Stop Telling Me I Need to Have Children

What is everyone’s obsession with having children? Why must this be such a mandatory task in life? Last time I checked it wasn’t a means of survival or a measure of the quality of life. So why must you pressure me into thinking the only way to truly live is to have children? I am a thirty-year-old female who is quite happy with the current condition and flow of my life. I live in one of the most expensive cities and quite frankly have and have never had the desire to have children.

I grew up in a small town outside of Atlanta, Georgia. You may have heard of it: Woodstock. No, not New York. Not the 1969 rock fest either. Woodstock, Georgia now has a population of 30,000 people. When I grew up there in the 90’s, the population was at about 10,000. Yes, that is quite a bit different than where I live now, in Los Angeles, where there is a thriving population of 3.9 million (as of 2016). Those who I grew up with and now see on my Facebook feed, are married, have at least one child, maybe two. Some have been married already; going on their second marriage. Very few I see like myself who are not yet married and do not have any children– either by choice or luck of the draw.

Let’s be clear, I do not have anything against children. I like them. I think they are adorable, precious little gifts from heaven, but I do not want one of my own. Don’t hate me for it or look at me and think I’m a selfish person because I choose not to have a baby. I’ve got mad love for kids and enjoy hanging around them for a limited amount of time.

The thing is this: They are insanely expensive. You could get a real lemon and that would be a never-ending nightmare. Have you looked around? We live in a rather turbulent time. I’d rather not have to deal with other the obvious headaches (play-dates, never-ending comparisons, schools, teachers, homework, bullies, excessive amounts of cleaning, poop, the flu, etc). I don’t know about you, but I would just not. My parents are rather happy not being grandparents and having the freedom to live out their lives child-free. So that is a major plus. If the entire world judges me for not wanting children, at least my parents are cool with it (haha).

Where did this checklist of things you need to accomplish by a certain age to meet all the standards to qualify as an acceptable human being come from anyway? In case you need a visual, it looks something like this.

If you are someone like me, conscientiously choosing not to have a child of their own, you aren’t weird, or alone. The choice not to have children is actually on the rise. According to the Huffington Post, “… the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, in 2014, 47.6 percent of women between age 15 and 44 had never had children, up from 46.5 percent in 2012. This represents the highest percentage of childless women since the bureau started tracking that data in 1976.”

In other words, it doesn’t make you a bad person. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re selfish either. As long as you are contributing good to this world, helping others, making use of your talents and amazing attributes, there is no reason you should feel ashamed of this choice. I know what you’re thinking… “But who will take care of you when you’re old if you don’t have any kids?” Allow me to point out a startling thought in retrospect: Who is to say this child you have will grow up to like you, or even be around to take care of you when you’re old? Who’s to say they aren’t going to move away or not have the means to be or provide you with a caretaker? With all the money you’d save by not having children you could quite possibly live out the remainder of your elderly years pretty darn lavishly. I know, what a concept, right? But please, carry on and tell me again why you think I need to have children. It’s still going to be a no for me.

 

Image via Pixabay

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