If you don't want to have kids, that's completely OK. For some, whether they want to have kids or not is not so clear cut. As you get older, there's more and more of a societal pressure to get pregnant — and when your friends start families of their own, there can be a peer pressure element as well. So how do you know if you have a maternal instinct — or if you don't?
Firstly, it's important to realize that lacking maternal instinct is not necessarily the same thing as not wanting to have a baby. "For many women, maternal instinct happens after the baby is born, the mommy hormone kicks in," Dr. Dawn Michael, M.A. PhD ACS CSC, tells Bustle. "For some women, they feel it before having kids and others do not. The truth is, if you are lacking mommy instincts, not to worry. Once baby arrives they most likely will be there."
But what if you don't want to have kids? "For women who don't want to have children that is different than lacking the mommy instinct," Dr. Michael says. "If a person does not want to have children that is a choice... When a person makes that choice they should embrace it and not feel pressure to have children if that is not what they want." Amen to that.
So how do you know if the maternal instinct just isn't running strong? Here are the signs.