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Actress Joy Bryant may have played a mom on the NBC show Parenthood, but the 41-year-old is tired of people asking her when she’ll have children.

In a new essay for Lenny, Bryant is letting everyone know just when she’ll have a child–NEVER.

I’m really fucking annoyed.

If one more person asks me if and when I’m going to have children, or tries to convince me that I should, or offers their unsolicited advice,

I’m gonna, I’m gonna …


I’m going to politely tell them to mind their own business.

Notice I said politely, because while people have no problem being impolite, or insensitive, or invasive, or just straight-up rude, I, as the recipient, must keep my cool and either explain myself or gracefully defend myself. They’re lucky I’m a classy broad. I know people don’t mean any harm, but this really shouldn’t be an issue at all, because what I choose to do or not do with my womb should be of no concern to anyone but my husband.

While he would like to have kids, he loves and respects me enough to understand and accept my decision: that I don’t want to be a mother, that I don’t want to have children, that I don’t have the need to breed.

I’m going to say that one more time:

I don’t have the need to breed.

While Bryant is very clear on her decision not to have children, some folks try to convince her to change her mind.

I wouldn’t be surprised by the anti-woman rants and actions of knuckle-dragging male conservatives who may judge my decision not to have kids. I am surprised, however, by people — often female people — who should know better than to question or comment on a woman’s choice, and my choice is not to procreate.

Those people say the darndest things.

“But you’ll have beautiful children!” 

This one is the most ridiculous of all the reasons given to me, and it is also my personal favorite. So I should have kids just because they would possibly be beautiful (and, let’s not forget, smart and athletic)?

I should commit to one of the toughest jobs in the world, all for the sake of populating the planet with a super-human specimen of good breeding? No, thanks. I’m good.

In the essay, Bryant listed some of the reasons folk have used to try to convince her to have children, before debunking each one. In the end, the actress concluded: “Motherhood, in all its beautiful significance, is a job I do not want. It doesn’t matter how great my résumé is or how many glowing recommendations I receive. I don’t need to be a mother in order to be fulfilled in my life.”

Read Joy Bryant’s entire essay on the Lenny site

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