People Who Decided Not To Have Children Divulge Their Reasoning

Having kids is expensive, a ton of responsibility, and something that not everyone is cut out for - but it seems to be something we're all just socially expected to do.

In recent years, there has been a growing trend of people who are consciously choosing to forego children. One Reddit user asked why, and launched a thread full of all sorts of humorous, heartbreaking, and honest responses.

Not Passing This On

joan crawford mom GIF by IFCGiphy

I have bipolar, bipolar is a c*nt to deal with. I don't want to pass it onto anyone. My bipolar has caused a lot of heart ache and made issues 10x worse. And I've hurt a lot of people because of my episodes.

Also OCD; and OCD is a c*nt as well.

Peoples perception of it is just being anal about cleaning. But they don't know the dark side of OCD where you think hurting people because something little interrupted the habit.

- Ithikari

I wish more people understood how debilitating OCD is. My uncle would wash his hands until they bled and he struggled to leave his home most days because the outside chaos distressed him so deeply. If you personally have it then I'm very sorry and I hope you're getting support for it, I'm not sure what aid is actually out there

- puddleofpebbles

Many Reasons

I'm in my mid-40s, and have known I didn't want children since I was a child myself. I have many reasons why not:

  • Too much responsibility. We have a dog and that's already pushing it for us, to be honest. I can barely summon enough desire and energy to walk the dog daily, can't even imagine what it must be like with kids.
  • Pregnancy and labor seems utterly horrific to me. No thanks.
  • I like money and having the free time to enjoy it, especially in regards to travel.
  • Both my husband and I have mental and physical health issues we wouldn't want to pass on.
  • Personally, I think bringing a kid into this sh*tty world right now is a pretty horrible thing to do. Climate change (and a whole lot of other issues) are about to f*ck our shit up HARD - why would you bring a kid into that??
  • If I'm really honest, I just really don't like kids. Especially under the age of 10 or so. Why the f*ck would I sign up for that kind of burden? I have many, many nieces/nephews who I can enjoy in small doses, and then send back to their parents.

I've been told over the years that I would change my mind. Nope. I get all the usual crap like, "Who will take care of you when you're old??" (Answer - my money that I've saved by not having kids will) or "Not having kids is so selfish!" (Riiight...and having them isn't??)

Anyway, to anyone reading this - make the right decision for you. Don't feel you have to follow life script of marriage -> house -> kids. I'm extremely happy and have zero regrets.

- dalek_999

The Risks And Sacrifies

I like having free time and space to myself, but the primary reason is that pregnancy and birth is awful (and I have a pain phobia). Also I have serious concerns about the impact on my mental health

- sprogg96

Yep, I was on the fence until I learned about post-partum psychosis. It bothers me how much people, especially mothers, downplay the physical risks and sacrifices. It's not for everyone.

- mobile-crackhouse

As a mother of two, I too am bothered by that. I made it my mission to always be brutally honest about what it's like because it's not easy. Not even a little.

Pregnancy is hard, child birth is hard. Sleep deprivation is hard. Having your hormones swing like a metronome on speed... is the hardest thing I've ever gone through.

Your body is literally convincing you of things that aren't real or true, and then making you feel crazy for basically just existing. We need to stop going on and on about how magical it all is like we're trying to sell it to people. Trust me, those that decide to have kids will get it.

It is true that the magical moments make everything feel worth it, but they don't erase the hard moments. You don't forget. Pregnancy and birth trauma are real. Postpartum depression is real and neither should be taken lightly simply because having babies is so "magical".

If you don't want them, don't have them. There's enough of us that do want them. You're not selfish, you're making a decision for YOUR life.

- pprissypants85

I Don't Like Sharing

I don't have the maternal qualities to be a good mother. I'm impatient, hotheaded, selfish, and my mental health isn't in the best shape. I don't want to unknowingly treat my child the way my mother treated me.

I also prefer to save my money, build my wealth, go on trips, sleep in in the mornings, and party. I don't like sharing, not even my money, which is why my partner and I have separate bank accounts and it will stay that way if we ever get married.

I also would just like being able to go to the bathroom without a kid trying to break in.

- RosesNCigarettes

Cause I'd Have To Be Pregnant First

Baby Belly GIFGiphy

I don't necessarily have a phobia of being pregnant, but people I know and love being pregnant makes me weirdly uncomfortable? Like I'm totally fine with meeting a random pregnant woman, but when my friend was pregnant it just felt really off. My mum once made a joke about being pregnant (I'm the youngest so I've never known her pregnant) after eating too much, and I felt kind of sick. It's odd...

- harping_along

The idea of pregnancy also weirds me out. For me a lot of it is the idea of losing my autonomy and that as a woman I'm expected to love babies. I just don't. I also find it uncomfortable to discuss pregnancy - some people treat it like it's an elitist group and give waaaaay too much detail about bodily functions.

- PontificatingPonce

I so agree about the losing your autonomy part, that prevents me from ever wanting to get pregnant more than the physical aspects of pregnancy themselves. You suddenly can't do activities you love, you can't eat certain things, you can't drink certain things, you can't take medicine of you have a headache, apparently you can't even take hot baths. To me it sounds like stripping away everything that makes life fun, and any decisions away from me about my own body. To stop existing as a person and functioning as an incubator instead.

Plus every time someone I know announces they're pregnant, that's all anyone ever asks them about. They walk into a room and the first thing asked is "how's BABY?" Any time one of my friends is pregnant I try to ask them only about how their life is and don't bring up the pregnancy unless they do. They (usually) still have a personality outside of just being pregnant.

- ihopeyoulikeapples

A pregnant friend told me it felt like her baby was CLAWING at her rib cage and I've never been able to get that image out of my head

- AnaisNot

Because They Were Wanted

Complete lack of interest. I feel the same way about children that I do about most dogs. Yeah, dogs are great. But if you tried to offer me a dog, even if it was free, I would probably say thanks, but no thanks.

That would be a very bad attitude for a parent to have towards their child. Children should be had because they were wanted.

Also, raging alcoholism.

- aereci

This is mine. I could go on about my temperament or my lifestyle or my medical history, but at the end of the day, those factors wouldn't stop me if I really wanted a kid. But I don't. I fundamentally believe that kids deserve to be wanted and welcomed, and if they aren't, don't have them.

- ChuushaHime

I Cannot Put A Child Through That

I grew up with severe depression, an anxiety disorder, and ADHD. The majority of my parents and grandparents are alcoholics and/or addicts. One of my parents was so mentally ill they lost custody. It was rough.

My SO also has severe ADHD and obsessive compulsive anxiety. Me and my SO both struggled with substance abuse as teenagers. I spent a long time in mental hospitals.

I hated being alive and felt completely helpless. No therapist or doctor or pill ever helped. The only reason I pulled through is because I met my SO.

If I had a child who felt the same way I did, and I knew I couldn't help them and they would just ignore me the way I ignored my mother as a kid, it would break my heart.

I cannot put a child through that.

- jakethedug

You Should Be Asking The Other Side

Because I have no desire to have a child. Why do something I have no desire to do?

If more people thought about why they actually want to have a child there would be fewer cases of child abuse and neglect.

You should be asking why people who have children decided to. Too many times the answer is, "it just happened"

Which no, it didn't. When you have sexual intercourse and the sperm meets the ovum you get pregnant. You aren't the next Mary. It didn't "just happen."

Or you hear "it's what you do" / "it's the next step". Why? This is literally another life you're being so flippant about.

- AmazingDoomslug

Not Testing This Out

I truly think I'm no fit for a parent, I can barely even take care of myself.

Also every time I have had dreams about being pregnant or having a baby, in my dreams it always resulted into me trying to kill either myself and/or the baby, because I was terrified, I didn't want it, I knew I wouldn't be able to take care of it etc.

There's no way I'm going to test it out and see what would happen in real life if I actually were to have children.

- luopio

I've Seen... 

Because it's not at all easy and affordable.

I have seen my father working so hard and extra hours, taking uncountable loans to pay for my college fees just for their child to turn out incredibly stupid. I have seen my mother work countless hours in the kitchen and spend all day making meals for us, doing household chores with literally zero rest and sleep.

I hope one day I will be able to repay them.

- gnomzy123


Honestly, there are so many more cons than pros that I think the question should be reversed.

I see parents saying "if I knew better..." all the time!!! And I got the impression that a lot more don't say it just because it's wrong to think about it.

You should be 110% sure that you want kids and KNOW that you will have to compromise large aspects of your life and be ok with it. Or be filthy rich and have other people take care of your kid for you.



There are so many reasons, but the top contenders are as follows:

  • My husband and I both enjoy free time and disposable income and aren't willing to compromise either
  • I've never felt maternal towards children or babies (I didn't even like playing with baby dolls as a little girl) and don't enjoy spending time with them
  • I'm immunocompromised and having a kid go to school, pick up whatever illness is going around, and bring it home just sounds miserable
  • I have several chronic illnesses and health issues that I don't want to pass on
  • Life is full of pain and suffering, and ethically I can't imagine dooming another human being to this existence

My husband was kind enough to get a vasectomy so our childfree future is secured :)


When it's your own

Grew up with my mother saying "I never liked children but it's different when it's your own" but I never felt loved... Yeah, it's not really different when it's your own. Parents really should at least like children. And I never liked children, even when I was a child, much-preferred adults generally. Still do.

Carrying abusive baggage would have made me a not very good parent, and I did not want to pass that on to a child. There is no excuse for being unkind to a child.


Emotional Maturity

I've said this since I was probably 16: "I love my future kids too much to actually have them."

I just really have no interest in having kids and definitely don't have the resources, including money, physical stamina, and emotional fortitude.

I think way too many people have kids because it's just what they think the next step in life is supposed to be without actually thinking about what life will be like for the kid they're creating. You always hear about people making sure they have the money to take care of a kid, but it's really rare to hear somebody ask themselves if they have the emotional maturity to create another human. It's kind of a big deal.


Puppy love

I enjoy my free life. I am a woman and feel whole and happy without the need of making human beings. I never wanted to have kids. I remember as a teenager, people (adults women) would tell me the classic "you'll see, it will come on you like you can't control it, you will have children, so you can feel like a real woman" 😂. Even 7 years ago, I kept hearing this.

I'm 40 years old in few days, I live a happy life, still without kids, and I meet more and more women who have made this conscious choice, and are also enjoying their lives.

I have a good job, building businesses, have money, travel, I'm physically fit and loving my body, hangout with friends, have weekends out, all my time for myself and my relationship. My man is same as me, we only want a puppy. We don't think having kids should be a purpose in life, a compulsory thing, or even something that makes you feel "complete".

For me, my purpose is to be happy, healthy, make other happy too (I do a lot of charity and work for a NGO too, some even involve kids).



I'm not having my own children but I'd like to foster some kids. There are so many kids with no home. It would be selfish to have my own child just because foster kids have so much baggage. I want to give those teens a chance to have a better life.



Let me preface this with: I acknowledge that I am a selfish person.

I value my hobbies, free time, money, sleep, and quiet entirely too much. I hear kids screaming/crying in public and I just absolutely cringe and become riddled with second-hand embarrassment.

It's just not for me.


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