“I felt like children would fix my problems.”

Laura, 29, Ireland

I had wanted children ever since I could remember. But growing up, things were tough.

I was barely ever shown any affection from my parents growing up, which lead me to look elsewhere for affection. Because of this innate need for affection, I was the perfect target for abusers and narcissists.

I have been abused too many times to go into. The worst being my ex-boyfriend, who promised me everything I thought I wanted. He was a narcissist and I was his prey. He raped me, abused me and manipulated me. This encounter drove me to seek affection (and, at this time, children) for the next few years until I met my now husband. I was open about wanting children and he said he would be willing to explore it too as it wasn’t something he had thought about before.

Cut to a few years later, after a uterine cancer scare and a lot of trauma therapy later, I came to the realisation that my decade and a half of wanting children was only an extension of my need for affection and a “need” I adopted because I felt like it was what I “should” have as a woman and children would fix my problems.

It was such a difficult time – I struggled with a loss of identity and even tried to ignore my gut feeling that I no longer wanted children. The reality was, I had grown up and was dealing with my trauma. I had planned my whole life, I had goals and aspirations and absolutely nowhere in there was there room for children. I faced a world without trauma and I was addicted to it.

After a deep chat with my husband, it turns out we are on the same page. I now feel like I’m living for me, not everybody else, not for some version of myself that would never have been happy and I’m living my true authentic life. I travel several times a year, I have a business, I have hobbies, and I have beautiful pets who are my children. This is the family and life I want and I can’t see my decision ever changing.