Often viewed as being lazy, selfish, or just another damn millennial, people choosing a childfree lifestyle can expect to hear a LOT of negative remarks about their choice not to procreate. Hearing the same responses over and over again can really make you question yourself.
“How do you not want kids!? My kids are the best thing to ever happen to me!”
“Doesn’t that sound selfish?”
“You don’t know that. When you meet the right person you’ll want kids”
After dealing with this relentless wave of opposition, or even if you haven’t told a soul yet, it’s completely understandable to feel guilty for not wanting children. That’s why we’re here! Here are 6 reasons why you shouldn’t feel guilty for being child-free.
1. Children are stupid expensive
Yeah, no shit, but it’s surprising how easily people can forget this. According to a recent study from NerdWallet, an average income family can expect to pay $21,000 to $51,000 in the first year alone. I don’t know about any of you, but I DEFINITELY do not have that kind of cash lying around. Again, this is only their first year! I could get into the exponential rise of college tuition, but I’m sure you already know where that would go. Choosing not to have kids based on your financial unpreparedness shouldn’t be viewed as selfish, and I’d go as far to say that it can be a pretty selfless act.
2. The world can be pretty scary
Depending on who you talk to, this response may elicit the occasional eye-roll, but it’s a valid reason! In case you missed it, the world is kinda bonkers right now. Earthquakes have claimed hundreds. Enormous hurricanes have battered the US. North Korea tests nukes more often than I mow the lawn, and there’s a GD Cheeto in the White House. Not wanting to bring a child into this world when you fear for your own ability to not die on the daily is only logical.
3. Some people just wouldn’t make good parents.
Raising a child takes patience. Not “patiently waiting in line for coffee” patience, but a slow, and relentless test of fortitude that can last YEARS. Some people just can’t deal with a small human that’s totally reliant, and accepting that is far better than trying to raise a child you resent.
4. You find fulfillment elsewhere.
One of the biggest reasons people decide to start a family is for the fulfillment it gives. For some, dedicating their lives to a child can be the greatest task they’ll ever undertake. A true magnum opus. Not everyone is the same though, and you may find yourself interested in something different. People can find fulfillment and purpose in many ways, whether it be developing your career, traveling the world, or donating their time and money to those less fortunate. Children are not the only road to fulfillment, but one route out of many.
5. Pregnancy is scary and takes a physical toll
Guys out there obviously may not consider this, but pregnancy and childbirth can be intense. As a society though we only really focus on the good parts. Watch any pregnancy test commercial and you’ll see tons of ecstatic woman finding out they’re expecting, and that’s about it. Those commercials never focus on the months of morning sickness, constant fatigue, or the hundreds of trips to the bathroom on a daily basis. On top of all that, pregnancy can have symptoms that last for years after your baby is born including over/underactive thyroid, bladder dropping, stress incontinence, and even acne! Being a woman who is legitimately concerned about the physical toll of pregnancy should not at all feel guilty for choosing to avoid it altogether.
6. We’re overpopulated as it is.
Whether you believe it or not, the Earth is warming, and the scientific community agrees that humans are mostly to blame. It’s a valid concern that Millennials share, and to help the cause many are choosing not to procreate.
Have you ever felt that pang of guilt when sharing that you’re child-free? What’s your go-to response when someone gets a little too into your biz? Let me know what you think in the comments section!