It's really encouraging to find a site like this.
I am 27 years old and decided a very long time ago that I did not want children. A year ago I met my first boyfriend and was happy when we agreed very early on that we did not want children or marriage. I have had a wonderful relationship so far and hope it lasts as long as possible.
My decision does not sit well with others. I am often told, very kindly and condescendingly, "oh, you'll want them one day, just wait", or "you'll love them once you've had them!". While I've decided not to go the way of sterilization in case I do change my mind, for now and in the foreseeable future I am very contented with my decision. The feeling I get is that people think I haven't grown up yet or properly reached adulthood because I haven't felt a desire to have kids. This always throws me a little, especially when I hear it from people who know me and who I thought respected me.
Then there's "oh, I forgot, you hate children". I. DO. NOT. HATE. CHILDREN. I've had many good times with my very young cousins, I'm comfortable holding relatives babies (and I'm good at putting them to sleep, go figure), and I have no trouble admitting the majority of babies are cute. I just don't want my own. But it seems that saying you don't want kids is an opening for people to judge you as morally deficient, or lacking in care/compassion/humanity. I was really upset when one of my close friends said this; it put me right off balance, and I'll admit I ranted a little. She understood when I explained, but it was still upsetting.
I'm a bit of a caregiver, so having people think I hate kids or that I'm lacking in some way flies in the face of who I know myself to be.
One person asked me "well if you don't want to have kids or get married why are you together?" I told her that we just loved being together, and she said in that same condescending tone "oh yeah, I felt like that at the start." So not only am I apparently suddenly going to come up with the undeniable desire to have kids, I'm inevitably going to fall out of love with my partner too!
At my darker moments I feel like these people are right, that I'll regret not having kids, or that my relationship will go downhill no matter what I do. Thoughts of accidental pregnancy also scare the crap out of me because I already know I'll probably be getting an abortion, and the whole idea of going through that freaks me out, even though my partner has said he will support me.
Anyway, it's just nice to get these thoughts out there among like-minded people :-)
Thanks for listening!