Back in 2013, I was a senior at Northeastern and decided to use my last spring break to do some good. I signed up for Northeastern’s Alternative Spring Break program where students spend the week volunteering at one of many participating organizations. I, being the animal lover that I am, opted for the program at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. It was an amazing week; spending time with the animals, exploring the Coral Pink Sand Dunes and Zion National Park, and getting to know new people from my school – ah, so fun! It was unlike any place I’ve ever been and, at the time, it was the farthest West I’d ever traveled.
I’ve put off writing about this topic since there are so SO many other articles flooding the internet on the whole kids vs. no kids outlook. I’ll spare y’all a really lengthy post, but this morning I had the following encounter with a neighbor and I’m finally fed up.
My neighbor was asking me about my travels and asked if I could see myself living in any of the places I had ventured to. I said, yes! I could totally see myself living in Seattle or Vancouver one day. He asked why I’d want to go to a place where I don’t know anyone to which I responded, “I’ll make friends.” Then he said, well what about when you get married and have kids – you’ll want your family around to help you. To which I said:
“I don’t want kids.”
And he said:
“Yes you do. You’ll see.”
[Oh, really? I’m glad you think you know me better than I know myself.]
When I tell you I don’t want kids, I have really specific reasons for not wanting kids. I’m 24 years old. I KNOW I don’t want kids in my future. When I tell you I don’t want kids, why don’t you ask me WHY instead of TELLING me I’ll change my mind. You tell me I’ll change my mind like it’s something that needs to be changed. When I tell you I don’t want kids, I expect you to respect this decision and not dismiss me like some childish youth who can only think about herself.
AND my response to all those who say I’ll change my mind when I hold a baby for the first time…have you ever held a puppy?
Spread kindness and cheer, xo
p.s. If you’re feeling charitable and adore animals as much as I do, please check out Best Friends Animal Society. I was fortunate enough to spend a week at their main sanctuary in Kanab, Utah back in 2013 and it was an incredible experience. Did I mention they’re a no-kill organization? Huzzah!