This is a guest post from Juliet Swann, who can also be found blogging in her role as Head of Campaigns for Friends of the Earth Scotland.
When I was 16 I was desperate to have a baby, but sensible enough to know it was a silly idea at that age. Perhaps then I talked myself out of ever being broody.
Twenty years later and many, if not most, of my friends have children of various ages, or are planning to do so at some future moment. My partner and I remain resolutely childless and have no plans to alter that status.
I don’t dislike children, I’m happy to babysit for others, and am just as inclined to hold a new baby as the next woman, but I don’t feel clucky or broody, I don’t want one of my own, and when I get home, pour that glass of wine and contemplate a quiet evening on the sofa followed by 8 hours slumber, I am not in the least bit envious.
Oddly, I quite like the idea of being pregnant so I have offered to be a surrogate for a friend should she be unable to fall pregnant.
I have also, of course, thought about what might happen if I accidentally fell pregnant. Which is a pretty impossible thought experiment. I am defiantly pro-choice, but can’t be sure I could make that decision; I think adoption is a profound and beautiful choice to make, but would I be comfortable knowing someone else was raising my child…
So I stay safe, I take my contraceptive daily and I hope I never have to make those decisions.
Why am I, and my partner, so firmly child-free? Partly it’s selfish, I enjoy my time to myself, I adore sleeping, and I like being able to switch off and not talk to anyone, including a curious toddler or rebellious teenager. Partly it’s that I honestly don’t think I’d be a great mother. I love my Mum, of course I do, and she brought me up well, but she is not a great mother, and I have much less patience than she does so can’t imagine how I could ever even be the parent she was, let alone the better version I would want to be. But mostly it’s because I don’t much like the world we live in. It has its moments, and I make the most of them, but would I gift this life, this future, planet earth in the 21st century, to another human being? Not in a million years, sorry.