MORE: Life Without Kids
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!
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?
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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
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....
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.
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!
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.
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/
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.
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"
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....
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.
The first question in the poll is ironic. Since the childfree are NOT bringing children into an overpopulated world, how can they be selfish? In our recently published boo, "Enough of Us" we make the case that the single most selfish thing that moral people do is create a new life in order to satisfy their personal desires.
We chose not to have children for myriad reasons, none of which had to do with indulging ourselves. We considered the risks to the newborn, our own abilities to parent successfully, and impacts on the environment, as well as human sustainability. Does the world really need OUR kids?
Why would it matter if someone decided to have or not have children unless the terms of our social contract require it? For example, if we have an unalienable right to our neighbors' labor -- a right to take their time and work and consume it, by taxing it from them somehow, then as long as someone has children, they are there to tax (steal from) -- to satisfy my wants and needs. This assertion rationalizes the deliberately childless person's claim upon their neighbor's children time and labor with it comes time to be helped, assuming they are like most Americans who do not save enough for retirement.
But it does matter if one does not have an unalienable right to another's labor; one cannot, as a right, compel another to provide for one's old age care, for example. Well -- of course one can if one has the power by force of law and lethal force (as is the case now, with our federal social safety-net), but I mean if we lived in a highly cooperative society, less dependent on coercions and compulsions.
The libertarian, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" unalienable right no doubt infers one should not be compelled to have children if such children bring less life, little liberty, and surely spoil one's happiness.
What choosing to be childless means, ironically, is to choose to not be the parents of anyone. No not be watched over by children to whom one watched over when they were most vulnerable. It is a choice to place oneself out for adoption, in terms of old-age care, for example, to children of peers who no doubt need their children's care, or to case oneself upon the mercy of the state, trusting we have taxed ourselves enough to subsidize one's adoption.
If we do not have an unalienable right to another's time or labor -- to care and provide for us when we plainly cannot manage things for ourselves, then we cannot compel others to do so. It seems a matter of manners and simple fairness, not to mention thousands of years of history to teach us, that having children offers a quality of life on a host of levels, including elder care for example. I'm speaking in the abstract of course. No doubt family estrangements spoil the model.
That said, I know an elderly widower who has been essentially adopted by his niece's family. He and his late wife had a severely retarded / special needs child (their only son) who was placed in a group home when he became too difficult to care for (thank Kansans wonderful compassions). The niece's family is blessed to do it, no different than being blessed to have their own children.
I hope every deliberately childless person is just as deliberate about arranging who will adopt them when that time comes, and it will absolutely come. Liberty and freedom are the elixir of life that only vessels of self-denial and responsibility can hold.
Thanks for the poll! In general I found this article to be well researched and I truly appreciated the stats and the childfree celeb quotes. However some of the quotes used are misleading. I am the author/coach Laura Scott who quoted in the first paragraph and for the record I wasn't raised by a single mom who worked nights, as you may have assumed. I had two great parents who spent evenings with us playing board games and cards and hide and seek. And I was motivated to remain childfree because I loved my freedom and my life the way it was-- not because I didn't have a good role models for parenting. Also The Childless by Choice Project documentary is not in the research stage but has been released and is available now on DVD.
So you have a poll about the childfree lifestyle yet its aimed at parents?! How the hell does that make any sense?! SMDH We are not outsiders, aliens nor plagued....we are just as much apart of the US as anyone else. How about making these question a bit more universal?! SMDH Pathetic.
7 billion people on this planet and NO ONE is talking about overpopulation? That was all I heard about 40 years ago when we had 5 billion people and I first started considering not having children.
Selfish NOT to have kids? Isn't it much MORE selfish to have multiple children in an overpopulated world facing global warming, pollution, and an oil crash? Talk about your "selfish gene."
As a libertarian I believe people can do or not do what they want. For me I have it both ways. I spent my 20,s and 30,s partying sleeping in late etc. I had a child at 44 and another at 47. Two red headed boys. Now we still see rock bands using our childless 52 year old sister in law as a babysitter. But mostly it,s chuck cheese, recitals, and Busch Gardens. Still fun just different from the mosh pit.
I'm 47, childfree and happily married. I never wanted to have kids, never felt the so-called "biological clock " clicking. I think that childfree people may be selfish for any reason - just like people with children are often selfish too. It has nothing to do with having children or not, it's just a personality thing. Some people are selfish and some people are not. Besides, many people with children are selfish for having them so as not to be lonely in their old age or to have someone taking care of them once they get old , lonely and sick. That's horribly selfish! Also, having children when one has no financial means to properly raise them is very selfish - with the children and with the WORLD as well. And so is having children at a very old age or when one has some terrible, hereditary disease like diabetes, hemophilia, aids, alcoholism etc...
Childfree people should get tax breaks and even a 'medal' for being so eco-friendly! The World would sure be a much better place if instead of 7 billion human 'miracles' in it, there were only 5 million or so. There would be plenty of EVERTHING then, for everyone in the planet!
I don't think that childfree people are selfish in the classic definition of the word. The definition of "selfish" -- at least as I understand it -- is hoarding too much of a commodity that other people really need and refusing to share. Selfishness is greed, avarice. Sort of like the top 1 percent in our nation and corporations that refuse to pay people a livable wage so they won't have to cut into their profit margin. To me, refusing to care about our fellow man and the people already on this planet who need our help is selfish. A person who doesn't have children because he/she has the lack of desire to do so, medical problems and/or who cannot afford them is anything but! Each to his or her own. I'm childfree and pro-choice, in full support of other people's personal decision to either have children, adopt or foster children, or forego parenthood entirely.
I wanted to have a child but biology has decided it's not to be for me and my partner. We also didn't find each other until later in life, so even if we could have kids of our own (or adopt), it just seems too late in the game at this point.
That said the pressure to conform and have children is absolutely real and immensely felt, by those of us who are childless-by-circumstance, by infertility, OR childfree by choice. People sometimes assume we've made the "choice" to be childless because we're "selfish" about wanting to have more time to travel and enjoy our own life. No, we simply decided to not wallow in misery over it not working out, and making the most of the good life we have together.
I wish everyone would stop calling each other "selfish" when there are selfish AND selfless motivations involved no matter what path you're on in life: with children or without.
well i am a Christian by faith in the LORD JESUS CHRIST AND ON A topic like this i would rather give you the LORD'S perspective PS. 127:3 SAYS Lo, children are an heritage ofthe LORD: andthefruitofthewombis his reward. AND IN MY OPINION CHILDREN REPRESENT THE PARENTS' ALSO have children because you want to love them and remember you were once a child as your parents how you were
I chose not to have children because I can't afford to raise a child, a pregnancy would be bad for me medically, and I lack patience. Not to mention I have a family history of horrid mental illnesses and I don't feel like russian roulette. I regret nothing. I don't mind helping with others' kids though and dump them with their parents when I've had it.
We all want to have a child.
But we need to be responsible. If we can afford to be responsible because the forces are very strong.
Correct upbringing is obviously a plus. We need God's help.
To have a child we need time, love, and money.
You need to support a wife and a child.
Probably childbirth should be in homes again, rather than in hospitals.
That scenario is far from occurring, or will never occur, but no babies, no humanity any more.
This would be a very lonely place.
We need to do whatever is required to bring back happy families.
@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?
@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.
@kcahill Oh, just shove it, ok? I HATE children and being near them makes me want to vomit.
@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).
@ArturoCortés But that makes more creepy abusive people able to adopt if it was made easier! The children need to be protected from them!
@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.
@SylDLucas Are You SylviaDelores from ASC?
@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!
@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.
@LauraS.Scott You just had to please the breeders by caling ity "Childless..." and not childfree.
Have you always liked pleasing breeders?
@AngiMartin I sure don't feel like as much a part of the U.S. as anyone else. Heck, I can't even park close to a store. that area is for people with children ONLY!
No kids, you are second class citizen in lands such as Family Only Central PA. Everything here has to have the word
FAMILY on it. Even the Carlisle YMCA and the local Salvation Army thrift stores. Have no family and we don't belong.
@sockii Thanks for posting and reminding us to love what we have because if we really did that we wouldn't have to attach labels to each other or to disparage people who don't choose the same path as we do.
Ok, sure. I'll have a kid I don't want because the Guy in the Sky said so. I''ll be sure to be a bitter and resentful mother so my kid is raised knowing it was not wanted and was nothing more than a a pesky fly to me.I'm sure they will be a lovely addition to society with all the issues this distant, involved mother would cause. Happy now?
Oh, well. I much prefer the people I'll meet in Hell than the people who think they're going to Heaven.
If you knew your Bible you would realise that NEITHER of those statements is a command to have children, indeed, Jesus loved and praised those who didn't. Don't take the Bible out of context to meet your own need.
What God most definitely did COMMAND us was to look after the earth, and it is the very nature of having so many children that means we are failing to do so! So, I would say as a Christian that fellow Christians should only be having (if they so desire) a maximum of the 'replacement rate' and absolutely no more than that. Even better those that want one or none.
@bryankearley Or honor God's creation by not adding to the human population that is desecrating and destroying it. I'm sure Christ Jesus would have had NO PROBLEM with people who decided not to have children at a time like this, but it would have been inconceivable to predict how human population would have grown from that perspective. How on Earth could it be considered wrong or anti-Christian in any way?
"We all want to have a child."
No. We all don't.
You can't speak for everyone!
"We all want to have a child" really? I don't, and I know lots of other people who don't.
I actually agree that births should be back in the home and less fuss should be made, however this would raise the infant/mother mortality rate and we no longer live in a world where we can cope with death, or what nature determines for us, we live in a world that wants everyone to live as long as physically possible even if nature is clearly telling us this world isn't (or is no longer) for them. We do this no matter how poor someone's quality of life is even.
Why would no humanity be a lonely place? No-one would exist to feel loneliness! It would likely be an incredibly beautiful place with the earth and its other inhabitants once again able to live freely without one incredibly selfish species taking over and trying to kill them!
I hope you realise our species WILL go extinct some day. In the grand scheme of the earth's history we are but a drop in the ocean my friend, we are completely insignificant.
@eagle_blue No - not everyone wants kids...just like not everyone wants a dog, or a cat, or a house,.....my goodness - talk about "generalizing". SMDH Get a grip!
@eagle_blue We dont' all want to have a child. Neither my wife nor I have ever had a single desire to have children. I knew since I was a child myself. I like kids, and I'm good with kids, but I've known for more than 20 years that I've never wanted them. Our choice not to have kids is not an attack on your choice to have them, but you should know that people are different, and we've always been very happy with our decision and always will be.
@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.
Shaking My Damn Head!
It is quite surprising to me to compare (or put in the same box) cats, dogs, houses, and babies.
But I believe what you say.
You are not kidding!
I know that what you say is truthful.
Thanks for taking the time to reply my comment.
It is so hard to me to believe what you say, but I know it should be entirely correct.
I remember a fine gentleman from Arkansas.
I considered him a very good friend of mine.
I was actually an instructor, he was an intelligent student.
He was probably older than myself.
He once told me he did not want to have children.
He said he had a lot of nephews, and he wanted to travel the world.
He was healthy, blond, blue eyes, probably from German descent.
His surname seemed to me like German.
He worked for a big, and well known factory based (I think) in Arkansas.
I could not believed what he used to say (about that childless life) and I was sad he had decided that way.
He appeared to me like a breve man.
I remember him with great affection.
@kcahill You are NOT a good parent.
I think what you are failing to understand is that they are not comparing children with cats they are comparing the desire to have either. There is no problem comparing a desire to have children with a desire for anything else at all. We do not choose our desires, we are born with them (or with the constituent parts to make them once we see or experience something/someone).
I love sailing, I love being at sea, but I detest flying. My friend is the opposite. Neither of us can tell you where that love or hate comes from, it is simply part of who we are. We could tell you what it is that we don't like about sailing or flying but not WHY we feel that way when the other doesn't. I couldn't tell you why I dislike the colour pink or why I find the music of Wagner appealing when others don't, it's just part of who I am and the way I was made.
We have all been made as individuals, we have all been made with different desires and different dislikes, and we would be at a loss to explain why we feel the way we do about certain things. For every single object or person in the world there will be the whole spectrum of people that love it right through to people that hate it. The subject of children is no exception to the rule, some are born with the desire to have them and others are born without it.
Don't waste your time erroneously pitying people or feeling sad for people who are happy living the life they were given and being true to who they are, save your pity for those that have children even though they really didn't want them, they are the ones that are hurting.