Social Question

Ladymia69's avatar

For those of you who have decided not to have children, what are your reasons?

Asked by Ladymia69 (6881points) February 13th, 2011

I have never particularly wanted them. I got pregnant at 16 and arranged a private adoption with wonderful parents for my child, and never regretted it. I feel like I would not care for the responsibility, and as a woman, I don’t see having a child as the be-all, end-all of the female experience. I would devoutly defend women who choose not to have children from those who would criticize her for it (and believe me, there are some who would-I have had conversations with them). Lucky for me, I married a man who shares my opinion.

So for those of you (male or female) who have made the decision not to procreate, why have you done so?

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22 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Because my husband already has children, and financially, having one of our own might not really ever be an option.
It isn’t set in concrete or anything, but at the moment that is why I’ve made the decision that I have.

crisw's avatar

I am infertile. We tried to adopt, but we set a deadline of by the time I turned 40. That didn’t happen, so we remained childless.

In many ways, I am happy. I realize many of the reasons that I wanted a child were rather selfish (such as a future caregiver) and, when I see the limitations that my friends have because of children (have to be home by 9, cannot go away for a few days without the kid, always sick because of kid germs), it’s even better.

ilana's avatar

I first decided not to have kids when I was about 13, being nearly 20, I haven’t changed my mind at all. It’s a combination of reasons why. Though mostly I feel it limits my options in what I want to do in life and I don’t want to be stereotyped by others as being just another baby popping woman contributing to overpopulation. (Sorry if I’m being too honest here)

It just doesn’t seem right for me and doesn’t feel like a “normal” thing for me to do. It really bugs me when people say I’ll change my mind, it just gives me more motivation to prove them wrong, and makes me want to have kids even less…I really hope I can find a guy who wants to have a long term relationship with me without the expectation of marriage and kids, but don’t know where they are!

Ladymia69's avatar

@ilana I, too have been told my mind will change later, usually by women whom I feel regretted their decision, and want me to go through what they have to go through.

But believe me, men who don’t want kids are out there!

peridot's avatar

For many reasons:
~ @ilana summed it up nicely.
~ My own childhood was highly messed up and I’ve been terrified of perpetuating that cycle. (You can say you won’t… then your child has a tantrum after you’ve had a bad day at work, and it’s just a little too much…)
~ Aside from the spectre of emotional neglect and/or physical abuse, I’ve yet to be financially secure enough (to my own standards) to take proper care of another’s needs and wants.
~ Kids are messy, loud, annoying, and will test you on a regular basis. (I know how everyone says “Oh, but it’s different when it’s your own…” Yeah. Not taking that chance. See #1 above.)

What I want to know is if there are parents out there who have a legitimate reason for having kids. Here are some answers I’ve heard over the years:
~ “Because the Lord wants us to be fruitful and multiply.” (And thank you so much for contributing to things like gridlock, 100 applicants for one job, ever-increasing food production issues, etc.)
~ “So someone will love me.” (“Fully dependent on me” = love? Yikes.)
~ “So they can have the opportunities I didn’t have.” (And if Junior would rather be a poet than a baseball star?)
~ “Because I love my husband/wife.” (And this is the only way you can show that love….?)

Of course, those are the reasons given. Please allow me to indulge my cynical streak a little further here… if actions speak louder than words, the reasons are more like:
~ Because I want a little princess/living doll that I can dress up!
~ There just isn’t enough of ME in this world.
~ If I don’t, I’ll lose status as a female, and that would really hurt my social life.
~ If I don’t, I won’t be perceived as “normal”.
~ I want someone to take care of ME in my old age. (As many abandoned and abused seniors could tell you, offspring is not a guarantee of this.)
~ Because he’s about to leave me. He can’t abandon me if I have his child!

Fortunately, society is starting to move away from the idea that women who choose to not have kids are “selfish”. Which is good, because looking at the last two lists above, I think that label has been mis-assigned!

Ladymia69's avatar

@peridot you just about said everything I didn’t or couldn’t quite articulate! You have my profound respect for that!

peridot's avatar

:”> Thank you. I was a bit nervous putting all that out there… never really expressed it before!

Bun's avatar

My husband and I don’t feel that there is anything missing from our lives :). We love each other and our relationship the way it is – helping each other grow and improve – instead of impulsively adding another person to this unstable world.

There is a comforting simplicity to it.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’ve never had a period of security and stability enough to share with anyone who’d be totally dependent on me so I never chanced it.

Facade's avatar

There are many reasons…
I don’t want to have to take on the responsibility of raising a child.
Children are expensive.
Being pregnant and having a baby seems to be uncomfortable/painful.
I like my freedom.
Kids annoy me.
I don’t want to bring a person into this world with it’s pollution, poor economy, diseases, etc.
Unqualified teachers.

That’s all I have at the moment.

Berserker's avatar

I’m pretty much incapable of loving or caring about anyone else but myself, so I would not be a good mother.

Ladymia69's avatar

@Symbeline you might be a crap mother, but I bet you’re an expert sharpshooter!

Anemone's avatar

I agree with a lot of what has already been said. For me the main reason is that I’m simply not interested in doing it. I can’t remember ever truly wanting children, though for a while (in my late teens and twenties) I figured I’d probably want to eventually. Now I’m going into my late 30s and I still don’t feel the urge. Meh. It’s not something everyone has to do. Plenty of people have children. I wish more people would think twice about it, though.

Blackberry's avatar

Too young lol.
Too many people.
Not enough money (who knows if I ever will).
Too much sacrifice and responsibility.
Too many goals and dreams.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I don’t really have a reason for not wanting children, I just don’t feel maternal. People keep saying that I will change my mind but I really can’t see it happening. I’ll cross that bridge if I come to it. I find it stange that women would look down on another woman for not wanting children though.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Although I am not one of those women that can say that I don’t feel maternal, or that I’ve never wanted children – I think it is insanely rude that people are always telling women that express such a thing that it will “change.”
I hear it all the time, and it pisses me off.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf Me too. Although, my Aunt said it to me and I felt very sorry for her as she always thought she didn’t want kids but now that she is in her 50’s she is regretting her decision. I do hope that I never get like that.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Leanne1986 I relate to that. It is a scary thought to consider that we might change our minds only after it is too late. But, I guess that is one of those “cross that bridge when you get to it” type of situations.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Leanne1986 I’m certainly not going to have kids “just in case” I change my mind at a later date.

Ladymia69's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf They only say that because they are miserable, and they want you to be miserable with them and regret your choices like they do.

xjustxxclaudiax's avatar

Love children, been taking care and changing diapers since I was 7. I feel as if my siblings are my babies and feel that I don’t need anymore babies in my life. I don’t mind taking care of them, just the whole growing in my tummy deal doesn’t get me very excited….it kinda scares me a little actually…so I refuse…and I know…I will not change my mind…Too much responsibility and I already have my sisters…

bob_'s avatar

Little dudes can be expensive and time-consuming, and I guess I’m afraid I’d do a sucky job as a father, you know, being too demanding and stuff.

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