I read a piece online one fine Saturday morning. It was written by Olotu Funke about being a Nigerian lady who considered not having children. Ironically, the last thing I had read the night before was a thread by a Twitter user who shared the journey of how she got her fallopian tubes removed. It was as though the universe was speaking to me.
With Olotu Funke’s piece, I realized that I had been a Nigerian teenager that did not want children. Now, I am a Nigerian lady that might not want children. Within that time of development and growth, my stance has not changed and I have become quite certain of it.
When the lady on twitter told her story, she explained to us the journey it took. six doctors, five of whom were unwilling because they summarized her as an, “under 30 childless, single, and never experienced a pregnancy” woman. And of course, there were questions; what if you meet a nice man, who will take care of you when you are older, what if you change your mind, what if you regret it?
The last two questions are what people have asked me and what I have asked myself as I became more vocal with this particular desire. Because I was still considering the expectations of society. But the truth is, as the lady on Twitter, the only thing I would regret is living a mediocre or a half-realized life, to be honest.
When my friend told me to not be too certain, or be too sure enough to consider tying my tubes or having a hysterectomy in the nearest future, I understood it was because she felt that I might change my mind. Although I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t.
For me, it is okay. Especially as I gradually unlearn the misplaced shame that comes with it the woman’s right to choose. I confess to myself that there is no shame in (not) wanting something for me. No shame in making decisions like this for my body, and the benefit of my mind.
That is why I am grateful to people like these, women who have gone against the norm of society, gone through the process, or are simply experiencing it by questioning what society has conditioned them to want and going further to say, no, I want the opposite. It encourages conversations, motivates us to search within for our truth, not some hand me down version, and live it.
I am a Nigerian lady, and I do not think I want children, I might not want them at all. Do not come at me with why you think I should want, do not come at me with what if.
Because while you are at it, I am thinking that maybe, the greatest gift I can give to myself at 29, is making certain of that, normalizing this want and erasing the stigma by starting conversations and raising awareness on how okay it is to not want to be a mother, or enjoying premium baby slander with a meme or ten.