the ones that bring 8 kids into the world with limited resources and often broken homes. You could even go so far as to say that, in my situation, I have a moral obligation to have kids. That is definitely something I have thought about.

      Once again, thanks for your comment and I hope you will stay tuned to my story and journey towards motherhood.

      All the best!
      Margot

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