Not wanting kids in the Latinx community
I am a 24-year-old woman. I would define myself as accomplished, successful, and driven. I have a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, I own my own car, and am debt free. I would say I have pretty much everything going for me.
In a T.V. show, I would be a “Sex in the City” character, but according to my family, I am still not woman enough because I do not have, nor want, kids.
Now, to my family, the emptiness of my uterus is a reason to be alarmed. Me not wanting kids was never something they even considered to be possible.
In American society, the age range is as follows: 0-3 is a toddler, 4-12 is a child, 13-17 is a teenager, and 18+ is an adult. In the Latinx household, it is different; we are still children up until the point when we have our own, even with all of the accomplishments mentioned above.
Even as I have tried to justify my “selfish” behavior to not bring a child into the world, I have not reached “señora status.” It is more than an age requirement; it is a state of mind. You get to sit at the adult table and talk about the world’s problems.
I think my reasoning is valid; I do not want to continue the generational trauma that being a teenage mom brings. That, and I simply just do not want kids and I do not need a reason to not want them.
It is a topic brought up every chance we have a family reunion.
¿Y el Novio?
¿Cuándo te vas a casar?
¿Cuándo vas a tener hijos?
¿Cuántos hijos vas a tener?
It is as if having children is the goal. The finish line to life. CONGRATULATIONS! You made it! You had a child and now you are finally a woman and have contributed to society by bringing them into the world.
I have chosen to be a part of the 15.4% of women who do not want to have kids and I will not apologize for it.
Having a child does not make me a woman and choosing not to have kids does not mean something is wrong with me.
Playing devil’s advocate, I can see why my family wants me to have kids. It used to be seen as an honor to have many children. Especially in Latinx culture, we see our parents, grandparents, great grandparents having many kids in order to sustain the household chores or because contraception was not an option.
I have nine aunts and uncles which definitely makes family gatherings interesting, but, oftentimes, I think of how neglected they must have been. What ends up happening in households that have many kids? They end up with a generational cycle of kids raising kids.
There was no way for my grandma to be able to keep up with everyone, so the oldest were in charge.
Fun fact, I am the oldest of my siblings, if you see where I am going with this.
So, the question remains; when is the cycle going to be broken? The years of generational trauma and cycle of having children at such a young age? What great things could the women in my life accomplish if they had chosen not to have kids?
For the people who will be upset by my statement, I find that being a mom is the hardest, most demanding job in the world. I have complete respect for mothers. Choosing to bring a child into the world and doing the best you can is not an easy task! Not enough props are given to mothers, but me not wanting children does not make me any less of a woman than those who choose to have children.
My decision to not have kids was not an easy one to make and, yes, I have heard a million times that “you will change your mind when you are older” or “what if your husband wants kids?” And to that I say I will break the cycle.
Having a generation of women who decide they do not want to use their uterus and that is okay is empowering in itself and we should not be classified as selfish for not wanting to do so. We are still women, regardless of if we bear children or not.