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Why I don't want kids

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I went to see a friend last night, whom I hadn't seen for quite some time. Now that S is overseas, I'm keeping myself extremely busy with my personal business (as opposed to my day-job, in which I'm still busy of course, but I digress).

He mentioned that last time he saw S, she flipped out after another friend commented, yet again, that we should really have kids. There was some comment along the lines of "but it's obvious Ben's gagging for kids".

I almost fell over when he told me that last bit. Sure, I love kids - love 'em to bits. They're cute and funny and always surprise you and do things you'd never dream of because they haven't acquired inhibitions yet. They ask funny questions, which are actually quite serious. Their thirst for knowledge is unquenchable.

And then they cry, or shout, or run away from home, or kick the walls in or damage other property.

No thank you. No really - I love your kids - because when they get shitty, you can have them back, thank you very much.

I have two reasons for not wanting kids, and the selfish aspect of not wanting to deal with little shits, however cute they are, is one of them. I'm just selfish, I want to keep my money and time to myself.

The other reason, the one I told my friend last night, is this little issue of world over population. With the medical advances of the last few centuries, it is now possible to give birth to that which was not meant to live. I don't mean to be cruel here, but there are many people alive today that should not be. And before you get on your high horse, I'm one of them.

Now this world on which we live has finite resources. Sure, many are renewable, but there's only so much space to grow stuff that there is a finite quantity available at any one time. These people who should technically not be alive are using resources and producing pollutants that would not be used/produced had nature taken it course and not allowed them to survive. I actually feel rather ill when I hear of people who's child was born 13 weeks premature and survived. It should have died. Since the dawn of time, the evolutionary path of any species is driven by nature: survival of the fittest. We're messing with nature, and in turn with our own evolutionary path.

And we should remember that humans are not the only animals on earth, this overpopulation is affecting others too: forests destroyed for residential purposes, water diverted for human use, air poluted for human convenience, the list goes on.

My friend's counter-argument to this was that none of that should matter. My sole purpose on this world is to produce children to keep my genes in the gene pool. The fact that this would add to a growing problem is not for me to worry about - I have to do my job, and let my kids cope with the consequences.

Who's selfish now?

You're gonna bring children into this world which, probably not in their life time, but quite possibly their childrens', will not be able to sustain the number of animals that inhabit it.

As for it not being my issue to deal with - humans made it everyone's issue when they shifted the balance of nature. By breaking the rules and helping people who should not have kids reproduce, they have started a downward spiral that I do not wish to subject anyone to with out their consent. Statistically speaking, kids don't have a say about whether they'll be born or not (100% of children were born without prior consultation).

I learnt a few interesting things about my friend though. While I perfectly understand his desire to have kids, he cannot fathom my want not to have them. It just doesn't compute. Something to do with going against the grain of human instincts. It also reconfirmed my inability to have a meaningful discussion with him. Discussions are usually bi-directional. This discussion was more like an anti-tug-of-war, where my arguments were pushed back before they could be delivered. This inability for him to understand my position extends to others as well - the other friend who set S off some weeks back, for example.

There are some people in this world, who are able to understand, though, and I feel so happy when someone does. Not that I need their approval, but I know I won't be in a 30 minute one-sided discussion. Again.

Writing this has lead me to think again about what I think I'm achieving. Sure, there will be 2.4 fewer people on this planet, and in 30 years time, there will be 5.76 fewer people. Big deal. I hope there are other people out there, and I know there are, who are doing the same. Lots of small steps might go some way to correcting the balance.

Should I kill myself to increase that 2.4 to a 3.4? Perhaps. It would be the logical thing to do. I won't though.

You see, I have learnt what it is like to be alive, and I wouldn't want to lose that. Had I not survived my childhood illnesses, I would not have learnt what life was like, and would not have missed it. Unfortunately for me, I like being alive, and will continue to do so for a while.

Comments

hi ben

interesting post. i agree with most of what you said but to differing degrees.

i dont believe that you should not have children because they may be kept alive via medicine and technology when they otherwise would die. rather i believe that more natural birth procedures should be followed. so basically, if the child cannot survive without tech it will die. i have a friend who practices chinese medicine and they have some very cool theories in this area.

in regards to over population resulting in the draining of resources i agree and think this is a more compelling argument. however i still would like to have children.

my partner and i are both very eco and politically aware and have no doubt our offspring will be too. so the question for us becomes, does one more child in the world who is eco/politically aware use more resources then if it were not to exist? I guess the obvious answer is yes - but the multiplied affect is not so clear.

i also believe that the only way the resource problem will ever be solved is by removing capitalism from the world. More people who are politically aware is going to help that.

abstinence is not going to fix the problem, but rather a complete change in the way humans view the world.

anyway, cheers

andrew

Hi Andrew!

i dont believe that you should not have children because they may be kept alive via medicine and technology

I think one of us has misunderstood the other - not sure which way round. I'm not saying I won't have kids because they might one day need medical and technological assistance to stay alive. I think that humans (not just young ones) who have life threatening situations that would not be curable under normal cirsumstances (think of what help was available a century or two ago) should not survive; the death of the young and weak in any species is designed to ensure the species survives and evolves, while the death of the old is designed to manage the population.

I agree with you when you say that more ecologically and politically aware people are better than none. It's at that point where I fall back to the "I'm selfish and want to keep my time and money to myself" argument :-)

Your kids-to-be sound like the kind I wouldn't mind babysitting :-)

BB

I think a link to http://www.populationparsons.com is suitable for this one. Just scroll down to the population counter at the bottom and watch it for a few moments.

Controversial Benji! I wuz going to say stuff too about using the opportunity of creating more worldly- and eco-minded little people on the planet. It's a bit like the Thai govt (oops) with their scheme where graduate women were encouraged financially for every child they had (as they tended to spend all their time seeking careers instead) and less-educated women were penalised for having more than 2 nippers by having their social housing taken away or something. Harsh, but with socially conscious intentions. A response to a slow outweighing of baby-popping women who rely upon the state against babyless women who die leaving no brainy legacies! Ouch! There are definitely too many people on this world, and we're all guilty of social engineering simply because we choose to bring children into this world and train them to be just like us, or what we wish we could be: ecowarriors / brainboxes / benefit-leeching-compo-claimers, whatever! Or by choosing none at all.

But mostly, my view is this: We are all walking Instinctiphiles. Just like we were designed to die if we were weak, or live if we were strong, we were also designed to create fantastic things around us, and enjoy life. Even animals smile and laugh and play. Life was created with two overall aims - stay alive, and die happy. If you gain that life-happiness from being a top lawyer with success, money, three houses and all the rest, fine. Some people get life satisfaction from raising kids. Some people feel fulfilled if they managed to see all they could of this world and learn everything they can in one lifetime. Some people do a couple of those things, some people do it all. Whatever. We all seek what will make us happy. Even if that means using more carbon than you really should on all those long haul flights that aren't really essential to staying alive, or contributing to the swelling population when we're already sinking into the sea (Britain being an island, see). So what? I think it's fine to do all that as long as you don't take the p*ss. Don't hurt people or animals, don't arrogantly waste resources, don't take from others to get what you want.

But God gave us instincts, which is what we all follow regardless. And why would he make us able above all other species to make each other better and solve problems in life? We're all like superheroes or trump cards or something, and we each have our own talent to keep ourselves alive and happy. We're not the fastest runners, so we die if we upset a cheetah. We're nothing against the power of the sea, we can be killed from within from the tiniest bugs, or we can be sat on by a huge elephant. But what we can do is use our thumbs and our brains. The ‘strongest will survive' theory can be applied to the natural consequences of nature, but it can still also be defined by the following: We can build houses to stay safe from cheetahs. We can light fires to keep away bugs, and get elephants to become our friends. We can strip bark and make tinctures and heal wounds.

And, we can form zygotes in the lab and freeze little life forms and give would-be parents the chance to fulfil their life-happiness. That's what we do.

Speaking as a mother - yours - I am so glad you are in the world.

But then that was my choice. As part of the deal to appease my overwhelming maternal urges I didn't mind staying up all night when you were ill or even racing through the darkness in Austria to get you to a doctor when you had an asthma attack in a tent. Or even replastering kicked-in walls. I would have gone to the ends of the earth for my little shit.

However, now that I have no dependent children at home, and all my money is MINE! - I appreciate many of your sentiments. I would defend your right to make your own decisions in life, and if not having children is one of them, then I can accept that in the knowledge that my son knows what he wants from life. Isn't that what most parents want for their offspring?

not only do i think your selfish and closed minded but missing out on a real opportunity to mature yourself as no other way can. yes, children can be a pain and a selfish indulgence of human nature, but they also give us insight into the goal of all mankind; to be truely innocent, honest, creative , and the abundance to show and give of themself and love. So maybe god gave us children to set a goal for our own behavior. There is only a short portion of our life that we are able to bare children; i think god already set a stopgap of population control. It is really so sad that children and childhood is not always nutured and given a break to each and every child for the full term of childhood. Think, if everyone thought like you there would be no you to enjoy life.

Silly argument above. It takes more then one kind of person to make a world. Not wanting children is as legitimate as wanting children. Some people who don't have children are able to have beautiful relationships with their other half, and persue careers with undeterred focus, some of which may help 'save the planet' , even in a small way. Not having children is not selfish ; expecting everyone to think like you, is. Anyway, if you wanted to be 'truly innocent, creative' (and) show love' you could always adopt a child that is already in the world. Why the necessity to have your own flesh and blood: if there is one thing thicker than blood, it's love. So all that showing your love by having a child is rubbish. I myself have a little girl, but I would never judge a person for not having a child. I would judge a person on how they live their life - with or without children

Thanks for your comment Sally. I agree totally that there are many ways that people can contribute to the world - and society as part of it.

I've been travelling and will find time soon to reply to you Toni.

And mum - thanks for calling me a little shit - made me laugh :-)

SO GLAD to find someone else who thinks like me and my husband. We just don't want them. Period. I love kids, love babysitting all the nieces and nephews, but I LOVE going home to my controlled environment... and if I (we) ever change our mind(s) I'd consider adoption of an already existing baby before I added to the mess myself.

thank god, there is somebody like me out there, im so sick of baby makers, its out of control, people are now having kids starting at the age of 13 and up, and each new guy they meet, they pop out another unwanted kids, its annoying

I have also agreed with my partner not to have children for most of the reasons above.

We don't think that there is anything wrong with having children (after all, our parents had them!) but I feel really strongly that there are far too many people already.

I enjoy seeing other people's children growing and playing and doing all that crazy shit that makes you laugh, and sometimes it seems that it would be nice to have that stuff yourself. Unfortunately I also see families with 3,4,5+ children, father sitting in the MPV filled with kids with the engine running waiting for mother to come out of the shops. There are countless other examples, but you get my point. The people who actually have the offspring are (often) the ones causing the most harm to THEIR CHILDREN'S WORLD. I want to tell people this so often, but people don't like non-parents telling them how to raise their families...

My partner and I live a reasonably enviro-friendly lifestyle, but we could all do more to save the planet for our (your) kids. We're not going to though are we? How much electricity do we waste using our computers? Why do we all live so far away from our jobs? Why do we change our car every couple of years? Often the reason is to help the kids (encourage them - computers are future; have to travel for better job to afford kids; newer car safer)

I don't want to bring more kids into an over-populated world with the shakiest future it's ever had and then have to live with myself knowing I made the choice to bring them into this and then left them to deal with it.

Sorry if this seems like a bit of a rant.

If the world ever makes me think that it has the chance of a future I'll adopt. (There is no shortage of unwanted/orphaned kids either)

Thanks for dropping by Geoff. Didn't seem (too much) like a rant at all :-)

I recently discussed the current number of planets required to sustain different lifestyles with some friends, and your comment has spurred me to write another post about it.

I knew that I didn't want children - mainly because yeah, I'm selfish too - but now I'm more convinced. I had never thought about it from the over population point of view before, but it makes A LOT of sense. Messing with nature is a no-no.

And by the way, I probably should not be alive right now. I was fine when I popped out but then I got the German Measles, the Mumps, a mutated form of Rubella, Pneumonia 9 times, and a series of bad flus and infections, all before my third birthday. I'm grateful to be alive (sometimes...) but I probably shouldn't be.]

So thanks...And that was very well written.

Hi Eris!

Thanks for dropping by and for your compliments. Your medical history sounds similar to mine, except mine spanned 18 years, not 3 :-)

Hi Ben

Reading your article and the ensueing comments has brightened up my morning!

I'm a Primary School teacher working in the North of England. I love working with the children, most of the time it's a joy. They come from all different types of backgrounds and on the whole have a playful and happy life and I feel privelidged to be part of it.

But that still doesn't mean I want to have kids. I get to see the other side of having children:

1. Income and cost

How your income (if your partner works) would have to be cut in half so one of you can stay at home and bring the child up. People would argue what about grandparents or child care. Will havn't grandparents done their bit? And have you heard how much the average child care costs are now? (Approximately £132 per week in England). Then put that on top of your repayments for a 100 k mortgage (to provide a stable living situation for your children). BONKERS (if you ask me). A program on Channel 4 recently put the cost of having children to be (on average) £180,000 EACH!!

2. Social Pressures

Now more than ever children seem to be subject to very strong social pressures. It is very hard to give children a balanced objective view of the world when they are bombarded with advertising coming from all angles. One could argue that social pressures have always been there! They have, that I do agree with. But look at the amount there is now for children to deal with is it the same as ours when we were kids?

3. The Environment

This has been commented on already and I don't need to elaborate on it! But we in the western world are putting an enormous pressure on the worlds resources by being part of a consumerist culture. It is very hard for me to be working at reducing my own part in that without adding to it by having kids. But my main argument here is if I had children what world would they be dealing with when I'm dead and gone!!

I could go on but in conclusion I agree with Sally. Having children and not having are both legitimate choices. What makes them good choices is whether we are willing to face the consequences of making them!

Thanks for kicking it off Ben!

Neil

Hmmm....lets see....

Pros:

vicarious living women cuchie-cooing your baby in the pram

Cons: expensive smell bad loud crying annoying whining fighting constant worrying over safety/health cheeky/saucy obnoxious expensive expensive dirty breaking your shit asking endless questions having to deal with other parents idiotic, modern kids cartoons (nothin but CG/graphics) drive a wedge between you and your spouse (yes, it happens) and endless other cons...

No thanks ppl, I'll keep my sanity/money/time/hobbies lol hahahaha

Wow - this certainly has been a popular post!

Thanks for dropping by Neal - glad to have brightened up your morning.

And thanks for your excellent in-depth comparative evaluation of being a parent Dave :-)

I have always known since I was first capable of thought, that I do not want kids. That feeling has never changed or wavered.

lmao @ Dave........ Only two pros and like 20 or so cons listed and many more...lol... I definitely agree with the breaking your shit, because I don't have kids, I have two nephews, and lets just say they(probably more so the younger one, but both really) have broken my tv, PS2, bed, scratched so many of my music or ps2 cds(some beyond repair), ripped sheets and other ripped things, dents in wals, and the list goes on.... Not to mention the fact that I have had things thrown at me and I've been kicked or punched way too many times in the nuts...lol...I know most kids will hit ya in the nuts, but damn the amount of times I been hit there just doesn't seem normal...lol.. And to think these are just my nephews and yes i do love them so much and all, but got's damn...lol.... Lucky for me I can send them back when they get too out of line or when I get annoyed or too stressed, which is an advantage.....They are good kids most of the time, but again they are kids, and kids like to do crazy things good or bad.

A few years back I myself used to say I want a bunch of kids, and when I was asked or just when I thought of it I would say maybe 5 or 6 of them. In most cases I came to my senses and said maybe 1 or 2 kids, anything more is asking for it...lol.... But then when I think to myself now and if asked now my response is that I do not want any kids.... I love kids, don't get me wrong, they are our future, but it just ain't happening...lol... I love my freedom, and I love that I can use my money, time, and everything the way I see fit without worrying about who's going to take care of some kids when I'm on vacation. There are other ways to contribute through philanthropy and various other methods.

Another con I would add to your list, even though you said endless others, is the big time stress factor. Children have got to be the most stressful beings on earth, regardless if they are good or bad kids, you will get stressed out....lol..lol... I might be only in my mid 20's now, and you never know if I may change my mind 15 years down the line(people always use the never say never thing), but right now I know I don't want any children. There are some other pros such as they are cute, make you laugh, can brighten up your day, but still no. It's not selfish to not want kids, it just means you've made your choice and stick to it.

It's 2007, not 1421, and if I have to justify my not wanting kids to one more person, I might start swinging. I'm happily married-for years-to a man who shares my feelings. PEOPLE: you have no right to judge those who choose not to have children. Their reasons are sound FOR THEM. Happy? Don't want to carry a child? Can't afford it? Don't want to read Thomas the Tank Engine when you have a biochemistry PhD? Want to have hot sex in your life? Want to travel? Don't like kids? It's OK to feel these things-a nd those of us who do have the right not to be pilloried for them. Just a thought.

There is only a short portion of our life that we are able to bare children; i think god already set a stopgap of population control.

Actually, this is not true. Many females can now have children between ages 8-45, almost 40 years! That's almost HALF most people lifespan, not a short while.

surely bringing someone into this world is being selfish?

The child has no choice wether it wants to live here.If the child saw what it has to go through in its life,i think it would crawl back in!

I certanly don't enjoy getting up for work everyday for 40 years and i wouldn't want to put any one else through it.

The amount of pleasure you get in life doesn't add up with the amount of crap you have to take.

I think some children would thankyou for not having them in the first place.

A sad way to look at it ,but a very true one !

[...] In my wildest dreams, I would not have imagined that the most popular post on my site would have been Why I Don’t Want Kids! [...]

Firstly, my apologies for being slack on approving comments.

I notice, reading through this post's comments, that I still haven't addressed Toni's comment from last year! I decided to address this in a new post.

To everyone else who's posted, thanks for your comments!

Steve (comment 22). While I understand your sentiments, life really is what you make of it. Sure, there are times when you're kicked, and then kicked again while you're down. And I understand people can get in to a rut and not see any way out. Your story, however, sounds to me like you're sick with the every day corporate/capitalist lifestyle. So are a lot of people. There are ways out though, you just have to get out of your comfort zone and reevaluate what is important.

Why not work on a strategy to do what you'd like to do. My current plans, for example, are to work for another 3 years to pay off the mortgage. I'm lucky that my wife and I have reasonable salaries and relatively low outgoings. Once the mortgage is paid off, we'll work for another year or so to fill the savings account, and then travel the world for however long it takes. We'll work a little on our travels to pay for every day expenses and use our savings only for emergencies. When we finally find a place we like (might even be back in Australia), we'll settle, build our own eco-friendly house and live off the rental income from our current property.

It's a plan - I'm not saying it's foolproof, but it's a plan ;-)

Sad as it may be, most people on this earth do not think about these issues (overpopulation, etc), let alone take personal actions that might impinge on their own fulfilment and happiness in 'this life' (e.g. having kids). THAT, to me, is the defintion of selfishness.

This generation may not live to see it, but the day will soon come when the effects of overpopulation of our planet come home to roost...and what could be more selfless than to choose not to bring others into this world having to face this? Do what you think is right, not what everyone else thinks is.

Hi,

Rats! It looks like aI missed the best part of the debate. I too am in this position where my GF wants to plan for kids and I don't want kids. Since this came up recently and is threatening our relationship I think we non-populators have several things that we must follow. We must make our intentions known early. Not doing so appears to have the effect of dooming our relationships when the SO finds out. You also need to know your defenses against the labels of selfish, immature, uncaring, unconfident and weak. You should be prepared to lose friends over it.

However there are so many valid points in the posts above that I can't be dissuaded and there are arguments for all my points as well.

Hi Simon! I'm sorry to hear you're in such an awkward position. I hope you both come to a happy outcome...

Just wanted to leave a quick THANK YOU! I'm a 27 year old woman who does not want to have kids. When I mention reasons similar to yours above other women usually look at me with a mixture of pity and distrust. These are usually the same people who then whine endlessly about their families and having no money. Thanks for making me feel a little more normal!

I totally agree with all that is being said above re. population, climate and Daves list in post 16! My girlfriend is really pressurizing me to have children. Im in the music business and it's very unstable at the moment - I work long crazy hours and I guess am quite selfishly devoted to my work. I just dont see kids fitting into my life. I love traveling + lots of peace and tranquility as well. I really think that if she talks me into this I will really come to regret it. This is really driving a wedge between us. Help!

Hey Johnny! Don't let anyone pressure you into making any decision - you have to be as comfortable with any plans made as the other person or people involved. Simon, in comment 26, had a similar issue, and sometimes it's sad that relationships end when the people take different directions, but sometimes people manage to sit down and discuss the issues and find common ground so everyone's happy... Best of luck!

Wow. Great debate, great posts. I'm 40. Can't quite figure out how I got to this age, but there you go. I never really wanted to have kids - it never really featured in my list of stuff I needed in my life. I was always trying to do things like travel, work in different jobs, have different relationships, take singing lessons or just go to therapy and figure out why I'm the way I am. Good stuff. When I lived in New York that seemed quite natural, but since coming back to the UK I've felt like a freak for feeling this way. In fact I've been quite depressed - but didn't realise until recently that it's not being childfree that depresses me, it's being surrounded by people who are obsessed by their kids, or just having kids. I'm going to give up the idea that there's something wrong with me - I just need to read and talk to more people who feel like I do! Thanks again, Ben and everyone else!!

Thanks for adding to the discussion Caroline! There's certainly nothing wrong or freakish in not wanting children - it's a matter of choice. You're right that there is a stigma in our society that childless adults are not the norm, or even abnormal.

Keep your head up and feel proud of the fact that you have made an active decision. We have the upper hand, if we change our minds we can still have children. There are doubtlessly many parents that had children because they felt it was the expected thing to do, rather than by making a conscious decision to procreate.

Cheers! Ben

THANK YOU for your post. I'm so tired of being judged against a dominant life-script that doesn't suit everyone. Actually, come to think, it's getting less and less dominant, I reckon. I noticed one person who posted here said that having kids allow you to mature in ways you wouldn't otherwise mature. Two things- the first is that there are other ways to mature and be wise and be good human beings (I wouldn't call the entire Catholic clergy immature); and the second is that I'm absolutely certain that whether becoming parents really do evoke or allow for maturity really depends on the individual: I have seen parents who are obviously very immature themselves (regardless of age), and it's a scary sight, kids raising kids (think Britney to start with). The parents are selfish and grabby and status- and wealth-conscious, rude and inconsiderate, arrogant and narrow-minded, and they raise their kids to be exactly as they are, without seeing how damaging this is to both their kids and to the wider society on which these children will then be unleashed. I'm not exaggerating. I've seen all sorts of parents. Additionally, my own parents were teachers (who, incidentally, gave me a fabulous childhood, bless them, and didn't let me get away with any sort of bad behaviour or selfishness), so I've heard their tales too, of students whose parents who could be described with at least several of the above adjectives.

Being a parent doesn't make one an authority on maturity, wisdom, unselfishness, or compassion. It's irrelevant. If the dominant script fits, great, but if it doesn't, then those who chart their own path should really be equally respected for taking a road less travelled that they will have chart themselves, with less support, now and in the future.

I think, in this interdependent world, the most important lesson to teach every child is respect for and acceptance of a wide variety of views, as long as those views do not harm anyone.

So, shouldn't all good parents and parents-to-be and parent-wannabes lead the way in this, by accepting that others make choices that deviate from theirs?

Hi, I've been having this discussion recently and been reading up on it as well.

Here is what I can make of it, feel free to add or object.

Kids, as some would say are the natural order of things. Is that why you have them? NO! But yes it is the natural thing to do. Like eating. To have clones is not the NATURAL thing to do. I hope that clears what I mean by natural. Adoption, let me clarify isnt the NATURAL thing to do, its a social cause for which we adopt.

Some one also said, we thrust a child into the world, without his or her consent. What? Let me turn it on its head. You are taking away a chance from a child to make a difference without asking him. (Difference could be a mess I agree :) )

Now, a resource crunch plus over populated world stand point. Ask your self a few basic questions, are there more people who are willing to have kids vs. people who are not? By multiplier effect, what is the net effect going to be? Good. If you are so socially responsible, why not have a kid and try to make him socially responsible as well. Please NOTE I said TRY not force. He's a kid, let him have his own thoughts as well. Educated citizens of the world would do a better job at sorting out these issues. Than people just killing them selves off.

Some one said, there are people on the planet, who shouldnt have been had nature taken its course. Also mentioned, neither should have she/he, hadnt it been for medicine. Stop using nature to back you view point. Have you thought what else science has given you? Where is the guilt when you drive the car? Use the computer? So that it self is hypocritical.

Now to ask why would you want a kid? (Note the initial points are just to counter the people who have raised similar issues as a counter view point) 1. For each two citizens of the world you have one kid. It leads to an automatic 50% reduction in population. Do the math. Adopt the second child if you will.

2. The cost on each countries resources would be higher, if we don't have independent support systems for the aged, due to poor mental health and emotional health (if you can call it that). Note, in most stress related issues, people are asked to spend some Family time. By independent support systems, I mean family (you, your wife, children etc.)

3. If I ask any one who do you love the most, in all probability, (excluding some movie stars!) You would always hear, Mom, Dad, or some one from the family or to be family (partner). You are saying taking away this love is the right thing to do?

4. Pain, I have been reading up on it as well, some of the medicines make it a near painless experience (comparatively... but I figure it still pains!) Let me put logic before this argument. If it is so painful, do you suppose the second child is the husbands way of punishing is loving wife? I understand PPP and the wear and tear of the body etc. These can be dealt with if you have the right family / friend circle.

5. Losing out on personal time / money Coming from people who think so much about the world and how they are adding to the mess, such comments, in my opinion reflect on their hollowness. If you are offended, I apologize sincerely. Odds are your child, would contribute in some way. Maybe adopt another one when he grows up, maybe save a life, may be father a great child. May be love some one, whod never seen love before.

I could go on. But only if you are interested. Let me know.

And in case I said something out of place, let me know.

Regards,

Malhi

G'day Malhi! Thanks for a lengthy and well written comment. I'll try and cover most of your points in my reply...

[ Just about to hit "Submit" and I've seen how long this is. I might need to look into a comment paging plug-in soon ;-) ]

I think I understand your definition of "natural" in "the natural order of things" - just not your definition of "the natural order of things". It's true that most people are biologically "preprogrammed" to want to procreate, but not everyone is. Fewer people are nowadays - that's nature for you. As far as I'm aware, all species of animal will reduce their procreation rate as the population increases in order to ensure there are sufficient resources to sustain that population. It seems from other comments on this list that there are those who do not wish to procreate that feel coerced to by society - in my opinion by people like you who think it's somehow wrong not to procreate.

As for bringing people in to this world and trying to encourage them to become socially responsible, do you see the problem? Are we supposed to create more people so that there are more people around to work out how to solve the population problem? I see a mathematical flaw there. And your final comment in that paragraph: "Educated citizens of the world would do a better job at sorting out these issues" - are you implying that those who do not wish to procreate will do a better job of educating their children than those who wish to procreate?

You say that I (the person who should not have survived without drugs) should stop being hypocritical and not use nature to to back my view point, and to think of all the other things science has given me. That itself is a very selfish comment - are you implying that I should stop caring about the planet and just use science to my benefit? I'm not just talking about overpopulation. You mention cars and computers - one pollutes directly, the other indirectly through the use of coal powered electricity. Well while that's true at the moment, I'm researching PHEV vehicles that will allow me to commute without using any fuel, and will be installing solar electricity at my new house to charge the vehicles and run my computers (and lights and TV, etc...)

Moving to your list of reasons for having kids. I don't understand number 1. Are you saying we should only have one child? Are you saying people do only have one child? I think the current average is 2.1 children per family. This points towards continuous population growth.

Point two seems similar to your educated people comment earlier. We need more people to pay for the cost of all the old people. What do we do when all those young people get old - have even more people to pay for them? Again, I'm having problems with the mathematics of your solution.

Point three - please be serious! You're telling me that me not having kids is taking away the love that I would have from that child? Do you not see, again, that this is a ridiculous point? I know my children won't love me, because I won't have any. I'm not going to lose out on love that I will never have in the first place.

I don't understand point 4. What pain? The only other reference to pain I can see on this page is "children can be a pain" and I don't think you're referring to that issue...

Now for point 5. Could you kindly explain why you believe me to be hollow for wanting to keep my time and money for myself? I'm not offended, just curious. I'll take a stab in the dark and assume that you think I'll take all my money and spend it on petrol for my car, lavish holidays and beer. Well, you'd be right about the last point, but the beer would most likely be bought from a nice local bar somewhere in South America after a day helping a local community build a new school. Point is, in my case I'd be spending the money on travelling the world, meeting people, learning, helping out wherever I can by way of voluntary work. That's what I want to spend my time and money on. In my opinion, that's heaps better than having a child.

Please do go on, and give me your thoughts on my response. I'm very interested...

As for saying anything out of place, as far as I'm concerned, as long as you don't insult anyone and keep your manners, it's all good. If you add value to other readers and share your thoughts, that's even better. You're doing great ;-)

Cheers! Ben

What's interesting about the "pro-kids" posts is how, sooner or later, they all either state outright or elude to the accusation that being childfree is selfish. I can think of no better example of trying to force one's value system on another person than this kind of thinking; "if you're not like me, you're not normal." Hitler loved that one.

It's interesting to see an article on this, since there are a lot of people who don't want kids. I myself don't want kids, but I generally tend to think that I don't want babies. When I'm much older, I wouldn't mind taking care of someone who can at least tend to some of their needs. Babies are the worst, because they're completely helpless and they can't communicate very well. To a person like me, who's very technically oriented (I'm a computer repair technician), that's the worst scenario there is. I would be clueless as to what to do with a baby and grossed out when certain needs present themselves (because I'm also a very squeamish person; it's not immaturity, it's just the way my brain works).

I admit, I get frustrated when I read in stories and see on TV that having babies is the best thing ever. Barely a thought is given to NOT having babies or adopting.

That being said, I don't think we should look down on people who want to have kids, if they don't look down on us. Not having kids is no more a case of right and wrong than having kids, because they're both personal decisions. True, by not having kids you might be contributing one less person to the issue of overpopulation, but you might also be taking away a person who might go on to solve one of those tough social issues. You simply don't know. Who knows where we'd be if Einstein's parents hadn't had him? Or Martin Luther King Jr.'s? Like anything else in life, it's an uncertainty.

Plus, it's a little unfair to blame all humans for the overpopulation issue. Is a family of 8 in China as responsible as the guy in Newark who only has one kid? It's not his fault they had so many, and he was put on this Earth the same way they were. He has as much right to have a child as they do. The only difference is, he was smarter about it. I know if I had nothing to do with a certain environmental issue, and my ancestors had nothing to do with a certain environmental issue, I would be offended if I got blamed for it nonetheless. Plus, not having a kid isn't going to change anything unless 50% of the population does it, because someone else will just make up for the kid you don't have. There has to be a distinction between the people who are involved.

People have to get educated about how overcrowded the planet is. They can have large families if they want, but they will have to adopt most of those kids and only have one or two at the most via natural conception. I'd stick with one because I honestly don't see why women would want to repeat the experience more than once, seeing how much they complain about it and how painful it is for them. Of course, it's a different situation is birth control fails, or if you end up with multiple births in one pregnancy. Things happen like that and they have to be accounted for, because they're not intentional. I feel sorry for one guy and his wife I heard about the other day who wanted one more kid and ended up with severan. I'm betting they're wishing they'd adopted.

Not all kids are badly behaved either. That really depends on the parents. I know I wasn't like that when I was a kid. I never did any of the 'traditional' things that kids do. Tantrums, crying, acting like a little brat...none of that applied to me. I was a very quiet, very well-behaved kid and my parents (my mother specifically) never let me forget it. On the other hand, my cousin's kids are monsters. So it really does depend on the parent. Obviously my mom and my dad had something going for them as parents that my cousin doesn't (and she has three of them).

Some people aren't cut out to be parents, and so they shouldn't have kids. In my case, I think I could be a good parent to a child of a slightly older age, but I can't stand babies.

The science issue is more difficult because nature makes mistakes. Nature is not perfect, and a lot of the diseases or things that can happen to us in our DNA aren't part of some higher plan, they're abominations that happen because of freakish mistakes. Granted, that applies more to curing diseases than artificial methods of creating a child, but the point is still valid. The problem is when human emotions become involved. It's hard to accept someone with a rare DNA disorder should die when you love them, even if it is better for the species.

Indeed, nature is not perfect, otherwise it would have designed us with a certain time frame during which women can get pregnant every year. That way we would know when to avoid the sex and when to have ut, whether or not you want to get pregnant.

Both sides have to come to an understanding. And for what it's worth, I think those who don't want to have children do a better job of accepting those who do, than the latter party does with us. But I think that's the fault of the media and the churches, for encouraging us to think about nothing but getting married and starting a family. Thanks for bringing this subject to the forefront!

Boy, that was a long post. O_O

Sorry for the typos in certain parts.

)

Hi Anthony! Long post indeed, and some interesting points ;-)

While I see you point about the guy in Newark who only has one child not having to take the blame for a Chinese family with 8, but the problem is a global one, and we all need to take responsibility. It might not be his fault, his parents' fault or their parents' fault, but the issue still needs to be dealt with. To take the position that he need do nothing about it is, in my opinion, a reflection of human selfishness that is all too common today: I had nothing to do with causing this problem, therefore I don't need to solve it.

By comparison, Martin Luther King Jr. should not have lead the American civil rights movement, as he was not the cause of the inequalities.

Cheers BB

It is estimated that there are 100 million orphaned children. STOP BREEDING, START ADOPTING.

Totally agree, been feeling this for a while, just needed someone to put it into words.

I was starting to wonder if there were more people who felt like me in the world. I agree with most things this posts says. I have 2 adorable nieces and one newborn nephew, and recently found out there's one more on the way (not sure about the gender yet).

My bestfriend keeps mentioning marriage and kids being in my future. My sister in law (mother of my nieces and nephews) keeps telling me that God will 'punish' me with several children for 'being so mean'. Mean because I don't want kids.

I love children, I truly do. They are so adorable, full of wonder. I wouldn't mind having 2 or 3 babies around at once. However once they start crying and making a fuss, I want their parents to come, quickly!

I'm always told that once it's my children I'm taking care of, I'll feel differently. I can't help but imagine myself trying to claw out of my house to get away from my adorable little hellions (if it ever was to happen).

I told my significant other at the start of our relationship, that I did not want any kids. He brushed it off saying we didn't know how we'd feel in a few months so it wasn't important to put those views out yet. Some months later he told me he always wanted kids, but he also felt I was more important to him, and didn't want to lose me over that 'maybe in life'. Right now I don't know how I feel about that. I keep thinking that if we do make a commitment to spend our lives together, he'll always regret not having kids, but I know that I'll regret it if I do.

I was afraid that he'd wait till my feelings grew stronger for him, then propose that we pro-create. (He eventually did, and stepped back from it once he realized I was quite serious about no kids.) I've only been with him for a year, and while I do love him I would not want to compromise my views for him.

I am selfish... I want my money to myself. I want my house to be and stay pristine and clean, free of colorful toys clouding my floors. I want my walls to be free of crayon markings and I certainly do not want to spend my mornings with smart-mouthed teenagers.

For as long as I could remember (as far back as 7 for this one) I always thought the world would be a better place if less people had kids, and more people adopted.

Wow this is crazy!!! I cannot get over the responses on here,I'm not alone after all!! SO hear are some random thoughts...... I too am basicaly selfish to a degree, I have many hobbies and don't really wanna quit any of them. I like mostly everyone on here do like kids but want none. Small problem though....It seems like Ohio has no women that don't want them if they don't already have them. Those of you who are in the "don't want kids" group esp the men, probably send a date running when you mention you don't want any. Why is it that people seem to be "programed" a certain way? We all grow up hearing about being married and raising children. Your parents made comments like ".Just wait til you get married and have kids" or "I hope your kids turn out worse that you!" usually heard that when your in trouble.Then as we got older, people start to ask you "So when are you gonna meet some one and settle down?" You do that then it's " So when are you too gonna have kids?" It's like the never ending peer pressure cooker!!!!!! When people ask me how can I not want kids NO answer is ever good enough for them. They tell you "you'll change your mind" or just try to argue wtih you about what your "missing" Yeah I'm missing out on being broke all the time,FOREVER!!!!!lol And many other things as stated in the previous post! That's all for now, Since I have no kids i'm gonna go do whatever else I want to right now!! Great thread Ben.

I've read most of the posts here and am glad that many (most) of you are so decided about not having children...I myself am not sure whether to have them or not...I thoroughly enjoy my time, my work, school and hobbies and my wonderful husband of almost 16 years...yes...I keep hearing about the clock ticking...but there are so many who have children later...but regardless...I want to be able to be definite about having or not having...at the rate we are going...well...still not clear...

I'm tired of hearing that it's a selfish decision not to have kids...this is not selfish...selfish is not really thinking about it and having kids because you're expected to...or it "just happened"...

My husband and I love our life...we enjoy each other, we travel, we have a lot of hobbies...our life is full...

I'm just not sure what to do...anyone else in this predicament?

We are not sure what to do...but I think he's starting to want one...we just can't make up our minds...

Hi Fi!

Hopefully, at some point, it will become clear to both of you whether you want a child or not. You don't have to make up your minds now ;-)

In related news, we're looking after a cat for a friend at the moment and that's turning out to be much harder than expected! My wife feels guilty for not being there to keep him company, and decided not to go swimming last night in order to be at home. Imagine how much our lives would change with an animal that can't look after itself - a human baby!

Thanks for stopping by!

BB

Thanks for getting back so quickly...did I mention I'm almost 42 years old? I think that makes quite a difference...yes, I need clarity and quickly...we have 2 cats ourselves...perfectly self sufficient...when we travel we just have friends watch them or we kennel them...easier then having dogs...

Anyway, I understand what everyone has said; overpopulation, overabundance of unwanted children who could be adopted, never mind the cost, and all those people who should not be parents...I see that everyday!!!

We talk about adopting so we could help a kid in need...our way of giving back we suppose...that's another fork in the road...

And yes...I totally agree with everyone about keeping our lives the way it is...doing what you want when you want...where you want...do you know how many times I've actually heard..."if I had to do it over, I don't think I would have had kids...I do love my kids, but..." How sad is that? Kids can bring you joy but oh could bring you so much pain...and friends have told me how much they "suck you dry!"...how do you have kids when you hear such things?...Then some turn around and tell you how wonderful it is...

Bottom line...we just want to make the right decision...waiting so long hasn't helped...the longer you're without...it's actually nice...not to mention all the medical issues we may face at our age...

I'm at a crossroads....everyone here is so sure, I do envy that...I have only seen a few sites where others feel as I do...people are either pro or con...at least I've only looked for a few...I don't have that much time to search and find the right site/s for me...

Thanks for not judging, BB...as someone said before...those who decide to be childfree should not judge who want and vice versa...but somehow, I find that those who have kids easily judge those who don't want...

Well...thanks for listening...

I must admit - I'm of the same opinion as you, Ben. I have been with my partner for almost 14 years and we've never had the desire to have children. The thing is though - that I suspect we have put far more thought into NOT having children than most people put into having them.

I totally agree. I am a woman, and I've been married for 4 1/2 years. I don't want children, but my husband does. Honestly I never wanted children. I wanted to have the baby making equipment removed, (if you know what I mean), but they say I'm too young. That's crap.

People tell me that I should have kids, and the people who say that can't afford the ones they have. I like spending my money on me, keeping my time to myself. That may be selfish, but it's my life. Sometimes I want to say, why are you having kids. You can't afford them! And why would I have a child just to send them off to someone else to raise, with their beliefs, habits, rituals, etc. (meaning daycare) I personally think that is the dumbest idea. You don't know what they are doing to your children. In some cases it's cheaper for one parent to stay home.

A co-worker said to me, you have to keep the family going. I didn't say to her what I wanted to. The fact that she's hitting 70 and can't retire. No thank you.

Now the problem is all of our friends that are married have children, and some of them are boring. Either they can't go out because they don't have a baby sitter, or they can't afford to go out.

That is not the life I want. I agree Ben TOTALLY. YOU ONLY HAVE ONE LIFE. ENJOY IT!!!

In the old days having kids made sense, because there was safety in numbers to make sure that your tribe will survive....thats no longer the case...i'm going to prove that actually wanting to have kids nowdays is selfish and here's why....

First of all we are running out of resources and real-estate facing all kinds of food and water shortages.... Now consider this:

When you ask most people why the want kids they will usually give you one of these lines...

"So someone can take care of me when i'm old" or "I want to re-live my childhood through them" or "I want to achieve immortality by pro-creation so my genes carry on....

All these are acts of VANITY and SELFISHNESS.....

Not that there's anything wrong with that, each to their own....

In this society people are slowly brainwashed into wanting to have a family from very early age....if someone dares to think outside the box..."there must be something wrong with them".....here is why:

IT'S ALL ABOUT MONEY!!!!!!!!! Period.... Your government knows that you are creating and raising taxpayers for them and spending a fortune in the process....and they don't want you to stop.... that's why all the brainwashing.....

My goal in life is to do what i want, when i want and outside of work answer to no one....not doable if you have kids. And before you call me selfish, many of you will discover, that if they dig deep.... secretly they also want to do what they want and answer to no-one, but shame won't allow them to admit it, for fear of being rejected by the society, for not wanting what they "should" and for fear of being labeled "selfish"....

Hi Joe! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I agree with them all, but I think you know that ;-)

My husband and I don't want kids either. To be frank, it has nothing to do with overpopulation (we live in the western U.S) or the environment, but more to do with the pressure, financial and emotional, that having kids requires. I have asked many parents if they would have kids again knowing what they know now--and the answer is always, "Privately? NO!"

I like my freedom, my happy marriage, and my figure.

Hi Kara! Thanks for contributing...

It seems we're not as alone as some of us might originally have thought! You've broken the half-century for number of comments for this post, and it still surprises me this is the most popular post on my blog!

It's obvious that people have many reasons for not wanting kids, but at least one thing in common - it still seems to be (openly) socially unacceptable and we're the ones that have to justify ourselves to people who probably classify themselves as accepting and open ;-)

Hey! Never say that you are "being selfish" for not wanting kids. You are thinking of yourself - yes - but by not having kids, you're making yourself happy! And lets face it, no one else in this world can make you happy except yourself. ;-)

I'm 27 and married - but I just don't see the POINT of having kids. Seriously, people think I'm "incensitive" and "strange" for not wanting kids at all. I don't actually care! I love my life!

I think that kids is for "family folk" - I love my parents, but I'm not interested in going through all that shit again, with me on the receiving end. And it's going to destroy my body. No thank you. I'm no baby farm. *hehehe*

On a POSITIVE note, I'm really happy with the choices I've made - and I think that by not wanting kids yourself, does not make you selfish or anything like that... You're a LOT smarter than these stupid 15 year olds having kids & screwing up their whole future.

You CHOSE - that's what makes your life interesting.

But that's just me.

Haha. I grew up the oldest of 10 kids. You know how awesome it was to get my own apartment at 20? No way am I having kids this decade. If the world doesn't get worse in the next decade, I might (might...) want one, but after seeing the agony's of being pregnant over and over again, my (hypothetical) child will be coming from an adoption agency.

Right now, I have two cats and I spoil them like crazy. The best perk? The money I save every month went to a 72" TV. Booyah.

Hi, I'm 14 but already i know i don't want kids and i have known that since i was like 4. I was never into dolls or baby stuff unlike all my friends, the very thought of being pregnant or having a child makes me feel queezy especially the pregnant part. Why should i have to share my body with another life, it would feel like an invasion to me. I totally agree with the whole over-population thing and the environment and in no way do i think or feel I'm being selfish in not wanting to have kids, although i do have one selfish reason and that is i wouldn't want to have to share my partner or have anything come between us and i see lots of marriages fall apart after having kids. I also must say it annoys the hell out of me when people say I'm weird because i don't want kids or say your to young to say things like that and you'll change your mind when your older, but i don't think i will i don't like kids babies are cute to look at when their sleeping but thats as far as my liking goes for kids.

Hi Amber!

I told my wife about your comment regarding not being into dolls or baby stuff. She was the same, despite the number of stuffed toys she still owns ;-)

It's great to see a young person with firm beliefs and the self-respect to stand by them, rather than conform with societal expectations and perceived 'norms'. Many adults still don't manage that!

Hi Ben,

I found this website after searching google for the term "I don't want kids", because as you may have guessed, I do not.

I have lived with a woman who has had children. It throws a really strange dynamic into the relationship. ...this dynamic seems to actually be perpetuated by what I see on television too - as if a man's desires are now some sort of punchline and that they should be repressed. (Why are men so frequently now portrayed as stupid, droning, food motivated morons?)

Sex: It had to be mentioned. Why? because it's the whole reason any guy even started a conversation with a girl to begin with. ...Well, having kids around adds a heap of new reasons why you won't be getting any. Considering a venture outside of the marriage for the affection that you so crave? Forget it - you will crucified for your infidelity and you will forfeit most of everything and half of the rest. ...Not to mention your kid will never understand that your wife was a cold fish - and he will blame you unendingly throughout his childhood. Then he'll get married, face the same situation, and blame his infidelity on you as well.

Money: Oh, you used to have some? Fantastic, because junior over there needs a new trumpet that he can ceaselessly aggravate you and the neighbors with and then completely ignore to collect dust. -- Let's also continue to bear in mind that the reason you worked so hard throughout school and your career was so that you could have the joy of forgoing all of your incentives. That new motorcycle?? You don't 'Need' that. What you 'Need' is to take your cold, unaffectionate wife and ungrateful offspring on a vacation. That's what you need. During travel and upon arrival they will complain ad nasuem about everything from the weather, to the travel, to the food and fill you in on where they'd have rather gone. Fantastic.

Marriage and children are the 'One Two' punch that will knock the happiness and individuality out of your life for a very long time.

I highly recommend to any guys who read this to Go to the gym, keep yourself in shape (marketable), date casually, buy whatever the heck you want, get your booty calls when you need them and form lasting friendships with certain women (sex with others), but do not try to make it go further. Cohabitation and marriage are inviting a disaster into your life. If you find that this has already happened, and you feel hopeless - take heart.

Eventually everyone dies. Don't do it yourself, however, you would be blamed for that as well.

Cheers!

I am so glad I found this site. I never thought any guys and girls would agree and feel how I feel. It seems that in order to be recognized in my family is that you have to have kids. I am not married and am in no hurry to get married. Why? Becuase I am not dying to have children. And if I do decide to have children, I plan to adopt. Why adopt? Becuase, there are so many children who need parents. I have some medical issues that are genetic. Though it is highly unlikely that it would get passed on to the child, I am still afriad to take that risk and would much rather raise a child that is already in this world than bring in another one which could carry my medical history.

Another reason why I am not dying to have kids is that it seems that parents today do not raise their own children. It seems that the grandparents, nannies and daycare does that. So my question is: Why do you want children if you cannot even raise them. It sounds harsh, but if you can't raise them, don't have them. My mother raises my niece full time becuase my sister and her husband both have to work and they can't afford afford daycare.

So am I being selfish with my views? Perhaps. I am not perfect. But I think parents with children can be just as selfish, especially when they would rather have their own flesh and blook than adopt a child in need.

So, yes, I am a girl in her late twenties who doesn't want to have kids. I love taking care of my niece but after helping my mother raise her, I realized that raising a child is not what it is cracked up to be.

I love my two birds. Sure they won't take care of me when I am old or they will never go out in the world and succed with this or that. But I know they love me and I don't have to worry about them getting mixed up with unprotected sex, drugs, alcohol abuse, and crime. My family thinks I am weird becuase I treat them like children but that's just me.

Ok, I hope this post isn't too long

Ben, I hear you brother. I don't want kids either. I value my disposable income, my personal growth, my free time, my hobbies, my businesses, my freedom, the cleanliness of my apartment, and the nice quiet atmosphere I've created for myself. Why in flaming hell would I want to screw all that up with a child? What would be the point? I would only end up resenting the thing that took all that I value away from me and what kind of parent would I be if that were to be the case?

Also, some people's contribution to the gene pool is just, quite frankly, crappy. I seriously wish that IQ tests were required before breeding was allowed. Yeah, a bit Brave New World-ish, I know but having a 6+ billion people gene pool of mostly idiots does not get me on fire to bring a child into this world. Shooting down all the idiotic things said to my hypothetical child every day when he comes home from school and tells me "so-and-so said ______" would become a full-time job. Not to mention I probably would not be too popular with the child's teachers and peers (and peer's parents) when my reply to the afformentioned idiotic statement is "Yeah, well, so-and-so has an intelligence deficit".

I bet Darwin is rolling in his grave from not anticipating medical technology combined with whimsical human emotions that lead to keeping the weak alive.

I thought of a few more things after reading all the replies.

Let me pose a question that will illustrate my point. Who is being more selfish, the people who want kinds or the people who don't want kids? The answer is *BOTH* of them are being selfish. What?!?! Shock! Horror! Yup it's true. Both sets of people prioritized their own wants. That's all it is. A want. Not a need, there's a difference. *EVERYONE* is selfish. Yup, it's true! Everyone prioritizes *their* own needs. Let me ask another question for anyone who's not on board yet. If you don't pay your bills, do your laundry, and wipe your butt, then who will? The answer is noone will (we'll exclude geriatrics here and assume we're talking about adults who are capable of taking care of themselves). So is it selfish to pay your bills, do your laundry, and wipe your butt? Technically, yes it is. But that's how things are.

You take care of yourself including your own opinions and wants. And wanting to have a kid is just a want, nothing more. And people who say that the people who don't want kids are being selfish are actually, in fact, JUST as selfish for not being able to accept that someone lives their life with a different set of priorities and values. And that OPINION is just that as well. An opinion. It is not a fact that you need a kid. Or that people who don't have them are not "growing up" or contributing to the world in some meaningful way. These are nothing more than opinions. They are not provable one way or the other. "You should have a kid" is an opinion. "You have no idea how great/crappy it is" is another opinion. Many of the people here can easily disprove such house-of-cards arguments. Besides, it's always the people who are weakest in their own beliefs that need to get someone else to think as they do just to validate themselves.

I would actually more likely say that the person with a lot more free time and the guts to do what they want, society's-whims-be-damned, would be a more likely candidate for contributing to society, if for nothing more than the fact that they actually have the free time to do it! But that's just my opinion... ;)

[...] about the men that don’t want children, such as C’s husband, Geoff, Neil, Frank, Steve, Simon (who doesn’t want kids but his girlfriend does) and many [...]

Hi Ben, it's Julia again. I just want to add one more thing that tickes me off about both of my sisters. One has a daughter wishes to have more kids and the other is engaged and wants to have kids. As I mentioned my mother raises my sister's daughter. My other sister said that when she has children she would like for my mother to take care of them as well as her fiance's mom. They would kind of like swtich off. So again my question is: Why do people today want to have children when most of them can't even raise them? This to me is pretty selfish. You bring a child in this world to have your parents raise it! Get real! I mean how screwed up is that? Am I the only one who sees how screwed up this is?

Ben, so glad to find this website/forum....I never write in these things, but I was a little curious when I googled "don't want kids" and came across yours...no, we don't want children for many of the reasons mentioned before me....main ones: there are no guarantees, the world is overpopulated and "if I really want one, I will adopt"....why I ask, is it so difficult to understand...everyone is so stuck on what they "SHOULD" do with their lives that they do not pay attention to what they "WANT" to do....anyway, enough venting....I love our life the way it is and I work with children all day long, so it is extememly refreshing to come home to a glass of wine and peace...my husband feels the same and if one day we want kids, we'll adopt...there are so many in this world right now who need a loving home...we don't need to pass on our "flesh and blood" like some put it so nicely....thanks again, for giving me a sense of " we are not the only ones out there

Hey,

Very, very interesting stuff. I was googling different opinions on the whole i don't want to have kids theory because, well.....i don't believe i want to have children and people think that's so weird. I don't think it is. Frankly i like my body, my freedom, and i would rather not fret about another mouth to feed. The only thing that i REALLY disagreed with was the whole technology thing. I mean, i just think that we are suppose to advance as a society...and if a baby is premature, i don't see any harm and helping it survive. I think that if they had those resources back then, they would use it. I think people are just careless and won't realize the damage that they are doing to the enviornment until its too late. Again interesting post....a new perspective!

Interesting read, however I think you could easily fill a book with these concepts and still have a lot more to say. I don't know if you can really sum it up in a few paragraphs. People on your wavelength can fill in some blanks though I'm sure.

Why do I chose not to have kids?

Because I know what is best for myself. Because I would be an abusive parent. Because I lack the patience. Because I refuse to go along with such ridiculous and damaging social conditioning. Because I can think for myself. Because I'm not so narcissistic and arrogant to think that the world deserved to have my spawn unleashed upon it. Because I'm not a brood mare. Because of overpopulation and everything else wrong with the world. Because I'm not so delusional that I believe that my kids will grow up to posses my values and live by them. Because I have things that should not be passed on. Because I don't want any child to have a childhood like mine. Because there is NO honor whatsoever in squirting out your own when there are so many who need good, loving homes; quite the contrary, it is shameful and selfish. Because I don't allow others to tell me what to think. Because I value my autonomy. Because I value what little free time I have. Because it's hard enough to take care of myself. Because I have no "motherly instinct" toward humans. Because I value my relationship and the quality time we can spend together. Because if I had children, I could not have nice things. Because I cannot afford a child. Because if I really want to, I can light up a joint in my own house without risking little junior finding out and opening his big mouth- Kids cannot keep their mouths shut. Because I'm not so needy and co-dependent that I feel that I must have the unconditional(?) love of a child in my life. Because being pregnant would be detrimental to my health and sanity. Because of vanity. Because I have a tendency to have emotional meltdowns when the stress becomes too much.

But the #1 reason? I just don't fucking want any. Selfish? Maybe. But not near as selfish as people who choose to breed.

Wow - quite a few comments I've not followed up on. I have been slack!

Kevin: thanks for your input. It sounds like you're a little dismayed by relationships in general, not just by the thought of having kids. I have to disagree with your view that cohabitation invites disaster into your life. I've been with my wife for over 6 years now and while there are times I think if I lived on my own I'd be able to do what I want, the advantages and disadvantages of a single life over cohabitation tend to weigh pretty evenly for me. I'd be equally happy in either situation. Your situation is obviously different and I respect your views.

Julia: it seems we're very similar. I'm hoping to get dogs when we move out of the city and have time to be with them - they'll be my babies. As for your comments on your sisters, that sounds like the most selfish act. In days gone by, the family would bring up children; parents, grandparents, older siblings, cousins - this had to be done so that the parents could still go out and earn money and maintain their land. In return the money earners would support the entire family who typically lived together. In a society of predominantly nuclear families it seems your sisters want the support of the family without giving back. Of course I don't know the full story.

Brian: you compare people who want kids and those that don't. What about people that think they should have kids because it's expected of them or just because they assume it should be done. That causes more of a concern to me: blindly brining children in to this world without thought. The rest I agree with.

Marly: welcome to the discussion - you're not alone ;-)

Pjaj: why do you feel we are meant to advance as a society to the point where we're going against the "natural order of things". Can you imagine a world where nature's self defence mechanisms can be overridden? We'd potentially plunge the planet into an uncontrollable path to self destruction. Overpopulation is creating overuse of natural resources. We're cutting down trees to raise cattle, and mining finite resources and polluting the environment for our power needs. The technical advances that allow population growth to exceed the number that this planet can sustainably provide for exacerbates this problem. Sure - "back then" people would have saved the premature baby if they could. That doesn't mean they should. Nature has this uncanny way of keeping things in balance, and has managed to do so for thousands of years. Look what humans have done in the last 200 years and tell me we're not doing something wrong.

Angry: agreed on every point, except maybe the abusive parent part ;-)

It is so refreshing to come this post! I Googled 'I don't want kids' today after hearing for the ten thousandth time I'll change my mind later. I've felt this way for the last 24 years and doubt I'll change my mind. The only people who should have kids are the ones who can care and provide for them and love them to death, (even these people should consider adoption, but I agree it's not for everyone). I am not in this category. Sadly a lot of parents aren't in this category. I know several families that started with "oops" babies and the parents are divorced after kid two or three, or they're struggling making ends meet. Forget it. Not for me.

Like the post above I Googled "I don't want kids" not sure what I was hoping to find but I have been reading this and I am with you. I am male, 30, and I live in the southeastern portion of the U.S. and most people in this rural area believe children are just the next logical step in ones life. They never seem to stop and think about why. Many seem to have some sort of instinct that they have carried with them from the first time they picked up a baby doll to just have kids, to reproduce, to be like everyone else who believes that their kids will be better or those who say "I will be a better parent than what I had." Don't get me wrong I love kids. I have the greatest time with them, and all I have ever been around think of me as a giant 8 year old. The greatest comfort I have though is the thought in the back of mind that I can return them whenever I like. I have been pressured by my family and many friends to get with the program and make my own contribution to society. I suppose this is selfish but if I don't want them should I try to have them? I have lost great relationships because of this one detail.... a major one but still it's a tough argument for me. I try to think of my future with and without them but I just don't feel like a would be happy as that poor shlub pushing the grocery cart and always looking straight ahead while his wife is verbaly abusing him while she is leading a poor kid around by the arm. <---- (actuall situation I have seen many times). I am greatfull for the diversity that I see in the world and that someone sees thing dfferently than I do for perpetuation of our species but I am uncertain that everyone takes it as seriously as they should.

I made a selfish choice not to have kids a few years back and I'm quite comfortable with it. There's this naive, overly black and white view, sometimes, that being selfish is a terrible thing. But in reality its something we all have to do on a regular basis. I certainly wouldn't want a world where everyone is selfish all the time. It'd be horrible. But since when is a world when you don't get to put your own needs and wants first, on occasion, a bad thing? Especially when it comes to the big life changing decisions. Having a kid is going to change your life forever. Factoring in your own wants and needs is entirely reasonable.

Next time someone accuses you of being selfish in your choice of not having a kid you should loudly and proudly agree with them.

Stewart, great words with a positive attitude ;-)

Thanks for this site. I was recently really hurt in a relationship..when all of a sudden she announced that she had to have 4 kids. She already had one and I did embrace him...however, I really felt like I was being taken for granted and put into discussion when we had not even dated for 6 months. Never again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What is it with kids...some people seem to lose sight of the fiscal reality regarding raising a child..its noe jus about having a baby!!!! or Babies..thanks for allowing me to vent!!!

So refreshing to read about other people not wanting children. I feel so alone in the world about this topic. I don't want children either. I think the people who are forcing the idea of having children only do that to make themselves feel better for making the choice to have them. When I tell people, especially other women, that I don't want any you should see the looks I get!!!! Some of fright, some of pity, some of "you can do that? why didn't I think of that?" I think some of these close minded "baby pushers" need to really think of the women who can't have children...wouldn't they be making the same close minded, rude, judgmental comments to those women? And this whole nonsense about missing out on something in life??!!?! What?!!?? Certainly I'll be missing the rewards of being a parent but I'll also be missing the consequences. Here's what I always go back to...if it's okay for the "almighty" Oprah, why isn't okay for the rest of the world?

Well my situation is a little different from the above. I don't feel I should have kids. Thats not to say that I wouldn't be a good mum, actually I would be a better mum than most. However, I don't enjoy going to work everyday it feels like groundhog day and that I work for nothing but making tax for the government. Life has been nothing but a stuggle for me as I am very sensitive. I believe that my genes will also produce someone who will again be as sensitive as I. I would hate to get to a point in life when my child turns around to me and says "You bought me into this world!".

I have had many friends who at the age of 17 or 18 had kids. I believe this was a decision made because they did not know what to do with their lives and accidently got pregnant. They had no hope for good careers as they were complete bums at school and never took an interest. I don't want to sound really judgemental here but these people should never of had kids. They will raise nasty, selfish little shits who will do nothing but hurt other people for their own gain.

It is these children who I believe would make any children I had, lives a misery. Reason being, they will see weakness and attack. I would raise my children to treat others with respect and accept people for their differences. Some other people raise their children to look after number one only and do whatever it takes. Bulldozer family's I call them.

I simply cannot bring myself to have kids and watch them be tormented by other children, who's parents are not real parents.

Could it really be that the dipshit people of the world are taking over? If people like me are now choosing not to have children for the above reasons what will this world become?

Do I have children to help fight this or is it completely unfair since I know what I know??

While I myself am a person who doesn't want children for most of the reasons you stated (population control, children being hellish, etc.) I can't quite stomach your disdain for fighting for the lives children who are born sickly, or too early. Sure, in the "natural" order of things they would die. The natural order of things being if people were unfeeling, and simply shrugged and walked away when a child lies gasping for breath after beeing born too early, telling themselves "Well, if we don't do anything it'll die anyway. That must mean its supposed to die." We are human because we don't just sit back and let our children die when the odds are against them. We are human because we fight for life. While population control is important and should be dealt with, murder by negligence or passivity isn't the way to do it. I respect your views on the subject and appreciate you speaking about not wanting children when in our society that is looked at as abnormal. Since I myself don't want to have biological children I know this can be uncomfortable to be upfront about.

Hi Lucinda,

I think you misunderstand me. I'm not saying we should not fight for life. I'm sure you'll find that historically humans always fought for life and wanted their offspring to survive. The difference is that nowadays, technology exists to aid those that would not normally survive. I'm not advocating murder by negligence. I'm just suggesting that population control through natural selection no longer exists, or at the least is heavily overridden through medical advances.

Your definition of "natural order of things" seems to imply lack of caring. I think the "natural order of things" does not preclude protecting other humans.

I'm also a little curious about your comment: "We are human because we don’t just sit back and let our children die". I would suggest that most animals would not let their offspring die. Pens will protect their cygnets from any predator. Cats will hide their litter in hard to reach places to stop predators getting to them. I don't think this trait belongs solely to humans.

Thanks for stopping by and adding to the discussion, and I hope I've managed to persuade you that I'm not a callous sick-child hater ;-)

you suck

And you, unknown, have managed to take time out to make absolutely no impact on this discussion. I wonder what made you feel compelled to make such a comment when there is obviously no gain on your part? If you were trying to insult or upset me, I'm afraid you missed by a mile.

Of course, if you simply wish to let off steam please go ahead. Just please make it a little more of a comment than a blip.

Thanks BB and others for delving so deeply into this.

Just reading the posts has greatly influenced me. A girl I have been dating is firm about not wanting children, she knows how she feels. Its not just a phase for her, I can see she has given this issue serious thought and she seems very sincere about it. Nonetheless, I admit it wasnt the answer I was hoping to hear. I think one thing reading these posts has made clear is that although we should all respect the choices people make for their own lives...more often people are who dont want children can be viewed as "having a issue, or problem." This was my first reaction, that the girl I am dating, that something must be wrong with her or that she was basing her decision on some bad information or experience. But, no, she really feels that way for the same reasons as most of the people who have posted comments. I have realized after reading your comments that I wasnt so put off about not having my own offspring as much as I was concerned about her being a good person. Stupid! I know. But, being that I am 32 I have to admit that before she came along I have often thought.."hey I might not have kids" and been fine with that feeling. I feel even more comfortable now after reading these posts...however we choose to live our lives I dont think at this point in my life I would write off a beautiful-fun-loving girl just because she is sure she doesnt want to have a child.

Hi Marko - glad it helped ;-)

You raise an interesting point though. Would I "write off a beautiful-fun-loving girl" if she really wanted kids? It's an academic question, as I'm married, but one I've wondered about...

I just wanted to say that I felt RELIEVED to come across this blog and realize that I am not alone. I knew (dont ask me how I just did) at 17 that I did not want kids. I have a wonderful niece and an awsome nephew that I get to be with everyday. I have seen them grow up and have been an instrumental part of their lives as they have grown up before my eyes. I have seen the struggle it is to have kids, raise them, deal with them etc etc. I luv kids alot I cherish them deeply and consider them a gift from God but they are not for me. I am 39, have a great career, active and yet stable life, lots of friends and I also volunteer in helping low income families and children in need. I have been blessed to have a great family (parents / siblings). So I dont have any trauma in my past nor in my present. I just do not have that "NEED" to have children and I don't feel like I am "missing" out on anything. I also get those "looks" of horror when I tell family and friends that I don't want kids especially in the Mexican community...I might as well be hung and or join the nunnery since according to them I have no use other than to procreate. I used to feel really guilty (and I mean REALLY guilty I am a Catholic ~ I can say this you know)and felt really bad for feeling like this but after reading the many posts here and on the net I feel like an gigantic weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Thank you for reading my post, for the opportunity in reading the many great comments and for finding more strength in your comments!

Like other posters, I came across this entry when I punched "I don't want kids" into google. I get the feeling sometimes, that once someone starts puberty, their parents immediately start thinking about grandchildren, how many there will be, what will they look like, and all that. I'm not sure if that's ever the case, and I'm not sure I'd like to know.

At 24 years old, I'm still not entirely certain I want kids, although I'm leaning more towards "No way." As with others who have commented, I do enjoy kids. I wouldn't be getting ready to teach English in Costa Rica this coming year to people age 18 and younger if I didn't. They make me laugh, and it's fun to watch them learn and grow.

All that aside, I have doubts about my own ability to parent. Working in a nursery school or teaching kids for a few hours is one thing. Parenting is a 24/7 job. It's better if I don't have kids instead of doing the opposite, only to find out too late that I was not meant to be a mom. Plus, I admit to being selfish (realistically, who isn't to some degree?). I enjoy being able to travel when I want, do what I want, without having to worry about finding a reliable baby-sitter. Besides, I have a wonderful dog whom I intend to take with me once I get my own place - she makes me laugh too, and she loves to cuddle and play. Just like a kid.

Anyway, the doubt thing is my main reason. Everything that has already been mentioned is also why I'm not wild about having kids. Especially the parents who say, "If I had to do it all over again, I probably wouldn't have kids." I don't want to be one of those people, not if it means that when I say I love my kid, it will sound like a lie. Children need parents who will love them, really love them.

I haven't said anything to my mom, but I know she's still holding out hope that someday I'll meet either a great guy or girl (I guess she thinks I'm either bi or a closeted lesbian), settle down, and pop out a couple of grandkids for her to spoil. Talk about performance anxiety - it's not just for the bedroom! She must believe her own mother was right about "People who don't have kids are selfish, they shouldn't give advice, they don't have compassion for kids," etc. It's great to know that there are other people my age and older and younger, who also feel as i do.

I have been with my wife for 9 years. We have discussed the kids thing on many occasions. When we first started dating she got pregant and we had an abortion because we weren't ready (finacially, mentally etc...) Honestly is scared the shit out of me. I have always had the feeling I didn't want kids because of the reasons above. Four years ago the kids conversation came up again and I told her that I didn't want kids. I told her if she really wanted kids then we needed to seperate. She said that staying with me was more important than having kids as long as we kept life fun and eventful. I told her that if she truely doesn't feel this way, she would grow to resent me and that the relationship would be over. Well she now has that resentment. The same conversation has come up and she admitted that she resents me and unless we have a kid or adopt then the relationship wont work. I am now wondering if I am doing the right thing because I love her and will have a hard time living with the pain it will cause her if we split. I am also pissed because we have just wasted 4 years of life. I am not a 9-5 man and caring for a child doesn't do anything for me. I don't understand why people feel the need to have kids. I don't need anything else in my life, I am content and want to enjoy my life but also care very deeply for my wife.

This is a tough decision because of my personal feelings and the pressure of pleasing my wife. However sacraficing my life to make her happy doesn't sound appealing. There is also the thought that the kid thing might turn out okay but it is definately not in my blood.

Just need some input.

Hi Aztekchica and Elia - thanks for contributing!

In a Tough Spot - you certainly are. I want you to take my following words with large fistfuls of salt; they represent my feelings and thoughts about my take on the situation I imagine you to be in given your description in 266 words. Your must come to your own conclusion, hopefully with the support of family, friends and others on this and other forums, and definitely through plenty of open and frank discussion with your wife.

My personality type dictates that I'd have the kids to make her happy, but then I'd end up being the resentful one in the relationship. I'd probably bottle it up. I'm not saying it's the right thing though. Far from it.

The voices in my head tell me that, in the event there are only two choices, that I should go. Sure, the relationship will come to an end, but I don't agree that it's a wasted 4 years. I'm sure you've enjoyed it to this point, or you wouldn't have any qualms about ending it. Also, if your wife truly believes that an ultimatum, have kids with me or it's over, then I'm not convinced the relationship would work in the long term anyway. You might end up not just leaving your wife, but your future child too.

There are, of course, other options. I know of some families where one or other parent didn't want kids, but the other did. They agreed to have the kid, but that the sole responsibility was on the parent that wanted it, and this worked well for them (although it would most likely not work for most). There might be other compromises you could reach. Perhaps becoming a foster family would work well, they're in great demand and it's a relatively short term situation. Maybe you could babysit lots - take kids off other families' hands for a long weekend or a week; give them a break and yourselves a treat that you can hand back at a set time.

Do you know why she wants kids and does she understand why you don't? Perhaps ask your wife to read your post here and some other posts linked to at Child-free Zone.

Lastly, my wife suggests you get a few dogs - that's our plan ;)

''Because I don’t want any child to have a childhood like mine.''

Angry Reptile Keeper, that sentance touched me deeply!

How could I raise a child, when my own childhood memories suck? How can you raise a child when you're not ''connected'' to your childhood in any way?

I've seen shit! My parents drank, smoked and sniffed. I've seen my dad beat my mom, my uncles and aunts beat cousins, my father fighting with friends.....who the hell, when knowing that kind of reality exists, wants to have kids???

I can still see my mom's blood in my hands with my father screaming at her in the night....so many people grow up in normal families, with normal lives. No child beating. No hard drugs. No making you feel like shit.

Don't get me wrong, I'm 28 and love my folks. They have made mistakes and since I'm an adult and take soft drugs ( seriously, compared to what I've seen....it's nothing ) so I can understand their feeling of wanting more all the time. Problem is, coke, alcohol and violence are a deadly mix. Pot is just.....relaxing ;)

Just knowing what I know......seeing what I've seen.....is enough not to wanna have children. I've been with my girl for 5 years....she wants 'em, I just plain don't. If it doesn't change by 2012, we're gonna split, knowing that we've left the person of our life drift away.....

No I don't want children. The result of me being mature too soon and having to take care of myself and deal with losers all the time ( my parents friends were worse than my parents ), and the fact that when I was 8 I thought the other kids were immature are all things that make me not want to have kids.

You know what did this? Suffering. Images I don't wish even my enemies to live with in their head!

And you know what's worse? Me not wanting kids me bring me to more suffering....because the one I love will leave one day unless she changes her mind....or accepts a life a freedom with me.

But I just don't want children. I love my girl. She is my light, she is my heart.....but I can't have children just for her.

I stand by my choices, and this one is a lock!

Hi Fange! Thanks for sharing. Yours is a touching story and I hope everything works out as best it can.

I think American people in general don't want kids due to their selfishness. It usually goes something like this: Why would my wife have a baby? She has to stop working, there goes our pompuous life style...there goes our ability to "keep up" with the Jonses... MONEy MONEY MONEy...thats all the and when they finally have made enough money...stuffed it in the bank...then at 50, they finally want kids...then guess what?

they want kids....TOO LATE!

I am a 23 year old woman who still has the same idea of not having children as I did as a young girl. I have lived in Utah all my life and if anybody does not know about this ultra conservative state it is the place where having 10 kids is the norm and not having kids makes you feel like an extreme outsider.

My views have not changed regarding having children. It has not hit me to have kids as everyone keeps telling me it will. I think everyone here brings up some excellent points and has made my belief that much stronger.

I have been dating someone for 5 years and he knows my views but I am not sure if he quite understands that he may never have a family. The biggest fear I have is that I may become a very unahappy mother who had a child because I because I felt it was the "right" way. I can see myself very lost and miserable if that was the road I happened to chose.

I feel very happy that so many people share my beliefs and feels the same way I do.

Hi three kids. I don't think you'll find many people here sharing your sentiments, but thanks for sharing! I don't believe Americans are any more likely to abstain for financial or lifestyle reasons than people from any other capitalist country. You're right that some might delay having children for too long and then find it's not as easy as it might have been, but that's a choice they will have to live with.

Heidi - I'm glad this has helped you, as it has others, in finding that you're not the only person that feels this way. Cultural 'norms' dictate that you are the outsider, and those that have no business telling you what you should do with your life will continue to encourage you to change your ways. These people are best ignored. If that fails, I find sniggering often shuts them up ;)

As for your partner, some people might think that this is a phase, and that they will eventually have a family, whereas we know that this won't happen. I know another reader has had their partner read this article and accompanying comments in order to help communicate the feelings they have; perhaps your partner could also read this.

Hello everyone,

if you could see me rightnow, you would see a very releievd girl in her twenties. I just got back from a friend's place after I spent three days with her, but mainly with her two young kids, who are lovely but require more attention I could ever bring myself to devote to someone. For the first time in my life I realized that although I really like kids, I don't think I want some of my own. I told my friend that I admire her for doing this, but that I have many doubts if I would be happy raising children. At first, she was a little hurt (because it seemed like I questioned the choices she made in life)but she explained that although she loves having kids, she agrees it's not for everyone. She also remembers life before the toddlers and told me that since I don't know what it is like, I probably will not feel like I missed out on something later on. I am not so sure about that yet - in my familiy, the childless relatives are portrayed as abnormal, ranging from "kooky" to "bad personality". But maybe that's why I don't dare to say it out loud - because I was made to believe it would hurt my personality if I intended to live life "just for my sake". But the proclaimed personal growth is no reason to have children, at least not in my book. I want to see the world and learn many things I don't even know about yet, and I am fully capable to take care of kids - if I can hand them over to their parents again after some time. I don't think it's a bad plan - but then again I cannot predict how I will feel 10 years from now. Thanks for this blog. For the first time in ages I feel like I can separate my feelings from the "dominant script" of most people surrounding me. It's not that I blame them, I just don't want to apologize for what I think...

Hi Sophie!

"I just don’t want to apologize for what I think" - I think that's the best, most appropriate comment I've seen here. Thanks for summing up what most of us feel so succinctly!

BB

I am apporaching 30 and always thought that I would be married and have a kid by now. Unlike many people who have posted I have not always felt that I don't want kids. Within the last 7 years the idea of marriage has not appealed to me as it once did and now having children is something I feel that I no longer want.

I have many hobbies and enjoy my freedom. Most of my friends have children and expect me to have one now since they have all done it. At the same time I hear constant complaints aboout having no time to themselves and no money and they just can't wait to have someonne else watch their kids so they can have some time alone. I realize their frustration and understand everyone needs a break, but this disturbs me. I know I would be the same way and resentful that I can't do what I want when I want.

An example that brought these feelings back to the surface occured when preparing for a weekend trip. My boyfriend and I were on our way to visit his dad with this sister and her son. I absolutly love long car rides because it gives me time to catch up on reading and planning lessons (I am a teacher who loves her students). He suggested that I could sit in back and play with his nephew. I gave him an awful look I know because this idea was appalling to me. I felt very selfish but I work hard and on my weekends I like to have some time to relax. This was to be the perfect opportunity and now I was going to be on toddler duty. My boyfriend and I have been together over 2 years and have a near perfect relationship. We really don't talk about our future much. I have mentioned in passing that I really don't care to be married and he knows I am not fond of babies/toddlers and do not want to have any soon, but now after spending a few days with his nephew on top of already having these unsure feelings, I am not sure if I ever want to have children. He is great with kids and likes them and I beleive he wants his own so I guess we just really need to talk about the issue. I don't want to string him along and then decide I don't want kids, but I also don't want to have a kid later just to make him happy and come to resent him and the child.

I am also terrified that I would be a bad mother. I see how much time and attention comes with parenthood and I just don't have that desire to give my all and meet every need of someone else. My friends all know I don't care much for babies and toddlers and tell me that I will feel different if it is my own kid but what if I don't?

Thank you to everyone who has posted to this blog. It has helped me tremendously and have taken so much valuable information and advice away with me.

Hey Cindy. I sooooo understand what you mean. I'm a 28 year old man who's been with his girlfriend for 5 years now. It's crystal clear in my head that I don't want children.

I told my girlfriend that is she ever was to have children, that I would not be their father. I told her it's her decision, because it's a bigger issue for her than it is for me. I already don't want children, and I have no children, so leaving my girlfriend for another childless girl doesn't change much in the fact that I still won'.t be having them.

But for her? She has to decide, because my own decision is made. And she loves me more than anything in the world, and she doesn't like babies all that much ( even if she wants children ). She said she didn't wanna marry if we were to have no kids : no problem, for I don't need a ring around my finger to prove that I love her.

Lately, she seems to be more and more understanding of my situation, and she also seems to realize that living without children isn't that bad.

'' You'll see when you get yours! You'll love it! '' - Whatif I regret it and don't love my child and girlfriend the way they deserve?

'' You'll change your mind '' - What, you tryin' to assimilate me or somethin?

I think that parents who look down upon us are just jealous. They just want us to sacrifice our freedom so they feel better about their choice.

Sorry to say, but most parents aren't too convincing. If they're trying to convince somebody, I think it's themselves...

Don't give up on your beliefs, Cindy.

My girlfriend and I will split if we're not on the same page. This kind of decision is too heavy to take to juste wanna take it to please somebody!

I had to laugh at the "I'm selfish" --- I don't think you are being selfish at all. Though, I'm not sure what is more entertaining, those who have responded that you should have kids, or are missing out... when in fact, there's very little respect shown for your decision - a personal at that - then their displacement of insecurities of what life should be for "ALL".

Carry on...

swatson (a chick who has come across folks telling her she should have kids; she'd be a great mom; she's wonderful w/ children.... yet ignore the simple fact 1) i don't want them and 2) nor does my SO... for him it's simple, "I don't really like kids; don't want them.")

Forgot to mention - one day at work (yrs ago), I became quite annoyed at ppl saying, "oh you're young; you'll change your mind" which of course was dismissive, given I bought a home on my own before 30, moved 3000 miles away from friends and family w/ 150$, supported myself financially .... yet, couldn't possibly be left to my own devices to make up my mind... I exclaimed to those ppl at work in a rather loud and incredibly unprofessional manner, "I have no interesting in using my body as a incubator for a parasite; I do not want to spawn something that later in life I'll be bitching to my co-workers about...."

Oh yes.... they were not amused... I made no apologies....

swatson

TO SWATSON

A lot of people at my job are married with children. I understand what you mean, for I always get that kind of reaction whenever I don't agree with parents....

Fuck, can't they just accept that everybody can make their own choices???

Hi Ben

My god I am so glad someone wrote this post.

I'm only 23. I would like kids somewhere way further down the track but I can understand why people do not want the financial and emotional pressure of children.

Firstly I've havd a lot of health problems in my life. I've had asthma, low blood pressure and most recently been diagnosed with epilpsy. Not too mention my mother almost died having me.

I'm also a complete pain in the butt to live with. My mother breathed a sigh of relief when I finally moved out.

Having children is the biggest committment ever and I mean ever. It is not for everyone. I like having my expendable income. I like my prada shoes, my oroton handbag, my d&g sunglasses and designer wardrobe.

I was talking about this with a friend earlier who said that it was really selfish of women to not have children when there were so many other women who were desperately trying and not conceiving.

What I didn't say to her is that life is not always fair. Yes it would suck that you couldn't pass on your genes to your child. But that is reality. We cannot always get what we want. And that is the biggest lesson of all.

I think this is a GREAT post!! I definitely thought something was wrong with me when I realised that I did not want to have kids. I'm 27 and recently married and my husband wants kids but I do not. I am being bombarded with the question "so when are you having a baby?" which usually leads to my response "never!!" I think people (women especially) focus on having kids way too much like that's their only goal in life!!

Don't get me wrong, I like kids but I love returning them to their parents when the screaming and regular responsibilities need to be handled. Also, lately it seems like everyone either just had a baby or is pregnant!!!

Thanks so much to everyone, especially Ben for this great post!!

I second the thanks to Ben!

We need more people like you to spread the word. Even though we're not alone....it often feels like we are!!!

Hey Ben....I think most people in general want a kid because they feel they have to or they must, or they are pressured to....well guess what people? Its ur life and not anybody elses! If you want your girl to become ugly, change millions of shitty diapers, deal with cries and screams, breaking the house, and spending 20 g untill the unappriciated brat turns eightee not to mention christians sinning and leaving work to get fired, so then go for it!But If u valu free time money with vacations, an pretty g

If ur insanely rich and dnt know how else to spend 20000 then give it to charity to cease letting teens and people in their 20's from having kids.....at least u wudnt have to deal with crybabies and changing shittty diapers................................

I have been going mad of late thinking i was the only woman who did not want kids, this is my story.

i am 29 yrs old live with my partner who is older and has two girls of his own and although i get on with them very well i am happy at the end of the two days a wk we have them, you see i never wanted kids in my life but my man came with bagage, although i think my partner feels the same way in the fact he just wants to be with me and having kids of our own means no time to do what we want. i like my house nice tidy, relaxing and i like to do what i want when i want the though of having to work everything round kids for ever just seems madness to me.

I am glad I came across this post. I may be 16 but I have logically decided that I do not want kids. It's good to know I am not alone in this decision. The others have already given reasons and spoke my mind before me, so I leave with this: will you consider vasectomy?

Wow Steve I've never really looked at it like that. You are so true! Why bring a child into a world that will get worse?! It makes no sense! Not to mention all the financial, emotional responsibilities that come along with parenting. Oh my gosh!

Hey Steve!

I'm totally agree with you, for me being myself, i'm always asking why i'm coming to the world. If you give me the chance to show my life before my birth, i think 99% i'm not choosing to come to this world. If the man is not born as Genie, then the rest of her/his life is much more depending on the hardwork or fate. But as a normal person, sadly he/she should getting up for work everyday for 40 years, and in most of the case i think he/she really not have so many fun by doing that....

Thanks for your ture comments! We are in same frequency.

Its better not to be born. You come here,suffer and die. And even if you don't suffer you still die. We all have to die.That sucks. Might as well skip the being born and existing part before you have to go back to oblivion.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Sid. You're right; we all experience life differently. For some it's plain sailing, and for others it's a harsh reality. And for every person who learns how to deal with the realities of an abusive childhood, there is another learning that the calm winds behind their sails precede a storm yet to be navigated.

Toni's reply was the instigator of at least another post perhaps two, on this blog ;)

I must say that I'm rather glad that Toni finds there is so much joy in having children, despite the "shitty" times. If it's right for him/her, that's awesome. To imply those that don't believe the same is to judge, however, and I don't believe judging anyone's choices or actions is productive. We all make the best choices we can at any given time, and if we choose not to regret them, we can only learn from them.

Toni, how narrow minded. Why do you think having kids is the only way to maturity. Some people suffer incest in their childhoods and choose not to tell, for fear of what will happen o them and their famiy. Try that for learning to mature, making independent decisions aged 7 or 8. Try bringing up siblings, try coping with alcoholic parents, being adopted and knowing nothing about your roots, try coping with psychopathic or pedophilic teachers. Just don't patronise people by saying that having kids is the only way to maturity. This world is a harsh place. Fact. You are amusingly innocent in your assertions.

So many comments since I last revisited this post. Thanks all for your contributions.

Cindy on February 22, 2009, expectation is most certainly the wrong reason to do anything. I wonder whether your friends, in expecting you to have children because they have, feel like you're invalidating their decision to procreate. Not that it's your job to validate their decisions, of course. Thanks for sharing your thoughts; those on being scared of being an inadequate parent especially. You're not alone in that feeling, although it often feels like it is because people won't admit it for fear of being seen as weak. I see at as a great strength to be able to share and admit this.

Fange on February 25, 2009, I don't believe all parents are jealous of the lifestyle of childless people, in the same way as people in relationships aren't jealous of single people. Sure, sometimes you look at people on the other side of the fence and wish you had that for a moment, but most of the time, most parents love being parents and most people in relationships love being in relationships. What's right for one person is not necessarily right for another, but no-one has the right to judge another's choices.

swatson on February 25, 2009, and Fange on February 26, 2009, thanks - and yes, it's quite amusing to see other's proffering their opinions, but ultimately, each person's decisions are their own, and should not be seen as a reflection or judgement of someone else's.

Lauren on March 8, 2009, I'm glad this post was helpful for you. Your friend's conclusion that not having children if you can is selfish, because women who can't, can't, is one of the most unreasonable assertions I've heard. In the first instance, people's lives are their own, and imposing such expectations is removing people of their right to make their own choices. That's never okay in my book. In the second instance, Mother Nature is fighting to reduce the population at the moment; maybe that why we have such high rates of infertility.

IB on March 19, 2009 and johnny G. on September 30, 2009; I hear this so often - the expectation if rife and unwanted - congratulations on knowing who you are, and what you want. I know some women who only want to have children as their life goal, and that's fine. For them.

TRACEY on February 11, 2010, thanks for sharing your story, and I 'm glad to hear you're in a relationship that works for you ;)

Hark on June 21, 2011, would I consider a vasectomy? Yes - there's a blog post stewing about that at the moment.

Catherine on July 17, 2012, yes, it's true that we all die, and while some choose to expedite that process, I personally believe that we might as well make the most of our lives and make a difference; to the world, a country, a city or even just one animal. I mentioned in the main post that I would not be alive were it not for medical intervention, and that I believe that medical advances are a major cause of overpopulation; however I would fight for my life now that I have it.

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