I would say something is hormonally wrong with me, but based on my physical appearance, I'm pretty sure I've got enough estrogen coursing through my veins. I am apparently the only 31-year-old who not only doesn't want kids, but actively dislikes all children. I thought I'd grow out of this, say, when I hit the age that most people become baby crazy (which I deem to be about 28-30), but my distaste for little ones is still going strong.
Honestly I'm concerned. I know I will end up being the only one of my friends who doesn't have kids, and therefore I'll be some form of outcast in my group. No, I don't want to go to your kid's birthday. No, I don't want you to bring your kid to lunch with us. No, I don't want to do anything "family oriented" with you and your kids and other friends and their kids. No, I don't want to hold your newborn, babysit for you, or come pick out children's clothing.
What do people without kids do? Do they have friends? How do they keep close with their old friends who have kids? The lifestyle is so vastly different between parents and non-parents that it brings a great void of conversation. I don't care about their kids, but their kids are their whole world (which means they're good parents, like mine), so what will we talk about? It's already slowly happened with some friends who had kids young, but I fear it happening to my close friends who probably won't have kids for another 5ish years.
It's a very weird position to be in, honestly. Recently discussion of maternity leave in the US vs. other countries has come up, and how little paid time off you get when you have a kid. This kind of information washes over me in the same way a lecture about "what to know if you're moving to Iceland" would. I don't even get the slightest tingle in my body that this might ever apply to me. While people at school are considering what they will want to do when they have kids, i.e. balancing a career and family, I have nothing to think about but getting married and having a rewarding career. For the next 30-40 years.
One of my teachers was discussing a psychological experiment done to test whether or not someone is a sociopath - gauging their reaction to different pictures. Some of the pictures would be graphic and gory, and some would be as mundane as a chair. The sociopaths showed no difference in brain activity between the types, but normal people did (obviously). While you showing me the police photo of Rhianna's face after Chris Brown beat the shit out of her would cause me to recoil in horror, you showing me a photo of a sleeping baby would get about the same response as the aforementioned chair photo.
I'm not a complete heartless sociopath - my voice gets 6 octaves higher and I get all giddy when I see something like a basket of puppies or a kitten cuddling with a teddy bear, but this is the response of "normal" females when they see a baby/toddler/child. And of course there are significant advantages to not having kids: a recent study showed marriages were happier when the couples were childless, regardless of their age. I won't get fat against my will, my boobs won't sag before I'm 45, and I'll have this thing I've always wanted...disposable income. And free time. And a good night's sleep, every night (depending on my job, of course).
I love weddings, and I love when my friends get married and I get to be a part of it. Weddings are fun. They're parties to celebrate starting a new chapter in your life with the people closest to you. Bachelorette parties are also quite fun...you don't get those when you have a baby. You get a baby shower, which I will attend but likely not enjoy. I see only the utilitarian aspect of baby showers - you're going to need a shitton of clothes because likely your kid will piss or puke on itself multiple times a day, and it'll grow out of each size in about a week. You need certain appliances, furniture items, and other household goods to care for a baby. It'd be ridiculous if you had to buy all of that yourself. Knowing that I made someone's life a fraction of a point easier by adding to their baby's wardrobe or bottle collection makes me feel good, but really that's it. And I really hate it when people bring their babies to a baby shower. It's the last time we get to talk to this person without having a kid around, so let's USE IT WISELY.
So seriously, what's wrong with me (SPECIFICALLY relating to this, I'm not opening all doors here assholes)? People are always like "oh, you'll change your mind." No, I probably won't. I'm at an age where I should very well know whether or not I want kids because I have only about 9 years left. The most rational people think "I want kids, but I want to do X, Y, and Z first." But to me, even after I do X, Y, and Z, kids still don't seem appealing. I have the best parents ever, who were there for me all the time, always attended my games/recitals/school events, encouraged me to do what I was passionate about, and I think they raised me to be open-minded, thoughtful, and curious. They've supported me emotionally and financially through tough times, and I can call them any time. So why, if I had such a good childhood experience myself, do I not want kids of my own? Why can't I at least appreciate friends' kids because they are, well, FRIENDS' kids? Why can't I be like one of those people who enjoys kids but knows they don't want their own?
Honestly, do you know anyone else like me in this regard? I really don't think I've ever met someone with the same views as me. Close, but never the same.