Hello! Very excited to see this website exists!! My name is katelyn, and I’m a 29 year old woman from Canada. I’ve been married for 3 years.
Here is my crazy story about how I decided (empoweringly) that children are not for me.
I always assumed I would have children. In my early 20s I didn’t think about it really. It was this far off thing, “10 years down the road... when I FEEL like it. Because that is what people do.”
I met my husband in 2013. He wanted children, and “so did I” as I thought. We agreed 2 would be nice. Though I did mention how I’ve never really LIKED kids, being the youngest by 6 and 8 years in my family with no cousins. Kids are very alien to my world. I don’t like holding babies or being responsible for others kids but I am sure I’ll like mine... someday... in 10 years...
When we got engaged something snapped inside me. I realized I just committed to having children because I had told this man I wanted children. When I told him “yes I want kids” it was a far off some day when I feel like it kind of yes when we were dating, but when we got engaged I felt like all choice had now been stripped away and because I said I would have children, I was now required to fulfill that. This is when my anxiety disorder began.
I called my mom sobbing during our engagement because I didn’t know if I should break off the engagement because I didn’t know if I wanted to have kids. She told me “you just suck it up and you do it, you just do it for him.”(this Is why I now don’t ask my mom for advice anymore) so I tried to stomach the idea of having children. For him. Because I love him. I tried to force myself to be excited for the idea of having kids while crumbling under the pressure cooker my life was becoming.
As a Christian woman I wanted to remain celibate during our engagement. Because I’m human we had been having sex during our dating time. We both agreed we should abstain until the wedding so we did for 10 months.
So, as the wedding day comes, it is our wedding night, and after a long 10 month wait I was excited for a great night. Then I discovered that at some point during the anxiety-ridden engagement period, my body developed vaginismus due to the stress and anxiety tied to the pressure to have children.
Vaginismus is when the muscles in your vaginal wall spasm out of control to “protect you.” Your body wants to protect you from harm as it senses a threat. It is subconscious and involuntary. Your muscles tighten making penetration impossible. The anxiety about having children literally caused my body to shut down and the possibility of having Intercourse was removed. That is how strong the desire to not have children was... I just didn’t know it at the time. And also how strong the mind and body connection is.
The last 3 years I’ve seen 3 therapists, 1 doctor and 2 pelvic floor physiotherapists. I’ve been able to explore all the causes and reasons of my vaginismus. It is still not better but I’m in a much better place. I have let go trying to fix it and trust it will get better on its own in time as I heal from my anxiety. I have anti anxiety medication and am working through anxiety with different tools like meditation and deep breathing.
After lots of therapy and Dr. Visits we realized that the cause of the vaginismus was indeed my fear of having kids and the pressure of not having a choice about it. So I boldly spoke my truth. That I don’t want children. Not now, and likely not ever. I told my spouse and my family.
My husband did know before we got married that I didn’t want children potentially, I didn’t hide it in our conversations when I listed how terrified I was at the thought of being a mother. He put the two and two together. He made a decision to marry me even if I never wanted children. This is what I found out later after we were married. He is amazing. He still wants children but has made it abundantly clear he isn’t going anywhere and the marriage comes first. He has no interest in being a single parent, or forcing me to have a child if I don’t want one because that is a recipe for serious disaster.
I’m grieved I cannot give him what he wants but he is so amazing at adapting. Like when we couldn’t be intimate for years, he never pressured me to have intercourse, he was patient and understanding! He is able to roll with the unexpected. My desire to remain childfree WAS unexpected to me as I always assumed I would want children some day. The closer I got to 30 the further away I wanted to run from motherhood.
I realized even if it cost me the love of my life I needed to be brave and speak out my honest needs and desires. Luckily my husband is the most anti-divorce man I have ever met. Our marriage has actually never been better. We are just adjusting course in our life to include us and our two dogs only, and we get to decide how we want our life to look.
For me, the idea of motherhood felt like a locked cage, something I couldn’t escape if I wanted to. A ball and chain. A permanent crushing burden I wanted nothing to do with. Now I can breathe.
I think mental health is a legitimate thing to consider when deciding to have children. I know from studies that having children gives you really high highs, and really low lows. I don’t want to experience that because it wouldn’t be good for me. I need stability. I want lesser lows and lesser highs. I’m fully content with my peaceful, quiet home with my dogs and my husband. My favourite verse is “seek peace and work to maintain it.” I wouldn’t do well in an environment with a lot of noise and chaos. This is not a weakness, just wisdom from knowing myself. It has nothing to do with selfishness, it is just that I know what I need. I am bent towards anxiety and worry, and having children would negatively effect my mental health. I am an introvert, and to have someone who needs me all hours of the day makes me want to run away. I could be a good parent if I absolutely had to be, but I know myself better than that and my true happiness consists of a life that has freedom, and peace and quiet. I want my life to feel open, where I get to hold the brush and paint whatever I want my life to be with my husband. What I NEED is not synonymous with motherhood. And that is perfectly ok.
I’m very thankful for being able to speak my truth and be honest with myself. It has lessened my anxiety and I hope to heal completely from my anxiety and my vaginismus. Acknowledging my true feelings is step 1.
I encourage everyone here to listen to your intuition. Listen to your heart no matter what. Seek peace and work to maintain it whatever that means for you. And if anyone judges you for it that is because they are ignorant to the truth and aren’t really in your corner and don’t really care about you. You have valid feelings and you are intelligent. Don’t let doctors, spouses friends or family belittle your choice to remain childfree or make you feel like your stupid and will change your mind. You have a brain and if you decide your best life includes no children then more power to you!!!
If you happen to regret it later there are so many children in this world who need a family and adoption is a valid choice as well.
So be honest and live your best life! Be blessed.