‘The doctor has told me that one of the most effective cures for high blood pressure is to have grandchildren,’ My Dad told me last summer, being as subtle as a slap in the face.

This is one of many hints dropped by my friends, family, pupils and even strangers in the last two years. It seems some people think that once I hit 24, I became ripe for fatherhood and my sole purpose was to find a girl to create some mini-G’s with (like one isn’t enough.)

Well, here’s a great big humdinger of a surprise for everyone – I don’t want children.

I know. Horror of horrors.

It’s not that I don’t like children – come on, I’m in the wrong job if I didn’t – it’s just that….they’re not for me. I have plenty of children already in my life – Godchildren, cousins, friends’ children, pupils – who I love, enjoy being around and have good relationships with, but I just don’t think I’m ready for that full time position and I can’t see myself being ready any time soon. I’m quite happy being the Godparent or the Uncle or the teacher. I’m quite happy to turn up, play a few games, read a few stories, be a bit daft, perhaps share some (rare) pearls of wisdom and then shuffle off home. In short, I’m happy to be Rafiki.

Parenting is a big job and I’m not throwing any shade on that (have I used that term correctly? I’m not sure what it means but I’m doing my best to keep up to speed with the street-lingo now that I’ve reached the ancient milestone of 26.) I’ve seen friends and family struggle with the negatives and rejoice in the positives of being a mum or dad and I know that they’ve all done a great job at raising their kids. I don’t want to put any doubt in your minds that I think parenting is a very tough thing to do, particularly nowadays where there is just so much to protect your child from and social media has put your every move under scrutiny. I admire anyone who raises a child. But it’s just not for me.

I’m a child of divorce (and I’m reluctant to play the divorce card – this isn’t the sole reason behind my choice, but it is naturally going to affect it) and, in this particular case, this child got to see at an early age just how hateful humans can be. I wouldn’t want to risk putting another child through that. Urgh. No thanks.

I think the most prominent reason I don’t want to be a parent is because….well….I don’t feel like I’ve lived MY life yet. I know that might sound selfish but how can I oversee another life when there’s still so many things that I want to do? I’m 26 and haunted by crippling anxiety that I’m not in the place I want to be.  That place changes regularly. At the moment, I’m a mess of selfish contradictions and it wouldn’t be fair to drag another person into all that. There’s so much more I want to do. I want to write more stories, I want to visit more countries, I want to meet new people. We only get a short time on this rock so, as amazing and rewarding having a child might be, I’d like to tick a few more things off the bucket list before I even contemplate settling down. And also I don’t want having a child to define who I am. I don’t want to be known as ‘Fallulah’s Dad’ or ‘Father of Darth’ (I should also not be allowed to name children). I want to establish the person I am before I introduce someone else to the photograph.

Now, never say never. I’m quite open to the idea that in a few years’ time I might be in different circumstances and change my mind, but at the moment I have firmly decided that I don’t want to be a dad. I’m quite at peace with the thought of being that mad old Welsh bloke living in a villa somewhere hot, who sits on the beach reading all day, drinking mojitos and smiling about all the great things he’s seen and done. Imagine that. My Dad is just going to have to take up Yoga or something because I’m afraid I can’t help him with his blood pressure. So, next time you bump into me, ask me how I’m doing. Ask me how my job is. Ask me about my exciting plans for the next twelve months. Ask me if I’d like a mojito. But please, don’t ask me when I’m going to have children!

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