“I don’t need to pass on my genes, this planet has too many human genes already!”

Margaret, 70, UK

I always knew I didn’t want children.

What may have influenced my decision in my teenage years were the many women who had children told me, “I love my children, but if I had my time again I wouldn’t choose to have children”. That is a very big But…

As I reached my twenties, working with a lot of girls of a similar age who were very definitely going to have children (this was the 70s), I wondered if I was following a train of thought that maybe I would change my mind eventually. I decided that since total lifetime commitment comes with the parent package and I should see of there was any spark of maternal instinct before making a definite decision.

So as successive babies were brought into the office, I made the effort to pick them up and see if a brief encounter with these many babies stirred anything at all.

This went on for years, right up until I was 38. By that age I thought the biological clock would have kicked in, if this was going to happen at all. In my case it proved that my biological clock had well and truly not been activated by all these random baby encounters I was always glad to hand the infants back to the proud mothers and get back to my desk!

So with the certain knowledge that motherhood was not for me, I made an appointment to see my G.P. to see about being sterilised. This didn’t go as well as it could have done. The doctor was a father of six children himself and couldn’t believe a woman of my age would even consider not having children. After a standup row in which he wasn’t getting anywhere and I wasn’t backing down, he agreed to refer me to a gynaecologist.

The gynaecologist was less judgemental and only asked me did I know it wasn’t reversible? After that he put me on his list and a few weeks later I had the sterilisation. Totally happy!

At my post-op check with the same G.P six weeks later, he was surprised I had gone through with it. He said most women stop the operation before the anaesthetic because they change their minds. Well I didn’t see that G.P. ever again. He was laying a guilt trip on me that didn’t go down well. I left the surgery with the clear impression he hoped I would regret the decision. I never did!

I think what really lies behind my childfree choice, is that I do not admire the human race. I don’t want to bring any more humans on this earth. I don’t need to pass on my genes, this planet has too many human genes already!