Wanting children but not having them is not sad, it is depressive, that means it makes everything look like it doesn’t matter. It is a special kind of want which fucks you up.
Maybe you will. Most people do, at least currently, have children. But maybe you won’t. If you won’t, can’t or don’t have children, be prepared.
You will be part of a minority and you will be discriminated against
As any member of any minority on earth can testify, discrimination is natural human behavior. And as a non parent you are in a minority. How, you might wonder, could discrimination work for people who don’t have children?
Well, in many ways. First you don’t really have any kind of real problems. Anything that happens to you is superficial stuff. The good and the bad. All your enthusiasm will be instantly compared with some kind of matching parenting experience, which most of the time is absolutely and completely unrelated.
Second, you will never really be believed at an empathetic level about at least the following subjects: tiredness level, amount of work worked and budget. Sure, depending on your friends and family the feedback will be dissimulated so as to match whatever you normally expect, and this will depend on how well the others can perform on their acting skills. But on the first occasion to break the spell, which will occur because you’re a human being who, like all other humans, fucks things up, you’ll get an avalanche of revelations that you’ll then work immensely hard to ignore.
Because, third, you can be anywhere, at anytime, in any place, for any reason, in any way because, “hey, you have no kids!”. At work, people will throw shit your way while trying to appear perfectly rational. It’s like you’ll be carrying the fault for the fact society at large is not more child friendly so you need to pay up, and people will ask for this payment, with interest.
Having friends will be harder
Because they’ll most likely have kids and that will be a problem. For them and for you. I’m not even going to go into the cliche of a feed filled with every step of a toddler, because that is a perfectly normal thing. I’ll say this: children get bored very, very, very quickly.
The boredom of children will get in the way of your house hosting friend gatherings, it will get in the way of many other places which lack playgrounds hosting friend communication; boredom will cut everything short and hurry everything up including your friendships.
Not having friends will be harder
Everything starts to slowly lose meaning once loneliness sets in. And being a childless loner is even more lonely, even inside a couple.
Finding couples with no children just to make new friends is a highly disliking adventure. You’ll end up doing friend auditions and you’ll participate on both sides of this gameplay. Anyway, everything fun is taken by people too young but highly marketable, while everything else slowly gets unattended to, the older you get.
The hard hits when the common ground of people with kids will be a moat for you, a moat guarding the citadel of basic human social behavior.
You might be stuck with a reversed warm and fuzzy
Maybe you’ll forget having children. Maybe you just can’t have them, whatever you’ll try. Maybe there won’t be anyone to have them with. Who cares? Not your body. If you have the bad luck of wanting children, but definitely not having them, there will be this reversed warm and fuzzy feeling, which is not cold and spiked, but hot and dense. It is a quirky feeling stuck somewhere deep inside and activated by the most unexpected of things, impossible to be pinned onto avoidable circumstances.
If you want children, but end up not having them, you will feel a raging need to mourn children you’ve never had, and you should allow from and give to yourself this mourning. It’s a health choice.
You will, without escape, try to rationalize your story. You might start to advocate childlessness as freedom from children. Maybe you’ll even mean it, if you’re lucky. But your body don’t care for philosophy. If you want them and won’t have them, you’ll know eventually that you lie to yourself no matter the truths you invent.
Probably the worst thing is to hit into that documentary about the great virtues of not having kids just to find out then that every single one in that documentary eventually had children. Rest assured, something similar will happen at some point, just be ready for it.
The encompassing warm peace of a child’s laughter will feel better
Parents are tired, specifically tired of kids. You’re not. Not having children will keep you in that child fever mode, without the fever, where you’ll see all the bright sides of a child.
This is actually a good thing, but one that’ll make you also enraged at the dark spectacle of how parenting darkens the bright of a child year after year, and it’ll also make you filled with guilt after the rage, since you don’t know shit and probably you’d be as shitty a parent as those that enraged you.
And don’t cling on that encompassing warm peace, it’s the door knock of the reversed warm and fuzzy.
You really gotta love your significant other
If you’re in a couple that ends up having no children and you both want them and you won’t have them, then your love needs to come first. Not having children can break a love story, just as well as having them does.
In a two person family don’t let your lives become habit, habits blur out reality.
There will be times when an empty house because you arrived first, or the sigh of your significant other at the sight of some cute kid doing a funny face, or the sudden discussion about “trying again”, or the subtle infiltration of subjects like how you’d raise your imaginary child in your pillow talk, any of such things like these will hit you both hard.
So, if you’ll never have kids, do make sure to love your significant other or let them go to either be alone in peace or, if the case is, to try and have another go with another one.
As unhealthy as “staying together for the kids” is, for most of the routine problems inside couple life, the joint responsibility of raising a child is a force that irons many problems out existence. Being childless or childfree, there will not be something “above” yourselves and there will not be a “most important thing” other that you two. That’s a lot of pressure. There is less hiding and less subjects to cover unresolved issues with, hence couple life will be rougher but also a million times more authentic.
In any circumstance, just remember: life is feeble, rare and you are still alive.