I have been an aunt since the age of two. That is right, two years old. My siblings happen to be significantly older than me. I have nine biological nieces and nephews and additionally five step-nieces and nephews. There are a lot of children, of various ages in my life. I have no children, and I have never desired to have my own children. If my mother were alive, she would tell you I asked at the tender age of six “is it mandatory to have children when you grow up because if it isn’t, I’m not having any.” I have not changed my mind in the last twenty-something years. I am happy being child-free and being the aunt to everyone. I have plenty of friends I grew up with who did not share my sentiment for being child-free. I am an “auntie” to two of my childhood friends.
I started this post because this weekend, I was on auntie duty at my fictive nieces’ second birthday party, and it got me thinking about my title as Aunt.
I am happy with this title. I can make a positive impact on another’s life, but I don’t have all the responsibility and pressure on me to raise a productive member of society. Not to mention, I come from a long line of unhealthy genes, I do not want to pass that along. Auntie Sara suites me just fine. I don’t need anyone to call me mom.
But people often jest and asked when will my husband and I have a little one of our own. My reply is always – “we are not having children of our own, but in the future when we are stable, we may adopt an older child.” My husband agrees with the lifestyle of not having a child, though I am still unclear about his reasons. But when I meet someone new, and they ask this child baring question I explain my life choices, which by the way I choose to share my life choices, because if you want to be nosy and judgy, I’ll intentionally overshare with you and make you uncomfortable.
Nonetheless, I periodically come across someone who says I don’t genuinely mean I don’t want children, or I’m just young and confused. Well, I’m 30 (so not so young now am I?), and there is nothing to be confused about, and I sincerely mean it when I say most things, not having/wanting children being one of them.
There is always that one person who tells me I’m selfish for not wanting children. And to those I say, go fuck yourself. I feel it is selfish to bring someone into the world for my own shits and giggles, or my personal favorite – so that I have someone to take care of me when I am old. There are plenty of skilled nursing facilities out there that I will be able to afford since I likely won’t have children, I mean as long as you don’t count my student loans as my children.
I just wanted to share my two cents on my title as Auntie Sara. I love it, and I wouldn’t want another title. I want to share that I think it is inconsiderate to ask others about when they will start popping out children. In my case, I don’t want any, but in many other cases, there is a medical struggle as to why they haven’t procreated, even though they are desperately trying.
A little sociology for you – Since I choose to be childless/child-free, I technically live a diverse lifestyle according to modern social norms. But there has been a modest increase in childlessness in the U.S. There is about 16–17 percent of all United States women who will complete childbearing years without bearing children, and I am really striving to be one of them. And according to social statistics, economic considerations (student loans possibly) have contributed to the rise in child-free marriages. **