1. If we say we really don't want kids, we really don't want kids. Honestly. We're not going to suddenly melt into a puddle of ovaries when the clock strikes midnight on our 35th birthday.
2. People will tell us, "You'll want them when you meet the right man." And you'll be standing there all, "HELLO, I'M RIGHT HERE." You can be right as rain, and we still won't want kids. It's not you, it's us.
3. You might have to wear condoms, even if we're on the Pill. Sorry.
4. We're not monsters. Child-free women are often portrayed as flinty-hearted, uptight, or bat-shit crazy (Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction and 101 Dalmatians; Rose Byrne in Bridesmaids; The Wicked Witch of the West). But we promise you won't wake up tied to a bed.
5. Be prepared to have pets. Lots of pets. If children were covered in super-soft fur and had velvety flop-ears and smooshy twitch-noses and tiny scrabble-paws, we would probably have five.
6. Women who don't want children are really selfish, right? So get ready for a lifetime of long Saturday mornings in bed, last-minute movie plans, and getting to go to the bathroom without interruption. If that's selfish, we are totally fine with that.
7. Your mother will be disappointed. Don't worry, ours is too. But we can commiserate with each other over cocktails on that couples-only holidays.
8. Your genes aren't that amazing. Yes, your genetic heritage might die with you, yadda yadda, but who cares? It wasn't that great anyway.
9. If you want kids, tell us immediately. Don't put a ring on it secretly hoping we'll change our mind because of all your awesome genetic amazingness (see point 8). You can't compromise on the kids thing.
10. Don't think no kids = no "mom bod." We reserve the right to let ourselves go once we hit that cozy relationship phase as much as the next woman.
11. If we go to a barbecue/wedding/whatever DO NOT leave us surrounded by babies. When you reach a certain age, gatherings naturally divide into two tribes: women and children, and men and beer. We don't want to spend the afternoon holding someone else's baby any more than you do.
12. You'll be told, often, that you're missing out. Usually by someone who looks like they've had about two hours of sleep and is covered in vomit.
13. Don't expect us to keep track of your niece/nephew/ godchildren's birthdays. We just can't.
14. Your social life will be screwed. Couples with kids tend to hang out with other couples with kids, as they understand the deal with naptimes and public tantrum. Be prepared to spend a lot of time binge watching our fave series and having hot dates with just the two of us.
15. There will be no one to look after you when you grow old. But hey, your friends with kids will probably die alone, too. Don't sweat it.
16. You can trust us with your friends' babies. For some reason, women who haven't had kids yet are deemed a bit more trustworthy than those of us who don't want them. But if we're handed a baby, we're no more likely to let their heads flop about than anyone else.
17. Your birthday presents will rock. We haven't had the chance to learn the futility of materialism, and have lots of disposable cash. Hooray!
18. We really do mean it. Worth saying just one more time...
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.