13 In Love

The Baby Question

In this day and age some women come to a point in time when they need to make a decision.

I’m 36, and as some people like to remind me my clock is ticking. Apparently I’m running out of time. Apparently I haven’t lived up to some people’s expectations. Apparently I am nearing ‘too old’ by societies standards – unless you count those freakish multiple births by women in their 40’s…


I’ve never been ‘that’ kind of female, and I’ve always steered clear of ‘that’ kind of female.  And when groups of those kind of women get together, I’m usually witnessed running in the other direction – especially during the parade of the newborn through a haggle of cluckiness at work.

Me.  Well, I’ve never yearned for kids.  I didn’t get over my fear of holding them till I was 33!  And the only ones I’ve ever really taken too were my two nieces.  When they were born I fell in love with them.  After all, they ARE the most adorable people in the world!

I’ve certainly never felt that it was my ‘duty’ to pop out one – or a few – even though the Australian Liberal government tried it on a few years back to guilt ‘us’ all to doing something for our ‘society’.  Hmmm I do think there are enough neglected children in Australia and the world – why not tempt people to have some babies for a couple of grand so that they can buy a plasma TV?!

And my body has never said to me ‘I think it’s time!’.  At least I don’t think it has…

I personally loved having a young mum growing up.  She was cool.  And I still love having a young mum.  I mean, I’m nearing 36 (argh) and my Mum is just past 50.  And she’s still cool.  If I was to have kids, I would have preferred to have had them when I was younger.  If I was to start now, by the time they were 18, I would be, well, old-ish.

Which brings me to my decision.  I’ve decided to not to have kids of my own – at least, I think I have.  And I have done so with no coercion, encouragement or convincing from others.  Some who I have told have laughed it off saying I will change my mind.  Others are shocked.  It’s a big decision yeah?!  Others – close friends who are my age – are in the same boat. We don’t exactly know what it is able people our age, but most of us just don’t have the urge.  I am thankful that we have gravitated towards each other as we all have the same beliefs, desires and so on, and I don’t feel like such a freak!

In the end this is MY decision.  It is MY body and it is MY life.  So I should be able to do with it what I want.  If that means not popping out a kid, so be it.  Things may change.  I may hit 40 and go ‘woah’.  But I don’t think I will.  I’ll give myself till the age of 38 to change my mind.  If I don’t, so be it.  If I do, well, I will try naturally, but I know I’m pretty sure I will never subject myself to IVF or any of that stuff.  That is my personal choice, and I know what my body can handle.

In the end, I’m going to be the most rockin’ aunty, and I love that idea 🙂


  • Barbara
    February 13, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Ah, the BIG decision. As you so rightly say: it is your life, your body, your decision. And your partner’s.

    I was 36 when my daughter was born, it felt right at that time but I had second thoughts in the following years as well: I will be kind of old when she is 20, will I have the energy to deal with all the problems when she is growing up. Well, I survived, did I not?

    Society (what is this anyway?) makes strange demands on us but we only owe anything to ourselves and those close to us. Rather a rocking auntie than a despairing mother, right? And who knows, you might reconsider …

  • Laura
    February 13, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    I completely agree–and why does society pressure women? Why do women pressure and judge other women? Again, it doesn’t seem to be the same for men. I have guy friends in their forties and fifties, and no one (it seems at least) is pressuring them to be a father.

    There are so many things to do, to see, to experience in this life … I’m glad you are choosing the life you want!


    • Janine Ripper
      February 20, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      Thank you Laura. I am happy with the decision too and look forward to my life – wherever it leads!

  • Marie
    February 13, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Having a child should be a burning desire you can’t quench without having one. And you’re right, there’s lots of kids in the world that need a home. Should you change your mind later on, you can always adopt. Or buy someone a plasma tv. Or have sextuplets…

    • Janine Ripper
      February 20, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      I am so glad you said that Marie. I agree. If I don’t have that burning desire, I shouldn’t. And septuplets – argh imagine!

  • MuMuGB
    February 13, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    In the end, it is all about what YOU and YOU only want. Having kids is great but it also means that your priorities have to change quite drastically. It seems to me that you have the best of both worlds as you can enjoy your nieces!

    • Janine Ripper
      February 20, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      Thanks for the support Muriel 🙂

  • Ameena Falchetto
    February 14, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Seriously amazing how society feels the need to dictate what we *should* do with our bodies! It’s your choice and your choice only – some say it’s the couple’s decision but last time I checked babies were made in uteruses and we have a choice to use ours to make kiddos … 🙂 (I have one little girl and I am SICK of hearing everyone tell me how I need to have AT LEAST one more – eh why? I’m good, we’re good)
    Definitely an interesting topic!

    • Janine Ripper
      February 20, 2013 at 6:24 pm

      ‘Procreate, procreate!’…uh. And I love how you mentioned the fact that they are our uteruses! So many people forget that fact. I mean, it’s not like it’s a piece of real estate?!

  • Joy
    February 14, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Sounds like a good plan to me! Having children is HARD and anyone who says otherwise and can only talk of the ooey-gooey stuff is a big, fat liar!…or delusional! It’s something no one should be forced to get into and it’s not true that all women ‘have it in them’ to be mothers. You know your body, your mind, your realities. With or without a child, you are complete and you rock 🙂

    • Janine Ripper
      February 20, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      Thanks Joy! I read your blog and can hear how hard it is!!!

  • Penelope J
    February 21, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Janine, thanks for sharing a very personal subject. I completely endorse your decision. If you lack a maternal instinct why have kids at all? It’s nobody’s business except for yours what you decide to do with your body, and as Joy says, having kids is tough- from conception through to middle age (in my case). I had two kids and enjoyed them when they were little, but I was fortunate enough to have nannies and doting grandmothers to look after them while I pursued a career. I don’t have a much of a maternal instinct and to this day I avoid other people’s kids. However, I’m very glad that I have my two sons and I’m close to both of them. However, I’m grateful I don’t have grandchildren because I wouldn’t know what to do with them.

  • Lucy
    March 4, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    This post spoke to me…like the voices that have been swirling round my head for years. I too (at 37 – gulp!) have chosen not to have children. 10 years ago I had a cancer scare and operations left me with only a partial womb and one ovary. Why did thy not remove everything? Because even at that time, despite knowing I was not maternal at all, I was still not thought to be able to make that decision for myself; because it may affect the lives of so many other people! 10 years later I still struggle with the after effects of having only partial surgery and I still don’t want children. Seems the only life affected is mine, so stand by your guns. It’s your life. Live it the way you want to. x

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