On Being Childless by Choice

I don’t want kids.

I never have and I never will. They do not fit into my life or future at all, yet when I express my views on the matter, people look at me as if I had said that I wanted to eat their dog.

I usually get one of three reactions from people: eye rolls and the “you’ll change your mind“, the personally offended, and the shocked. Rarely do I ever get people who just accept it. There have even been people who have approached my mother to ask her if she was okay with my decision to never have children. Apparently my mother is in charge of my uterus, and I have to have her approval to keep it empty.

After I mention that I don’t want kids, the next question is always about why I don’t want children.  In which I explain, as I’m about to do now, all of my perfectly well thought out logical reasons as to why I’m never having children. Each one is usually met with one of these three options:

a) “But there is always adoption,”

B) “You will ll change your mind,” or

C) pursed lips and quiet disapproval.

Now I am sure that you are wondering what my logical reasons are for not having kids– so without further ado, here they are (in no particular order).

1. Overpopulation
The world has seven billion people in it and is set to hit nine billion in our lifetime. For me, that is enough said.

2. My Genetics
Mental illness runs in my family. I have Major Depression and Anxiety. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and alcoholism all run in my family. Alzheimer’s , breast cancer and muscular dystrophy also run in my family. Knowing this I do not feel comfortable passing down those genes with the high chance of my offspring inheriting these illnesses.

3. Money
I will save a ridiculous amount of money by not having children. I will not have to pay for their food, clothing, doctors, entertainment , along with the various other expenses that come with the responsibility of having a child. I will only have to worry about funding my own personal living expenses. Call it selfish if you want, but my current career path does not lead to me making an extraordinary amount of money. Unfortunately, teachers don’t get paid a whole lot .

4. Time
Lets go over my career plans shall we?

I want to teach high school English. Once you add in time spent tutoring after school, creating lesson plans, and grading papers, that amounts to about fifty to sixty hours per week. While doing that, I want to be doing freelance political and feminist writing, which will inevitably take up much of the time that I have remaining outside of work. During my summers, I want to continue to freelance and work for a lobbying group– and also want to eventually become a senator. With all of these activities, I will not have enough time to deal with the responsibilities and duties of being a parent. With the time that I do have to relax, I would much prefer to be sitting in my living room, not wearing pants, while watching Netflix with my dog and eating Mexican food. Not changing a diaper or watching a child .

5. Child Birth and Pregnancy
Pregnancy and child birth scare the crap out of me. The thought of being pregnant makes me feel sick to my stomach. Pregnancy can be a wonderful experience for those who choose it, but it’s not for me.  It’s a personal  choice, and those of us who choose not to have children, would love it if people would simply respect our decisions. 

6. I Just Don’t Want Kids.
You would think this reason would be enough, but apparently it is not. I really, honestly, have never had any kind of overwhelming desire to have children. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I just do not want kids. It is that plain and simple.

Despite me explaining my reasoning every single time the topic of having children comes up, people still tell me I will change my mind. However, I am not quite sure why this is. Perhaps it is because I am a woman, and people automatically expect me to want to be a mother. Perhaps it is because they believe that I am just young and naive, and will change my mind in the future. The  amount of disregard people have for my decision to not have children surprises me to no end; I never encounter these reactions when I say that I want to be a teacher or a public servant– so why must I be confronted with such when I express my views of not wanting children?

When someone says that they do not want kids, please do not take it as a personal insult to your family or your values and beliefs in what family should be. Do not tell them that they will change their mind, or that it is different when the child is their own. Just stop and respect their decision. Each person has their own reasons, whether they be due to genetics, a fear of pregnancy, having no wishes of having children, among myriads of other reasons; please keep those reasons in mind and respect other people’s reproductive choices.

Advertisements

4 responses to “On Being Childless by Choice

  1. I share your sentiments. 1. The world can SO afford it if you don’t have kids. 2. Even if they couldn’t, it wouldn’t be your place to bear the demographic burden of society. 3. It takes a lot of maturity to make such a decision- it shows you’ve thought it through and have come to a decision that’s in YOUR best interests and in the best interest of the world around you. Sure beats having babies just because your uterus is fully functional and your “clock is ticking”. High five to that, gilfriend!

  2. I share your sentiments. 1. The world can SO afford it if you don’t have kids. 2. Even if they couldn’t, it wouldn’t be your place to bear the demographic burden of society. 3. It takes a lot of maturity to make such a decision- it shows you’ve thought it through and have come to a decision that’s in YOUR best interests and in the best interest of the world around you. Sure beats having babies just because your uterus is fully functional and your “clock is ticking”. High five to that, girlfriend!

  3. I’m pretty sure that I don’t want kids either. I do leave a little room for the chance I might change my mind because SOMETIMES I think I might want ONE (if X, Y and Z conditions are met, none of which are likely within my every so quickly expiring “prime”). But for the most part, I really don’t. And I’m so frustrated by “explaining” this to people and providing a rationale for my oh-so “unfeminine” preferences because, like you said… I should not have to. My body, my life, my choice.

  4. Before I met my husband, I never really thought well and hard on the matter. Well that isn’t really true, before I met hem I thought that of course I would become a mum – like everybody else. He immediately said to me ‘Look you need to know now, but I really don’t want to have kids.’ We spoke about it often but for me at that moment I didn’t know if it was a yes – so I also didn’t know if it was a no. I had to figure it out for myself and needed to be on myself in order to figure it out. So I broke of our relationship twice. After lot’s of thinking and feeling, this was my conclusion: I only want to have a child with the love of my life. And I knew that the man who said to me that he didn’t want to have kids, was and still is the love of my life. So than I asked mysefl what is more important – becoming a mother or be with the love of my life. To me the answer was ‘to be with the love of my life’. It is a choice that I didn’t make overnight. And it is still a choice I have to feel ok with. I wrote in a blogarticle: ‘Becoming a mother is a choice for the rest of your life, but so is the choice of not becoming a mother.’ And for all the people who do not understand it – let them. They don’t know what it’s like, just like we don’t know what it’s like to have childeren :-).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s