“When I think about being tethered to another person for the rest of my life, it isn’t my idea of happiness.”

Simon, 33, USA

I got sterilized when I was 29! At the time I didn’t realize how lucky I was to find a doctor who would effortlessly agree to the procedure while I was technically still in my 20s so I encourage lots of folks who know they don’t want to have children to start these conversations with your doctor early and have them often. I have scores of cysts covering my ovaries and uterus and trying to stop my period was a persistent issue we had. Every time I saw my OBGYN I would tease her about performing a hysterectomy which she bluntly, and rightfully declined. So by the time I felt ready for sterilization she immediately agreed. I was on the cusp of turning 30, I had been dating the same person for about 4 years, and I was ready to fully give up conventional and hormonal birth control.

I always knew that I didn’t like being around kids but I didn’t know definitively that I didn’t want children until I got pregnant in the middle of college when I was 19 & had an abortion. Every day I’m reminded how thankful I am for making that choice. College and post-college were hard enough both physically and financially. Having a child then would most likely have kept me from either graduating or succeeding in my industry and that makes me even more thankful. I owe a lot of my professional success to being childfree.

The older I get the more affirming my decision to get sterilized becomes. The weight and responsibility of another human life gives me mild anxiety when I think about being tethered to another person for the rest of my life, it isn’t my idea of happiness. I’m open to the possibility of regretting having a child and that is reason enough for me to not have a child. In fact, I’m almost certain I would regret having a child, and what a terrible thing to do to everyone. Create regret.

For me not having children also aligns with my environmental ethics so if I really really really wanted to raise a child, there are hundreds of thousands of children without a home and loving family I could adopt, having my own child seems so selfish.

I enjoy waking up when it suits me best. I enjoy spending my money on myself. I enjoy making my schedule around what I want and need to do. I feel like I’m allowed to really enjoy myself and enjoy being an adult. Being this selfish about my time and money isn’t being selfish at all. Consider that in the United States, just being a mother is to be punished. We don’t get childcare, paternity leave, healthcare, or free college. It’s bullshit.