Making a Case for a Childless Existence

I am in my early thirties, and I don’t have any children. I don’t want any. Neither does my husband, which is fortunate for our relationship.

There are many reasons I advocate for a childless existence, but let’s start at the beginning:

The idea of getting pregnant, and having some living, moving, growing being inside of me, totally freaks me out. It’s such a foreign concept to me- one that I can’t wrap my mind around, and I don’t want to. You know how some people plan out their families from a young age- “I want to have a girl and a boy…”— I have never had any of that thought process. Children have never felt like they were part of my destiny. The closest I’ve come to it is wondering about having heirs to pass my personal library down to. And I’ve gotten over that- there are plenty of places that I can donate my library to. That issue has been resolved.

After pregnancy, you then have a mewling 6–11 pound living breathing creature. This creature was hogging all of your energy and pushing against your lungs and bladder for 9 months. Now that bundle of joy is exercising its own lungs, and stealing your sleep. Truth be told, I actually don’t mind babies so much. I think because they’re closer to being animals, which I love. Sure, the fussy ones can be obnoxious, and don’t even get me started on the croupy ones. I had croup as a baby, so you can be damned sure that I would end up with a croupy baby.

It’s when those babies start walking and talking….and you hit toddler phase….

Toddlers are….incredible. It is such an important phase of a human being’s life, and it seems to go on forever. This is really the part of parenting that I absolutely want no part in. These little chubby demons never sit still, and are constantly at war with themselves over whether they need you to pay attention to them every second of the day, or if they want nothing to do with you. Toddlers are exhausting, and I give every parent major props for dealing with the tantrums, the refusals to eat dinner, the getting into everything phase. I can’t imagine having to do that shit day in and day out for a couple years. So I ask, why do you? Why do people invite this chaos into their life?? Repeatedly, too! They will have babies close together, as to ensure they have several little demons running around AT THE SAME TIME. It baffles me. “It’s so worth it,” is the most common defense I hear all the time. In my opinion, the amount of stress and aggravation is at least equal to the amount of “parenting reward” (when your kid actually eats his whole dinner, or the nighttime cuddle time.) Having an equal amount of aggravation/stress to ‘parenting wins’ does not make a strong case for having kids. Perhaps if the amount of aggravation and stress was significantly lower than the number of easy parenting days (like those exist, ha! I know what you’re thinking) I would consider having a child.

I guess once they start school, that’s some relief (no more astronomical daycare costs!). But then there’s the stress of whether your kid is getting bullied, if the school is safe, if they’re making bad friendships, developing bad habits. And I think these worries only amplify as the years go by. What if, despite your best efforts, your kid turns out to be a jerk? What if your kid ends up being a total lazy shitball?

Now let’s talk environmental:

Every human being on the planet, even the ones that are determined to leave the smallest carbon footprint possible, generate some trash. And when you have a child, your personal pollution then becomes exponential- now you and your child are both generating trash. And chances are your child will go on to have children, and they will create trash. It adds up, folks.

I am aware that there are many areas in the world where women don’t have a choice to make about their own reproductive rights, and are subjected to living as breeding cows from a very tender age. It’s heartbreaking, and unfortunately, are cultures that aren’t going to change anytime soon. That’s why it’s so important for those of us that do have a choice, to be mindful of how our family planning impacts our environment. There are so many babies and children out there who need families- imagine if everyone adopted instead of having their own?

When I am invited to the occasional baby shower (because I’m at that age when everyone else is popping them out), one thing always makes me cringe: all the packaging. There is so much shit that parents buy and subscribe to, that is unnecessary. So much trash gets generated just at the damn baby shower and the kid hasn’t even arrived yet.

The bottom line is, we only have so much planet, folks. This planet has finite resources, and our parasitic asses are chewing them up at a quick pace. Our species is out of control, and it’s up to us to rein it in.

My husband and I subscribe to the D.I.N.K. lifestyle- Dual Income No Kids. And I encourage you to live the same way. You’ll have all the flexibility and freedom you desire, and lots more disposable income. It’s rather baffling to me why more people don’t subscribe. Why fill your life with stress and annoying whiny little expensive humans?

I guess that drive to reproduce is something I will never understand. And that’s fine with me.

-AK

Writer. Cat Lover. Anti-kid.

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