“How could I possibly know anything about raising children?”

Sabrina, 42, USA

My name is Sabrina, 42 years old, born and raised in Germany. I moved to the US 10 years ago for my career and been living here ever since.

I got married around 2 years ago and decided early on not to have children, even though it was the majority of the time subconsciously. I’m amazed how early on in life some of my girlfriends started talking about having kids, wanting kids, how many kids. I always said I’ll wait until my 30s and will surely have children by then. I wanted to finish school, my apprenticeship, getting a degree, enjoying my freedom.

My boyfriend back in my early 20s told me once “when you’re done with your apprenticeship, we’re getting married and have children”. Needless to say how shocked I was, him simply demanding, determining what is going to happen. It clearly didn’t feel right, even though I was intimidated and was also hearing the voices of the women in my family in my head, “when are you having kids?” I decided quickly after this statement to leave him and live on my own.

I noticed really quickly that I don’t like kids, but also learned to say “I’m not a kids-person” rather than saying “this baby isn’t the cutest” or “your kids are misbehaved brats”. Because: how could I possibly know anything about raising children?

I lived and enjoyed my life, moving at age 32 to the US by myself and being single for 6 years. Still constantly getting asked by my Oma when I’ll have kids. The first time that I told her I don’t ever want children, she was shocked and her only comment was “isn’t it the only purpose in life of a woman to become a mom”? I could see it in her eyes, that’s what it was for her. I would always say “my sister has 3 kids, that’s enough for our family”

I also had a conversation in my early 30s with a co-worker about not wanting to have children. His reaction was “there must have been something gone wrong in your past that you think you don’t want children.”

The most shocking question I have ever received in regards of not having children: when I found a family doctor here in the US and went the first time, he was very curious about my heritage, me being German, the history etc… at one point he asked me if I have kids or if I plan on having any at some point. When I denied both questions and mentioned that I don’t want any children, he asked me why I wouldn’t want any, if I feel guilty for the history of my country! I was speechless…

I met my husband when I was in my mid 30s here in the US, he has a son (aged 22) out of his first marriage. My husband and I talked early on in our relationship about this topic, but it was more of a “You want more kids?”, “Nope. You want any?” “Nope”. Perfect. We enjoy traveling the world a lot and living our best life, having the freedom of chasing our dreams and not the kids around a playground.