So, let me start of by saying, I’m not going to be a mother. I don’t want to be. I respect those that have maternal instincts, but I really have no desire to have a child. Whatsoever.
“You’ll change your mind. You’re still young.” I get those two a lot, but after being married to my husband for almost 9 years (and together for over 10), I think if I wanted to procreate I would’ve done so by now.
I realize this behavior puts me outside of what society considers normal. So, I put some thought into why I felt this way – why don’t I want to have children? Why does anyone have a kid? Why does anyone feel their DNA is so important they need to recreate part of themselves to leave for the next generation? There’s a biological drive to, sure, but I’m okay with enjoying practicing this side of things. I like lists (and have the notebooks to prove it), so, after some thought, here’s why I believe being an author has greatly reduced my desire to have kids:
1. I’ve already put 5 kids into the world. Okay, I’m not going so far as to put my books on the same level as an actual human life, but creating characters (especially those who exist in a series) is a bit like being a Mom. I’m protective of them and why shouldn’t I be? While I didn’t gestate them, it did take a number of months to write and edit them into existence. Additionally, once they are put out in the world, they still require a great deal of my time and energy. Furthermore, I have to treat them all equally. So, the youngest – while demanding – deserves just as much time as my eldest. For my ‘unborn’ (unpublished) kids, I want to give them equal opportunities I gave their siblings.
2. Being a YA author (published under my real name, Courtney Brandt) already allows me to connect with the next generation. I interact with a certain demographic on a daily basis. They ask me for advice, they tell me my books inspire them. With an awesome few, they’ve invited me into their lives and I’ve watched (not like a creeper, more like an indulgent aunt) as they graduate high school and go to college. I truly love this level of involvement. It costs nothing and the rewards are incredible. Ultimately, I feel that some part of me lives on through my involvement with them. I don’t need to have a kid of my own to feel this way.
3. I’m selfish with my time. Scratch that. I’m selfish. There is nothing more satisfying for me than to have the luxury of time. Time to write, research, and edit. Time to let my brain relax. I’m not saying parents don’t have time, but the needs of their children can (and usually do) come first. I don’t begrudge anyone for this behavior, but it’s just another reason I don’t want a kid. My writing and my life comes first. My husband is at an equal level. There’s not really time for anyone else. If I were to have children, wouldn’t some part of me resent all that time taken away from the life I used to have? The constant, “I would, but we have to do X, Y, Z with the kid,” would get to me.
Maybe I’m sure parents will tell me having a child is different. However, I just know what’s right for me and as I enjoy my life, sans bebe Benjamins, I’m really okay with that.