I am 34 years old. I have never *not* wanted children, but I am of a firm belief that I do not want to bring a child into this world unless/until I have very specific support.
I divorced 3 years ago, and to this day, my ex-husband is my best friend. We recently went to our nephew's 1st birthday party and realized that we were the only people at the entire party who haven't had children (and weren't planning any in the near future).
For the first time, ever, we were shook. By our families, our decisions and life choices, by ourselves. It's safe to say that this party made my ovaries hurt (there were at least 5 babies there!) and made the both of us stop for a moment and truly question our lives.
But I have a chronic, degenerative immunodeficiency disease that makes even considering having child to be a multi-year-guessing-game challenge. Plus the $30+k in medical debt I owe to hospitals around the country made my decision to remain childless for now, a must.
Not everyone in my life knows all the specifics of my personal struggles or medical problems; however, almost everyone I know has (at least at some point) made it their business to tell me how much less of a woman I was, or how I wouldn't really understand being a woman without having a child.
But I insist on speaking up and speaking out for all the women out there who are making this choice, *whatever* your reasoning may be.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. YOU ARE IMPORTANT. YOU ARE A WOMAN.
I may forget this from time to time, but it's important to be reminded when things get difficult, uncomfortable. I wish I had someone who reminded me.
This is for you, for us. Brave, powerful, beautiful women who choose to live a life of choice, not demand. This reminder is for you.