“Be true to yourself!”

Trisha, 57, USA

I was never a child; I was born an adult. Other than my younger brother, there were no kids in my immediate family (nieces/nephews/cousins) so everyone I grew up with was adults, and that’s how I expected everyone to behave. It didn’t dawn on me that I was expecting way too much of my peers when I was a kid. (I got along much better with my teachers than kids my own age.) I think I only babysat once as a teen for a neighborhood family, and the baby fell off the changing table (he was fine) but I knew I was not a “baby” person. I never played with dolls except for Barbies, but I made Barbie and Ken be rock and roll singers out on tour. All that said to iterate that I have never ever wanted children. Ever.

I came of age in the late 70s/early 80s. There was no question that I would need a good career to support myself and thus have spent the last 40+ years in IT. When my first husband proposed, I told him that I did not want to have kids and he said that was fine. But he lied. He thought that, once I was ensconced in a nice townhome, didn’t have to work, etc., that I would change my mind. Once I realized that, we were divorced in a matter of months. (If he wanted kids, I wanted him to find a woman who shared that view.)

Thankfully the rest of my serious relationships did not teeter on the kids question. I’ve been married, I’ve been divorced, but none of those decisions had anything to do with whether I wanted kids or not. I do know that it took until I was in my 40s before people stopped asking me if I had kids and if not, when was I going to have them. I couldn’t even get my tubes tied until my mid 40s because insurance would not cover it unless I could document that I had menstrual issues (I had endometriosis since my teens) but that was a heavenly day indeed!

From my experience, I can say the following: birth control works (the Pill and condoms (if needed). I never had a “scare” or got VD or anything, and I was decently active in my late 20s and early 30s. Never feel pressured to conform with societal norms just because society says you are “supposed” to have kids, are not a real woman unless you are a mother, etc. I am definitely a real woman who has left a line of men in my wake who would tell you the same.

But, now in my late 50s, I can say that I have supported myself and am preparing for a great retirement, with a paid-off house and travel plans galore, and I do not regret a thing. Be true to yourself!