Being a parent can be incredibly challenging - pretty much every parent will tell you that it's one of the hardest things they've ever done in their lives. Strangely, being a parent is also sort of just expected of people.
That seems odd, doesn't it? Marathon runners don't just expect everyone else to run marathons. When you decide to undertake other major challenges, you don't just expect others to do so as well. Somehow, being a parent is different.
There are some people, however, who have no problem standing up against that pressure and saying no - they just don't want kids.
Reddit user Sebulista asked:
Their responses are pretty enlightening! Some have reasons related to family history, some are more interested in fulfillment in their own lives - and some want to know why they should even have to justify it!
A Messed Up Kid
Primarily because I don't want the responsibility, the stress, and they're expensive. I enjoy being around kids occasionally for short times, but having one full-time would not be fun for me.
I know this is kinda messed up to say, but I also don't want the risk of having a messed up kid. If I knew the child wouldn't have any major problems beforehand I would be more willing to have one.
I don't want kids in the same way I don't want to move to North Dakota: I have no reason to, and it seems unpleasant from my point of view.
"But It's Different..."
I don't like kids, simple as that. People say "But it's different when they're your own." Yeah I can't get away from them, making my situation way worse.
You don't need a reason to not want kids. Mine is that when I was a kid my mom threw away my Pokemon cards. She wants grand kids and by denying her grand kids I am getting my revenge.
Being pregnant/giving birth is my #1 biggest fear.
But also I just don't want them, the same way I don't want to own my own business or play sports. It's not something that interests me. I don't find taking care of children rewarding the way others do.
The Family Chemistry LotteryGiphy
Schizophrenia and BiPolar disorder run in my family. My two cousins have five kids between them. With each pregnancy, I was internally screaming WTF are you DOING???
There's two girls and three boys. The eldest are 12. I find myself wondering who's going to win the family chemistry lottery. It should start to show up in about 4-5 years. I wonder how on earth my cousins will handle it.
I told my grandmother that I chose not to have children because of our genetics, and she said "You are a smart girl, because having a child with mental illness will Break. Your. Heart. And it will never stop. Your whole life, it will never stop."
Women Lose Too Much
To me it always seemed like women lose a hell of a lot when they have kids. Your body gets messed up permanently, your career suffers - if you can afford to go back. Childcare is hugely expensive, so a lot of women don't go back to work for years. You never have any time for your own stuff. Men get some of it too, but in my experience I haven't seen it to the same degree.
Above that a lot of women just disappear into being someone's mum, like they never did anything else. I know a lot of women love that, but I really hate that idea for myself. I have an identity of my own and I've worked very hard to get where I am. It frightens me to think that could disappear. Children don't interest me, and for what I would lose in order to raise one, I just don't see what's in it for me.
I guess in a different mindset, I'd think it was worth it, but i just don't care about raising children.
There's No Need
Being pregnant reminds me of Alien, and I just don't want to go through 9 months of agony.
Children consume your life and it's not something I want to trade my current time for. I enjoy my hobbies and I work a 9-5 job.
I want to travel the world throughout my life. I want money to spend on stupid things that I want. I want money and time to give to others that I feel deserve it or are in need.
I'm not maternal, in the general sense. I don't think most babies are cute. I don't want to hold babies. I don't want to care for a baby. I am much happier being in the aunt role.
I just don't feel the need for a child. People around me are having children. The population won't dwindle to nothing, that's for sure. My genetics aren't special. I don't care what my boyfriend and I would look like if we created an offspring and that baby looked like us combined. People who want kids can have kids but there's no reason I need to have kids. My parent's lives won't be less because they don't have grandchildren and my boyfriend and I won't be lonely in 50 years.
Global warming... to ME, it would be unconscionable to bring an innocent life into a world where I couldn't guarantee their safety and health for 80+ years.
Not Worth The Risk
I'm not risking my health for a child.
I'm an unhealthy person in general. I'm fat as hell, I have crippling depression, severe ADHD, and an eating disorder. The medications alone would kill or at least deform the baby. All the other things that happen in my body would yield a very unhealthy baby.
Plus, there's a lot of genetic unpleasantness in my family. We're all pretty smart but all have terrible mental health. I'm not creating a human who's only going to wind up sad all the time.
Weird To JustifyGiphy
I always find it weird to justify why I *don't* want something...
Why don't you want a pet elephant? Why aren't you building a spacecraft?
Cause like, why would I....? If *you* want to do that, go right ahead, but imposing your life's choices as a challenge to someone else is just...weird.
I can't raise kids in this environment. The hate and cruelty just keeps increasing...
The brainwashing is constant.
A Better Question
A better question would be, "people who want kids, what are your reasons?". None of them will ever be able to give you an answer other than "I just do" or something that translates directly to it.
The Feeling Of Relief
Never had the feeling, as i was growing up, that i want to be a mom. I was too busy finding my self, taking care of my self, my needs and my dreams and loving my family, friends an significant other. I love to read, to paint, to play video games, RPG or board games and i love my free time. I love to have a life style that allows me to relax after work.
We tried with my SO for a few years to stay pregnant, but didn't happen for medically reasons. I feel that if that happened then (to stay pregnant) i would be a good mom and I would love my kid. But when that didn't happen, the feeling of relief was huge. And when at 39-40 my menopause started (the women in my family had early menopause. My Mom, Grandmom and Aunt at their 40s but my 2 older sisters still have their periods), the choice of maternity left from my hands and I feel really good. I am 43 now and I love my childless life.
I have the most well meaning parents, but I'm such a sensitive person that it lead me to several mental issues. I don't want to impose that to anyone, because it'll be my decision to give birth to a human being that will inherit a part, if not all, of this sensitivity. Oh and I'm genuinely terrified of expecting and giving birth.
That biological instinct just isn't kicking in. They said it would, but I am nearing the end of my healthy childbearing years, and I'm still like "ew babies but yay puppies."
Birth Is Immoral
I'm an antinatalist so I believe it is immoral. I've been alive for 20 years and I know that life isn't fair. Life is full of pain and suffering. In this world you're either lucky or you're not.
I don't want to bring a person into this cruel world where they could be subject to being destitute, bullied, murdered, tortured etc.
We have so little control of what other people do. You can follow all the rules and be the most upstanding citizen but there are still people in this world who don't care about the rules/laws.
Ex. Your child could be walking home from school and gets hit by a drunk driver. Now your child is a quadriplegic and a vegetable for the rest of their life. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if this happened. To guarantee this will never happen, I will never have kids.
Hold Procreators Accountable
I don't think people need reasons not to have kids. There are way too many reasons NOT to have them. However, I have yet to see a single reason to have them that isn't selfish, stupid or cruel. We need to start holding procreators accountable, there are way too many humans already. There are way too many children being abused and neglected.
I genuinely feel that the environmental damage we have done is to far gone and that we maybe screwed as a species so to have a kid and give it a dying planet doesn't seem right to me.
I Will Turn Out Like My Parents
I did not have a good childhood. I am 25F and I am still realizing that what I considered to be normal is, in fact, not normal at all. Moreover, my parents dreams, pains and beliefs (a lot of them) were handed down to me and I am still struggling with that. I am still under tremendous amount of pressure. There has been quite a lot of trauma. And I am afraid that I will pass down mine to my kid if I ever become a mother.
I don't want anybody to feel the way I feel. My relationship with my parents is strained (obviously). I also think it would be heartbreaking if I have a child, and I make the same mistakes as my parents and I am at the receiving end of so much pain. Sorry for the rant. Basically, I don't want children because I am afraid. I am afraid that they will turn out like me and I will turn out like my parents.
Fireworks Or A Crossbow
I can barely afford to look after myself, why on earth would I drag a kid into that? Also I have my fair share of issues, and I would NOT be a good father. At best I'm that crazy uncle that shows up and gives the kids fireworks. Or a crossbow.
I Have A DogGiphy
I have a dog that I get upset that I have to walk and play with every damn day (I do, don't worry, she doesn't get neglected.) I don't want my kids to have a parent that isn't excited to spend time with them.
Compensate For My Childhood
Reasons I had before for wanting kids eventually was to be happy raising them, share in my hobbies and interests and hopefully raise someone who would just be happy without any significant trauma. Thinking about it more later, it seemed like I would be trying to compensate for my childhood and potentially force them into doing things they didn't like but I did.
There's also a lot of bad things that can happen outside of the parent's control or the kid's control. Thinking of the worst case scenarios, there's many things that can happen. It's a scary thing. Maybe my mind will change later, but right now I'm happy raising my dogs and I like to think they're happy too.