The winner of the comment that raises my blood pressure the most is this one: “But you’d feel differently if it were your own!” “And if I don’t, are you going to take that child?” I always want to reply.

What I struggle the most to understand is why women — mothers — have so often felt compelled to urge me to join their ranks. Is motherhood such bliss that they just want me to revel in it too? Mmmm, I’m not buying it. From all accounts motherhood is unutterably difficult and plenty of women regret their decision (or to be more accurate, their lack of a decision, since nearly half of pregnancies aren’t planned).

In fact, the whole notion that this was a decision for me feel somehow backwards. I didn’t decide to not have kids. I just never decided to have them, same as I never decided to become a skydiver, a scientist, or a gardener. Where else do we evaluate someone’s life by the things they don’t do?

It always seemed so incredibly simple for me, but for nobody else. I didn’t want kids from the time I was old enough to understand that little girls were supposed to want their own.