Folks, I want to hear from those of you – male, female, transgender, whatever – who share my preference for a childfree lifestyle. I’ve been flirting with the idea of not having kids for the better part of a year. What started as “Hmm, I don’t know about this motherhood thing” has started to settle into “I literally can’t imagine having kids.” With every passing day, my disdain for childbearing grows.
At dinner tonight, I told an entire table full of male colleagues – several of whom were parents – that I did not want children. I won’t bore you with the details of how this even became of subject of discussion, but suffice it to say that before I had time to self-edit, I heard these words flowing from my tongue: “Every time I see someone with children, I feel sorry for them.” That is probably a horrible thing to say, but it’s true.
It would be more accurate to say that I feel sorry for women with children. Not because they aren’t happy — I am sure at least some of them are thrilled to be mothers — but simply because the thought of having children increasingly makes me unhappy.
When men wax poetic about how great it is to be a father, sometimes I quip: “Yeah, if someone would come along and bear my children, and I could swoop in and parent when I feel like it, that would be fantastic” I’m exaggerating here, but the truth is that mothers still bear the brunt of parenting and domestic duties, even when they also have a professional life of their own. The gendered burden of motherhood – for all its joys – is quite unattractive.
Being somewhat solipsistic, I did not realize – and still do not fully realize – that it’s “taboo” to speak of not wanting kids. If it’s a taboo, no one but Google has told me so directly. I have a number of childfree female friends who feel the same way and a few friends who are mothers who tell me I’m right to be circumspect. I don’t have any rose colored glasses when it comes to parenting.
Another contributing – though ironic – factor is my own mother. My mom was – and continues to be – a heroic parent. I owe everything redeeming about me to her wisdom, sacrifice and love: my strong connection to God, my commitment to personal development (though I hate that term, particularly as I no longer principally define myself as a ‘person’ due to my dalliance with non duality) and my intellectual curiosity and self confidence. But it is precisely because I see how hard she worked – how committed she has been – that I have no illusions about parenting. It is difficult, day-in-day-out work. A life sentence, in most cases. And while it surely has its highs and moments of fulfillment, there is also frustration and bitterness and disappointment and fatigue and stress and worry.
I do not feel the need to defend my disdain for parenting, but it does give me some joy to talk about it. I am also genuinely perplexed as to why having children seems like such a “natural” thing for folks to want to do. Setting aside the biological/evolutionary impulse, the sociologist in me marvels at the way most people seem to regard reproduction unreflexively. I do not hear enough people having critical discussions about whether it’s actually a good idea to procreate. There are many, many, many people who should not have children but have them anyway. I do not see that this world needs as many people as are being produced and I do not understand the urge to keep popping out humans to overrun this already overrun and decaying planet. Not to mention all of the children who await adoption. If I ever decide to be a parent, adoption is something I would seriously consider, for the simple fact that biological procreation in the midst of children begging for a home seems wrong, somehow.
I am happy that some people derive happiness from parenting. I suppose someone’s got to do it. But that’s also the great thing about life: since other people are having kids, I don’t need to. The species will propagate even without my genetic contribution.
In speaking with other junior faculty – male and female – it dawned on me that being childfree also reduces my professional vulnerability in all kinds of ways. I have more time to work and be productive, obviously. But I also have more flexibility and control over my career. If I need or want to take a job elsewhere, I have nothing and no one holding me down. I’ve known this abstractly, but it’s only now that I can better understand why I feel so happy and confident in my professional prospects compared to some of my friends and colleagues who feel forced to get tenure at a particular place because they have a family and a mortgage.
Don’t get me wrong: I have my mommy moments. I fall back in love with the idea of reproducing when I am in love. I know if I were in a committed relationship, parenting is something would be a more concrete possibility.
But for now, I absolutely love my freedom. I also appreciate that I can focus my energies on whatever I want: my creative interests, my spiritual practice, my hobbies, my friends, my romantic life. I am also free to channel my compassion and nurturing spirit into a variety of non-parental outlets: teaching and mentoring students, service and activism in the community, being a helping hand and support wherever and whenever I can.
Without children, I am also able to face squarely some of the very difficult problems of existence that most people – parents and otherwise – have to put on the backburner: What is the meaning of this life? Why am I here? What should I do with my time? Who am I? What is my relationship to the rest of creation? What is my relationship to the Creator? What is death? How should I conceive of it? Can I prepare for it? What is the purpose of my work? What are my core values? What is the ego? What is consciousness? Yes, you can tackle this even if you have kids, but you have less time and opportunity to confront these issues when you are changing diapers or helping Charlie with 6th grade algebra.
Unraveling these existential concerns is my full-time job. I can understand why Buddha had to leave his family to figure it out. But Buddha *could* leave his family. His wife could not.
Children generally delight me, but they are no more special than adults. Children are just small people discovering the world. Their newness, cuteness and innocence is endearing, to be sure. But then they do this thing called growing up. And I know it must be fulfilling to see your child develop into a talented, wonderful human being. But, you know it’s also just fantastic to BE a talented, wonderful human being and to help other people develop in that way. Birthing a person is not necessary for that kind of fulfillment
I will admit that I think it’s a bit sad that lots of parents report finding the meaning of life or their purpose in procreation. To me, it’s just as sad as folks who think that their work makes life worth living or whatever. Finding some external person or thing and deluding yourself that this individual, or your social role brings meaning to your existence is unfortunate. If there is a purpose to this life, it is for you to wake up and realize who you really are – beyond your social roles, beyond your identities, beyond your conditioning, beyond your wishes, hopes and dreams. You can do this as a parent or a civilian – but either way, your life is not figured out just because you start a family, or just because you decide not to. The most important thing in your life should not be a social role — as a mother, father, daughter, sister, friend, whatever. The most important thing in your life should consist in being a conduit of love and compassion. Period. And then that love flows through whatever your role is in whatever particular situation you find yourself.
48 thoughts on “I’m so glad I don’t have children”
It seems you have made many observations in the process of enjoying your child-free life … of course, none of which could have been made had someone not seen the worth in “bearing the brunt” of parenting you. Don’t have children if you cannot see their worth, but I hope you are at least thankful that someone saw worth in you.
Thank you so much for your comment! No where in this post did I say that I don’t understand the value of children. Children are valuable as human beings – but that doesn’t mean the world needs a lot more of them. Of course I would see the value of my own children should I become a parent – I’m a naturally nuturing and loving person, so I would love my own offspring. It’s not that there is anything wrong with children or that they aren’t a value-add in one’s life. But from where I sit – presently childfree – I see parenting as a burden that doesn’t interest me.
I understand the point you’re trying to make when you say that I should be grateful someone raised me. But your insight here suggests you didn’t read the post in its entirety. I clearly state that my own mother’s heroics are actually a contributing factor to why I have no interest in parenting at this time. My being grateful for my mother’s love is not mutually exclusive with desiring to enjoy life without children. The logical response to being grateful for one’s parent is to love their parent and show them appreciation — not to pop out a baby.
You’re wrong that I could not have come to this conclusion has someone not taken on the burden of parenting me. I’m incredibly lucky that I had one good parent. But some people have no parents – there are orphans and children who need to be adopted. I’m quite sure some of them don’t want to be parents either. What I think you mean is that I would not be here at all had someone not *birthed* me. That’s obviously true.
Just because you had a parent that fought the good fight to raise you does not in any way allow someone else to blackmail you into reconsidering your choice. It is the duty of EVERY parent to raise their children well as those children did not ask to be born. People with children must make sure they raise them well and provide for them so the rest of us who consciously decided NOT to have any do not need to work overtime to provide for grants and other wasteful support systems….
Oh the moralizing if you don’t have children! My husband and I decided no kids long ago when we were first together. We are late 50s now; it was the BEST decision we ever could have made. We had, and have, A LIFE OF OUR OWN. My friends all have adult kids living in their basements; they have NOT had a good time. Some admit if they could do it again, they would not have had kids. Have a kid: then give up your own dreams. We will have a wonderful retirement ( money is much more plentiful without kids), we have always had a calm, peaceful home; and we are VERY happy(. Just because someone had you; doesn’t mean you have to produce as well. How does that equate?) Get over it people.
Good Day Crystal,
How are You ?
Thank you for sharing your experience.
I just had this conversation with friend on Friday night… I am about to leave to Normandy for the day, but will be back later and comment on your post… some -many- people don’t understand that some women don’t feel the need to have a child. And yes, I love children, I am not an egoist and please, please, guys, delete this sentence tout de suite “Oh, it’s because you didn’t meet Mr Right yet” NO, this has nothing to do with Mister…
… anyways, interesting subject… and as you said: there is no justification to be done 🙂
Much Love from Paris 🙂
Coucou Caro – thanks for sharing your perspective. I’m hanging in there – the hurricane devastated the NYC/Long Island/Jersey area, but I’ve been very blessed to stay with friends in homes with heat, electricity, etc.
I’m curious to know if you’ve felt this way about not wanting children for a long time or if it’s a more recent revelation. And have you also felt this way even when in a committed romantic relationship?
You are very wise not to rush into parenthood. I am marrried w/no kids. I love the freedom & peaceful life my spouse & I have. I have a friend that has a 2 year old daughter. It is constant interruptions, tending to her every need. The mom has no time to herself. I go over ther to visit a few times a month. The baby like me. But I never volunteer to babysit. It is just too much! I play with her temporarily when I go to visit. However, that is enough for me. It is a lot involved; a life I don’t want!
Thanks so much for your comment. I’m always glad to hear from folks who don’t regret their decision to live child-free. Likewise, I’m happy for parents who do not regret being parents. What bothers me is the assumption that we all should want to have kids and that not having them means our lives will be incomplete or that we’re too “selfish” or somehow morally inferior. I reject all of that.
i write as a mom (since my early twenties) and as an academic who shares some of your interests. and i must say that i so appreciate this post! i applaud your bravery and your insight! (i do think that often one’s resolve is tested when she is installed in a solid and long-term heterosexual relationship. sometimes the idea of combining one’s genetic material with a beloved to make a new human is too mind-blowing and intriguing to resist.) I also think that in many ways your post is critiquing not motherhood simply but the office of it, its ideologies and cultural myths (particularly in the western and the african american contexts). meanings of motherhood and the value (or burden) of children vary according to context.
with that said, i find it extremely challenging to mother my one child! and it is not for the reasons one might think. it is not about the heroism or inevitable and relentless self-sacrifice, which come quite naturally. all of my internal systems shifted, as necessary, to accommodate him. he is in the world. i am awed and impressed by his sheer, simple beingness and honored to oversee its formation.
the real difficulty for me is twofold: one, i struggle to contain my capacities as a mother. in other words, since i now have these superhuman abilities to work tirelessly on another’s behalf, i must learn to not do that in every relationship or in every responsibility. (i do not want my colleagues to get from me what my son does, for example.) the other real challenge for me is the loss of control, the kind of letting go i have to perform everyday. it is so intense to have my okayness so perpetually and inextricably tied to another’s okayness, particularly because i don’t have the power to guarantee it. he is thirteen and i still creep into his bedroom some nights to check his breathing. can you imagine? that is how much i need him alive — and well. but my son is in the world, as i am, and therefore subject to it.
i guess all this to say that where we exert the most effort (at least i do) is not in terms of the daily care for another human. it is in recognizing what comes with being human and performing the regular and excruciating small acts of letting go of one’s human child that motherhood entails and that makes it quite intense and sometimes exhausting…
What a beautiful reply – I am humbled by and grateful for your insightful and powerful words. Lovely!
Yes, I can grasp the challenges you’ve described. And it makes sense that the “heroics” become natural after the fact of your child’s coming into this world. The worry and sense of connectedness you describe sound like fertile ground for learning about egoic attachment, the limits on our ability to control, the boundaries of identity, the role of faith.
I also understand how tempting it can be to want to create life with your partner. Everytime I’ve been in love, my thoughts have drifted to procreation. We’re hardwired to think and feel this way.
And yes, my views about motherhood are not so much about the love between mother and child but about the “office”, as you describe it. But these are views offered in the abstract, from where I sit – 30 years old, unattached, professionally focused and with time, presumably, to change my mind.
61 and chidfree never wanted kids. got married young spouse didn’t want kids either, but as our friends got married and had kids he changed his mind, i never did and we divorced. i don’t like a lot of noise i have a beautifull appointed home very light beige furnishing, and i don’t want kids messing up my house. my brother brought his 4 y/o grandson over the other day the kid was so noisy. jumping all over the place i asked my brother to leave. all of my friends my age have kids who are constantly having probs or in the revloliving door of returning home due to job loss or divorce. happily none of my younger friends have kids they are in their early forties some want kids but are still waiting for mr right. never let society pressure u into believng, feeling, thinking something that does not make u feel fulfilled or happy u wil regret it. thanks for your post
Hi Shirey – thank you so much for this supportive comment, and for sharing your own experience/reflections. I love hearing from folks that they don’t regret their decisions (whether it’s having kids or not having them). I’ve heard from a number of women like you who don’t have kids, are past “childbearing age” and still do not regret it. This is important, because it debunks the myth that all childfree women will regret it one day. Some do, some don’t.
I love this part of your post: “never let society pressure you into believing, feeling, thinking something that does not make you feel fulfilled or happy” – you are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.
I was just thinking the other day; what if I/we had a child or children in this bad economy?! That would surely make our current situations worse; more stressful. I would be worrying attempting make sure I had enough money to take care of my child. SO STRESSFUL!!!!!!!!!
Yes Shirley! I am so glad this post was created. It seems like there are a few that. Think like me. Most of my friends have kids. So they really can’t relate to me. My friend w/the 2 year old said to me the other day “you deserve to have a kis. I think you would be a good mom.” I think I would be a good mom also. But still not a reason for me 2 have a kid. My sister decided she & her hubsand want kid. She assumes I will be around to babysit. I told he don’t count on it. I will adore my niece or nephew. But will not give up my freedom babysitting for her.
I totally agree with Shirley. I actually babysit my niece who is 1.5 years old. I split up the days with my mom. My sister pays me. I’m only doing it in between searching and finding another job. My niece is sort of spoiled. She has temper tantrums like any other baby/toddler her age. My sister doesn’t believe in spanking. So she gets time out; which doesn’t always work. My sister said she would never want another child. I see how she barely has time for herself. Also I don’t like the financial responsibility involved with having a kid/s. I have been in between jobs doing contract temp work (until I find a permanent job). I can’t imagine the stress on me and my spouse if we had a kid/s to feed, clothe and shelter. My finances change dramatically once I receive unemployment. The money is usually half of what I made when I was working. We’d be strapped for cash if we had to financially support another human being; such as a child. Thank goodness it’s just the (2) of us!!!!!!
I am a mommy to a beautiful little boy, I desire to have more children and I absolutely love this post! I appreciate your honesty, and it makes me wonder if there are many women out there with children they didn’t desire, but gave into childbearing as a result of not being honest with themselves or from feeling pressure from a partner or society itself. A frank and refreshing perspective from another woman might just be what other women who are on the fence need.
I also love Aliyyah’s response to this post, particularly the second to last paragraph she wrote. For as much as I love being a mother, the letting go, the constant worry and the always pushing, pushing, pushing yourself is something I have admittedly struggled with on this motherhood journey. But being a mother does not define who I am…just as you so eloquently put. The funny thing is that my desire to procreate (with my then-husband) was based on completing me, but I quickly learned that you must have your own needs, desires, LIFE outside of motherhood. Otherwise, you will go insane (or at least, that’s what I think). I am in my mid-30s and finally realizing that the wholeness I am seeking must come from within. I think fully understanding and living this is the only way I will truly be “ready” to bring more children into this world.
Thank you again for sharing! Namaste. 🙂
Warm thanks again for your response 🙂 I think many people want children for a sense of completion.. and as you said, one eventually will find that it doesn’t work.. because nothing we try to do to complete ourselves works 🙂 That’s because we are already complete, and that feeling of wholeness can only come from going within.
I am grateful I chose not to reproduce. Simple observation of our global environment
proves that humans do not truly care for each other, let alone other species.Our human supremacist
attitude toward nature is bringing on the destruction of our own species. We have acidified our oceans, depleted our fisheries, spreading desertification of arable lands, and since hitting peak oil
are now fracking into shale and blasting off the tops of mountains, and processing dirty tar sands. We are quite simply trashing
our planet. Most women work hard all day and then rush home and work another shift. They are
harried, exhausted, and ill-appreciated. Take a good long look at our global environment and economic trends. Our world is suffering from overpopulation, it will only worsen. Using the law of
probable outcome, what will our environment be like in another 20 years? To fain ignorance or
believe a supernatural force will not allow our destruction is magical thinking. There is always a price
to pay for stupidity.
So True, so well-said.
I find the ecological argument against procreation fascinating. I understand it, for sure, but it doesn’t really factor into my personal feelings.. except that I would worry, if I had a child, that the world they would inherit in 20-30 yrs will probably not be an environmental paradise. I love that you wrote “human supremacist” – I’ve never seen that phrase ..
my mother had 4 children, she started having kids at the age of 16 , she was always resentful and always said if she had it to do over again she would have never had any children. I didn’t have the best upbringing due to her choices. I saw early on my her example and others around me how my life would turn out if I had children. I’ve never had the desire to parent a child although I think I would be a good mother I also know there are no garuntees in life that no matter how great of a parent I am that my children would we great people.Parenting is a life long commitment , one that I know I just don’t want to do, I don’t want the stress or worry of having a child. I like my freedom and not having to be responssible for anyone but myself.
Resentment and parenting sound like an awful mix, but one that I am certain many people have to deal with — either as parents themselves or as the children who have to be raised by them. I’m curious – how old are you? When did you come to the realization that you didn’t want your own kids?
I am a Man with 62 years who gives thanks every minute of every day that he did not procreate.
And why is that?
good for you.. hope you are enjoying life the way you should be!
I am 36 years old and very thankful that I don’t have children and never plan on having them. Children are not for everyone and it is too bad that childfree individuals are labeled selfish. I am an animal lover and have devoted my life to helping them.
I’m curious – has anyone actually ever told you that you’re selfish for not wanting kids?
I am the mother of three (17yo, 3yo, and 10mo) and can TOTALLY understand your stance. As you can see by the name of my blog, I have decided to be you in my next life. 🙂 Thank you for having the guts to post about this. Enjoy your freedom and personal space!! If you get the chance and have some extra time, enjoy some for me too!! 😉
Hi Julie – what a funny name for a blog 🙂 And THANK you for your message. I’ve been so surprised and grateful for the fact that so many parents – mothers in particular – have shared supportive messages about my post. I also sincerely thank you and everyone else who has made the decision to parent – the sacrifice, energy and love involved in that commitment can be a beautiful thing.
It takes a lot of personal strength and courage to not have kids. I personally just got my tubes tied at 23 years old with no children prior to the surgery. It was the best thing I have ever done for myself. I had never dreamed of children or having one of my own. My husband has a 16 year old from a previous relationship and it is wonderful to be able to experience the father-son relationship firsthand without having to be involved fully as a parent! I also enjoy the freedom my choice has given me. In fact there is no greater relief than to know I can forge my own path and experience the millions of things this life has to offer.
Hi Valerie – Wow, you made the decision to get your tubes tied a relatively young age.. What do you think allowed for you to have that clarity so soon? It’s incredible that you also don’t seem to have any regrets — I think a lot of women would fear taking that surgical step because of its finality (although, if I’m not mistaken, it is sometimes reversible?) Anyway, blessings to you for enjoying your freedom and for sharing your story.
Determination and desire to reach my own personal goals helped me decide to shut down the baby shop. From a young age I yearned to own a business, travel and meet people from all over the world. As I grew older, my desire for such goals only increased and became more real. Honestly, clarity came through experiences with other people’s children. I have never felt motherly or had the pregnancy bug and to this day I am so happy to be child free. I feel as if my life is destined for bigger dreams involving multiple people. That, my friends, is my baby.
As for reversing tubal ligation, my doctor said that it would be similar to giving women fertility treatments. There is no guarantee of being able to get pregnant after surgery but there might be a change with fertility treatments and so forth.
I stumbled across this post online and I must say that I couldn’t be happier that I did! I love your sincere, straightforward words. Like you, I too am without children, and at 26 years of age I feel as if having children to some people has become more of a conquest and right of passage then a well thought out decision.
I am the type who likes to analyze all aspects before a I make a life changing decision, and I don’t think any well thought out process can be more critical then the choice to bear children. I too play with the idea of having children now and then, and like you it’s largely due to being in love that makes motherhood seem well… right. Maybe this is because that as women, when in love, we naturally have the tendency to give so much of ourselves that the thought of bearing the child of the one we adore becomes in our minds, profoundly satisfying. After all, when we bear a child and become a mother through decision we’re sacrificing not only our bodies and free will to live, but in my mind at least we’re also surrendering to the other person a tender oath that silently demonstrates our adoration for them, commitment to the relationship, and desire to spend the rest of whatever lifespan we are given with them. Isn’t this in of itself, the giving of whatever life we have yet to live to mother our significant others offspring in of itself the ultimate sacrifice? Or at least the most we can sacrifice of ourselves without the taking our life? This silent oath may not be the way all mothers come to be, but as the child bearers I’d like to think that we women have a natural inclination towards settling down with the one who we procreate with. It’s the Darwinism in us, the picking and choosing of our mates, the falling in love with the man who meets these ideal traits, and the need to rely solely on that mate while with child drives us to become not only exceptionally choosy, but also naturally committed to the other.
I have yet to decide if I ever want children, I am however deeply in love and can see the flicker of myself in another world happy with children, while the connection to my lover deepens still as we become witness the wonder of parenthood. I can only imagine it’s at this point in my life that my countless hours of speculation to the prospect of motherhood will somehow fade perfectly into the most quintessential “aha moment” as I see my little one for the first time with my love by my side… or at least that’s how I hope it to be. Which brings me to what’s perhaps the most frustrating concept for us methodical thinkers, is that motherhood seems to be such a leap of faith. We don’t know what kind of mother we’ll be, we don’t know if we’ll be happy or fulfilled, we don’t know if it’s the right choice…we don’t know much of anything and this is terrifying for us. We just have to roll with the punches, be unplanned and carefree, we have to trust in ourselves that when the times right motherhood will come naturally, and that the good will largely outweigh the bad…. but for now, I too am happy being childless and methodical.
Best of wishes,
Each woman is different. For me, I knew by the time I was 10 years old that I didn’t want kids. Probably because I started babysitting when I was 9. 😉 In my 20s, I fell in love with a wonderful man with no desire for kids. We’ve been happily everything for 23 years now. No regrets for either of us. Good luck to you and may you have a fabulous life, however you choose to live it.
Loving life and wouldn’t change a darn thing!
So happy to hear that you partnered with someone who was compatible in that way and that you don’t regret your decision. More people need to hear stories like yours — women who forego childbirth, intentionally and happily.
In my opinion, couples differing on this issue is pretty much a deal-breaker. Most of our friends are child-free, but a few have kids. Everyone seems happy with their decisions and we support each other. I was definitely meant to be an Auntie, not a mom. 😀
I agree with you 100%. I have never had a paternal instinct, and even thought it would be easier on me as a male(I’ll touch on this in a moment), I still want zero part of raising a child and being locked down like that. You can have deep commitment without signing your life away and destroying your partners body in the process.
I can count on one hand how many people make it through child rearing happy and glowing. Most young couples I see with a child have an exhausted and grumpy look on their face. WHOO HOO that sounds like a GREAT idea.
As far as men having it WAY easier, ya, they do. We live in a society were both people in the partnership need to work. I will use my family as an example. My father went to work, worked less hours, sat in way less traffic, made less money, yet somehow he felt entitled to sit on his ass and do nothing, and wait for my mother, who was working harder and earning more, to do the rest. He had her completely miserable and brainwashed. She finally left him, and she has been happy every since. My brother, impregnated a girl, they have a boy. He uses it as an excuse constantly. He can’t go to school because he had a baby, he can’t save money because he had a baby, he can’t live in a nicer neighborhood because he had a baby….. dumb ass, if you couldn’t afford a baby, why did you have one? accidents don’t happen, there is no such thing, if you’re having unprotected sex, then WHAT DID YOU THINK was the end result of that?
I didn’t want to ever be in that position, so at 26, I sought out a doctor and had a vasectomy. What a chore, doctors, turning down my good hard earned money, and refusing to perform the procedure. Eventually I found a eurologist to perform the procedure, and I personally have never been happier. Try explaining that to “the fella’s” all you get is ignorant grunts like “I ain’t letting a dr near my balls”, like their testicles are magical, and were produced at hogwarts. It’s insane, men act like they are getting castrated, it’s the disconnection of a fucking tube…… everything else feels and acts exactly the same. I can’t tell if it is a lack of education, or just plain male hubris/ignoriance…. but it’s scary how stupid men are about this subject.
What is the purpose of everyone having children? perpetuation of the human race? hell we are less like any other animal, we are more like a virus, we destroy virtually everything. Then your spawn grows up, acts out, takes the best years of your life from you in servitude, and for what? love? I have a dog, love my dog. To feel fullfillment? I have a news flash for you, if you need a child to fill the “hole” in your life, you have a lot of self discovery left to uncover, you will suffer, and so will your children, because you aren’t centered.
Sorry for the rant, just wanted to give a hetero males opinion, and to let you know you’re correct, men want children so they can gloat and take credit for being a sometimey parent and not have to worry about decimating their bodies and hormones.
Look at our world, Fukushima, WIPP spill, war-mongering, declining fresh water supplies, GMO foods/Monsanto, geoengineering, NSA spying, glaciers melting, deliberately dumbed-down populace from the shadow goverment.. I am so grateful I listened to my intuition and did not succumb to pressure from culture to reproduce. I do not have to worry about what will have to my offspring, should climate change be real. thanks
This has to be the most compelling and informative read regarding to breed or not that I have come across to date, and as such bookmarked it and read several times over.
I honeslty could have envisaged writing this myself, I’m also a bit Dharma follower with no children, but male, age 44.
When I have my doubts and think ‘have I missed out’ I reach to articles like this, as it seems everyone is reproducing, but if I’m honest I don’t think I want the resposibilty and never felt a peternal instinct even as I was growing up, like yourself I enjoy my freedom, and as you’ll know you tend to take it for granted, even those little moments like waking up when you want, or even to take time out to meditate with just your underpants on, lol. 🙂
We’re approaching our 25th wedding anniversary. We never had children. We were both raised by abusive parents — mine, neglectful and unreliable; his, just plain mean . I’ve never liked kids; I don’t enjoy their company or know how to talk with them. I also have an unfortunate temper that I’ve spent my adult life learning to manage and control, but that would likely explode if forced to raise needy, messy, demanding children. Do I regret not having a family? Not at all! I knew myself back then, and I know myself know. I don’t miss “phantom” kids at all. I don’t yearn to be surrounded by children and grandchildren at the holidays. I’m very glad and grateful to be offspring-free.
Like you, Callie, I come from a background of emotional or inconsistent neglect/abuse, as well as my husband. I have a tendency to try to control the uncontrollable. I also feel that I would likely unleash my feelings of rage and resentment on my own children when the true target of that rage is obviously from my own childhood. Although the temper shows itself less and less these days, the damage it can do to a child is permanent. I know because research has proven it and I experienced it. How could anyone call us selfish for not having children? Instead of dwelling in that pain, we can find opportunities to experience and spread love in different ways; to heal ourselves and others. “The most important thing in your life should consist in being a conduit of love and compassion. Period.” What a beautiful idea.
We are reminded of the comments of the artist Lee Krasner re: children–children will only get in the way if you have something really important/worthwhile to offer the world. Can you imagine all the intellectual capacity that is stunted when a parent is reduced to ‘baby-talk’ and domestic duties? We love continually expanding our brain through studying/reading and conversing with like-minded intelligent people. We truly cannot imagine what we would ever SAY to a child!
Did you somehow cut open my head and steal my thoughts? It feels like I could have written this, it’s like reading my own diary!! It helps to know I’m not alone, thank you ❤
Hi Crystal! Love what you wrote. I couldn’t agree more. I never wanted kids and like you, I still don’t know why everyone else does. I think people are programmed that you finish school, find a career, get married, buy a house and have babies. There was actually a whole sex & the city episode about exactly that. (Being programmed) I was lucky enough to meet a man and fall in love and he also has no interest in children. It’s def would’ve been a dealbreaker for me in the dating arena if they had children already or if they wanted some more. People to make you feel uncomfortable when you don’t have children and especially more comfortable when you tell them you don’t want them. People do say that you’re being selfish and it’s took me a while to get used to that but it’s a label that I’m comfortable with. I am selfish. I met my husband and 32 years old. That’s a long time to wait for “the one”. I’m unwilling to share him and his time and his attention with anyone else even if it’s our child. I want to have enough money to be comfortable, have a nice life, to travel, and to enjoy ourselves. Not to work for years and kill ourselves to raise kids. My thought process was much like yours where as the mother does all the work. I work close to where we live my husband does not. He has a two hour commute each way. So if we did have children and they get sick who’s picking them up at school? Mom. who’s driving them to their friends house mom. who is 99% responsible for them? Mom. yeah that wasn’t going to be me. I’m sorry if I have to apologize for having a life but it is what it is. Right now I work full-time and I’m in grad school. I have no time to even imagine being weighed down with the kid at this point. I want to just graduate and work in private practice and just keep it moving. I want to have the time and energy to enjoy my husband and our life together. I also think some of the most important things in life are not only knowing what you do want but knowing what you don’t want. I know tons of people that have children and given the circumstances to make that decision again I don’t know that they would make the same one. It all looks good on paper until you do it. It’s very romantic- at least once a month I get very into it. I look at my husband and we fantasize about having one. But that quickly passes. LOL. I think people don’t realize how much work and how much sacrifice it actually is to be a parent. And I think if people could find that out ahead of time, people would make different decisions. It would also help of the world would not stigmatize those of us that have not procreated. I like to take trips to exotic locations where there’s no children allowed . I want to go in R rated movies and not have to see kangaroo panda 12 on a weekend. I’d like to go lots of places that kids aren’t allowed to go that’s my privilege. I can respect everyone’s decision to have kids- I don’t understand it but I can respect it. just respect my decision as well.
transgenedered person here! i knew I never wanted kids AT ALL. biologically I cant have then anyway.. but i just dont care for kids to be honest. im all up for people gay , straight, or lesbian to adopt. its better for the world than to keep reproducing. no regrets ever! first off being trans ive had a hard life to begin with,.my parents were never accepting of me till my transition back in 2007…now they are much open i guess, but childhood was abusive. ive isolated myself from most of my family anyway. they are religious nut jobs. i dont beleive in marriage or having kids, if its done for religion or just to have them.
I am now 59 years old. My husband and I still say to each other, ” aren’t you GLAD we don’t have kids!” This was the single, best decision we ever made. We have had, and still have a LIFE. I have friends who I have witnessed give their own lives and dreams up to their children.And now I see them, in their role, as unpaid babysitters. I have seen then try to put positive spins on all of it, but mostly I see that if they didn’t put a positive spin, they’d be forced to really look at how they spent their lives. Was it worth it for them? Who knows. But what I do know is that my husband and I have had, and do have a big, rich, juicy, creative life, which never would have been possible if we went down that parenting role. My advice to women is think very, very hard about the realities of being a parent, and forget the BS you are fed about it. It is not the pinnacle of human experience. Think hard before you give up your life, and your dreams, for societies views on what you have to do once you become an adult. This whole blown up vision of what parenting is , is a relatively recent production of western societies mores. Don’t swallow it. Life can be so amazing if you choose to venture off of the prescribed path. Have your own life. Try it. You’ll love it.
All I can say is wow. Your blog about children could have been written by me. It is so refreshing to have someone share a difficult subject. But you did it and I am so happy, I thought I was the only one in the world who had these feelings. Yes, the pressure from society is there and combined with the worship of motherhood it can be a daunting experience to walk this path. I was 14 when I knew I didn’t want kids. Never had a desire to. Well, youthful hormones and not-so-smart thinking produced two babies. The wretched part is I never experienced the “falling in love” with that little being like so many mothers talk about. It caused much grief in my heart, it just never was there. So, me being me I did the right thing and raised them as best I could. They turned out to be good human beings. But I never got past the tremendous guilt and wondering why I couldn’t respond to them with love they needed. I still don’t have a desire to see them much, or the grandkids and they can’t understand why. It was like God left something out of me- it just wasn’t there. I love animals tremendously, the earth, feel encompassing love for puppies and kittens and all sentient beings. I know what love is finally. I spent many years being so unhappy at the post-childbirth changes in my body. The whole birth process was long, painful and created a huge tear in my vagina that had to be surgically repaired. Why did I have the second one? Rape. I didn’t believe in abortion, didn’t want to kill a child. Somehow at 67 I found Mooji on youtube. The freedom I experience now due to his pointings has changed how I look at everything including the person I created. Peace and relief from the minds tyranny has enabled me to live. Little girls and boys need to be taught about the realities of being able to reproduce. Then they can make an informed choice. Their choices should be respected. The funny thing is, I do enjoy other peoples kids. I worked years
as a Equine mental health therapist to help children with their issues. Animals have a unique way of reaching into a childs heart and helping them to heal. I’m ever thankful for them.
I’m right there with you! I’m 38, never wanted kids and still don’t. Life is beautiful with or without children.