From a young age we are taught that getting married and having kids is the cycle of life. People end up forming these superficial fantasies of how exciting it would be to see a little one run around in the house. But sometimes I wonder if some couples decide to have children because they just are bored with their day to day routine and need a new change. Having a child, supposedly, would give them variety in their daily schedule and something fun to look forward to after work. What they do not see is how much physical, emotional, psychological, and financial stress goes into the process of pregnancy, birth, and raising a child. It seems like after the baby is born, couples are constantly bickering over petty things and keep a score card of who does more for the child or whose turn it is to wake up in the middle of the night.
A lot of people reading this may be offended by my opinion especially since I don’t have any biological children of my own. But I do have many nieces and nephews and have been around babies since I was seven years old. Although I don’t understand the stresses of being a parent directly, I’ve extensively observed the stressful lifestyle of parenthood as an outsider (it does NOT look fun!).
As I grow older, I actually have a lot more respect and admiration for parents, especially stay-at-home parents. When a spouse works outside of home, that is their ‘ME’ time away from taking care of the kids. But for stay-at-home parents, they don’t get PTO, lunch breaks, sick leaves, a salary, or any ‘ME’ time.
I decided not to have children at the age of 25. What bothers me is when people keep saying that I will change my mind as I grow older. Today, I am 38 years old, and I still have not changed my mind. Why is it so shocking that a woman chooses not to be a mother? Telling me I am going to change my mind at a later age is very dismissive, because it insinuates that I don’t even know what I want and don’t want in my life.
Here are some reasons why I do not want children:
- I don’t have the biological urge or maternal instincts.
- Motherhood doesn’t fit into my lifestyle of being a free spirit.
- I have so many places on my bucket list to visit. Today, if I want to spontaneously pack my bags and see the other side of the world, I have the freedom to do that.
- Kids are expensive! According to The Department of Agriculture, it costs almost $14,000 annually per child from birth to age 17.
- I won’t get any sleep.
- I don’t want to make sacrifices and adjustments in my career.
- I don’t want to physically go through the pain of childbirth.
I understand that there are many advantages of having kids. For example, producing a human would be a way of contributing to the world, or that I would probably have someone to take care of me at old age. But even if I have a child, there is no guarantee that he or she will take care of me. I mean, sure, parents raise their kids to have strong family values, but there are no guarantees how that child will grow up to be. There are so many people I personally know who have neglected their parents at old age and/or prioritized other parts of their lives.
A lot of my readers will probably call me selfish and self-absorbed. But after spending most of my life making others happy, I now want to live my life selfishly and am not apologetic about it either. While some people say I look like a natural when holding a baby, others don’t fully trust me to hold theirs just because I’m not a mother. Not being a mother doesn’t make me unfit to take care of a child. Either way, it is annoying when I constantly get criticized for choosing a childfree lifestyle. Obviously, it’s my body, my decision, and my life so why do I have to apologize for it?
I’m sure having a child must be a very exciting feeling and journey. A child brings so much laughter, happy tears, and excitement. The thing is, I actually love babies and children; it’s the teenagers I can’t stand! So yes, I absolutely love playing with babies and taking care of them. But once they start crying or get cranky, I give them back to mommy and daddy!
Thanks for reading!