Being a parent is a beautiful, rewarding, messy, complicated, magical thing. It's also absolutely not for everyone. We understand not everyone gets a choice in the matter, but quite a few people do - and the ones who do oftentimes just say no.
Some of the responses were things we expected, but others really caught us off guard and made us think. Some seemed almost sad, while others seem like they'd throw themselves a No Kids parade daily if they could... which they can, because they don't have kids who would have a problem with that sort of thing!
I knew since I was very young that I never wanted kids. I didn't want to play with baby dolls as toys, I never played with my younger cousins either, I just never liked babies or kids. When I see animals, I have the ability to genuinely say "awwwww" and feel a desire to love them. With children, it's the opposite because I make a conscious effort not to acknowledge them either by eye contact or smiling. I don't want to be bothered with them.
It's not that I hate them, I just don't find them very interesting at all.
Unless I'm A Millionaire
I'm in my mid 20's and I'm just wrapping up on my student loans this year. Then I'm determined to move to a new city and get established with a lucrative job while having a small business. I'm hoping to start traveling a lot. Can't travel when I have kids, and I'm really focused on my career. I don't even know if I would want to buy a house.
**Unless I'm a millionaire, kids would definitely impede on my goals. **
There are a lot of things I want to do that would leave me with no time to raise them. There might be a time when I'm at the stage where I'm more than financially stable and I'm emotionally ready enough to have children and take care of them. However, in the foreseeable future, my emotional/financial state, I'm definitely NOT up for the responsibility.
When I was in high school we had a teacher that encouraged us to do an exercise of mapping out expected milestones in our lives based on how we saw it. Eg, in 4 years we graduate from high school, 4 years after that we graduate from college, what age we expect to be married, what age we expect to have kids etc. When we got to the part about kids "leaving the nest" I was excited that that was when I would have my life back while the rest of the class was like "omg empty nest so sad".
The teacher looked at me and said:
"You know, if you're already excited about your kids leaving and you haven't even had them yet you might not want to have any."
It was like a switch just went off in my mind and I realized I had never wanted any in the first place and I could actually choose not to have them.
Traveling And Being Selfish Is Awesome
I've always said I never wanted kids, since middle school. People would always tell me:
**"Oh, you'll change your mind some day. You're going to find a nice man, get married and have kids." **
I also said I'd never get married. Never liked anyone enough. Until now (that beautiful bastard). He also doesn't want kids. So we're going to travel and be selfish and save our money and it's going to be awesome
They're Not A Retirement Plan
In my country, people don't move out when they become adults. Instead, they stay home to take care of their parents, who took care of them when they were young. I've seen some unsuccessful people decide to have kids as a retirement plan. They raise children while hoping that one day their sons or daughters will become something like a professor or politician. That way they have the money to improve their parents and sibling's lives.
It's like some babies are only born to be the one who will fulfill their parents dream. There's no attempt to hide it. These kids know from childhood that they must make money and that taking care of the family falls on them.
That huge responsibility messes with them. It causes low morale and often times neglecting themselves physically so focus solely on work and study for the sake of money. That makes me and my partner never want to have children. We do not like what is expected of them by our culture and in our country.
"I Don't Understand Them, And I Dislike Them."Giphy
I used to dance around how much I dislike kids, because it gets people defensive, but now I just say it.
I don't understand them, and I dislike them. Now, that isn't to say I'm going to be rude or anything. I try to be nice, and polite, because as a society teaching kids to be nice is part of everybody's responsibility (IMO).
But like... I just don't like them. And apparently that makes me bad?
I once said that kids confuse and frustrate me, and that I didn't want any, and somebody said, "Oh thank God, I was just going to tell you you'd make a horrible mother. You always talk about being worried you'll hurt them. But you're too angry to be a mom."
Yeah! The f*ckers run around at foot- to knee-height! I sometimes accidentally nudge my cat if she darts in front of me when I'm walking. Like hell I'm not going to be safe around zooming tiny humans who'll cry at a slight provocation (like I used to)!
I don't want kids because one, I don't want them.
Two, they're loud and they cry and I don't know how to calm them down.
Three, I don't want them.
Four, I do get angry quickly. I don't handle stress well.
I refuse to put I child I'm "supposed" to have at risk of being emotionally damaged because of my faults.
Love Cats, Not Kids
My mom has made pregnancy absolutely revolting for me. Chafing and stretching, tearing and nonconsensual sewing and tucking... a doctor gave her a tummy tuck while sewing up the C-section to keep her "pretty for hubby," because general consent was considered implied during surgery in the Air Force in the 80's and this happened on a USAF base in Korea.
The plan me and the man have is to start investing in units to rent out and using the income there to work on fostering kittens and cats for homes so they don't get killed.
We love cats. We don't love kids.
When Parents Are Strangers
It just slowly happened. However I can pinpoint the final nail in the coffin.
My brother is a sociopath. When he finally went to prison, my parents suddenly went from thinking they had 6 more years of a kid in their house to being empty-nesters. After around 30 years of marriage, they realized they were complete strangers. They didn't know if they had anything in common anymore.
I didn't want kids at that point, but the idea of being with the person I want to spend my life with and someday realizing the only thing we have in common is our kids was a terrifying idea.
I'm in my 30's now. I got sterilized a few years ago and have never had any regrets!
(For anyone interested, they're celebrating their 40th anniversary this year and are still deliriously in love!)
Barely Talked About Anything But The KidGiphy
My now-wife and I had discussed kids and were strongly leaning towards no for a variety of reasons, but weren't 100% on board with the idea yet.
We then visited my brother as part of a vacation, spending a weekend with my brother, his wife, and their 3 year old son. I had been looking forward to this as they live several states away and I hadn't been able to spend time with my brother for ages. I was hoping to hang out with him, have conversations, crack jokes, maybe even try some local beers. Instead the entire weekend was spent with my nephew. I barely got to talk to my brother about anything that wasn't nephew-related, the kid needed constant care and attention from everyone (myself and my fiancee included), etc,. As young children do.
So we went home having not gotten to spend any of the time I wanted with my brother. It was a stark lesson in just how much children change your life. We both were completely convinced that we did not want kids at all after that trip.
Wrong To Me
I have a genetic disorder that is a dominant gene, so any child I would have has a 50/50 chance to also have the disorder. There is also no genetic test for my sub-type of syndrome. So super not into the idea of risking it. And yes, I do judge people who have children with my syndrome because we know these odds and we know there is no test.
We all know how painful this is and to subject another life to this just because you want a mini-me is just plain wrong to me.
Half of my friends are just useless people that leech off their parents hard earned money. I realized the chances of me ending up with a kid like that is just too high, and its not worth the time/effort/money to feel obligated to love someone because they are related to you.
Just the realization that it isn't something you can just let go of. It's not a job you can quit, a relationship you can end, etc. It's forever. That's something I never lose sight of. Especially when it does seem like a cool idea during that cute phase where the kids are between ages 2 and 10. But after that, you're just dealing with and responsible for this random person who never had to exist in the first place.
I was 12 or 13, riding in the car with my siblings and parents. My mom was being a horrible, as per usual, and she turned around and snapped:
**"I can't WAIT until YOU have kids, so you can see how awful it is!" **
I realized that if I had kids, there was the potential to also be a terrible mother, given that I bore certain unfortunate behavioral similarities to her. Like, that could be me one day sitting in the front seat yelling that to my own kids. And that was when I noped out - I didn't want to be her.
Thanks to that awareness, I've spent most of my life in therapy and counselling fighting the personality disorders I've inherited. I've come a long way and burned a lot of bridges, and it will definitely be a life-long process for me, but it's been worth it to get a semblance of control over the issues.
I'm planning on breaking up with my boyfriend tonight for this very reason. There's a fairly significant age difference between us and he wants kids. I realized I can't think of a single beneficial thing a child will do for me, he says he can wait till I'm older and ready but then I just feel like it's an inevitability and he's still not listening. I do not want them. Not I want them later. I. Do. Not. Want. Them.
I don't want to ruin my body. I don't want to ruin my bank account, I live in one of the most expensive cities in the world, how on earth would we pay for a kid? I want to focus on my career. I want to earn money and travel the world one day. Not spend the rest of my life raising a parasite.
There was no one moment, we just never wanted any. I'm almost 40 now, and have noticed that the tone has shifted from smug people thinking that I'll change my mind, to pity from people who didn't realize that it was intentional.
Now, I just get a kick out of making people uncomfortable when I say that my husband and I "were never blessed with children."
People get squirmy, some tell me about their cousin's neighbor's sister that had a 'miracle baby' at age 42, and a slew of other fun ways to play with the social lines of acceptable discussion points.
It's awesome. Childless by choice, we retired really early (40ish) and have been to all 50 states, all 7 continents, 70+ countries and 282 of 417 National Parks. On our own time whenever we want to go.
I'm hypersensitive to sound. Loud and high pitched sounds hurt me. The sound of children crying is physically painful to me, to the point that if I don't have earplugs on me and a kid starts crying, I need to leave the room immediately.
You can't be a parent if you can't handle crying kids.
The Return On Investment just doesn't seem to be there. We prefer a bank account balance that doesn't give us anxiety. Children are expensive and would prohibit me from doing a lot of things. Visiting long time friends and family who now have kids is a total crap-shoot. You go over there to talk and spend a little time with these people you never get to see, and they spend the entire time wrangling their offspring.
Shit, I went over my brothers house one day to help him fix some electrical and got yelled at by his wife to be more quiet because the kid was napping. I mean, howdahf*ck am I supposed to work on your house and not make noise?!
But I digress, I love the kids themselves, especially my Niece and God Daughter. I like to spoil them, spend time with them, and then send them home with their parents. When I explain to people that I don't want kids I typically get asked:
_"Aren't you worried what you'll do when you're older and need someone to take care of you?" _
If the only reason you had kids is to secure your twilight years, that's some selfish bull. What if your kid decides that looking after the old man when he's shitting himself doesn't sound like such a great idea...or what if they are physically or financially unable to do so? We just think that you should have kids because it's something you really want to dedicate your life to and something that your financial situation allows you to do properly. That's not us.
Sleep, Privacy, Alone Time
I don't mind kids, I like to give them back.
They are so time consuming and I'm too selfish to have kids. I like sleep, privacy, alone time. I used to baby sit my friends kid overnight and during the day until the dad came home and then I'd have to stay to put the kid to bed. Doing that for a couple weeks just solidified to me that I'm not cut out for it. My partner understands but as it stands I'm not having kids and I feel like that won't change.