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'Stop Telling Me I'll Change My Mind About Not Having Kids By 40'

'Stop Telling Me I'll Change My Mind About Not Having Kids By 40'

'I think it’s hard sometimes even for other women of my age to understand that not all women are hard wired into wanting babies.'

Gregory Robinson

Gregory Robinson

When Rachel Rodgers and her partner attended her cousin's wedding recently, she knew there would be one familiar question that would be on everyone's lips - "when are you going to have a baby?"

The 31-year-old gets asked this very personal question all the time, mostly by her female pals and family members who are the same age and older.

Rachel is adamant that she doesn't want to have children and she has felt this way for as long as she can remember. Unfortunately, some people do not take her answer seriously and instead warn her that she may regret her decision once she turns 40.

"At that wedding, six individual people asked me and by the fourth person I wanted to scream but I didn't want to upset my cousin's wedding," she tells Tyla.

"I was watching my sister's daughter so I was near a pram and people said, 'Aw that will be you soon' and 'When will you and your partner have a baby?', all that kind of stuff. It felt constant, nobody asked me how I was. They were just interested in when I was going to have a child and it drove me crackers."

Rachel decided she doesn't want to have children and her partner feels the same (
Rachel Rodgers)

It's not just at weddings, either. Some of Rachel's friends - who have themselves welcomed children and tied the knot - ask her constantly when she'll follow suit.

"I think it's hard sometimes even for other women of my age to understand that not all women are hard wired into wanting babies. They look at me like I'm crazy when I say I have no interest in having children. They always say I'll change my mind, or ask me 'What I'll do if I get to 40 and decide then I want some?'"

Rachel responds to those who ask if she'll regret not having children by explaining that because she and her partner of five years already have a 'full and joyous' life with their two dogs, she has her dream job as a clinical animal behaviourist and lives in a lovely home, that feeling of regret is highly unlikely to manifest.

After previous relationships with ex-boyfriends ended 'terribly' once she told them that she didn't want to have a baby, Rachel made sure to have a conversation with her partner about it when they started dating. It's a topic that has become a primetime conversation in recent days, as Love Island fans saw something very similar unfold as Aaron broke things off with Sharon after she said she does not plan to have children while he wants four.

"It was only on the third date I said to him, 'By the way I don't want any kids' and he said, 'Thank goodness I don't want any either' and it was the greatest feeling," Rachel recalls.

Rachel is a clinical animal behaviourist and feels her life is happy as it is (
Rachel Rodgers)

Her parents and grandparents are supportive of her decision though she thinks that her sister having a child might have taken some of the expectation from her to become a mum herself. "They've accepted the fact that they're only going to get fur grandchildren from me - my dogs - and I think they're quite happy with that. I think my own grandparents are expecting to get a corgi than a grandchild."

Rachel's decision has not only impacted her romantic relationships and friendships. The expectation that she will have a baby because of her age and gender impacted her professional life, too.

Six years ago she interviewed for a senior management position and got down to the last two candidates but she didn't get the job. "They told me they went with the other lady because she was older than me so less likely to go off and have a baby which I think is illegal," she said. "That really bothered me because if you're the best person for the job you should get it if you have a child or not, or whether there's a potential you're of childbearing age it shouldn't go against you."

Last month, Gogglebox star Scarlett Moffatt posted a powerful statement on Instagram urging women to stop asking their friends when they're going to have babies.

The 30-year-old said: "Can we please stop asking when our queens who haven't got babies are going to have them. It's something with age I'm massively noticing.

Scarlett Moffatt shared a powerful statement on Instagram last month (
Scarlett Moffatt-Instagram)

She added: "I also love that some of my friends don't have babies and I can understand why they want a child free life. I'm also understanding that some of my friends can't have children the conventional way because of medical reasons and because they're two men or two women together so mentally and financially it is more difficult."

Scarlett's post resonated with Rachel who is close in age with the reality TV star. She said it felt 'refreshing' to see someone of the same age feel the same as her and to see the large number of women who were reposting and agreeing. "It was nice seeing that I wasn't the only one who felt strongly about it."

Rachel also wants to warn others about the toll constantly asking when a woman is going to have a baby has. She acknowledges that her decision was totally her choice, but for many women who want children but are unable to have them, the questioning while well intentioned could be damaging.

"People have to be very mindful when asking why someone hasn't had kids because you could be opening up a can of worms," she warns. "You could also be really upsetting that person because if they are trying but for health reasons they can't have children the last thing they want is for someone to bring that emotion up and then have to say to someone 'I can't'."

Featured Image Credit: Rachel Rodgers

Topics: Sex and Relationships, Life, Parenting, Real Life