Embracing Adventure “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~~Hellen Keller

Deciding to Be Childfree: 24 Reasons for My Choice (Part 2)

Last time, I shared the first 12 reasons in the list I came up with to help me decide whether to be childfree or have children. Today I’ll share another dozen. Again, they’re just in the order I came up with them, not in the order of importance.

Me, Tim, and the officiant during our wedding ceremony.

Me, Tim, and the officiant during our wedding ceremony.

13. My marriage
While some marriages are more or less the same after kids, some aren’t. I’ve witnessed and read about several marriages where children changed a marriage to the point it crumbled. Without children, we can focus on ourselves and each other instead of us both coming after whatever is best for the kids (even if it is what makes us miserable).

14. I can experience child-related joy from being around other peoples’ kids
Many of my friends’ kids are fun to be around, and I’ve worked with some real treasures, but I never wanted to take any of them home with me. I can enjoy spending some time with them and then go home to a peaceful evening.

15. Peace and quiet
I like peace and quiet most of the time. I want to live somewhere away from too-close neighbors so I can’t hear anyone slam doors, stomp up stairs, or scream at their kids. I don’t like hearing kids outside cry, fight, and shriek, so I definitely don’t want to hear those things in my home. I get irritated enough when my dogs bark too much or when they fight. While I can’t stop outside noises, at least I can put the dogs in separate rooms and my inside noise problems are solved.

16. Fear of dying during childbirth
I have had a fear since high school that if I were to have a child, I would die during childbirth. I used to call it an irrational fear, but seriously, death in childbirth still happens to people. According to the World Health Organization, one woman dies from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth every minute! So maybe it’s not that irrational to be afraid. Still, if I never have a child, then I don’t ever have to find out whether that fear was founded, and maybe having that fear is my psyche’s way of saying I shouldn’t carry or give birth to a child.

17. Pregnancy jacks up your hormones
I don’t like what hormonal birth control does to me emotionally and with other side effects. Even with the lower dose stuff I was on, I felt off. If the hormones in birth control mess me up that much, I don’t even want to know how I would be pregnant.

Crowd18. There are already plenty of people on the planet.
With more than 7 billion people on the planet, I don’t need to add more. If I did want to be a parent, I would rather adopt a child already in existence who needs a home.

19. My body
Petty, I know, but I’m going for reasons here. I didn’t say none of them would be shallow. I don’t feel right when I have belly flub. It’s not because I think I’m “fat”; it’s just not comfortable, so I can’t imagine dealing with the weight gain of pregnancy. I’m working hard to get a healthy, fit body, and I’ll get to keep it if I keep working out if I don’t give birth.

20. There are no guarantees who a child becomes
While there is something to be said for good parenting, and I’d like to believe I would raise good, upstanding individuals if I had children, it’s not that simple. There are a lot of factors that come into play in who a child becomes, and mine could turn out to be someone who does bad things to people despite my best intentions.

Massive danger21. Safety
Kids can’t play on their own as much as they used to, or even at all in some areas. I used to play alone with friends in the park. In most places I’ve lived in the last few years, that would be dangerous. In the last several years, even sending a kid to school could be a dangerous thing. By not having kids, I never have to worry about keeping a child safe from cradle to adulthood, and then worrying about them beyond that.

22. My education
I have a bachelor’s and am in the progress of pursuing a master’s. I will probably eventually pursue a doctorate. If I became a parent, it is likely my education could get delayed or derailed, and it’s possible the education I already have wouldn’t get put to use. People like to say, “But your child could become a doctor”. Well, what about what I could become and do if I don’t have a child?

My Mazda 3

My current car.

23. Choice of car
Here’s another minor one, but I like cars. I like driving. While I may never have a flashy car, I’ll have the option, or at least the option not to have to have a ‘family’ car. I have always disliked mini vans. Now I won’t have to drive one. While it is practical for me to have at least one five-seat car so my dogs can travel with us, without kids I don’t have to make extra room, and one of our cars could be a two seater if we wanted it to be.

24. I don’t feel called to motherhood
I have yet to ever feel like I *should* be a mother at any point in my life. If the mythological biological clock were going to tick for me, I think it would have started by now. Some people feel their calling in life is to be a mother, and if you’re one of them, that’s great. It’s just never been mine. I come up with new reasons or expand my old reasons not to have children all the time…I have yet to be able to create a list for why I should have kids. Anything I could have foreseen putting on it, I can get from my dogs or from the times I have contact with the children of friends or family or through working with kids. The best thing about those options is that I can enjoy that time and then go back to my own life.

Having gone back through this list, there are probably a few things I could add, and there are really more than 24 things here because I added an extra reason or two in the elaboration on some of them. But the main thing is, regardless if there were 24 things or 240, there are still 0 things on the list I originally planned on writing for why I should have kids. Zero, zilch, nada.

People have told me that I’d be a great mother and that I’ll be missing out if I don’t have kids. Maybe I would be a good mom if I wanted to be one, but if I can’t find a reason to be, I think that’s the best indicator it’s something I shouldn’t do. It’s true there are things I will miss out on by not being a parent, but it’s also true there are things I would miss out on if I did become one. I don’t think either choice is more noble or superior to the other, there’s just what’s a better choice for the individual, and I think for me that’s being childfree.

If you share any of these reasons for being childfree or have your own list, feel free to share in the comments.

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5 Thoughts on “Deciding to Be Childfree: 24 Reasons for My Choice (Part 2)

  1. (Newish reader, first-time poster.)

    Those sound like good reasons to me!

    I’ll admit, one of my big reasons *for* having kids was not so much kids themselves, but grandkids (or at least the potential of them). I didn’t like the idea of being 70 years old and having only great-nieces and -nephews to dote on. I’m certainly not in it for the baby/toddler years…I’ll be very glad when they’re over!

    • Hi Sara, thanks for reading and posting 🙂

      Thank you 🙂

      Having been around babies and toddlers for a year, I don’t blame you that you’ll be glad when those years are over. Babies and toddlers have their cute moments (toddlers moreso than babies I think), but wouldn’t want to live with a kid in either stage. I’d say I hope those years go by quickly for you, but I know time always seems to fly by for parents as it is, so instead I’ll say I hope they go by as smoothly as possible for you.

  2. Pingback: Rare finds and good reasons. | Life Unconventional

  3. Point 13: Marriages crumble for other reasons, too. People change, sometimes not in the same direction. While children can play a part in it, I’m not entirely sure that it is statistically proven they do. Then again, when I observe that some of my girlfriends have nothing else to talk about then their little “boy” or “girl” and are not pursuing any interesting hobbies, I can see how that might be a turn off to their partner.

    No. 18 is a valid point. I often wonder how poor people have one baby after another (maybe no contraception) and then struggle to get on with their lives. And then westernized people don’t think it’s a problem to add to the bowl of overpopulation by hatching their own offspring. It’s unfairly distributed, though.

    No. 20: Ever read “We need to talk about Kevin?” 😉
    Regardless of the book, my biggest fear has always been having a child that will be mentally handicapped and whom I will have to take care of my entire life. Or his/her entire life. Not that I am against it. It’s just a scary thought, that’s all.

    No. 24: I don’t think every mother has felt that calling towards motherhood. There are too many unplanned births out there for that to be the case. But being completely turned off by the thought of having a kid is def a good argument in not having one.

    • That is true, although I figure if my marriage was going to crumble for any reason, I’d rather I only have myself to worry about rather than juggling shared custody or ending up a single mother. I don’t know if I’ve seen statistics on kids crumbling a marriage, but I have heard anecdotes. I have read statistics (although I’m too lazy too look them up) on kids changing a marriage though. I think it was in one of my psych books I read that marriage satisfaction tends to decline after kids are born and then goes back up after the kids leave home. (Obviously not that case for everyone though). I can see where that would be a turn off. The moms I tend to be friends with are the ones who make it a point to have interests outside of their kids (and hey wouldn’t ya know as far as I can see they tend to be pretty happily married too, so maybe there is something to that).

      In some places no contraception probably is a valid excuse. I don’t understand the people who fight so hard to get insurance not to cover contraception or want Planned Parenthood shut down especially when they tend to also be the same people who disagree with government assistance for people with children…Okay well contraception of ANY kind is cheaper than a child, so shouldn’t people who don’t want people to be able to collect more government assistance with children agree with affordable birth control? I’m happy TRICARE covers my birth control, and I bet TRICARE is happy they do too, but because even my IUD was cheaper than pre and post natal care plus all the doctor’s visits another dependent would require. (By the same token I have never understood people who say they personally can’t afford birth control even when they can get it at a reduced rate…so how the heck will you afford a kid?)

      I haven’t, but I have heard a few people mention it (even a few in this context lol) so perhaps I should. That’s understandable. Taking care of any child is a big commitment, but a lot of children with certain disorders require extended and maybe even lifelong care, and unfortunately there are often limits on what insurance will help cover in terms of treatment. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you for being afraid of that possibility.

      Oh I know not everyone does. Just saying I have heard some say they did, either literally that they felt it was their calling in life or that they always wanted to be a mother. And even those that were unplanned, there are many who enjoy it. (Of course there are also many who don’t enjoy it. If accounts of people who end up abusing their kids aren’t enough check out http://www.truuconfessions.com/channels/Mom sometime.) I agree.

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