Why are we so obsessed about whether or not people want kids?

Why are we so obsessed about whether people want to have kids? [Photo: Getty]

Anna Kendrick doesn’t want to be a mother. She confessed as much in her new memoir, Scrappy Little Nobody: “I will always feel children aren’t for me,” she wrote.

And when she was asked whether she still felt the same by an ‘E! News’ reporter recently, she reiterated her position, all be it in a somewhat jokey response.

“You know, if I have kids, it’s just another kid that your kid is going to have to fight when the water wars come.”

“The zombie apocalypse is coming,” she continued “and with my genes I don’t think [my children] would really last.”

“I’m worried about upper body strength, coordination,” she said indicating her petite frame. “These are not things that I would pass on. So, you know. [My kids] are just going to be food.”

Anna Kendrick doesn’t want to be a mum [Photo: Getty]

While we completely applaud Anna’s novel way of skirting round the question of why you don’t want children, the very fact that she has been asked is proof that whether we want/when we’re going to have/why we’re not having more kids has become something of a national obsession.

Because kids are in the life plan. According to society this is how life should pan out: start a career, meet a partner, buy a house, get married, have baby, grow old happily. Neat isn’t it? The trouble is the world isn’t full of identikit people all treading or wanting to tread the same well-worn path. And though this idealistic life plan will be the dream for some, for others, like Anna, having children is just not on the to-do list.

And that’s ok! Or it would be, if only we could get over the fact that for some people children just aren’t part of the happy ever after.

Anna doesn’t want kids because she fears they wouldn’t survive the zombie apocalypse (winky face emoji), but for others, there are any number of reasons behind a decision not to procreate.

For some not having met the person they’d like to make mini-me’s with is a factor, others don’t feel financially or emotionally ready or able to commit to becoming a parent. Not having a maternal, or indeed paternal instinct is a consideration for some people, as is a fear that children wouldn’t fit into a lifestyle. A concern that they wouldn’t actually be very good at parenting and all it’s gory trimmings is yet another reason for some opting to remain childless, and a dedication to a career that wouldn’t be a good fit for a child, because despite the scaremongering ‘Women putting off motherhood for their careers’ headlines, for some it’s not a case of putting it off, but not wanting it at all.

And then of course there’s the consideration that some could be using a declaration of not wanting kids to mask a struggle or inability to conceive their own offspring.

But whatever people’s reasons for not wanting to enter parenthood, you can guarantee if they choose to reveal them they will be met with a barrage of raised eyebrows, suspicion, confusion, assumptions that you’ll eventually come round or in some cases abuse.

Earlier this year Holly Brockwell was incessantly trolled for going public on her four-year battle to get sterilised on the NHS at 30.

The technology journalist was labelled horrible, self-righteous, and selfish with some even suggesting she needed psychological help, all because she was certain that she didn’t want to be a mother.

Speaking of her surprise at the reaction to her decision Holly said: “I am used to trolling as I run a women’s tech website but even I was affected this time because it was so vitriolic, so personal and nasty, and so specific about me and my professional life – not even about the issue of having children which I had been writing about,” she told the BBC.

Not everyone wants one of these! [Photo: Getty]

Another high profile case in point is Jennifer Aniston. Earlier this year we reported on the fact that the 47-year-old actress had been forced to issue an opinion piece responding to the continuous onslaught of baby rumours and comments on her body shape.

“For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up,” the fiercely private actress wrote in a blog post on The Huffington Post. “I’m fed up with the sport-like scrutiny and body shaming that occurs daily under the guise of ‘journalism,’ the ‘First Amendment’ and ‘celebrity news.’”

Jennifer may not want children, or she may actually be undecided. And that’s ok too. The point is the decision about whether or not to have children, is a personal and private one to make. People shouldn’t have to explain their reasons for entering, or not entering parenthood.

So next time someone asks you when they can expect to hear the patter of tiny feet, tell them to mind their own. Or make like Anna Kendrick and say you’re still weighing up whether your kids would survive a zombie apocalypse.

Do you think we’re obsessed with whether people want to have children? Let us know @YahooStyleUK

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