“I would feel sad and jealous every time I saw a woman with a newborn. It was such a toxic time.”

Rana, 36, Sweden

I always wanted to be a mother. I would even fantasize about having a dozen children.

During my marriage I spent many years trying to conceive but I never became pregnant. Although I hadn’t encountered a direct pressure from my family or my entourage, I put the pressure on myself and went into deep waves of depression every now and then just because I couldn’t be pregnant.

After my marriage ended and I became single, I felt super scared of not being able to have a baby ever, since I would need time to recover from the devastating divorce and time means chances of getting pregnant decrease. I would feel sad and jealous every time I saw a woman with a newborn. It was such a toxic time.

I’m still recovering from my divorce and don’t feel fully grounded yet and to be honest from time to time those fears come back to me; do I really want to be a mother? do I want to be a single mother? or do I want a partner? or should I adopt a child? do I need to freeze my eggs? All those questions would haunt me day and night.

Lately I have been making up my mind that maybe I don’t actually want children and that all those years I was unaware of it. I was probably stressed by the norms of my community.

It’s only when the childfree movement became visible that I took the time to examine what is the choice that I want to make. It’s very tough because it’s hard to know for sure. Most of the time now I feel impatient and uncomfortable around children and I wonder maybe I was never meant to have children of my own. I like working with children and spending time with them. However I’m not sure how I would feel if I have to be fully responsible of them, raising them and sacrificing my time for them. I look at how I feel towards my mom, how I feel I need to pay back all her sacrifices but most of the time I can’t.

I don’t know if I would have children whether I would be happier or not. Also I wonder how I would feel when I become older and maybe more lonely. One thing is sure though; if I will never have children I will have at least one dog.