I Don't Want to Be a Mom, and No, I Won't Change My Mind
Despite what a lot of people think, choosing to live a child-free life is not a phase I'll grow out of.
When I think about the possibility of bringing life into this world, I become overwhelmingly anxious. Not because I assume I would be a horrible mom or because I have a disdain for children. I adore kids and aspire to be the best rich auntie, but many reasons have led me to this decision.
First and foremost, having a child is not a decision that I think should be taken lightly. At the end of the day, it's a commitment to raising a human being — teaching them right from wrong, accepting who they'll evolve into, and being their guiding light as they navigate the world around them. That is not an easy task; everyone parents differently and every child is unique. While no one is a perfect parent, it takes considerable time and effort to be a great one.
Nowadays, it's also a luxury to be a parent. The average person cannot afford to buy a home in most parts of the country, and many are living paycheck to paycheck. In the current economy the only people who can comfortably afford to take care of a child are the upper middle class and above. With the cost of groceries and gas, I can't imagine adding diapers, daycare, clothes, food, and other essentials to my monthly budget. It would be fiscally irresponsible for a lot of people to have children right now, myself included.
Even taking the financial element out of it, as a Black woman in America, motherhood and pregnancy are extremely unappealing to me. Did you know that Black women are about three times as likely to die during childbirth compared to white women? Black women's pain and discomfort are consistently ignored in medical spaces. So much so that even Serena Williams nearly died while giving birth to her firstborn, Olympia. She had to advocate for herself because most of her doctors weren't listening to her concerns and instead invalidated her pain. If the greatest tennis player of all time was not being treated properly, what do you think the likelihood is that an unknown Black woman would be met with the same or worse treatment?
And if I survived childbirth in America, what happens next? What happens when a beautiful Black child is brought into this world? (Spoiler alert: it's not sunshine and rainbows.) Not only would this child be brought into a world amid a climate crisis and one constantly riddled with war, but this child would be a target of violence. How often do you see a story about a school shooting? How often do you hear about an innocent Black child being killed by a police officer? These atrocities happen so frequently, we've become desensitized to them.
I don't want to bring a life into this world and have it be lost like the lives of Elijah McClain, the students at Uvalde, and the thousands of beautiful Palestinian children in Gaza. They all deserved to live, grow old, fall in love, and follow their dreams, but they never got the chance. The world is a very dark place, and I can't in good conscience bring a child into a world that I wouldn't have chosen to be in.
Even taking the state of the world out of the equation, I want to live a life where I am my top priority. No matter what the reason is, if you choose to be child-free your decision is just as valid as someone who desires to be a mother, because having a child changes everything. A child should be the center of their parents' world — their happiness, their health, their safety, their well-being should always be top of mind.
But for me, I want to live a life where my focus is on me and my community. I love being a part of my friends' and families' villages. Choosing not to have kids allows me to invest in the children in my life already. I want to help bring joy to their lives and help lighten the load for their parents. That works for me. If that makes me selfish, call me selfish. It's my body, it's my life, and it's my choice. I'd rather regret not having children than regret having them.