Sound Off: What Do You Think of the Childfree Life?

The birthrate in the U.S. is at its lowest in recorded history, a trend that is not without its detractors. Take our poll on this dramatic change in the American family.

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MORELife Without Kids

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121 comments
ShamsAci
ShamsAci

Well, having no children is far better than having them in our today's world

MeriDa
MeriDa

i second everything perthygirl says except 3 points. i made the decision at 5 years old to not have kids. i would take america out of her post & put in the world instead. im good with mom but i thank jesus & saint paul for my not wanting children & call it a god-given instinct. both were childfree & jesus actually warns against kids in the last days twice (once in matt & once in luke).

anyway, god or no god, look around you. anyone farting out a child in this day & age is a freaking idiot. its just not worth the fuss & the next generation that we are unfortunately stuck with are so stupid & dumbed down that we wont survive on this planet much longer anyway. its tragic. pathetic. sad. stupid. im sticking with god though, at least there's a way out with this. but for yall atheists out there, um even stephen hawking says to leave the planet & that we are finished.

i also am nearing the big 40.....no regrets & not changing my mind yet.

perthygirl
perthygirl

Wow, I am late to the conversation since i just saw this but I hope someone reads this anyway. 


First, let me say I have never wanted children. I recall first being aware of this at 14. And no, naysayers, it's not because I'm a selfish prat. It's because I have no sense of family. I have no real sense of attachment. I have no sense of nurturing. I fully understand it, I fully know what it is, i just don't give a damn. Thank you, mom, for instilling such apathy in me with your pathetic parenting.I'm far past blaming her for being such a crappy mother but it doesn't change who I am today. I happen to enjoy my life as is, in spite of her.


I've thought long and hard about the comments about not having children. I might get old and lonely.  No-one will carry on my name or genes or whatever. I'll regret it. And you know what? I don't need other people, much less a kid to entertain me and keep me company. I do quite a good job of that by myself. What name to carry on? Am I royalty or something?Who cares? If I regret it, I'll just kick myself and move on. Not much I could do about it. 

But by far the worst is I might change my mind once I have one. Key words being once I had one. Where is the logic in this, that I may suddenly have an epiphany and be transformed into Mother Goose if I have a kid?  I don't like kids. I would resent them and be bitter. I would be a very distant, self-involved mother. I don't think it's worth the risk to have a kid on the minute chance I may actually end up wanting one. Not fair to the kid. 


But by far the most irritating thing is traditionalists who scream babies are what women are destined for, babies are the essence of womanhood. Oh, really? The very act of birth magically does all that? I call BS.


So...how to explain all those mothers who hate their babies, kill their babies, abuse their babies, neglect their babies? What about people who hate their mothers and their families as adults? What about the number of adoptions or abortions each year?


One dimwit once told me if I didn't attach to my baby I could just give it up for adoption. Oh, really? Go through pregnancy and labour just to throw the kid away? There is no guarantee that kid would be adopted into a good home. The kid could very well spend it's life bouncing from orphanage to orphanage or foster home to foster home. The kid would be screwed whether I kept it or not.


And to think of the hundreds of thousands of children languishing in orphanages and foster homes or other state care because some POS mother threw them away. Yes, I think you're trash if you give up your baby up even if I do think adoptive parents are saviours. And yes, I see how that totally contradicts itself but..you know what I mean.


More about adoption...it is so difficult and costly to adopt a child in the USA. It is almost impossible to adopt an infant. No-one wants three year olds or twelve year olds. It's easier to adopt infants from abroad. 


In the end, I asked myself what kind of mother would I be. I asked myself what kind of life would my kid have. And I didn't like the answers. I figured the most unselfish thing I could possibly do is not bring another unwanted baby into this world who could possibly add to the societal dysfunction already permeating America. I'm grateful I was wise enough to admit this to myself rather than destroy a potential life. I don't think of myself as that damned toxic but hey...I don't like to gamble, especially with babies. No-one could justly say it's worth the gamble for me to throw the dice and have kid because I may actually get attached to it. Yeah, and pigs may fly one day.


So, judge me, hate me, laugh at me, mock me, I do not want children for damned good reasons!

I must add I'm pushing 40!



JohnMNeary
JohnMNeary

Nothing wrong with freedom and choice.  I chose to have children.  My kids are wonderful (yes, I even have teenagers), and have been one of the best things to happen to me.  I found out I'm a great father.  Who would have guessed.

Anyway, not having kids is perfectly fine.  Nothing wrong with that.  Wanting benefits for it is just a victim mentality.  Nobody is victimizing you because you choose not to have children.  Society bribes those that have children; the trade-off being one of raising a good drone.  They expect that you will, and most do, raise your children to be well kept slaves.  So they give you some minor perks, which, contractually, binds you in tacit agreement to the social contract.  Just wondering what evil you childless people will agree to for a tax break?

jhsalt
jhsalt

Having a child has given me both wonderful feelings and pressures that I never could have understood before.  I don't really begrudge anyone for not having them -- it's very challenging, and some people just seem more suited to having kids than others, which is fine.  I honestly can't say I am "happier" or "less happy" than before -- "happy" is a much overused and largely empty word in our society.  My life is qualitatively very different, and I don't regret my decision at all.  But you have to commit yourself to a different kind of life, and then you will enjoy having kids.  If you want your life to be about racking up consumer "experiences" -- travel, food, culture, adventures, etc. -- kids will put a damper on that for a while.  But you get different "experiences" in exchange -- watching someone grow and learn to do things for themselves, a lot of hilarious moments, cuteness, warmth, a close bond of a different sort than I had ever felt before.  And you also get the stress and anxiety of having to keep a defenseless creature safe and fed and sheltered, not to mention the tantrums and sleep difficulties and all that. In any case, by the time I was 33 I was tired of life just being about what restaurant I had gone to, what band I had seen, what book I had read, where I had visited, etc., so i was ready to jump into something else.

urdesaguasmo
urdesaguasmo

The first word that came to mind while reading the article was "dysgenics".

"Idiocracy" is a movie that came out a few years ago that, in a very silly way, makes a very valid point: The people who ought to be having kids aren't having them and the people who shouldn't be having them are.  Watch the movie to see what happens. (Actually, watching the first 10 minutes and reading the summary on IMBD would suffice.)

beyoncesfat
beyoncesfat

Kids end your life as you know it. Not only will you lose your own personal identity, but the realities of the stresses of child bearing will destroy your marriage, drive many to substance abuse and self doubt. Want to draw the last chapter in your story. Get married. Have kids. get divorced 10 years later and lose half of everything you worked for all your life. Men...just don't do it.

 

LizEwing
LizEwing

7 billion people is too many.  We need to give tax breaks to those that don't breed and tax the breeders if they have more than one.  The world cannot sustain 7 billion people.

dee
dee

What do I think of a life without kids?  Pretty much the same I think of the life that people have with kids.  It can be crazy, scary, noisy, chaotic, calm, rewarding and at the end of the day wonderful.

ShamsAci
ShamsAci

CREATIVE LIVING AWARENESS WELFARE (CLAW):

The overpopulated world  has been becoming more and more densely populated with the passage of time and as all such human creatures need foods, clothes, shelters plus other necessities, which the retarded world does not seem having adequate capacity of providing properly and considering such tragic situation if someone contributes his or her share to do some welfare deed like producing no children to add to the already surviving frustrated ones, wouldn't it be a 'selfless' work than being labelled as 'selfish' move?

  -  A.R.Shams's Reflection - Series of Press and Online Publications - Moral Messages for Humanity Worldwide

CarolynnVarner
CarolynnVarner

Personally, I don't think there is anything wrong with it.

skipmulkey
skipmulkey

Read Freakanomics, the chapter on "Where Have All The Criminals Gone?" and you begin to see the changes when we over-birth. Some couples see it, some don't. Theres major traffic and 42 kids per classroom, no end in sight. Also theres all kinds of job loss, time to make less people. That 5-year-old has to go work or college in 13 years; the economic downturn is 5 years old. When you're in traffic, you are literally waiting behind the multi-child families of the 70's. Do the math, I had one child, twenty years ago and I saw the overpopulation of the world coming when I got my vasectomy in 1994. All the countries that are doing better than ours: Sweden, Canada, Australia, Norway, Brazil are all underpopulated, enjoy growth. The jobs that went away that spurred the population drop? E-mail took alot of post office jobs, online bill pay took out the printed envelope producers jobs, GPS takes out paper map producers. Nooks and Kindles took out book jobs, Borders is out of business. The obvious new jobs, dot.coms and weed, aren't in significant enough numbers to replace the lost jobs. Legalzoom takes out lawyer jobs, digital photography took out film processing jobs, postage stamps, floppy discs, VCR's, type writers, less jobs means technology took out the "jobspace" your second child would take. As it is now, us in our 50's had to crash down into the remaining jobs looking for work when we lost our original jobs in 2008. Geez. We're still in for a great crash as all the extra people try and go to work in the future. Just an idea: China has had the "One Child Rule" since the 70's, still too many people. Theres never been a country in the history of Earth that bred itself into prosperity. Thank you all for birthing less....

kcahill
kcahill

At the end of the day, I'm just sad for those who choose childlessness.  They are missing out on the deepest of all human connections. They're missing it all, and that's just sad.   Aside from that, I dare Lauren Sandler, who wrote "with fertility treatment widely available, not to mention adoption, even clinically infertile women have more options than ever to become mothers," to walk into any major infertility center's waiting area and see what the patients there have to say about that.  I've been there, I was an infertility patient for years, and I can promise Lauren that motherhood, whether biological or adoptive, is NOT an option for every deserving couple.

kcahill
kcahill

@dee @kcahill I do not have children.  I am infertile. 

You are right, the most dangerous place for children is in the hands of an unwilling parent.  For those of us who would have been good parents and long for the connection of having children, life is indeed sad.

Marie-EveLandry
Marie-EveLandry

@kcahill Very condescending.

Some people have a deep connection. Some people don't. I knew mothers who never felt that kind of connection. It would be stupid to make a kid "in case I'd be missing out". This is the kind of feeling you can only experience when you do it. You cannot undo it.

To be missing out on something you have to wish for it at some point.

perthygirl
perthygirl

@kcahill Ever occur to you that people who don't want kids already lack the ability to experience the "deepest of human connections"? They know what they're missing. They just don't care. It's not an attack on your lifestyle, why feel so threatened by theirs? 

Tele-CatJohnson
Tele-CatJohnson

@kcahill Oh, just shove it, ok? I HATE children and being near them makes me want to vomit. 

dee
dee

@kcahill you feel sad for those of us without kids?  What an amazingly condescending thing to say, is that what having kids does to you?  I guess I made the right choice.  

Not having kids is not a character flaw, any more than having kids makes someone a better person.  I don't feel sorry for people with kids, I know that I would not want that, but I also understand that everyone has to make the choice that is right for them.  

I do feel very sorry for the many, many kids that are born to parents that really should have never had kids (abuse, rape and neglect).


cantsayit
cantsayit

I think it's rather funny in the Old Days when I was growing up, (1960's), the big panic was we were going to overpopulate the world.  Now the panic is we aren't having enough children!  It seems like people can never be happy! 

ArturoCortés
ArturoCortés

Government should make it easier to adopt. There are plenty of children who grow up homeless and without anyone to rely on, and yet people are expected to breed. To breed another child into this kind of world, where not even already existing orphans are sure to find a family. We definitely don't need more people.

cantsayit
cantsayit

@ArturoCortés But that makes more creepy abusive people able to adopt if it was made easier!  The children need to be protected from them!

MichelleMulch
MichelleMulch

@cantsayit @ArturoCortés He doesn't mean forgo backgrounds checks and social services checks to adopt, he means the lengthy useless waiting periods and mountains of red tape once you clear all the checks and you are considered a fit parent. After that you should be able to adopt your child without hassle.

ShamsAci
ShamsAci

It may be good to have children although better it is not to have in the world of today full of complications. 

- A.R.Shams's Reflection - Series of Press & Online Publications - Moral Messages for Humanity Worldwide - http://www.arshamssreflection.blogspot.com/


Peace_2_All
Peace_2_All

I grew up, basically never wanting to have kids.  As I've gotten older, and also  I now have a 13 yr. old god-son, whom I love dearly, it has been a mutually beneficial relationship on many levels for the both of us.  

And with all of that said, everyone has different goals/dreams/desires and their path to walk that gives them meaning.

For some... a kid or kids really works for them, and for others not so much.

Seems fairly simple on one-level IMHO.

Peace...

SylDLucas
SylDLucas

I had no idea how to answer "Does having kids bring you a) happiness b) unhappiness or c) short term unhappiness (etc.). I don't have kids, and I certainly won't speak for people who do. Having kids would bring me unhappiness because I don't want them, but in general... who knows? I don't understand the question. - Sylvia, author of "No Children, No Guilt"

MichelleMulch
MichelleMulch

@SylDLucas I have a child. I have only one, and I plan on only ever having one. He brings me happiness, at the same time I've had to give up a lot to have him. In that way I'm unsatisfied with my life I don't have the career I want and I can't until he reaches an age where he can fend for himself because day care is astronomically expensive. I'm not sorry I had him, however, I love him. I do wish I had waited longer though. It really depends on what's important to you. I don't judge people who choose not to have kids at all. I don't blame them; in fact, it's a hell of a lot of work and quite frankly it doesn't always pay off for some parents.

cantsayit
cantsayit

@SylDLucas I skipped that question, having heard the comment from people with kids enough to believe when they say "You don't have kids so what do you know?!"  I don't know so I can't say what having kids would bring me! 

Temujin
Temujin

If you're concerned about the falling birthrate, and it's selfish not to keep the birthrate up, then that means everyone with only ONE child is also "selfish." If our job as Americans is to keep up the replacement rate, then let's see all this criticism directed at all those people who stopped at one. Let's level all the same criticism at people who decided to adopt. By the pronatalist logic, if you have any less children than you are able to, you are selfish. If you stopped at 12 when you could have had 13, you're just being selfish....

stuntcat13
stuntcat13

Thank you Time for the article.  But I wish you'd talked more about environmental reasons.  Not having a baby means I haven't created another 1st-world consumer, but much more important than that- I haven't given the rest of this century to my baby.  And what if I had a little girl?  Then what if in 2040 she was saddened every day by her own species causing a mass-extinction (which is already a disaster but by that time might even be getting the attention of the average tv-head) and then what if she experiences the pressure and mental abuse that my decision not to have a baby has earned me?  No.  No, my daughter does not belong to what we're about to make of this world.  Every reason for making children now, even the sweetest sounding one, really comes back to a selfishness.   If you have that much to give a child, if you want to feel that magic feeling, there are already millions of children who need your help.

Tele-CatJohnson
Tele-CatJohnson

@stuntcat13 I wish it had included just ONE person who was courageous enough to say, "I don't like kids, and I'd rather not be around them." 

 But given the story was written by a breeder, my expectations were low.