Up until a year ago, I was prepared to mock questions about my marital or maternal status by former classmates or friends. If anybody would ask me, I'd say I'd been married for fifteen years, and that we had four boys. I would slowly start listing their names, George, Paul, John and see if I could get until Ringo without cracking up.

Can you really picture me as a mommy?

When I grew up, motherhood always seemed like a punishment to me. "Just you wait until you have children of your own" was one of the "arguments" my mom resorted to when she was running out of rational points to make. Why would I want to have children if that's so horrible?

However, I did not right away declare I would not get trapped by, or escape into motherhood. Without a boyfriend, as I wasn't looking for a partner anyway, this simply wasn't a problem I had to deal with. Unless you count getting confronted with the "you will regret not having had children when you are old" myth, which people have been giving me more frequently once I turned 30. Well, you have never been a childfree old woman — so how can you know?

If you want to procreate because you are scared of "ending up lonely and unloved", then you are missing one important fact. Children hardly ever love their parents. And they are perfectly entitled to not love you.

Your children are your children, not your lovers.

Maybe what you really need is a good childhood? You don't have to procreate if you want to be parental and let somebody enjoy a good childhood. In this world, there are countless other beings that need to be loved and taken care of, and that can make you feel important, beside dependent offspring that will get spoilt by peer pressure anyway.

First, take care of yourself.

Go buy that stuffed animal or that train set you are secretly craving! Contrary to public belief, there is no law that forbids adults to buy and enjoy toys, children's books, and cartoons. And there is no law that requires you to become stern and serious once you're over 18 — you can be silly and fascinated and dreamy and whatever it is that makes people get nostalgic about their allegedly past childhood.

I don't want to punish my mother by "not giving her grandchildren". I merely don't want to ruin my own life for the next two decades just to conform with a fuzzy social convention. And by now, I answer questions about my maternity by talking about my family that consists of a sexy boyfriend, his scholar cat (who is writing books on rubber bands and string theory), and the cat's pet, a mechanical bug named Alpha. And quite often, I am being exactly four years old.