Family life in the Western parts of the world is changing: cohabitation is rising and childbearing is plummeting. More and more people are now opting for voluntary childlessness, a conscious decision to not have children despite the pervasive societal expectations, which are especially hard on women.
But despite the outdated views of a fulfilled family that sees kids as a crucial part of its equation, a life without children is the new normal. So when a redditor who goes by Foxscream posted the question “People who don’t ever want to have kids, why?” people had a lot to say about this topic.
The thread offers a fresh and much-needed perspective on what makes people not want to have children, and it’s a very important read for anyone who’s still skeptical about being childfree by choice.
I’m lazy. I like my free time. I like money (well, the little I have!). I like sleep. I’ve also just never had the instinct in me to want kids. I feel complete without them.
Plus it’s scary enough worrying about my own future, let alone the future of miniature humans I am responsible for bringing into the world. Rather give it a miss.
In psych class we learned about a study where they separated monkeys from their mothers at birth. The monkeys grew to be anxious and twitchy. When those monkeys had their own kids, the mothers didn’t know how to care for them. I was raised horribly so I don’t know how to raise someone well. My parents had children even though their parents abused them. My grandparents’ parents probably also abused them. I’m just cutting off the cycle.
I have two boys, and I love them, but boy do I wish I hadn’t had them. Whether it be political, climatic, or economical, their future doesn’t look too bright, and my whole life is now dedicated to making sure I can be around and financially available to help them in a cutthroat world.
I just have no desire. I don’t hate kids, I love my Nieces and Nephews and have a great time being an influential part of their life. However, that means that I also see how difficult and stressful it is to raise kids. I understand that people really love it and it’s worth it to them, but that’s just not me.
Freedom. My husband and I would probably be pretty good parents and we’re in a good spot financially, but we feel complete with each other. We have fun together and want to spend the rest of our lives without the responsibility and stress of kids.
For me its the myriad of mental disorders i have, i dont want to pass that on to another human being, much less my own child
Have you seen the world out there? I mean several generations have already looked at serious looming problems and said, “but the children are our future! They’ll fix it!”
Within my lifetime I’ve seen climate change go from “global warming” and very mild changes to once-in-a-century environmental events happening every year.
The boomers kept saying that one day the younger generations will be in charge and they’d deal with it then, but even now the boomers are a massive proportion of the voting population with it only being 3 years since Millenials have outnumbered them.
It’s time to stop making more people until we can fix the problems we’re causing.
I dont even know if I will have a future myself. It feels selfish to bring a child into this world at this current state.
Lack of desire to become a parent or have kids.
You know how some people want kids so bad, they suffer mentally and emotionally from not having them or knowing they can’t have them? How people say they feel hormonal, wanting kids real bad, they can’t control it? Their ovaries are exploding? Baby fever? Or any other colloquialism about wanting to have a baby real soon?
Never had that. People kept telling me that as I’d grow older, would reach my 30s, find my soulmate, my friends start having children, etc., I would start to have that feeling. I went through all these milestones and I still EDIT don’t have that desire for kids.
And I don’t think it’s necessary to have kids if one does not have the desire for it.
I was parentified as child to my 4 younger siblings. When I see a child now, I act nice but cannot wait to get away from it.
A child crying/screaming immediatly puts me in a angry/foul mood for the rest of the day.
I had my share of caring for kids, and have next to nothing positive come out of it…
So I’m super late to the party (as usual) but maybe one person will see this. I grew up with an abusive father. Sadly, I see myself acting like him way too much. I really hate it. I know that when I raise my voice at my mum she thinks I’m just like my father. If I ever get kids I’d mess them up. I’ll be just as bad of a parent as he was and I don’t want to be someone who brings this kid into the world just to end up f**king them up.
Oh SO many reasons. Where to begin.
I am a woman, which means 100% of the physical aspects of pregnancy (extreme nausea, discomfort, pain, hormone imbalances, etc) and then labor which is widely recognized as one of the single most painful things the body can go through. Then once the baby is born you feed it with your boobs, and in many cases are the main caretaker, emotional support, time manager, cook, maid, and breadwinner for that human. I simply do not want to do ANY of that. For me personally, pregnancy and birth is the equivalent of body horror like the Saw movies, or most aptly, Alien!
I grew up in a very culty evangelical church in the midst of Mormon Utah. So EVERYONE around has super conservative traditional values and woman’s sole purpose in life is to squeeze out kids. Not to have hopes and aspirations, careers, or anything like that. If you’re a woman where I’m from, you have to make your dream around having kids. You are only a womb and you must be owned by a man.
I have a sensory processing disorder that makes me get very overwhelmed pretty easily. Kids are noisy and messy and stinky and fragile. And while I like kids, en masse they are REALLY hard for me to be around.
Nothing about being a parent whatsoever appeals to me. I simply don’t want to do any of that. I absolutely love being able to go anywhere and do anything on a whim and I love my alone time.
I have more than my share of physical and mental disorders I would never wish on another human.
There are millions of orphans in the world – what about ME and my genes is so special that I have to create an entire new human from scratch? The world doesn’t need more people. I’m curious actually many people find making their own babies more important giving a home to child in need? (Not trying to be a dick or accusatory – genuinely curious. I know couples who’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on fertility treatments when that money could’ve just as easily gone to adopting a child.)
FOR THE RECORD: this is solely my opinion. I don’t expect anyone to feel the same and I’m happy for people who love kids and want to have their own.
As someone who wants to become an elementary school teacher, people are often shocked to find out I don’t want children. But the reason is simple: they cost a LOT of money, they take op a lot of free time and space and I have terrible genes.
I’d love to if I could be a father. Motherhood asks you to sacrifice everything from your body to identity to even your life for your child (my mom almost died in childbirth). I love my body, my financial freedom, my career, my relationship, and the cleanliness and silence of my home. I refuse to give any of that up for a child I know I would resent for upheaving my life.
I firmly believe that unless you have daydreams about having children and know you ABSOLUTELY want to have them, do NOT have them. They are not something you can feel ambivalent about. They are the ultimate lifestyle change and anyone saying otherwise is lying.
Children make me uncomfortable. With very few exceptions I find them creepy and weird and not at all attractive or emotionally appealing. Babies are generally hideous to me. They do not make me want to care for them, they make me want to get away from them as quickly as possible. I’d rather have someone hand me a tarantula.
I believe having children is a privilege not a right. Parents should have to prove they deserve that privilege instead of deciding hey now I should have a baby. You have to have a driving license and insurance to have a car. You should have to have a baby license and insurance to have a baby. It should be difficult.
My wife and I have tons of health issues, mental and physical, including chronic depression, crohns, epilepsy, etc.
The world is just a nasty place and there’s no reason to bring a child into it anymore
Money and freedom to travel.
Kids are loud, gross, expensive and annoying and I like to sleep in and go anywhere and do anything on a dime.
Whew, so many reasons.
I like my life how it is right now. Sleeping in, taking spontaneous trips, spending my money on myself. Having a kid means your entire life changes, and I don’t want my life to change.
I don’t want the responsibility. See #1.
I think that global warming and other factors mean the world won’t be nice for too much longer; I don’t want to force someone to live through that.
I don’t like children for extended periods of time – I like kids and find them sweet and funny, but they are exhausting over long periods.
This is petty, but as a woman, I don’t want the body changes that come with having a baby.
I personally don’t want to put my body thru the trauma of growing and birthing a child/children, I can barely emotionally handle myself a lot of the time and don’t want to risk passing on any of my mental illnesses to someone who didn’t ask to be born, and they’re overall a huge financial burden and with the pandemic having destroyed my personal finances, I will never be in a financial position to feel comfortable raising a child.
I and my wife are both financially decent off, mentally and physically healthy and could probably pull off kids without a problem as such.
We just don’t want to. We value our collective freedom to do what we want, whenever we want to — to travel, to hike up a mountain, to go surfing, et cetera — too much.
And no, we don’t get lonely, we have plenty of friends and we have our dogs that tag along for all activites 🙂
DINK life is pretty sweet.
I don’t see the point. There are enough kids on the planet, and I don’t think I’m so precious that I need to replicate my genes. Honestly, I’ve never met anyone who is.
I love my niece and nephew too but after an entire day with them i really, really need some peace and quiet. If its your own kids, you dont get that. So i imagine that but 24/7 and i dont understand how people do it.
That whole thing about your friends start having kids and it will make you want one. Funny thing was people around me having kids was the exact reason my 50/50 went to I don’t want them. I can tolerate kids for short spans of time like I’ll babysit but at the end of the day I don’t have to deal with the stressful part of having kids( sickness, tantrums, money, etc.)
Because I believe that children deserve parents that will love them, always put them first, spend quality time with them and make sacrifices so that their children can have the best opportunities. But at the same time have the strength to set boundaries and discipline them in a healthy way so that they grow into good human beings.
Also because I don’t currently have a partner or much financial stability in my life at this stage and I don’t want to be a single parent or bring a child into the world if I’m not in a position to provide for them.
And I don’t trust myself to be unselfish enough to be everything that I believe a child deserves. I sometimes catch myself thinking that children might be nice; but until I’m sure of myself, financially stable and in a steady relationship a child is unlikely to be in the picture.
I can barely go through my period without painkillers, I’ll never manage to give birth. Also, I don’t like kids, they’re annoying.
Complete lack of a support system. You know the saying “it takes a village to raise a child?” Well we have no village anymore. Unless you happen to live nearby family, no one is around to help, you’re on your own. (You know those harried mothers in supermarkets who have screaming wailing children and they just look so exhausted and done with life? I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to feel that way, ever)
Money. I can barely support/ensure a future for myself, let alone a whole new human being with needs like diapers, medical visits, food, toys, etc. At 37 I’ve just started to be able to actually enjoy my life so throwing it all away because every cent needs to be spent on a kid is a recipe for mental health disaster.
Lack of body autonomy. As soon as that test is positive, your body is no longer your own. You are no longer a person, you are an incubator for “precious new life.” Doctor visits where you’re just out there for the world to see, people poking and prodding your “most secret” areas until they’re less of a secret and more of a billboard….then after you have the baby, the physical toll of giving more of yourself to feed it. I just can’t fathom that severe of a loss of self.
No sleep, constant exhaustion. I’m wiped enough working 8-5, doing a workout, cooking dinner and cleaning up after and all the other tasks of being an adult in a home, adding the additional lack of sleep and tasks of constantly keeping a child alive? I see it in peoples drawn faces and eye bags. Why would you want to invite that on yourself. (Also see lack of support system)
Kids destroy things. They make messes. I just was able to eke out a life for myself in a house and actually buy some new things and make it feel like I’m finally an adult…..for kids to ruin the couch I saved for or the tv I saved for would just be too much. Those are symbols of my hard work and accomplishments and you just destroyed it you little s—t, lol
Also I’m just scared of all the medical stuff. The things that can go wrong, the pain, the changes to your body, the pain, the recovery process (with or without anyone to help you), the pain…..
It’s easier and cheaper being an aunt. Chase a toddler around a splash pad so that I can enjoy it too- nice. Same toddler is cranky- give it back to the parents. I might treat it to ice cream now and then but I don’t have to worry about future school expenses. Etc, etc.
I could write you a book. Some of my reasons have changed over the years but the reasons were always valid.
First was tokophobia. I still suffer from tokophobia but I’ve worked hard over the years to get better (because I didn’t want it to affect my relationships with friends and their children). I’ve come a long way but it’s still there.
Then it was money.
Then it was just the realisation it wouldn’t make me happy because I think I’d be resentful about putting a child’s needs and desires before my own…and they deserve that.
But then I got ill. I now live with disability and chronic pain. Having just watched my best friend struggle with even a healthy pregnancy…i think a pregnancy would leave me with irreversible damage and pain. I would be unable to care for a baby afterwards. I would severely struggle as I am right now due to chronic fatigue and chronic pain. I wouldn’t be surprised if I became wheelchair bound.
That sort of hammers home my previous reasons. Control over my body is leeching away as it is. I struggle to support myself. I would be miserable, and as my body and independence eroded away I would resent that poor child who didn’t ask to be born.
It’s not meant for me.
I don’t want to give birth and go through all that.. Adoption is a long process and a lot of money that I don’t have. Kids are expensive