I can't say I've ever liked the idea of someday becoming a mother, even when I was a kid and thought that was the thing to do. Having kids is such a normal part of life and as a result many people have not viewed having kids as a decision that can be decided against. The “childfree” movement, as it is sometimes called, is gaining traction these days and I think it is ultimately a good thing. People should absolutely be empowered to make their own choices in life, especially when those choices greatly impact other people’s lives. It is incredibly irresponsible to bring a new life into this world unless you are committed to providing for that child's physical, mental, and emotional needs in the best way possible.
My personal opinions on having kids, parenting, the childfree movement, and the anti-natalist movement have developed significantly over the past 5-7 years. I can't remember exactly when I discovered the childfree subreddit, but I think I was about 19 or 20. Prior to that, I was fairly certain I didn't want to have kids but I had no idea there were so many other people that felt the same way I did. Discovering that subreddit was a validating experience for me, even if I don't enjoy it too much these days. I don't want this to end up being a review of r/childfree, but I think sometimes the subreddit devolves into this gross, child hating space that I don't really identify with anymore. If anything, my focus has shifted to contempt for incompetent parents rather than the children themselves.
As for the anti-natalist movement, I discovered that a couple years ago. Once again, I don't want this to be a review of the anti-natalist subreddit, but I do find many of the points made there to be logical. However, I don't much care for the vitriol that is directed towards people that do choose to have children. While I have no interest in having kids myself, I understand why some people do want to have children, and if they are responsible parents I have no issue. Of course, I would prefer if more people went through the foster care system to have children but I realize there are challenges that come with that as well. Overall, I think the best we can hope for is that more people will carefully consider having children and avoid bringing too many children into the world.
Finally, I want to go into the personal reasons why I do not want to have biological children. I am open to the idea of one day being a foster parent and adopting a child that way. I haven't definitively decided I will go this route, but it is an option, especially if I one day get the urge to become a parent. Too often, I hear people say I will regret not having kids in the future for a myriad of reasons. I'm confident I won't regret it, but if I do, the stakes are much lower than if I had kids and later regretted it. Believe it or not, there are people out there that regret having kids and most stay silent about it due to social pressures. If I do decide I want to parent, I can always apply to be a foster parent and later adopt. I'll also have the opportunity to impact the lives of the next generation through potential nieces and nephews, my friend's children, or through my career. I am not afraid of regretting this decision, and I find the alternative (regretting having children) to be much worse. No child should have a parent that wishes they were never born, even if they pretend they don't feel that way.
Reason 1: Pregnancy horrifies me. This might sound foolish to you, especially if you are a person that has been pregnant before. I know every pregnancy is different, but I don't want to risk the potential complications and changes to my body that are practically inevitable. Pregnancy impacts the body significantly and I don't want to experience any of it. I'm not going to go into graphic detail, but there are plenty of accounts about pregnancy from women online that make me certain this isn't for me. I suppose it's possible I could get over this one if I actually did have the desire to have biological children, but this reason is one that makes me happy I don't.
Reason 2: Becoming a parent limits the freedom you have to live your life the way you want to. Once you have a kid, every decision you make needs to account for the well-being of the child. That's a huge responsibility on top of all the other responsibilities of life. I like the idea of being able to take trips when I'm able to, go out, and spend money on myself without thinking about that. Speaking of money, kids are expensive too. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I want to greedily hoard money or anything, but I don't want to take on the huge financial burden of having kids. I like the idea of being able to help my friends and family that have kids, like taking them out to eat (with or without the kids) and being able to afford cool gifts and outings with their kids. The best part: I can give them back to their parents!
Reason 3: I like the idea of being the cool childfree aunt. I kind of went into this in the previous point, but if I don’t have kids of my own I am better equipped to assist with other people’s kids. If/when my sister has kids, I can be the cool aunt that takes the kids out so she can get a break. I can impart my knowledge and advice to these kids to give them a fresh perspective without the exhaustion that comes with being a parent. I believe familial relationships outside of the parents are important for children’s development, and I want to be attentive to that aspect of life.
Reason 4: I find having kids to be a moral grey area, due to the large number of children without homes in the foster care system. Before I expand on this reason, I want to say this: I don’t judge people that choose to have children. This is not meant to be judgmental. This is simply my own perspective on having kids that I have come to after years of thought and research. I personally do not see the point of having biological children when so many children are stuck in foster care, in need of a loving and stable home.
In the future, I would like to look into being a foster parent and I think more people should consider it. If the biggest motivation for having kids is having a kid that resembles you and your partner, I would urge you to consider what that says about your motivations as a parent. Are you simply looking to raise up a “mini-me” that can achieve the things you weren't able to in your life? Or are you wanting to raise up a part of the new generation in a thoughtful, loving, and considerate way to hopefully make the world a better place? I think we as adults have a responsibility towards children to raise them up with love, care, and the knowledge that we wish we had growing up. In turn, this will hopefully make the world a better place. I know that is a bit idealistic, but that is the best case I can make for being a parent. The best part about that is having children isn't even necessary to achieve that goal. Anyone that is apart of a child's life (family, friends, teachers, babysitters, etc.) can be a positive influence towards this goal.
Truly, what it comes down to is this: I just don't want to have children. That reason alone should be good enough because no one is obligated to have kids. No matter what your choice is, my goal in writing this was to make people think about having kids and parenting. I also wanted to make a case for childfree people without the snarky comments about kids that so often litter articles like this one. Many of us are not child haters, but people that have good, well thought out reasons for not having kids. Respect is key: don't tell childfree people they will regret their choice because they have probably thought this decision through and come to their own conclusion. The reasons behind that choice are not your business, but some of them might be similar to what I have described here.
My name is Serena, and I'm a 27 year old from the
great state of Oklahoma. I have a variety of interests, including video games, anime, reading, taking pictures of my cat, writing, studying Japanese, and browsing the internet. I'm the sort of person that has an opinion on damn near everything, to the point where it probably annoys the hell out of the people close to me, which is part of why I decided to start this website.