Becoming a parent is one of those things that should be a way bigger decision than society makes it out to be. Let's be honest, it's kind of weird that people are just expected to make more people.
Increasingly, people are making the conscious choice to live child-free.
Reddit user "foxscream" wanted to know the reasons, so they just asked. Clear communication, we love that for them.
So if you've ever wanted to know - now's your chance. It turns out "you're just selfish" and "you'll change your mind" aren't really effective arguments. People have real, legitimate, reasons.
The Gene ThingArt Design GIF by dualvoidanimaGiphy
"It's expensive and I don't wanna pass on my genes in particular." - mie11004
"The gene thing in particular hits me hard. I have an incurable autoimmune disease, and there's at least a 20% chance I pass the disease I have on to my children, and not to mention the possibility of an even more severe autoimmune disease like lupus."
"I don't think I'd ever be able to forgive myself if I passed that on to a child, especially with how much I struggle with my own disease. It's one of the issues that bothers me most about whether I want to have kids or not." - casswie
Cutting Off The CycleStop It Demi Lovato GIF by The Roku ChannelGiphy
"In psych class we learned about a study where they separated monkeys from their mothers at birth. The monkeys grew to be anxious and twitchy."
"When those monkeys had their own kids, the mothers didn't know how to care for them."
"I was raised horribly so I don't know how to raise someone well. My parents had children even though their parents abused them. My grandparents' parents probably also abused them. I'm just cutting off the cycle." - Spencer2091
Keeping It SimpleHappy Let Go GIF by Jamie N CommonsGiphy
"My husband and I would probably be pretty good parents and we're in a good spot financially, but we feel complete with each other. We have fun together and want to spend the rest of our lives without the responsibility and stress of kids." - billieaspen515
"This is my husband and me too. We love our life as just the two of us (plus our dog)."
"It's wonderful that we can, for instance, wake up whenever on a Saturday morning and say 'what do you want to do today?'
"We also do not feel like we're missing out by not having kids. If our friends have kids, then we plan to be awesome aunt and uncle to them." - moosetopenguin
In This Economy?no money GIF by Monólogos sin PropinaGiphy
"Kids? In this economy?"
"No, I'll just settle for my cat." - AllWomenAreQueens
"My friend will be a parent next month. He and his wife are both doing fine with good-paying jobs of more than $55k."
"They ran the numbers and found that with one kid they can opt for day care. But if they had twins+ or decide to have another child one of them would need to become a stay-at-home parent because the second income wouldn't be enough to cover 2 kids in daycare."
"That's not including things like... Braces... Teenage food intake. Band or a sport or an extra curriculum activity."
"It boggles the mind." - Feralbritches1
Children Deservebaby laughing GIFGiphy
"Because I believe that children deserve parents that will love them, always put them first, spend quality time with them and make sacrifices so that their children can have the best opportunities. But at the same time have the strength to set boundaries and discipline them in a healthy way so that they grow into good human beings."
"Also because I don't currently have a partner or much financial stability in my life at this stage and I don't want to be a single parent or bring a child into the world if I'm not in a position to provide for them."
"And I don't trust myself to be unselfish enough to be everything that I believe a child deserves. I sometimes catch myself thinking that children might be nice; but until I'm sure of myself, financially stable and in a steady relationship a child is unlikely to be in the picture." - VixterLKirby
Pregnancy And BirthBaby Belly GIFGiphy
"Birth and even the stuff that happens before birth always struck me as being a type of body horror. There's a part of me that thinks I would freak the f*ck out if I tried or was forced to carry a pregnancy to term." - mahoujosei100
"My aunt became pregnant when I was 16. I remember one day she came into my bedroom and said 'Hey! Check this out!!' and lifted her shirt."
"Her belly was rippling and moving. You could see huge bumps moving across her skin. At one point, I swear I saw the outline of a tiny footprint for a few seconds."
"She thought it was adorable. I couldn't bear to look at, let alone touch, her stomach."
"She insisted that it didn't hurt at all, but it honestly looked like something from the movie 'alien'. If you're really curious, you can look up videos of babies kicking from inside the womb on YouTube to get an idea of what I'm describing."
"I decided there and then that I did not want kids. It was honestly a relief when I realized I was a lesbian and that I would never accidentally become pregnant."
"Pregnancy is absolutely a form of body horror. I don't think I would be able to even look at my own belly if I ever somehow became pregnant." - travellingcats
All These MilestonesStill Waiting GIFGiphy
"Lack of desire to become a parent or have kids."
"You know how some people want kids so bad, they suffer mentally and emotionally from not having them or knowing they can't have them?"
"How people say they feel hormonal, wanting kids real bad, they can't control it? Their ovaries are exploding? Baby fever? Or any other colloquialism about wanting to have a baby real soon?"
"Never had that."
"People kept telling me that as I'd grow older, would reach my 30s, find my soulmate, my friends start having children, etc., I would start to have that feeling."
"I went through all these milestones and I still do NOT have that desire for kids. And I don't think it's necessary to have kids if one does not have the desire for it."
"Kids should be wanted." - ChibiSailorMercury
Before we go, I thought it was important to take a moment, as a parent, to speak up and say kids are some of my favorite humans. They're amazing. They're hilarious. They have so much to teach us.
And they absolutely SHOULD be a thing you put serious thought into before you have them. Choosing not to have them is valid AF.
Parenting is hard. The way kids have zero sense of self-preservation is one of the most magically frustrating things I've ever witnessed. How has humanity survived if children are like this? Just kickflipping off the appliances ...
Just because parenting is satisfying and rewarding doesn't make it easier, but don't listen to me. Some other parents wanted to chime in on the thread.
From The ParentsTired Episode 2 GIF by FriendsGiphy
"I have kids and never wanted kids. If you don't want kids, please don't have kids." They're adults(ish) now.
"I always laugh when I hear someone say 'No regrets.' I have long lists of them but looking at my kids now I would say no, I don't regret having them."
"That's said, if I could go back in time I would live a very different life." - B-Town-MusicMan
"All I ever wanted was to be a mom, my whole life, and I finally had my daughter two years ago."
"It can be HARD. And this was something I desperately wanted, for over 30 years. I love my kid more than anything in the entire world, and would die for her. But it's still F*CKING HARD."
"So if people aren't sure, or are on the fence, just don't." - bbbbears
"I wouldn't want to wish my children not to exist, but if I had it over to do, I would have followed my desire not to have kids.
Another way to look at it: if I lived dozens of lives, I might choose to have kids in one of my lives But since I only have one life, I would have preferred not to have spent it as one with children." - JohnBarnson
"My mom had 4 kids (last one unwanted, with like a 20 year age gap), and her whole life was sacrificed caring for us. She did her best, but I feel bad she gave up all her own dreams so we could have ours."
"I would not blame her AT ALL if she told me she wouldn't have had us all if she could do it over. I'd be shocked if she said otherwise (and know it's a lie)."
"I also know she loves us, and her "doing it over" idea only came AFTER she already bore the fruits of her love and nothing will erase that love... even her occasional regrets as to her personal life she gave up."
"It'd be like if someone saved my life but got injured in the moment. Then later they say they are glad they saved me but knowing what they know it entailed, they wouldn't have done it."
"May not sound pleasant but the good deed is done, they suffered for it, I benefitted, and their regret about the damage they suffered is 100% understandable."
"Humans are complex. Best to learn empathy. Parents are not saints, they are people struggling like you and me." - Kryptos19
Remember, reproduction is a choice. It should be taken seriously.
Also kids all smell weird. Just sayin'.
Yes children are beautiful gifts and being able to be parents is a miracle.
So many people long for the chance to build a family of their own with screaming children.
Whether a family is built through blood or adoption, it doesn't matter, it's a dream fulfilled.
But that doesn't mean it has to be for everybody.
We all don't have to be parents and many people really shouldn't, so let's support the people who choose themselves just as much as we support families.
Redditor onlinebeing wanted the childless to say their piece by asking...
Redditors that plan to probably not have kids, what are your reasons?
"I was a teacher."
"I teach high school, and I have noticed that percentage of married teachers without kids is much higher than the average population. I think spending six to seven hours a day with kids really drives home how difficult having kids is, and that it is not a decision to make lightly."
"I'm horrible at handling stress and sleep deprivation, and I probably have a genetic disorder that I absolutely don't want to pass on."
"Diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I've seen r/raisedbynarcissists and I am not putting any kid through that."
So Many Reasons.
"Couldn't afford raising kids. Didn't have good upbringing so wouldn't know how to raise one. And the fear of pregnancy messing up my body. "
"At some point I might've been on the fence about having kids, but there was a thread on AskReddit that went along the lines of, 'What's the worst part of pregnancy that nobody talks about?'"
"That's how I, an adult woman who's taken multiple iterations of sex ed, first heard about shit like massive tears, about being intentionally cut open from your anus to vagina to give the kid more room to escape, and never being able to hold your pee ever again. No thanks dude."
Not for Me.Giphy
"I don't feel like sacrificing my life for them. I salute all of you, people, who do this. But tell me honestly, wouldn't the world be a better place, if people only made kids when they want to have kids instead of just doing what is expected of them? "
"My wife and I like our freedom and money."
"My husband and I have use-it-or-lose-it time off to burn before the end of the year, and we were talking about what to do with it. Neither of us really felt like taking a staycation, because we knew we'd just end up working. So after talking about if for like ten minutes, we went to Costco's website and booked a trip to Hawaii. We leave right after Thanksgiving."
Never felt like it.
"I've never had that 'I really want kids feeling.' Ever. I'm in my thirties, if it were going to come it would have been here by now, and there's no way I could blithely create a whole new human hoping it turned out hunky dory without actually wanting them."
"I mean of course it makes life in the performing arts more feasible without kids, I don't have to worry about my already-fragile body taking serious damage, I can sleep, I can save money, etc etc but if I wanted kids, those "reasons" wouldn't matter."
"The only reason that matters is that I just don't want kids. The same way I don't want a parrot — they're amazing for other people, but I don't want one in my house."
"Edit: I was briefly pregnant when I was 27. It's not "different when it's your own." I got sterilized at 29 and I am still consciously grateful at least once a week that I can live my life on my terms without being paranoid about another accident."
"I know how crappy this sounds but if my child came out autistic or with some severe mental issues, I just couldn't do it and it's not fair to them, my wife, or any of their siblings that would be guilted into taking care of them when I die."
"I was married in my 20s and it came to light fairly quickly that her gene pool was going to make any children we had a coin flip. Knowing what struggles she was facing, we decided early on that we couldn't do that to a child and just live with it if they turned out having the same or similar issues."
"I got used to the idea of never having kids pretty easily and embraced it soon after that. When my wife passed away, I actively looked for partners without children and found a girl with similar preferences. 10 years later, we are very happy with our decisions."
Witnessing the Truth.
"I was open to it until my brother and sister-in-law had kids. Nope. Not a chance. They have no time to themselves, they're always tired, they've aged terribly, they don't get to do things that they want any more. They love it and my niece and nephew are lovely, but that's as close to that lifestyle as I'm willing to get."
"With my current mindset, I'd be an awful mom. Resenting my kids for my lost freedom. But who knows, I might grow out of it."
"Every once in awhile I check in with myself and try to imagine the most amount of time per day that I would be willing to commit to parenting for 18+ years (but obviously more so in the first 5-10) and it's never more than 20-30 minutes... I feel like I would have to be okay with giving up at least 4-6 hours for it to even be a possibility worth thinking about."
"I don't like kids. I fear that they'll end up having a social-limiting condition that would make or difficult for them through life. I fear for my wife's pregnancy and all the risks that go with it. I fear that, no matter what, they'll end up in a gang or just freaking loser."
"I grew up with amazing Friends, raised the same but each got deviated into different stuff (obviously) but some went directly to the crapper. Bad economy in my country to have a kid."
"2 reasons - I live very nicely with only myself to take care of, but it is paycheck-to-paycheck. Again, not struggling, but it's just comfortable enough for me. It wouldn't be realistic to bring a huge burden to that. I also worry a bit about how much of my mental illness they'd inherit."
Not MeHappy Kids Say The Darndest Things GIF by CBSGiphy
"I don't see me ever finding someone to have kids with, and I personally think with the way my life currently is it wouldn't be fair to adopt or get a surrogate etc."
We like our time...
"My husband and I were upfront with each other from the beginning... neither of us should be parents. I love kids. They’re great. I like giving them back to their owners more. Mental and physical illness don’t run in our families, it gallops like a racehorse."
"Bipolar, clinical depression, suicide, schizophrenia, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, addiction, autoimmune disorders, and cancer are throughout both family trees. Men on my maternal side tend to drop dead of massive heart attacks before 65. That’s not a fair playing field to plop a child onto and I couldn’t do it."
"We're also poor and deeply selfish. We like our time. On top of all that I know my temperament. I stress easily and break down sometimes, becoming nonfunctional. I couldn’t bring a child into the world with the knowledge they’d resent me as a parent."
"Okay so it might be a slightly different answer to what you'd expect from that question, but well. I'd like to have kids, but I don't want them to be genetically mine; even though I'd love to experience pregnancy myself, I think that if I had a life stable enough to be able to support a child, I don't see why I shouldn't adopt one that is already born and is in need of a loving family."
"I think I'd be a great dad, but internally I'd hate the crap out of it and probably resent myself. Kids are the worst they are narcissistic little messes who basically keep you locked in stagnant while they grow up for 18 years. I don't like taking care of my responsibilities now, and you want me to take on more responsibilities? With their little lives on the line? No thanks, my gf and dog are enough responsibilities for me."
"I don’t like kids, for one. I’m also disabled and my condition causes a lot of pain and fatigue so I wouldn’t be able to do it anyway. It just wouldn’t be fair."
I had ruined her life...
"My mother and grandmother constantly told me that having kids would ruin my life. I never could figure out when it would be a good time to ruin my life. So instead of 3 kids and no money, I have no kids and 3 money. Actually 7 houses and a dog. And, yes, my mother constantly told me that, as first born, I had ruined her life. She could not become the air force pilot, archaeologist, race car driver that she wanted to be."
Hell No!Parks And Recreation Nbc GIF by HULUGiphy
"I saw my older sister give birth (she wanted family around super hippie chick) that was more than enough to put me off."
"I aggressively do not want kids. Other people's kids annoy me with their sounds and fluids, and I know that mine would annoy me ten times more with it being always in my face and needing constant attention. I'm glad there's people out there who can give kids happy, loving homes, and I don't hate kids (they just make me uncomfortable and gross me out) but maaaaaan it is not for me at all."
Children are a huge responsibility and they're not for everyone. People have very valid reasons for wanting them and for wanting to avoid them at all costs. Both points of view are completely valid.
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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.
We are all not destined for the same life path. Some of us are meant to be lawyers, some doctors, others writers. We're all groomed from a young age to believe that "procreation" is the key to the meaning of life. We're all here to breed and populate the world. But that is not true. Parenting is not for everybody! It takes skills many of us are not equipped with. And thank GOD for the people who realize it sooner that later.
Redditor u/DallasAnonymity wanted the non-parents of the world to speak up asking... For those of you who *chose* to not have children: Do you regret or stand by your choice? Why?