I always say that I have known since I was 16 that I didn’t want children. I think I said it so often that I started to believe it. It’s not true. If I read back through old journals there are lists of baby names up until my early twenties. At that point I think I knew deep down that I wasn’t going to have children but I didn’t really know why. A part of me had this feeling that I wasn’t physically able to. It wasn’t until years later that I made the decision not to have children. That has stayed with me; I believe that I shouldn’t.
There are what I consider to be valid reasons for this; other people may disagree.
- I am not currently mentally stable enough to have children. In fact I haven’t been stable enough since I turned 17
- Do I have the right to bring a child into this world knowing that while I may be stable, I may one day fall back into a depressive episode. Knowing that one day I may turn back to self harm. Knowing that one day I may again decide that suicide is my best option
- How would I ever explain it to any children I may bear? What would I say to my child when he/she ran their fingers over the scars covering my body and asked “mummy, did you get hurt?”
- I have crappy genes. My depression is in part thanks to a family history of depression on both sides of the family. I refuse to be the one responsible for another life destroyed by this crappy illness
- Er, the being pregnant, getting fat, giving birth, breast feeding, nappy changes, projectile vomitting and then the teenage years. Urgh, no thanks, not for me!
This is just how I see it. Maybe one day I will change my mind, who knows. I certainly don’t mean to infer that anyone suffering from mental illness shouldn’t have children; I am just explaining my reasons for choosing not to.