This was originally published on Liberal America on May 8, 2016.
Since today is Mother’s Day, I would like to share with you some reasons why many of us Millennials do NOT want children. This is becoming a trend among my generation. According to data from the Urban Institute, birth rates for 20-something women have declined fifteen percent from 2007 to 2012.
For whatever reasons, we face all kinds of name-calling and stigma. I wrote about one woman blogger I came across who said child-free women are causing the“deterioration” of society. Mic presented their reasons women choose not to have kids, here are some of those:
1. Kids Are F**king Expensive!
It starts with the medical bills from giving birth, and it never ends. First, there are diapers and toys and clothes and food. There are the various expenses around schooling (lunches, field trips, and others). There is the time that parents take off work to deal with their little brats. Us child-free workers are supposed to be able to work all the time. The Mic author says that many Millennials called out the expense of their own student loans as a reason not to have little ones. The cost of college just keeps going up. Some of us can barely afford our own living expenses, we don’t need little ones to pay for as well. I definitely would not want to bring a child into the mix.
2. Passing Down Mental Health Issues
This is a big one. There are over 40 million people in the United States dealing with various mental health issues. These diseases usually strike in the late teens up to early twenties. However, they can potentially strike at any age, and they are serious sh*t. Getting stabilized and diagnosed can be a long, difficult process. This is one of the main reasons I decided not to have children. I would not want to put a child through the hell that is the life-long struggle with mental illness. The Mic author says having these issues makes many people wary of having children.
3. Population Control
We have over 7 billion people on the planet. We do not need to be bringing inmore people. While the population may not kill the planet, our overconsumption of natural resources will. As one woman put it in the Mic article:
“There are too many unwanted kids on the planet as is, so I don’t want to bring more into the world. I’m adopting if I ever decide I want kids. People don’t understand how bad having a large population is.”
Many people say us child-free folks are selfish, but many of us have thought about the effect on the environment. Additionally, I would not want to bring another unwanted child into the world.
4. Fertility Issues
This usually affects older women, but women of all ages can face issues that make them unable to conceive a child. Eleven percent of women under twenty-nine have reported fertility issues. I’ve never had this problem because I never wanted to conceive a child. I’ll let this lady quoted in the Mic article give her perspective:
“I can’t have kids naturally. It’s not a sad thing though. A lot of other women get upset when I tell them that, but I just say I really have no right to complain about one gift I didn’t receive when I have been given so many to begin with.”
5. Birthing Babies Screws Up Your Body
Yes, we all know this. Going through pregnancy and giving birth does a number on your body. It can cause a multitude of problems. Also, the fluids and the dilating of lady parts are totally gross. Yes, everybody says, “it’s the miracle of life.” Well, I don’t care! It’s uber gross! The idea of giving birth is absolutely frightening to me. I may not have a great body, but I’m keeping it the way it is. Also, the majorly excruciating pain is a major deal breaker. One person quoted by Mic said it “squicked” her out. That’s a good description of that feeling.
6. Having Kids Adds Pressure To Make Good Choices
If you have children, it forces you to be even MORE responsible for your choices. It puts major pressure on every move you make. You have another life to consider when making plans for your life. I would totally screw up a kid. I’m totally mean and selfish. I don’t want to share my life with a little one unless they have paws and fur. As some ladies quoted by Mic put it:
“It overwhelms me to think that there would be a tiny little person growing inside of me, depending on me to make healthy choices.”
“I might fuck them up with horrible parenting.”
7. Not All Women Have Maternal Instincts
People seem to think that every adult woman automatically wants children. Many perceive it as a right of passage, and they treat you like a child if you don’t want to have them. I guess some parents may miss the freedom to do whatever they want, but don’t put your regret on us. Not every woman feels like her “biological clock” is ticking. I personally really don’t like kids. I’m that person in a restaurant that sighs and rolls their eyes when a kid is being noisy. Mic mentioned comedian Margaret Cho who had my favorite answer for this, she said she “ovulates sand”when she talked about her lack of desire for procreation. Foregoing having kids is a perfectly valid life choice, people!
8. The World Isn’t A Nice Place
Our world is full of jerks! Everywhere we turn, there are mean people. Many bad things are happening. Some of us just don’t want to force a child to live right now. We have an orange, gerbil-wearing, reality TV host running for president! There are terrorist attacks and climate change and many other bad things going on. As one person quoted by Mic aptly put it:
“Honestly our society is kind of f*cked up; I don’t need to send someone out into that.”
9. Some Women Want Careers Instead
Mic mentioned the belief held my many women saying “you can have it all;” many believe you can have both a job and a family and balance it perfectly. There are some heroic women that can balance work and children. But, I refuse to do that. I would prefer to have a successful career. Luckily, women have the right to do one or the other or both. We can have mega careers, too. I would rather make a difference in the world with my work then be just a mom. There is new research that suggests that women can’t really “have it all.” Mic mentioned that around forty percent of women polled in a New York Times survey said that work gets in the way of family time often. I do realize being a parent means putting the kid first, and I just can’t do that. Frankly, I don’t want to do that. Women have the freedom now to be anything we want to be. For some of us, the title of mom just doesn’t fit into that equation.
10. Children Don’t Fit Into Every Lifestyle
There are some of us that like our lives just the way they are. Kid’s tend to disrupt your life. I personally love working from home. Having to take care of a kid AND getting work done would drive me insane! I have absolutely ZERO desire to play with a kid all day. I would also love to travel when I have the money. Some people love to travel often, and that is much easier to do when you aren’t burdened with kids. This quote that Mic used sums up my feelings perfectly (also f*ckton is my favorite unit of measurement):
“I don’t want kids because they’re a f*ckton of work.”
11. Finally…We Shouldn’t Need To Explain Our Personal Life Choices
Mic summed up the entire argument perfectly with this last point. Yes, you may think we are missing out on the “joys” of having a family. You may call us selfish! I will agree on that point. I’m totally selfish! That’s one of the many reasons I got myself fixed. “I don’t want to,” should be enough reason. We really shouldn’t have to explain ourselves. You moms would probably be offended if we started grilling you about why you had kids. So, don’t do it to us! Not having children doesn’t make me less of a woman. My body, my choice!