I don’t want kids.
I have known this since kindergarten, and my thoughts against having children have only since deepened. Both men and women gape at me when I say this. How could a woman not want to reproduce and care for children for 18 to 25 years of her life? Is she crazy? Did she not have a good childhood? Why?
Regardless of my answers to these questions, the reactions are always the same.
The first reaction is always, “Why? Do you hate children or something?” This response I can understand and even respect a little bit because the people who ask this question want to know you a little better and maybe understand your mindset (even if their mind is already made up that you are a baby-hater).
Even if you get past the point of explaining your first reason, it usually leads to the second reaction due to how uncomfortable the other person feels talking to a child-loather.
The second reaction is the more common and civil, “Oh, you’ll change your mind.” This light-hearted, I’m-older-and-wiser response drives me insane. Most of the time this comes from the aunts and uncles you see on holidays and maybe one or two other times during the year.
And so you try to respond, no, I won’t change my mind, but then that just segways into, “When I was your age, I thought the same thing … but now look at me. I have two beautiful daughters and a son and I am happy as can be.”
Congratulations. I’m happy for you that you are happy with the way your life turned out.
But I don’t want your life, and here’s why.
First of all, pregnant women scare me enough as is. (They are third on my list of scariest things, right behind ghosts and spiders.) I try to politely avoid them by saying hello, making quick small talk and moving on to someone else because they are like ticking time bombs.
You don’t know when the bat in the cave is going to come flailing out or trigger some sort of “up the duff” emotional crying session. Either way, I don’t want to be there when the water tower starts to leak.
Also, I have no interest in ever being pregnant. As a girl that is not a 00, I spend a lot of time each day exercising to make sure that my jean size doesn’t increase. Why on earth would I want to take all of my hard work and throw it away for a beer belly? (Yes, I know there is a fish in the beer bowl, but it looks the same.)
I’m not interested in tearing my body apart for the so-called “miracle of life,” which is really just a euphemism for “sex I will be paying for during the next 18 to 25 years of my life.”
Continuing on my selfish rant, I do not want children because I value my freedom too much. It is so nice to have the option to drop everything and just travel somewhere because I feel like it.
There is no worrying about who is making dinner, who is going to take care of the kids or if they will they miss me. I have the option of uplifting my life, and leaving. Even if I’m not leaving, I can go work a soup kitchen or hang out with my friends worry-free because I don’t have another life to take care of.
I also have freedom in my career. If my job wants me to move across the world every six months, I can go do that without the hassle of enrolling and re-enrolling children in school. I don’t have to take several months off for maternity leave and put my career on the back burner because my son has a football game.
Does anyone else think they look strange or is it just me? Sure they have all of the typical human characteristics of fingers, a face and legs, but they just don’t look human.
To me, babies are watermelon sized aliens that are only good at five things, and I use the word good very loosely because sometimes they even struggle with these things: eating, pooping, peeing, crying and the worst, staring. It’s just rude.
I really don’t understand how someone could find an organism that only does five things and can’t even hold its own head up adorable. It honestly baffles me.
My aunts and cousins, in a desperate attempt to convert me to make me understand, have chased me around the house and forced me to hold their kids. I end up holding the child facing out, an arms length away from me until someone feels bad for the thing and takes it away. Then, I get scolded for being forced to do something that a) was not necessary for me to do, and b) I didn’t want to do.
If there were a hell, mine would be daycare. Taking care of snotty-nosed, whining, messy kids all day just sounds awful. Doing that as a mother on a daily basis sounds worse.
From the ages of 0 to 5, there is not much a child can do. They are just learning to walk, talk and properly use the restroom, none of which I am interested in teaching them how to do.
I tried babysitting once. Though I had a particularly horrible bunch of children, I found ages 5 to 11 to be slightly more tolerable. Typically they can have conversations, play games and live within the important societal courtesies such as using the bathroom correctly, and eating properly (though the nose picking lesson seems to have gone over their heads.)
Even so, you still have to nag them to clean up the toys that are flung all over your home, or do homework. Or, now that they can run, they end up a mile down the road and you have to go chase them even though you told them to stay in the driveway. (That may or may not have actually happened.)
Doing the World a Favor
There are currently 7.125 billion people in this world. It has a surface area of 196.9 million square miles, and about 71 percent of that surface area is covered by water.
Do you really think the earth can continue to hold the exponential growth of human life? I, for one, do not. We have already forced several species into extinction, polluted the earth and used up more resources than you can imagine.
By not reproducing, I feel like I am doing my little part to save mother earth by not creating another human that will not produce an average of 4.3 pounds of waste per day.
The world is also a terrible place. No, I am not a total pessimist and I do know that there is good in the world, but for centuries, our planet has been plagued by sickness, famine and war. Just watch the news; is it really worth bringing a child into a world like that? That’s for you to decide.
Whether you are a baby lover or hater, the one thing I hope you got out of this article is some understanding. There is no need to shame women who do not want to have children.
Some men do not want children, and they don’t get scolded for it. It is an option, not a requirement for a woman to reproduce, and she should not have to feel bad for choosing a different lifestyle.
The next time you hear a woman say she doesn’t want kids, what would really make a difference to that woman is if you just asked why, and then said, “I may not agree with your outlook, but I respect your decision.”
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It