I’m Never Having Children—Why Does That Make You So Upset?

By Erica Cerulo
Though it’d be really badass of me to breeze through these conversations with pure self-assuredness and poise, I have plenty of worries. I have concerns that my steadfastness forced my husband’s hand, and that he didn’t have a chance to decide on his own, because we started dating in college. (He assures me that when he was a kid himself, he always pictured himself with a partner, but never with offspring.) Though I don’t stress about missing out on parenting itself and am very cool leaning into the roles of PANK (professional aunt, no kids) and bunny mom, I do fear missing out on the bond of parenthood. I fear missing the conversations between mothers commiserating about 3 a.m. feedings, comparing Little League schedules, and sharing the joy of your kid cracking their first joke, or getting their first job. My business partner, bestie, and work wife had a baby in December, and I’ve wrung my hands over how that’ll affect our relationship, which is core to my life. So far, there have been shifts, but no real meaningful changes. I get anxious about being on the outside of this world that so many inhabit, and being dismissed as the one who’s “not getting it” — a diss that makes me practically shiver.

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Literary Agent: Jennifer Joel, ICM Partners JJoel@icmpartners.com

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