I Never Wanted to Have Children

Posted 02-24-2012 at 10:22 AM by Krista

A while back I was visiting with a friend that I had been close with when I was younger. For many years, we were like sisters. Her father even referred to me as his “other” daughter and took me along on some of their family vacations. We were playing a game of “remember when” when she said, “Hey, I remember when we promised neither of would ever get married or have children.”

I shot her a look of disbelief, because at this time I had been married for six years and had two children. “What?”

“Yeah. You don’t remember?”

“No,” I replied honestly, unable to even fathom that I’d ever said that. I’d wanted a family as far back as I could remember.

Tonight I happened across an old journal of mine that is roughly twelve years old. And as it turns out, she is correct. Right there, in black ink in my own handwriting were the very words: I don’t want to ever get married or have children. The reason? Because when I was a kid all my parents ever seemed to do was fight. And when I say fight, I am misusing the term. They had blood baths that seemed to last for days where they would say anything that could think of to hurt one another. It often ended with us packing our bags and leaving with my mom for a few hours until she either calmed down or realized that my father wasn’t coming to get her.

In the wisdom of a fourteen year old I’d written that in order to avoid repeating this mistake I would never marry, and never have children in order to avoid causing others to suffer as I had as a child. I don’t think I could handle it, knowing that I’d put them through that when I remember how badly it hurt me growing up.

A lot of us have stories like this. A lot of us have things in our past we’d rather not remember and behaviors we’d rather our own children didn’t see. It’s why some grandparents aren’t allowed to see their grandchildren. After all, as the parents we have to protect our children in any way we can, and that often means sheltering them for certain situations.

In part, my worst fear has come true. I often pick fights and nag my poor husband, J. I used to do it in front of the children when they were younger (we’re talking two and under) until I realized that I was repeating the pattern. The truth is, I don’t want my daughters growing up thinking, “Gosh, I’d rather stay single than have a marriage like mom and dad’s!” What a horrible legacy to leave your children. Which is why, for them, we must fight against our upbringing, at times, to give them something better. That’s what parenting is all about, isn’t it? Giving them the best we possibly can.

Filed Under: General


6 Responses to “I Never Wanted to Have Children”

  1. shouldbedoinglaundry on February 24th, 2012 10:31 am

    A wise person once told me that the greatest gift you can give your children is a good relationship with your husband. I try to remember that when it seems all the energy I have goes to the LOs. I always to make my husband a priority.

  2. AnnaMurnane on February 24th, 2012 11:01 am

    It is so true sometimes i stay quiet bc after a long day of the kids, housework, and trying to get my school work done i don’t have much patience for Dh. Especially if he doesn’t fell like picking up after himself. So I remember to stay quiet if i don’t have anything nice to say. I used to say the same thing for similar reasons.

  3. crysntony on February 24th, 2012 1:29 pm

    I could have written this story myself. Except I would have added a few absurd details of my parents disfunctional relationship-which sadly continues to be a problem even now that Im in my 30s. I agree that we must fight against our upbringing 100%. When I married my DH 15 yrs ago, I would leave whenever we had a disagreement. I would scream for a divorce whenever I felt wronged. I LOVE my DH but I didnt know how to communicate any other way. I didnt want that kind of marriage so the only option was to change and grow. Change the way I communicate, change my selfish ways, learn to compromise, and grow to love someone more than myself. I also had to learn that I am a great person and am worthy of love, of being loved. It was hard! But I learned to look at DHs good qualities not his bad. I love my DH more now than ever before. And Im so happy to be where I am in life and love. And Im sure my happiness just irks my mom to pieces. Which probably means Im doing something right.

  4. Krista on February 24th, 2012 1:41 pm

    Thanks for all of your feedback. Writing things like this used to scare me–and sometimes still does because I am not around many people that have stories similar to mine. It is so good to have someone who can relate.

  5. shelookslikeamom on February 25th, 2012 7:30 pm

    I never wanted children, too, except it was for a different reason; my parents have a wonderful relationship that I can only hope I am modeling in my marriage to DH. The reason I didn’t want kids is because of my type 1 diabetes. The only way I could think of (in your words) “to avoid causing others to suffer as I had as a child,” was to not have children at all. Well, I did my research, met the right guy, and all of a sudden, I couldn’t imagine life without kids. I’m doing everything I can to prevent DD from getting diabetes, including genetic testing, alternative immunization schedule, and boosting her immune system. And then, at the end of the day, I pray.

  6. Krista on February 26th, 2012 8:31 am

    I completely understand. All of our battles may not be in relationships, but in different ways we desire to protect our children.

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