General Question

spresto's avatar

Why don't you want to have children?

Asked by spresto (898points) May 14th, 2009

This question a come from the previous question “Abortion or no ?” I am not looking to continue that discussion. Instead, I am interested in knowing why those of you who decided get fixed or avoid pregnancy have made such a decision?

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28 Answers

reverie's avatar

I am not yet ready to have children as there is a lot I would like to do with my life whilst I have no-one to take care of but myself.

I do not want to be responsible for anyone, or have anyone need me.
I want to be able to move around and travel as much as I like.
I want to be selfish with my personal time.
I want to complete my PhD and enjoy wherever that takes me when it is finished.
I want to enjoy my relationship without children being involved in it.

I can definitely see myself having children in the future – in fact, I’d really love to have children one day. That’s why I’ve only taken reversible steps to avoid pregnancy thus far. I think having children would be an utterly tremendous, unspeakably amazing thing – which is why I only want to have them when I know I’ll fully appreciate the experience.

spresto's avatar

Eh! I had a thought, but never mind. I want to hear some more info first. : )

Milladyret's avatar

I agree with @reverie .
Having a baby is a life-changing experience in so very many ways, and I’d like to finish what I’ve started first. School, career, money, travel, and I’d like to be able to answer only to myself for a few more years.

spresto's avatar

How old are you? If you don’t mind me asking. @Milladyret @reverie

reverie's avatar

@spresto I don’t mind at all – I am 23 years old (I will be 24 when I start my PhD and anticipate I will be 28 when I complete it).

Les's avatar

I’m avoiding pregnancy mainly because I seem to be avoiding having a relationship for the past four years. Seriously, like the above two have said, I am in no way ready for a kid. I’m 25, single, working on a Master’s, travel to Antarctica for two to three months a year and can barely feed myself most evenings, let alone a small, defenseless baby. There will be a time when I want children, but now is not that time. I can’t even handle a hampster now.

tinyfaery's avatar

Mainly because I’ve seen so many fun, reasonable, happy people turn into boring, irrational, mean spirrited people once having children. Somehow everything in life becomes about the kid, no matter how damaging it is to the self or the child. It’s as if patents think they own another human being. I cannot accept any of that.

Plus, the world does not need anymore people. We can’t even take care if the one’s that are here.

And, I like my free time and extra cash.

dynamicduo's avatar

A few reasons.

1. I dislike a lot of the world and don’t want to bring another life into it.
2. There are plenty of babies that need mothers, if I really want one I can adopt one.
3. I am still a child myself, and enjoy the freedoms afforded to me by having no children.
4. I don’t like screaming flailing shit machines.
5. My current long term partner does not want children. This hasn’t influenced me, but it’s worthwhile to note that we have the same general outlook.

I know I would be a wonderful mother, and my genetics aren’t seriously flawed so there’s no problems there. I just value my life the way it is now. I don’t want to be responsible for another person. I don’t want to be tied down for a twenty year and hundreds of thousands of dollars of commitment (a similar reason why I rent vs own).

And sadly, knowing all of this doesn’t damper my womanly instincts to coo at babies and think about being a mom. Hormones are bitches like that. I plan to fill any of these needs by being around other babies, babysitting, making cute baby quilts, etc. I’ll be the best Aunt ever, since I don’t have children of my own to spoil :)

I remain open to the option of having children later on in life, maybe, possibly with the right person. But all signs are pointing to no right now.

Edit: And I’m in my 20s.

Kiev749's avatar

I’m only 20.

I’m trying to keep the teenage pregnancy rate down?

noyesa's avatar

The kids in the neighborhood like throwing basketballs at my front window when my cat is laying in it, i.e., kids are annoying.

There is no depth to my shallowness.

Seriously though, I just don’t think I’m ready to be a parent. I already have a lot of responsibilities and active projects (like finishing my degree), so I don’t feel like I could devote the time a child needs and deserves and do these things as well as I am right now. I think I’m very mature for someone my age, but I don’t think I’m humble or experienced enough to teach a child how to embrace learning, explore his or her curiosity and imagination, and all that foofoo crap they tell you to do in kindergarten.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I do not have the wherewithal or patience to care for someone who has so many vital needs. That alone is enough. Parenting is probably the most important job on Earth, and I know I wouldn’t have been a good mother. Also, there is enough serious mental illness and emotional disturbance in my maternal family history that I was wary of passing on bad genes. I think I have enough empathy to not want to bring another person in the world who’d suffer as my relatives have.

Now that I’m closer to the end of my childbearing years than not, I’m a bit wistful that I didn’t have my own kids, but those feelings are fleeting and on the whole, I’m glad I didn’t do something that would’ve been a real mistake.

cwilbur's avatar

I have pet cats and not a dog because I like being able to go away for the weekend and not have to worry about the dog’s needs. Cats can be left alone for a couple days. Infants and children require even more attention than dogs.

Also, I’m single, I’m gay, and I’m male. If I wind up in a solid long-term relationship with someone who wants kids, I’d be open to considering it, but even then there’s a lot of expense involved in adoption.

I’m far more likely to go back to graduate school, honestly.

Facade's avatar

I don’t want the burdens that come along with being a parent.

Milladyret's avatar

@spresto
I’m 25, just starting my career, starting a masters degree this fall (if I get in to school, cross your fingers!), just bought my first home with my SO, and I have two parents with an expected lifespan shorter than the average (to say it in a nice way).
I don’t want kids right now. In 5 years maybe, but not now.

reijinni's avatar

My childcare skill are very lacking and I just want to be by myself for now. Besides, I have no wife or money.

casheroo's avatar

I’m interested in the people that don’t want to have children ever, a lot of posters here are just putting it off, which is understandable.

Facade's avatar

I don’t want kids ever. lol

knitfroggy's avatar

I asked an older lady that I worked with if she had any children. I’d never heard her talk about kids or grandkids. She said she and her husband didn’t ever want kids, but she never liked to talk about it much because people usually thought she was some sort of “bad person” for not wanting kids. I told her that I thought it was the smartest thing she could have ever done. Raising kids is hard and I cannot imagine having to do it if I really hadn’t wanted to.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I got “fixed” because I kept getting pregnant on birth controls and in those times was taking a lot of medications and not living the best of lifestyles. These days I figure if I meet a man I want to have a child with then I can pony up for some surgery or IF.

skfinkel's avatar

I am always glad to hear that people who really don’t like children are not having them. It takes a great deal of effort and selflessness to do this work.

Interestingly, I just heard a woman on the radio talking about advice say the worst advice ever given to her was not to have children.

And there were many women from the women’s movement who believed it was the politically correct thing to do not to have kids. Some of these women have lots of regrets. I would imagine some don’t.

So, I would suggest that all the women who are talking about never having children really go deep into their hearts to see if this is a decision they will still be happy about when they are fifty, and it is too late to change their mind—at least about having their own biological child. I did the same soul searching after I had two children, and I realized that I wanted to have four—you can’t even imagine how “politically incorrect” that was when I made that decision.

tinyfaery's avatar

Oh yeah. I see selfless parents making huge efforts for their children all the time.~

reverie's avatar

@skfinkel – I think you make a really good point, but I think you could just as easily say:

“I suggest that all the women who are talking about having children really go deep into their hearts to see if this is a decision they will still be happy with when they are fifty, and it is too late to change their mind.”

When it comes to having children, or not having children, both decisions eventually become irreversible, and both are life-changing. Whichever choice is made, it should be made with the same degree of care, thought and consideration.

Edited to add: I absolutely don’t mean to imply you don’t already know this, especially as someone who has had kids. I just meant to emphasise the magnitude of either decision relating to children, whichever it is.

veronasgirl's avatar

Honestly, I don’t want to have children for purely selfish reasons. I have an irrational fear of needles, pain, and I also know that I am not responsible or selfless enough to be a good parent.

purplelow's avatar

children arn’t ment for everyone in my opinion dont have them unless your totally comitted and are 100% sure

susanc's avatar

I really like having a very personable granddaughter aged 2 1/2, but I got my (already adolescent) kids the easy way – they came with the package (har har) when I captured my husband. I adored them instantly. I recommend this strategy.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

i’m only 16 now so it’s pretty understandable that i don’t want kids. but honestly, if i have kids in the future i hope i adopt them. the world has so so so many kids that need homes and families, and i’d rather help them than make my own just because i want my own. the world is overpopulated enough. people are certainly (and unfortunately) not a dying breed, and i don’t really want to add more to the already overrun population.

no offense to anyone who has chosen to have their own kids, i just think it makes more sense (at least for me) not to.

skfinkel's avatar

@reverie Good point. But I think it’s impossible to know what having child is like until you have one (a little like you can’t tell someone what it’s like to be in love). And for most women, by the time they are fifty, the children are grown up, on their own, living not at home, and doing great (with some luck).

jca's avatar

i didn’t want to have children when i was in my 20’s and 30’s. i wanted to get my education (which i did) and travel (which i did) and do all kinds of fun stuff, relax, etc (which i did). i knew that one day i would want a child, and when i was 41 i got pregnant. i knew that i had to because the clock was ticking and time was running out. i am financially stable, can put more travel and hanging out on hold for a few years, and now i know good places to go i can bring my daughter when she is a little older. it’s not for everyone, and it’s not something i would suggest till you’re ready. it’s not like tiny said, that you become boring, it’s that the baby or child does not want to do what you used to do, like go shopping, so either you do your stuff and the child is miserable or you do what the child wants and do what you want when the child is at the babysitter’s or wherever. and you just deal with it. and you will love the child more than anything. period.

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