I Really Didn't Want to Have Kids, So I Had My Tubes Tied at 26

What Women Really Think
June 13 2012 3:00 PM

No Kids for Me, Thanks: I Tied My Tubes at 26

1339608863146
Readers explain why they choose to be child-free

Neoleg / Shutterstock

Slate recently asked readers who are child-free and happy to let us know all about it—and did you ever! We’re posting some of our favorite responses on the blog this week. 

Name: Monica Trombley

Advertisement

Location: Queens, New York

One of the main reasons I'm child-free is the fact that I'm an attorney who's seen and heard many stories about kids being treated horribly by their parents. I personally grew up in a household with an alcoholic father and a mother who put his presence in the household over the well being of me and my sister. When I was 7 years old, I was telling my mother she should get a divorce because my father was that bad. He would get drunk all the time, destroy our house, yell, scream, embarrass us in front of people. He got so many DWIs he ended up in jail for a time and was even on house arrest, complete with a monitoring device that would make noise at random when you were on the phone. My household situation was a well-guarded secret, something I didn't share with people for fear they'd not talk to me or would make fun of me for it. To this day, I resent my mother for putting my father ahead of us and continuing to live in denial about how bad it really was.

I'm not sure exactly when I became child-free. I never even pictured myself getting married and having kids out of wedlock was taboo in my family, especially with my mother. I always wanted to have a career and knew I was destined to do more than be a mommy like everyone else around me. In fact, I did not want to get married since I viewed marriage as giving up my identity and who I was as a person. I saw so many couples who did things they hated just for their spouse; I felt that if a guy really loved me, he'd never ask me to give up my career or to leave a place I loved. Perhaps I didn't want to have kids since I felt it would make me more like my mother, whose life I didn't want to emulate at all. I vowed not to be poor since that was presented to me as a major reason for my parents' unhappy marriage and why my childhood was the way it was. I view children in much the same way; so many people give up their dreams and their lives for their kids and put so much pressure on them to do what the parents never got to.

I got a tubal at 26 years old and had to fight to get one despite a) living in NYC, b) being married to a man as adamantly child-free as me, c) working in not one but two fields that are well-known for being unfriendly to kids (law and entertainment). The paternalistic treatment of doctors telling me they were going to "talk [me] out of it" still ticks me off (this happened in 2007) but what really took the cake was one doctor who outright lied to us about his willingness to respect my reproductive rights and our right to make decisions for our own family. He ended up changing his mind about doing the surgery and I found a specialist in Manhattan to do it after deciding I was going to lie about the circumstances for getting one.

Why should an adult woman be forced to lie to her doctor about why she wants to be sterilized? Why can't she just sign paperwork not to sue and be done with this issue? Why should lawsuits against surgeons for women who "change their mind" even be allowed? As a lawyer, I proposed to sign paperwork to prevent that issue every single time I asked about getting a tubal and still had doctors trying to talk me out of it. I never saw any of these doctors offering to pay for these hypothetical kids or gaining the weight and taking the damage to a woman's body that happens because of pregnancy. Maybe they should personally be found liable when some deadbeat mother has a kid and abuses it or lets her boyfriend do it. Then, they might think twice about this baby pushing they're doing.

In sum, I think kids deserve mature adults who love them and are willing to take on the responsibility and self-sacrifice to be a proper parent. No one should be forced into it. The only people proposing that everyone have kids have either not been watching the news in the past 30 years or are completely and hopelessly naive to the real world.

Previously in this series:

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson Resigns

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

The U.S. Has a New Problem in Syria: The Moderate Rebels Feel Like We’ve Betrayed Them

We Need to Talk: A Terrible Name for a Good Sports Show by and About Women

Trending News Channel
Oct. 1 2014 1:25 PM Japanese Cheerleader Robots Balance and Roll Around on Balls
  News & Politics
Crime
Oct. 1 2014 4:15 PM The Trials of White Boy Rick A Detroit crime legend, the FBI, and the ugliness of the war on drugs.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
  Life
The Eye
Oct. 1 2014 1:04 PM An Architectural Crusade Against the Tyranny of Straight Lines
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 3:02 PM The Best Show of the Summer Is Getting a Second Season
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 4:46 PM Ebola Is No Measles. That’s a Good Thing. Comparing this virus to scourges of the past gives us hope that we can slow it down.
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.