Why I Don't Want a Baby
The Back-up Plan, The Switch... So many movies now end with pregnancy as the ultimate reward. But what if it's not? Polly Vernon on why she's childless by choice.
A bar, one Thursday night, after work. I'm sharing a bottle of wine with a group of colleagues when I fall into conversation with Mark, a friend of a friend. I mention in passing that my workload has increased because a member of my team is on maternity leave. "That's OK," he says. "Women hold the fort for each other because you'll be hoping someone will do it for you."
I bristle. "It isn't really OK because, well, I don't want kids," I say. He looks at me curiously. I take a defensive sip of wine.
"You can't have them?"
I sigh. "No. I don't want to have them."
"Why do you think you don't want to have them?"
"I don't think. I know."
"No, you don't," he scolds. "How could you?" Things spiral downward from there.
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