Originally Posted by Mohegan
My niece had several interesting questions and perspectives:
Are you and Uncle Karma married?
Do you have kids? why not? I had a hard time with that one. How do you tell a 4 yr old you don't want children, but still make her feel loved and important?
I don't know if a child would automatically equate someone not wanting children of their own with not feeling loved and important herself. One could say something like say, "Because I have the best niece and nephew in the world!" Personally, I would probably answer it with something about not wanting to be a parent rather than something about not wanting kids - then it's more like rejecting a "job" than rejecting a child. As in, "Well, being a parent is a special job and not for everyone. I like being your Auntie much better than being a Mommy." She would probably skip away happily after an answer like that.
Since you say you do go back and forth on whether you want kids or not, perhaps your trepidation about answering her might be due to a little insecurity or uncertainty you have about it. Having doubts or not quite having made a firm choice can feel like a vulnerable place to be. For example, I've wanted to be child-free since my 20s. Because I had no doubts about that, very few people would even ask me why I didn't have or want kids, and if they did, I answered in a very direct and confident way and it rarely got me into long discussions. The only times I ever found myself defending my position was when the people asking were narrow-minded or could not fathom a woman not wanting to be a mother.
However, a few times in my life, there were periods where I waffled a bit because I allowed myself to indulge in some fantasies about what it would be like, what I would name my kids, etc. I am an amateur genealogist and sometimes I would become sad that my family tree will stop at me. I haven't fantasized about having kids in over a decade, but at those times when I did, I had less of an easy time answering such questions. And when you are doubtful about something in your life, it's sort of like a vulnerability that people seize upon subconsciously, so it actually invites those kinds of questions.
It's okay to have doubts, of course, but maybe you should have some stock answers handy so that you're not caught off-guard and left feeling a little beat-up if people do question you until you're more certain and confident in your choice. When I regained my confidence about it, I remember someone at an office job I had asking me if I was married, if I had children, etc., just to get to know me. When I answered that I was married and no, we don't have kids, she said, "Oh, I am sorry." Nothing irks me more than that kind of attitude! I said, "Why? I'm child-free, not childless. I don't want kids." She said, "But why not?" And I said, with a look on my face that told her she was being an ass, "That's a rather personal question. Would you ask me why, if I said I wanted them? I don't want them, that's all." She shut up.