“We have enough children in our life.”

Anna, 28, Germany

My parents were born in the DDR (former East Germany). My mum, my aunts and (it felt like…) all other women of their generation became mothers at the age of 18 to 25. So for me it was an unalterable plan that I will become a mother of two, better three, children as soon as I’ve finished my studies and worked for a year.

The closer this moment came, the weaker was the wish to give up the life I have for a little person who needs all of my attention, all of the time, for so many years. Furthermore, I am a psychologist. First, I worked in prison with juvenile delinquents. After that, I worked with mentally disabled children and adolescents. Then I worked in homes for mothers and their children, mostly the last chance to live with them before the youth welfare service decides that the children rather live without their mothers. Currently, I work for the youth welfare, I visit families where something went wrong and try to help children who have struggle with themselves and their families at a very young age.

In my jobs, I’ve always seen what could go wrong. Either by circumstance, like mostly among the mentally disabled children, or because of parents and other relatives who did so many things wrong. Sometimes, it wasn’t because of the family but the wrong friends, like I’ve seen while I worked with the juvenile prisoners.

I love children. But I recognized that I could no longer work with them as soon as I become a mother. My ex-boyfriend literally hated children. He hated to hold babies, he avoided to meet people with children. He was the first one making me reconsider that it’s my “duty” to reproduce myself, that we may have a fulfilled life only as a couple. But the crucial “aha moment” making me sure that I will never have children was about three years ago: I was diagnosed with a bipolar disorder. My ex-boyfriend chucked me while I was in a mania. Three days later I met my husband. He never wanted children and he knew it certainly – he became uncle the first time at the age of 10.

Since I married my husband, I am an aunt of four nieces and nine nephews between seven months and twenty-one years. Three nieces are from “my side”, from my two older brothers. We have enough children in our life. And combined my job, my diagnosis (the most important control for me is sleep), my husband and my hobbies (e.g. motor cycling, forbidden for mothers) it would be the worst decision for me to have my own child.