I've don't remember ever wanting to be a mum. I'm turning 27, my husband is turning 30 this year and the pressure is on to pop one out. We just shrug these people off and say "We don't want kids. Didn't want them when we first met 8 years ago, still don't want them now" and try to change the topic, but people just don't understand that we mean it. H**l, we're saving up so he can a vasectomy for his 30th birthday. We're lucky that the family we're in contact with (our parents, my mum's sister and my husband's sister) don't give us pressure and totally support our decision, but his extended family is relentless.
The pressure seems to have gotten worse since caring for my grandmother. They don't realise that this is a full time job. She has dementia and she's violent. Even if we wanted kids, we wouldn't want to raise one around her because she's scary and abusive. Plus, the costs of caring for her mean we live on the poverty line. We live week to week and throwing a pregnancy then a kid into that mix would put us below the poverty line.
When I say I basically do everything a mum with a toddler does and I couldn't deal with a kid as well, I get told "It's not the same" because the generations are around the wrong way. I didn't realise that changing her diapers, feeding her, bathing her, clothing her, dealing with tantrums, stopping her from hurting the dogs and cats, having kids shows on TV all day cos they keep her happy/calm, being up 4-5 times a night because she's calling out, not allowing her off the toilet till she's done her business, cleaning up her mess, and having food thrown at me was totally different to being a parent because she's 85 instead of 3 and she didn't come from my body.
The only way I can see caring for my grandmother as different to being a parent is that I don't like my grandmother and generally, people actually like their kids. She was abusive to my mum and aunt till mum was 18, moved out of home and took her then 10 year old sister with her. My grandmother has always been a nasty piece of work and I'll never forgive her for what she put my mum and aunt through. I'm lucky that my mum broke that cycle of abuse and is still an amazing mum and woman, and I'll always be grateful for that. Mum was showing signs of depression and heading for a breakdown, so I took over as my grandmother's full time carer. I'm literally doing this for my mum, not my grandmother.
We always get comments like "Caring for her is practice for having kids" and "Don't you want her to have her great-grandchildren around her?" and the one I hate the most "Who will do what you do for her when you're her age?". I hate it so much because I can't help but think having a kid to look after you when you're old is a pretty crappy reason to have created a human being, plus I wouldn't want to force what I do on anyone.
I'm not looking for support or anything, I'm not wavering in the slightest about my decision to be childfree. I've been dealing with people telling me "You'll change your mind" or "Your body clock will kick in when you're near 30 and you'll want 10 of them" or "Every woman wants to be a mother, even if they say they don't, they secretly do" for over 2 decades and if anything I've become more childfree in that time. I was just curious if anyone else here got more pressure when they became a carer. It seems odd to me that people would see being a carer as "practice" or dismiss it because "it isn't the same" and wanted to know if it seems to be a common thought.