Not everybody wants to have kids. Shock horror! According to the Cassandra Report: Ages and Stages, around one third of millennials don't want kids. Unfortunately for those who don't want children, they may have to face pressure from their families, colleagues and friends, because of the social stigma surrounding not wanting kids.
So, perhaps, people aren't thought of as disgusting or weirdos if they don't want to have children anymore. But there's this underlying expectation that everyone will have kids some day. Those who say they won't get told that they will change their mind and have children eventually. Plus, there are still some that see people not wanting to have children as selfish.
The truth is that there are a variety of reasons why people don't want to have children and their reasons are valid. They just have different ideas about life than most people. In the following you will see that somebody asks why having children is the default; the default isn't getting to make a choice. Most of us won't have thought about the matter like that before.
Here's what else the people of Reddit had to say about why they don't want kids:
"None of the things people tout as an advantage or positive to having kids appeal to me. There's no emotional attraction to the idea at all. I don't see other people's kids and think "I want one of my own."
I haven't wanted kids since thinking about it as a pre-teen. The stereotype is "you'll change your mind", but there's never been the slightest indication of that in the decades since.
Not to mention that pretty much everything I want to do as an adult would be prevented or heavily bogged down by having kids.
This isn't to say I have any kind of animosity towards kids, particularly. I'm sure other people get a lot out of having kids, and that's fine. Kids themselves are fairly OK, as long as someone else is responsible for them long-term."
"I know how big a responsibility it is to be a parent, I have seen the sacrifices and compromises that goes along with having kids. That is simply not a responsibility I want, and it is not a sacrifice I am willing to make.And me feeling this way, would make me an unfit father. So that's why.
Don't get me wrong, I like children, I adore being an uncle to my two nieces and soon to be born nephew. Love hanging out with them, playing games and being an uncle. But having kids around full time? Noooope."
This guy shows that just because you don't want kids doesn't mean you don't like kids. People can still have fulfilling relationships with the other children in their lives, such as their nephews or nieces, without actually having their own children.
"Because they're loud, expensive, destructive, and smelly. And everyone I know who had kids seems to just hate life. They grasp at every opportunity to be away from their kids, even if they always end up bailing at the last minute because of some kid shit. They just don't seem to have any life left in them. It's been entirely replaced by that hollow look in their eyes of depression, fatigue, and stress. No thanks to any of that. Plus with all that shit that's gonna happen in the next 30 or so years, bringing a child into that seems cruel."
This person sees parents as zombies, simply going through the motions of what they need to do to survive; as opposed to actually enjoying family life. They're also not happy with the world at large and don't want to expose a child to its sorrows.
"My wife is a teacher.
My wife is busy raising other peoples' kids and that serves as a constant reminder to her why she doesn't want a kid.
People say it's selfish not to have children then turn around and say things like, "Who will take care of you when you're old." Sounds selfish to me. Ultimately, I think it's more selfish to have kids out of some social pressure. It's selfish to have a kid you don't absolutely want and adore, or that you are financially incapable of caring for, or that you are not mature enough or educated enough to raise well.
I just wish people would finally give up the pressure. It's not even family... it's colleagues. For some reason they are so invested in us having kids and so convinced that we'll still change our mind. Married for 10 year and virtually every day we're more and more certain of our decision."
"Because I'm perfectly cool with my life as it is. I've got my awesome husband, I'm in reasonable shape (working to improve it, actually), I'm building my future career, holding two jobs and making loads of money, that I spend liberally on fabulous vacations, trips, gourmet dinners, fashion.
Just the other day, I told my husband that I thought our life was perfect and felt like we didn't need or want to change anything. He agreed. So, I'm no hurry to f*ck everything up with a snivelling shit and vomit machine."
Okay, so the phrasing is a bit mean but it's just how this person feels. They believe that children will interrupt the life they have and their happy and affluent lifestyle will no longer be possible. They're in total agreement with their husband, so it seems.
"I had severe mental health issues as a teenager and some residual ways of thinking now. Even though I am currently a stable and happy person I could pass this on or relapse and make my child's life miserable. Also have a genetic neurological disease and a 50% chance that my child inherits it. Add to that a chronic pain disorder. No way I am burdening a child with this shit!"
For many people, their reason for not wanting to have children is that they don't want to pass on their mental or physical health problems. If there is a 50% chance that their child will inherit a neurological disease then it's rather a big risk for this person. In terms of mental health, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, if one member of a family has a mental illness then it's more likely another will. Though the severity of symptoms can differ and mental disorders don't follow a typical pattern of inheritance. In other words, it's not a given that all your children will have the same mental illness as you.
"Eh I'm a girl and I don't think I've ever felt a maternal spark or whatever ever. I feel that way about my friends or boyfriend or pets even, where I love to take care of them or what have you but:
1) no thank you to cleaning up shit 2) too expensive 3) i have no desire to have my taint sliced open 4) i love my privacy, personal space, free time, and freedom 5) too many people in the world and i feel that if i ever change my mind, which i don't foresee, i'd rather adopt or foster kids than have my own 6) my family is crazy as bat shits
I'm looking forward to the day when I can get some pugs or a greyhound."
This girl has simply never felt the same kind of maternal instinct that others do.
"I don't see why the default position should be having kids. My wife and I have been married for 13 years and really like our life and everything about it. Both of us work, so we have plenty of money and enough time to travel (going to Rome this year!). Neither of us feels a real urge to have kids. Shouldn't we need a specific reason why we'd WANT to have kids before we make a huge jump of faith like that?"
This person doesn't understand why there's some sort of rule that everyone should have kids. According to society, the path for everyone is to have children, as opposed to people making a choice for themselves whether to have children or not. And similar to others they like their lifestyle as it is without kids.
"Kids turn a romantic relationship into more of a work based relationship with no time for fraternizing unless you have a lucky day. I have found that most long running relationships/marriages break down once kids get involved.
That, and I have my own life to live. I have no interest in carrying a child and being sick for 9 months so I can toss my life away cooking and cleaning after some helpless brat. Say what you will, but unless you are a really neglectful parent, you can't both raise a child and have a fully active life (work, travel, going out whenever you want, etc) Having a kid might be "magical" for some, but it's also a self sacrifice. I would be much happier adopting in my 50's when i'v done all there is to do rather than raise a baby in my early 20's and be another young/poor mother statistic."
"I'm too neurotic. I can do what I want now because no one really depends on me, but holy shit, if I had a kid I'd lose my mind. I'd be the guy wearing safety glasses and gloves anytime I needed to use a screwdriver. I don't think I'd have a problem letting the kids do what they wanted, but as a provider I would feel obligated to take insane care of myself, which would probably get me killed."
Some people who don't want children feel that they would be too anxious about the safety of their children i.e. they would always be watching them so they don't hurt themselves etc. This man feels the pressure in a slightly different way. He feels he needs to be there for his kids so he would have to look out for himself a lot more.
"Behind every well thought out reason I could give for why I don't want to have children, there's just a big "I don't wanna." It's a deeper biological influence within all of us that's impervious to logic or reason.
Due to individual variation within the species, some people are predisposed to want to have kids, some aren't, some fall somewhere in the middle. Socialization and other life experiences influence this predisposition, but I don't believe a person can voluntarily 'will' themselves to want/not want kids, even if they can choose whether to act on that desire.
The majority of "reasons" you're going to get from people will be pretty superficial to what's actually making them feel the way they do, if they're even aware of it."
According to The Daily Beast, there haven't been many scientific tests to study women's desire to have children. Some scientists think a lack of drive is due to genetic variety. It's a complex but fascinating topic that's worth looking into if you're interested!
"I was always pretty sure I didn't want kids. Then I gained a whole army of nieces and nephews over the span of two years, and became really sure.
They're cute and all, and I love being the fun aunt, but god damn are they exhausting. It's not that I don't like kids, I love my nieces and nephews more than life itself and I'm excited to watch them grow up. I just also really love the fact that I can hand them back at the end of the day and go home to my nice, clean, uncluttered apartment and sleep in past 6:30 am."
This person has seen the children in their family and how much hard work they are. They appreciate the fact that they can have peace and quiet and a good sleep without children.
"If I were to have a child, I would love them and want them to have an excellent quality of life. I decided early that there are criteria I would have to meet in order to be able to do that. Among them were that I would have to have a spouse who also wants children, and I would have to be no older than 35 by the birth of the child, because I don't want to be an old man raising a child and I don't think I could do as good a job as a child deserves when I'm older.
I'm now in my 40s, and single. It's no longer possible to meet the criteria. I therefore will not have children. And, incidentally, given how my health and general energy level have gone in the last few years, I'm increasingly certain that I was right about the age thing. (Which is not intended as a comment on other parents who have kids at or older than my age, but I think I was right about the age thing in regard to me.)"
"35/F here. It wasn't a decision so much as I just never wanted them, even as a little kid myself. Before I knew how babies were made or that there was a choice whether or not to have any, I didn't want any. I have zero regrets about not having kids. It was absolutely the right life path for me. I don't have nieces/nephews either and doubt I ever will, which is fine as well.
If I had to try and pinpoint any factor in my life that could have lead me to the strong inclination to NOT be a parent, it was my family experience in childhood. I had/have a very distant family that never seemed happy about having kids around, was generally un-supportive and undermining. My other in particular was quite emotionally abusive. None of the adults in my early life seemed to like family-life, so I didn't see why I would like it either."
"I am a woman and genuinely do not want children. It's frustrating that because we are women, our decision doesn't seem to be taken as seriously. People's response is usually "oh you will later, you just don't know it yet". I find it somewhat offensive that people believe all of us are incapable of genuine introspection and future decision making.
I personally think I must be lacking the "must procreate" gene. Because of this, I've also found that finding a partner and marrying, are relatively useless goals as well and feel no urge to follow this path. I am someone who is genuinely happy when I am alone. I do not rule out taking a partner if he makes me happy, but I have no desperate urge to do so, as so many other people seem to."