"You'll Change Your Mind"

"You'll Change Your Mind"

by Hayley Boyle

“You’re young.”

“But it’s life changing!”

“Oh, your instincts will kick in.”

“You’ll change your mind.”

Or so I’m told anytime I share that I want to be childless.


Not child-less.

Child. Free.

Because to be child-less means that I am living my life in absence of a child.

But there is no absence,

for absence means that there is a lacka want.

But I do not lack. I do not want.

This is my choice.

This is my decision.

This is my life.

And I will be free.

Free from waking at 3am to cries in the night, when I was already awoken at 1:45 and midnight, tooand knowing I will be up again at 4:30 and 6.

Free from mashed carrots burped up on my shoulder.

From little toenails and fingernails that need clipping.

From Tickle-Me-Elmo and Tonka Trucks.

From choking hazards.

From scraped knees.

From sticky fingers.

And the flu.

Perhaps these are absences.

And if so,

then let me be child-less and child free.

Free from child-proofing the cabinets, table corners, bath-tub, windows, doors, curling irons, outlets, power tools, dog house, stovetop, even the damn hot light bulbs in the lamps.

From railings that are just set far enough apart to get your head through, but not outand, oh yes, I would know.

Because I’ve been there

when I was a child.

And, why, yes, I’m glad I’m alivethat my mother wanted me.

But, this is no judgement war.

I do not begrudge others for their choices, decisions, lives.

I did not tell my friends, “You’re young, your mind will change,” when they told me at 16, and 19,

and 21 that they wanted children (and not child, I’m talking plural, as in many children).

And yet, I’m told I'm crazy and I'm told, “You’re young, your mind will change.”

And I ask, why is it okay to make the permanent life choice to have children,

but not okay to make the permanent life choice not to?

I am woman.

Hear me snore.


The way.


The night.


Featured in our January 2021 issue, "Changes"