It's a beautiful word, 'no', and one not used nearly enough.
While people seem to accept it spoken in response to questions like, "Do you want fries with that?" or "Do you need that extra pair of shoes?", there's one question aimed at women in particular where a simple 'no' leaves people taken aback: "Do you want children?"
Even today, when women are slowly creeping the corporate ladder, they're allowed to have goals and aspirations, it still seems to be the expectation that our purpose in life is to pop out a few kids, settle down and that's that.
As of this time last year, about 32 per cent of women in Australian worked full time. In 2015, it was 29.8 per cent.
Women are actively seeking to make their own way and build a career. That roughly 2 per cent jump was over a four year span - Imagine the jump from a Century ago.
The drive, the ability to focus on yourself, was a sentiment shared by country music icon Dolly Parton.
"I think I became more productive through not having children. I never really had the desire to have them," she said.
But it's totally fine, by the way, if you do aspire to be a mum. It needs to be shouted from the rooftops, though, that it's also fine if you couldn't think of anything worse.
I always used to think that there was never a good time to have a child.
When you're young, you want to explore, be spontaneous and adventurous. By middle age, it's time to build a career. And afterwards, well, it's time to enjoy a well earned retirement.
It's always blown my mind that people are only having their first child at 40 years old. When I left home at 19, my mum was in her early 40s, but those late starters will be pushing 60 and still have kids at home.
While I don't feel as restricted by time anymore, there's still a long list of reasons that keep piling up on the cons list.
For one, I can barely afford my own lifestyle, let alone another mouth to feed.
Do I want to be living paycheck to paycheck, denying my child of that school excursion everyone else gets to go on, or sending them to class with paperback notebooks when little Johnny gets the brightly coloured ones with plastic covers?
It hardly seems fair on them. But if money isn't an issue, what about the sheer state of the world we live in?
Climate change, never ending wars that seem to slip people's minds, democracy going down the drain and the potential for another 2020 down the track with the triple threat of bushfires, drought and a pandemic which has now wiped out more than 575,000 people and counting.
Then, of course, there's genetics. Sure, I have my physical health. My heart works well, I have two arms, two legs and I can breathe just fine, but mental health issues run rife in my family tree and I don't want to pass that on to an unsuspecting little one.
For others, though, there's a whole textbook worth of diseases and hereditary conditions that may have women thinking twice about conceiving. And at the end of the day, they don't have to explain that to anyone but themselves.
So why, then, do I still get a quizzical look if I hint at the idea of children not being on my radar?
I'm house hunting at the moment, looking to build, and one of the things I hear most without a doubt from real estate agents, friends and family is that I should be thinking about that extra room for when a little one comes along.
I'd rather consider where to put my wine rack, or if the backyard will be able to fit two or more dogs in it.
Even just the other day, it was my cousin's 24th birthday and her Nan called up. I heard the 70-something-year-old give her a spiel about how she'd already had five kids by the time she was that age. All I thought was, 'Sucks to be you'.
I'll admit, my firm stance on not wanting kids has softened in recent times. I don't screw up my nose quite as much when a toddler stares at me while I try to eat my lunch. Hormones do crazy things to a person, so who knows.
Although, the answer is still no, I don't want to hold your baby. And no, I don't really care about the pictures of your kid discovering mud for the first time.
The moral of the story is that we, as women of the 21st Century, have options. We have a choice.
So next time someone asks about your family plans, don't feel bad if the answer is 'no'. Take their quizzical looks as an opportunity to enlighten them on all the wonders of the world outside of reproduction.