I’d like to highlight my theory in a Model of Three Questions that may help one start on their decision-making process to have kids or not. First, one decides if they want them now—(ex: a person may not want them now), then the 2nd decision is whether one ever wants them? (ex: a person may want them later). Lastly, if they do want a child, they decide if they want one with or without a partner (ex: person may want them later, but only if they have a partner, since they do not want to be a single parent). These three main questions obviously have a lot of space for further questioning and exploration, but I do believe the model can help one begin in their process towards a confident decision.
The first two decision are extremely intertwined. That is, how you see you see your future will determine and affect how you live today, and how you view your present life, may determine and affect how you plan and live for your future. The decision is an extremely dynamic one.
Let’s say a person is not very introspective and has not reflected on their present or future life, yet, they have ALREADY decided on a major aspect of their life—they have decided they want children, and want to do it with a partner. Now, I am calling and advocating for everyone—women, men, non-conforming genders, everyone, to think. THINK MORE. If you want kids in the future, but not now, are you working towards the goal now? No? When will you start to? How will you know when you have found the right partner to have a child with? Are you both medically able to do so? What if you're not? What if they do not want children, will you do it on your own? Do you want to adopt? How will you sustain the family financially? Where will you live? There are a lot of questions that you may postpone for a time later, though, ironically so, you have not postponed the central decision, that is, you want children. You have decided you want children in the future, but have not determined the circumstances in which you will do so, and have not thought of how you will take up the many responsibilities?
Of course, if you are unsure now, that is perfectly fine, and maybe you will also be unsure if you will want them in the future, or even with a partner-- this is another possible outcome using the model of three questions. In this case, further analysis of your ambivalence may help you in your decision(s). Or maybe you'll just go with the flow in your uncertainity until you've reached a point where (for whatever reason) you are forced to decide or feel pressure to make a decision (maybe from your partner, society, or you will learn you are infertile, or you will hit 30 or 40 and all your friends will start having kids so you begin feeling pressure etc.) Life will no doubt force you to decide.
I think it is important for everyone, especially women, to seriously think about the CHOICE to have kids or not because we are in the 21st century, and we are fortunate to at least live in a time when this decision is a CHOICE!
Here are 2 amazing women talking about their decision not to have kids, and the circumstances that have led them there!