Not That You Asked BUT 10 Reasons I'm Not Having Kids
For some reason the topic of children has been brought up a lot to me lately. It's most likely because my sister just gave birth to her FOURTH child at 28 years old, or that I now have 21 second cousins between the ages of one week and 22 years old, OR that my best friend and her boyfriend wanted to joke with me that she was pregnant...with a food baby. I didn't find that funny.
Two months I turned 27 years old and everyone loves to tell me that "Oh you'll have kids when you're ready," or doubt me when I tell them no, I'm not having kids. I'm told I'm good with them and my children would be so cute, but knowing how to communicate and interact with children does not mean that I should have them. Yes, I love picking up babies from the tables at my restaurant, whose mother's are trying to eat, and enjoy the adult conversations but can't because their little kid is squirming. Yes, I know how to make the best faces to rustle out a giggle or smile from a baby that's crying. And no, it's not because I'm a woman so I have that natural instinct, it's because my mother was a preschool/daycare provider for the last 35+ years and I grew up around tons and tons of kids. Babysitting was easy money. I got to experience every type of child there was out there. The evil ones, the super shy ones, the outgoing and unfiltered ones. I've learned how to deal with them all. Even the ones with special needs or children who had come from rough backgrounds. BUT I don't want them. I don't even want to get married for christ sakes, but that's another article all on it's own.
So to just send people somewhere to see my reasoning without having to explain every single time the topic comes up I've laid out 10 reasons why I'm not having kids. Now leave me alone and read on:
The Easy to Admit: I'm Selfish - Having children means you have to sacrifice A LOT. Your body for one, your lifestyle, often times your wardrobe, and your sanity. I babysat for my little cousin one time who was getting sick and couldn't sleep all night. He kept waking up every few hours sobbing and the only way he could go back to sleep if he was sleeping on my chest. I am not ok with having to give up sleep, or the last piece of cake for my child. The idea that everything in your life revolves around your kids is not something that I want to give up. I'm no longer working for myself and paying my bills, I'm working to buy food, toys, clothes, happiness for another living, breathing human being. That's not something I want to do, and I shouldn't be shamed by others because I can acknowledge that.
My Adventurous Heart - Like I mentioned I just turned 27. I've traveled within the US to California, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, Seattle, WA, and some of the smaller North Eastern states. I've been to Canada (even though it doesn't count because I grew up next to it), Spain, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and spent 10 days over New Years and my birthday in London, Dublin & Paris. My goal in life is to have the luxury of travel. I want to live out of my car for 3 months and just travel throughout the US, camping out, hiking, exploring natural wonders. If I had children and tried to do this Social Services would rip them away from me. Societal norms make it so the times you can travel with your kids are from mid-June to late-August when they don't have school. BUT even after you have a kid you have to wait at least 10 years before they're not going to be whiney and complaining all the time about being stuck in a car, or flying on a plane. You can't just pick up on a whim and say, "I'm going to Iceland for 6 days backpacking!" How the fuck are you going to do that with a 3 year old?! I can fit 6 days worth of clothes and food in a backpack, but adding in all the shit toddler's need is impossible.
9 Months Without Alcohol Would Probably Kill Me - This isn't to say that I'm an alcoholic BUT I love a good glass (or bottle) of wine with dinner. I'm also a HUGE fan of bottomless brunch, visiting breweries, and learning about how to make killer cocktails. The idea of having to give up alcohol for 9 months is definitely not something I would be able to do, and the last thing I would want to risk is my babies health from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Some people are good at knowing how to do particular jobs like engineering, politics, etc. I, however, am just really self-aware. I know my limits. Like what my mind and body are capable of, and having to give up drinking for a child is not something I could do.
Mental Health Reasons - I would definitely see this is one of the bigger reasons why I'm not keen on birthing children. I've dealt with severe depression and anxiety for most of my life. My birthmother and her mother have dealt with it, and still deal with it, as well. After all it's hereditary. Not only would I not want my child (boy or girl) to have to deal with crippling anxiety and major depressive episodes, I'm honestly afraid of what my emotions would do while I'm pregnant and even afterwards. I know that Post Partum Depression is less frowned down upon than normal depression, which is why more people understand PPD, but the thought that I could potentially be putting myself and my unborn child at risk during, after, and in their own lives, scares me enough where I think I'll just keep my ovaries to myself.
I Like To Be Alone - As much as I love hanging out with friends, I also love having a staycation in my apt. Where I can just have a day to clean, maybe write, tend to my plants, etc. Sometimes I even read a book! When you have kids these little minute things become luxuries. Moms barely get 5 minutes to go to the bathroom without their kids barging in or sitting outside the door. That used to be one of my favorite times to talk to my mom, when she was in the bathroom. I would sit outside the bathroom door and try asking her questions and she'd get annoyed. All she wanted was 5min to take a shit and I couldn't even give her that. Not many moms will admit this because of being feared of being looked at as a bad parent, but most parents come to resent their kids at one point or another. They ruined their body; they weren't able to pursue the dream career they always wanted; the list goes on and on. I want to be able to go to the store for groceries and not come out with $100 more than I planned on spending, or even take an extra 30 min to make sure I have diaper bags, and bottles, and diapers, and shit. I just want to be alone.
This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things - Have you ever walked into a home of a family of 4? Have you ever seen the absolute destruction that takes place on the walls, furniture, clothes, etc. At this point in my life I feel bougie and a little guilty for buying $50 jeans. Imagine buying said jeans and 5 minutes after putting them on your kid pukes on you, or finger paint perhaps. There are those moms who just say fuck it and wear sweatpants all day everyday. You can't go out to dinner because your kids could potentially wreak havoc in the restaurant, or take them out in public in general. Kids are why you can't have nice things. Forget the $300+ rug you bought online, it's now ruined with grape juice and muddy footprints. That lovely vase from your grandmother is now in pieces on the floor because your boys decided to wrestle and knocked it over. No, I'm not dropping dollar after dollar on material things, but even the smallest chunk of change spent on anything seems almost pointless if your kids are just going to break it within the first ten minutes after giving it to them to try.
Loyalty, Or Potential Lack Thereof - I'm not afraid to admit my mistakes. I was an awful teenager growing up. My mother and I fought all of the time in my teens because of some low-life boyfriend I thought I was madly in love with. But, no matter how mad I got at her the farthest I ever ran away from home was to my cousin's house. She lived about 5 or 6 miles away and I casually walked there one day after a fight with my mom. I stayed for a week and then my mom and I talked it out and I went back home. Some kids though are way worse than me. Some of them actually run away and aren't seen for years, while the parents are stuck at home sobbing their eyes out and worried sick. Gruesome image if you think about it but I don't want to risk putting all this time, effort, MY BODY, and money, into an ungrateful little shit.
I Wouldn't Want Welfare Babies - As a 20-something year old, semi-professional I can sometimes barely afford a metro card to get to work. If I got pregnant right now I would have to move back to Vermont. The salary I make now barely leaves me with about $1,000 left for the month, let alone clocking in all the baby stuff. I would never want to bring a child into this world unless I was able to provide for them. And I'm not saying like spoil them rotten, but I would want to make sure they could have a front and backyard, good schooling, health insurance, and if they wanted to go to college I could help provide for that. I don't even imagine in the next 10 years I will be financially ready for that. When I finally pay off all of my debt the idea of potentially getting into more debt because of this living, breathing, human being I have to take care of is just a NO for me. I'll pass.
You're Not Going To Be Young Forever - Now here's a little interesting twist that also pertains to reason #1. Once I felt like I was done with all of the adventures I wanted to have I would consider then having kids, HOWEVER women's bodies aren't really made to birth children after a certain age. Unfortunately this one isn't even about society it's about biology. It seems once you hit 25 people start telling you that your biological clock is ticking. MAYBE some women can have children in their 40's, however the risk of birth defects and miscarriages highly increases for a woman after 35. I'm 27, I've really just started my career and plan to focus on that for quite awhile. To the point where I'm comfortable enough to travel. The idea of "settling down" just isn't in my brain right now. Sure most of my friends are getting married and having children, but I still live in a two bedroom apt with my roommate. By the time I would even THINK of starting a family I would be well nearing 40, and at that point why bother.
Bottom Line: I'm Not Having Kids - regardless of all the reasons why at the end of the day it is my decision, and my decision alone to not have children. I don't need to actually explain myself and write a full article on why. It's my body. It's my choice. And if I don't want to continue the human race I don't have to, so please leave me the fuck alone on the subject and try and solve world hunger instead.