Introverts unite!

5 Reasons Why I Don't Want Kids

By 7:05 PM , , , , ,

Even as a child, I've told my mother over and over again that I don't want to have kids. Back then, the reason was that I just didn't want kids. Period. My mom would always either say,"You'll change your mind when you get older" or "What if your husband wants kids?" to which I'd always remember responding with,"Then I'll marry someone who doesn't want kids either".

My ex-boyfriend wanted kids though, and there wasn't even a question of whether or not I wanted kids as well. In the severely patriarchal Philippine society, women were expected to just get pregnant. Being young, I didn't verbalize my needs. I was swept away with the whole spiel and felt like I had no choice. While I toyed with the idea, I wasn't excited. There was just no ache to have a kid. Don't get me wrong, I love children. I think they're usually adorable. I'd be happy to babysit for my future nieces and nephews. However, I'm always glad that I can return them to their parents at the end of the day.

Fast forward nine years later and my stance on a child-free life has never been stronger. Here are five reasons why I'm not having kids (you know, aside from my "I don't know. I just don't want kids" argument when I was seven):

  1. I love children. In fact, I love children so much that the possibility of my not being a good parent based on my lack of ache for parenthood is more than enough reason for me not to have one. I've seen children suffer because people who didn't want to have children or aren't, in the least bit, capable of becoming good parents, had children. Personally, I would rather regret not having children than have children and regret having them. There's just less casualties that way. Besides, if you *really* love children, adopt. There is a lot of children around the world who are in dire need of a loving home.
  2. My genes aren't anything special. Some of the responses I get when I tell people I don't want kids are "But your kids are going to be so cute!" or "Who will carry on your legacy/genes?". As I mulled over those statements in my mind, I merely came up with more questions. Like, why do I need to depend on someone to carry on my legacy? Can't I contribute something on earth that would help my memory live on outside of giving birth to another human being? Why is it necessary for my gene to live on anyway? Are my genes that essential for life on earth? I had an important epiphany borne out of introspecting questions: My genes aren't really all that special so why should I smother the earth with it?
  3. I also love the environment. The world is overpopulated, and you know who are suffering aside from the children who don't have a loving home, who are living under the mercy of the system? Our finite planet. Higher population means increased need for resources - resources that Earth can't provide forever. Overpopulation is destroying the planet as we speak. I don't know about you but I kind of like living on Earth, you know, owing to the fact that as of this moment, humans are unable to live anywhere else.
  4. Child-free living is the pragmatic choice. Children are expensive. From prenatal preparation up to college education, the expenses just never stop. Given the current economic climate, kids aren't something I want to financially prioritize. And if I'm being honest, I don't think raising another human being is just a priority for me in all aspects altogether.
  5. I love my autonomy. I've always been a very independent person, and go to great lengths to protect my space. I like doing things how I want them, when I want them. If I want to stay out later than usual or travel or go to a concert of someone I've been wanting to see live or even just be alone for more than an hour, I'd want to be able to do so easily. Having children just statistically limits all of that and more. The mere thought of it makes me sad.
I feel grateful to grow up in an era where child-free living is more accepted, where I no longer feel like I have no choice but to conform to what society wants to do with my body and my life. It's a liberating feeling to know that this is the choice I'm making for myself, not for anyone else.

I know humans have the capacity to change, and I'm not necessarily closing the doors on children (but I'm adopting for sure). If I change my mind in the future, that's my prerogative. No one else's.

How about you? What is your stance on children?

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  1. The decision to have/not have children is an extremely personal one and should be treated as such. Your reasons for not having children are well thought out and should be respected as such, especially the point about adopting if you change your mind and want to be a parent. Awesome!

    As for myself, I would love to have children. But, if for whatever reason I can't, it wouldn't be the end of the World. Adoption is always a possibility, but it is far more important to follow your passion in life and do what makes you most happy. Life's too short not find your personal happiness. I'd rather die without any regrets.

  2. Ray - Thank you for the support and for taking the time to comment! I think some people have an aching for children while others don't. It's always a personal decision, and should never be something you're pressured to do. Not having children has always been something that's in the back of my mind because I've always felt like my autonomy is too difficult to give up in exchange for parenthood.

  3. No problem. What intrigued me the most about your post was how young you were when you made this decision. I always thought women generally waited until their 20s before they made this all important decision to have/not have children by choice. Maybe the thought crosses their mind as teenagers, but they don't make a firm decision until adulthood once they get some life experiences out of the way first.

  4. I didn't necessarily make my decision when I was younger so much as just blatantly publicize my lack of desire for having kids. I mean, I was seven, and I wasn't really taken seriously.

    Growing up, my desire for a childfree life merely became stronger. I just don't see kids in my life.