laura henshaw do i want kids?

I’m 30 Seconds In To Laura Henshaw’s ‘Do I Want To Have Kids?’ Podcast And I’m Already Crying

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I’ve always had a soft spot for the KIC women. Do I workout? God no, but I’ve been delighted over the years to learn that there’s so much more to Keep It Cleaner than just the exercises they share that I know I’ll never do. Challenging diet culture and BS toxic trends disguised as “wellness”, celebrating community and partnering with The Butterfly Foundation, co-founders Laura Henshaw and Steph Claire Smith have done a lot to empower women.

About a fortnight ago, my bestie (a new mum) DM’d me a link to the trailer of Laura’s new podcast miniseries, Do I Want Kids? Within thirty seconds, I was tearing up. Not for myself, but for all the women I knew this was going to help. 

I don’t want kids, and I’m very ok with that decision. I’m open to the fact that this might change along the way, and I’m aware of the very real fact that my body might not biologically allow me to. I never grew up with any pressure to be a mum, and I don’t feel like I’m letting anyone down with this personal decision. But I know that this isn’t the case for so many women. 


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Whether you’re desperate to start a family, struggling with health and fertility, worried you’ll sacrifice your relationship/career or simply trapped in indifference, the concept of having kids can be unbearably overwhelming. Add on societal pressure, gender norms, familial expectations and financial status, and you’re drowning. 

“If I’m completely honest with myself and all of you listening, I don’t know if I wanna have children. I don’t have the innate desire I thought I would, but I also don’t fully desire to be child free. It is a huge life-changing decision, and so I wanted to do the work to help support me in working through what I actually want,” Laura shares in the introductory episode of the miniseries. 

The work she is referring to, is a series of in-depth interviews with “a range of people who have made this decision, are still sitting with this decision, had this decision made for them, or help people make this decision.” To me, this is a thoughtful and tangible way to empower women, educating them by sharing so many varied experiences and opinions. Laura also acknowledges the privilege we hold living in a country that allows us agency over our bodies and decisions over our pregnancies; a privilege many women are shamefully not afforded. 

While coming to my own personal decision was easy enough, the work I personally struggled with was challenging the narrative I’d internalised and calling myself out. Last year, before Laura had put out this series, I remember seeing a photo of her and Steph with Steph’s toddler, and wondering when Laura would be next. Every wedding picture I’d see on Instagram – whether it be a friend, influencer or celebrity – I’d subconsciously countdown to when that ultrasound photo would appear. I had to actively stop myself from asking co-workers and acquaintances about their family plans, which once seemed like such standard small talk but I now see as loaded and frankly, none of my damn business.

But I also started seeing the older, child-free women in my life completely differently. What was once a lens of antiquated pity became a much clearer reality. Maybe they were like me, and this was a choice. Maybe they didn’t feel the need to have kids, and they lived happy, fulfilled lives. Maybe they had nieces and nephews and friends’ babies that they loved the shit out of but equally loved not being legally responsible for. Maybe they just didn’t want kids, and it’s not that deep.

What drew me to the Do I Want Kids? miniseries is that Laura presents a well-rounded conversation on a topic that is unavoidable for women. Nuance is important. Interrogating societal expectations is paramount. Feeling less isolated in this huge, life-changing decision should be normalised, and there should be more resources like this available to help women break down the stigmas surrounding motherhood. 

As eloquently put by Laura, “I can guarantee that together we will be one step further in separating the expectations from forces outside of ourselves and muting the noise to be able to dig deep inside and understand what we actually want and what we desire for our lives. And the options within this may or may not include children, and that is okay.”

Written by Lil Friedmann. You can follow her at @lilfriedmann on socials.

Image credit: @laura.henshaw Instagram + Punkee