Yes, Childfree Is Normal: Why I Moved From "Can't" to "Won't" Today

Yes, Childfree Is Normal: Why I Moved From "Can't" to "Won't" Today

I hate justifying my decision, and I shouldn't have to. I hate that just speaking my truth freights casual chitchat with tension. I really hate yelling at the Thanksgiving table.

And so my diagnosis ended up giving me a chickenshit gift: the ability to pass as a "normal" woman. In the years since, I've learned that "I can't have kids" comes with its own set of questions ("What happened?" "Have you considered adopting?"), but they're gentle. I'm not immature and selfish when I say "I can't." Sometimes I’m tragic, but tragedy, conveniently, is a subject-changer.

Most women want kids. But I do not, and I feel totally normal -- so much so that I've never thought of the way I use "I can't," except as a shortcut around a crap conversation.

But today I read a post that promised me I am normal, then told me a different story. So today, I'm taking the one sentence from Valenti's post that rang true to me -- "American culture can't accept the reality of a woman who does not want to be a mother" -- and I'm using it as a reminder to tell my own truth, always:

I'm never saying "I can't have children" again.

desert poppy
Image: Odonata via Flickr

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