What to Do If You're Unsure About Having Children
If you're a woman, you've likely been asked (probably more than once) if you plan on having kids and when. Although men deal with this pressure too, historically women bear the brunt of this invasive line of questioning. And if a woman doesn't want kids or isn't sure, it's rarely well-received.
Unfortunately, if there's even a remote possibility you want to have kids the old-fashioned way, it is important to consider your options earlier in life. While you don't have to decide if you want kids today, here's what you should do if you want to leave the door open.
Examine your options
Before you go any further, decide how important having biological kids is to you if you were to become a mother. There's no need to feel guilty for what you want.
Would you be okay adopting a child if you decided to become a mom later in life? What about fostering a kid? Are fertility treatments out of the question?
If you know that if you had a child, you'd want them to be biological, it can be helpful to talk to your OB-GYN. Depending on age, your doctor might want to run fertility tests or recommend freezing your eggs.
If you're open to alternative avenues of parenthood, then you won't need to talk to your OB-GYN. You will, however, need to decide how important this option is to you. If you think adoption might be something you'd consider exploring, there's no harm in beginning to start saving money now, just in case.
These options may sound overwhelming, but if you think there's a chance you might want to become a mother at some point, exploring them while you're young enough to conceive is best.
Talk to your partner
It's important to make sure you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to parenthood. If you're in a relationship, discuss where you see your future heading and if kids are a part of that picture. In addition, find out if your partner has any objections to adoption or alternative means to parenthood. If you don't have a partner right now, be sure to have these conversations in the future if you begin a serious relationship.
These conversations can be difficult, but communicating about them upfront can help you avoid bigger fights in the future.
Find like-minded women to connect with
It can be lonely to be the only childless woman in a sea full of mothers. It can also feel isolating to express feeling unsure about motherhood and only hearing responses such as, "You'll change your mind" or "But you were born to be a mom!"
Here's the truth—you can't change people or their opinions about parenthood, even if they would be better left unsaid. What you can do is seek out women who feel the same way you do. You can even find online support groups that allow you to vent or ask questions without feeling judged or different.
Whatever you choose, feel empowered by your choice
One of the hidden benefits of exploring your options for conceiving is you'll get a pretty good sense of whether or not motherhood is right for you. Some women might realize this instantly, while others take years to decide. No matter how long the decision takes or what you decide, having explored all possible options will leave you feeling confident you've made the right choice.
There's nothing wrong with not wanting to be a mom. Moms are great! But motherhood isn't for everyone, and that's ok. If you just aren't sure which end of the spectrum you're on, that's perfectly fine, too. You don't have to have all of the answers right now. But you can dig a little deeper so you can make this choice—when you're ready—with all the necessary information.