This article can also be found at Degree180.
The following six points are addressed to anyone who’s ever said to me, “you’ll change your mind some day!” about having kids (looking at you, Grandma).
1. I Don’t Like Children
Okay, the title of this first point isn’t completely accurate; I do like children who are well-behaved. It’s the ones that run around screaming like maniacs while throwing food on the floor in the restaurant I work at who ruin it for the rest of the well-behaving children out there. The problem is, there is almost no way to determine what kind of personality your kid will have before they grow up. Sure, your parenting style can be a big factor there, but some kids are just little demons and that’s that.
2. I Don’t Want To Be Pregnant
Being pregnant means you have something living inside of your body for nine months, you get morning sickness, your feet swell up and then if that’s not enough, you’re in luck because…you get to experience labor! Doesn’t that just sound peachy? Jokes aside, if right now you’re thinking, but you could just adopt and that problem would be fixed! Please revisit point number one.
3. I Am Selfish
There, I admitted it. I want to have money to buy some nice stuff for myself or be able to travel without going broke and/or having children in tow. Did you know that the average cost of raising a child born in 2013 until age 18 in a middle-class family is over $200,000? I could buy a DeLorean with that much money! A DeLorean, you guys! I’m also selfish in the sense that I just don’t want my life to revolve around someone else. I’d like to be able to do what I want without having to worry about getting my kid to bed on time.
4. I Want To Focus On My Career
I’m not arguing that it’s impossible to have a career and simultaneously be a parent. It certainly is possible as I’ve worked with some very respectable people with demanding jobs who have also balanced their personal lives and families. But that’s my objection right there: I don’t want to be forced to choose between kids and leisure time when I come home from a long day at work (spoiler alert: being a parent means you generally don’t really shouldn’t prioritize leisure time over your kids). When it comes down to it, this really just goes back to point number three.
5. I Don’t Want My Sole Identity To Be “Mom”
You guys know who I’m talking about: the friend who has a kid and then suddenly the kid is all they talk about. They post Facebook photos on a daily basis of the kid doing something cute but incredibly average, like eating apple sauce with a spoon. I already know what you’re thinking: You can totally still be the same person and have fun after you have kids! Ehh….While I’m sure that you can still make time for hanging out with friends sometimes or occasionally going out to the bars, I don’t know too many responsible (key word here: responsible) parents who continue to go out partying after having kids. Which is completely understandable, but not really my cup of tea. Having a kid means you’ve got to prioritize your kid before anyone or anything else, which is probably why the “mom/dad identity” consumes so many new parents in the world of social media.
6. Having Children Can Be Narcissistic
If you think about it, kids aren’t given many choices in their lives. They don’t get a say in what their name is, which school they attend or which foods they eat. Hell, babies don’t even get a say in whether they’re born! How your kid turns out will be in part a consequence of your influences. For many, rearing children is a mirror opportunity to produce miniature versions of themselves. That’s just – odd.
Is it possible I’ll change my mind someday about wanting kids? Sure. In the interim, I’d rather focus on myself and on having the most fulfilling and productive life I possibly can, sans babies.