Ever since I was young, I knew I wanted to have children of my own someday. I grew up in a big family with a lot of children. I was the second third born of five children and we also had a couple of cousins living with us. It’s safe to say there was never a dull moment in our household. As I got older some of my cousins went off, got married and started having children. Since I had a natural love for babies, I was always their go-to babysitter amongst my other siblings.
By 13, I knew everything I needed to know about children and how to take care of them. The only problem was my mother instilled the fear of men in me at a really young age. She was a single mother and had made me believe that all men would break my heart the way that they broke hers. The main thing she insisted on was not to get pregnant in high school. So, I was single for most of my teenage years since I didn’t want to disappoint my mother.
It was only when I finished high school that I met someone who I thought was the one. I also thought that I was ready to start having children with him at 19 since I had finished high school. Barely a year later, we broke up because I was too immature for a serious relationship.
Most of my relationships after that weren’t serious either but I never gave up on having children. I got into my first serious relationship when I was 23 years old.
“Ben has been asking about you.” My longtime best friend said.
Ben was a childhood friend though we hadn’t been close. It was only when our mutual friend told me about him that I found out he was interested in me. Nonetheless, I was excited about meeting him.
“You look even better in person.” He said as he hugged me.
“So do you,” I said with a smile.
The smell of his cologne made my knees weak but I composed myself. After that date, I knew Ben was the one I was meant to spend the rest of my life with. However, I was still raised like a lady and I wanted to make him wait for at least a few weeks before I slept with him.
We went on several other dates after that before I felt comfortable going to his place. It was also a good way to confirm that he wasn’t in another relationship.
“You have a great apartment,” I said as I removed my shoes and looked around.
The place looked like a man cave so I knew there was no other woman in his life, at least not a serious one. I made myself comfortable and became a frequent visitor at his place knowing that I was now the woman of the house. Sure enough, our relationship flourished. We got along so well that it seemed like nothing could go wrong in the relationship. So, I decided to pop the question.
“Do you want children?” I asked one day as we cuddled on the couch.
The question visibly made him uncomfortable and he moved away from me.
“Why? Are you pregnant?” He asked worriedly.
“No, I just want to know.”
“I don’t want children.” He finally responded.
That was the first time we were having this kind of conversation after 6 months of dating. However, I thought the response would be obvious. I never thought that he would say that he didn’t want children since even in my casual relationships, the guys wanted to have children with me.
“What? Why?” I asked.
“Children are a lot of work.”
The more he spoke, the more my heart broke. That must have been the heartbreak that my mother fondly warned me about. I didn’t want to believe it. How could such a perfect relationship end because of something so absurd? For me, it didn’t make sense why a financially stable, good-looking man wouldn’t want to have children.
Then, I found out the real reason he didn’t want children. It wasn’t because he wasn’t ready or because children were a lot of work. It was because he already had a child. If I knew he had a child already, I would have stayed far away from him since many men who already have children are usually hesitant to have more with another woman.
“When were you planning to tell me you have a child?” I asked over the phone.
I didn’t wait for him to answer.
“So, you don’t want children with me because you have one with someone else?” I protested.
“It’s not about that. I didn’t tell you I have a child because I didn’t think it was important. I don’t have any relationship with him or his mother.”
He kept digging himself deeper into a hole he couldn’t get himself out of. He not only had a child but also didn’t have a relationship with the child. That only confirmed to me that he wasn’t a responsible man. It also brought back so many memories of growing up without a father. I never want any child to go through that and most importantly, I didn’t want to be the reason that the child doesn’t grow up with his father.
“This seems like a circus that I don’t want to be a part of.”
“What are you trying to say?” He asked.
“I don’t want to be in a relationship with you anymore.”
“Just because I don’t want children?”
I hung up before he could say anything else. Shortly after, I received a series of texts explaining himself but I had already made up my mind. I knew that if a man didn’t want children, it was hard to change his mind. Even if I managed to change his mind, he still wouldn’t be fully committed to having children. The man of my dreams is someone who wants and loves children.
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