I’d already decided not to have children well before the current president got elected. JD has never wanted to be a parent, so there was that (I mean, my own feelings aside, it seems like a good idea to avoid having children with a partner who does not want them). Meanwhile, I had concerns about climate change and overpopulation, as well as wanting to protect against anything that might infringe on my laziness and free time. Children can be marvelous creatures, but they will not allow you to watch seven straight hours of Netflix while doing a jigsaw puzzle, which is very important to me.
So I got an IUD, and we had vague plans that JD would get a vasectomy at some point. And most of the time, I was happy with our decision.
But there was often a quiet, nagging feeling in the back of my mind when I talked about not having children. I’d always imagined one day being a parent when I was younger. And while on one hand, I didn’t want to change the way JD and I had built our life together, it was still kind of scary. I got married at 27, and wondered if I’d wake up one morning at age 30 or 35 and go Oh, NOW I want kids. Well, shit. And I worried, too, that I was perhaps lying to myself IN ORDER TO MAKE A MAN HAPPY, which, if true, would be terrible and super embarrassing.
I soothed myself with logic. Plenty of parents regret the choice to have kids! We’ll have so much more money to spend on travel and fun stuff this way! All our friends envy us, probably! And then every time a friend or cousin of mine announced that they were pregnant, I spent some time feeling irrationally angry, like they were a traitor to me, leaving me in an increasingly small circle of people who were child-free and loving it. What I am getting at is that I need a lot of reassurance.
Then the election happened, and amid my panic and heartbreak and rage, my doubts about not having children evaporated.
Seriously, even if JD suddenly wanted kids for some reason, I couldn’t do it. (Do I have to go into the reasons? You already know the reasons, right?)
There are others who have decided to have children in spite of–or even because of!–the new political reality. I admire that; if you’re a good person who made plans to become a parent on purpose after November 8, you probably have a sense of hope and optimism for the future that I can’t match. Also I don’t care what you do, because procreation is deeply personal, and anyway no one should give two fucks what I think about their decision to do it or not. This is just my personal journey, or whatever.
So, last month, JD got his vasectomy (honestly, just in case Roe is revoked we’re not taking any damn chances). We just booked a trip to Europe for the spring. I’m making Congressional calls and attending community meetings and making plans to go to more protests. And in the moments when I focus my anxieties inward, which admittedly happens less often these days, none of it is about wondering if I should have a baby or not.