This is a huge topic, clearly. I don’t want my identity to be that I’m childfree, rather that I’m just a person…who just happens to be in their late 20’s without any children, or desire to have children. And with that, there are a good amount of reasons why I don’t want children.
Of course, these are my personal reasons, and this post is not me suggesting that people shouldn’t have children for whatever reason.
I’ll start from the turning point, and go into other points that I have. I feel that the beginning is best.
I discovered it was an option
Throughout my life I always saw myself as having children in the future, mainly because that was the said and done thing, you know? Everyone has children. I didn’t know better. But I was 22 before I sat down and thought about my life, and where I wanted it to go. I realised down the line that having children was simply a choice, and not a requirement to go through life. It wasn’t the deciding factor, but it was the starting point, so I feel it’s important to address it.
Mental and physical health issues
I’ll get into this more when I decide to make a post on it, but I suffer from depression, anxiety and PTSD. I am aware that women with a history of mental health issues actually have an increased chance of post-natal depression, and that’s just not something I’m willing to risk.
I also suffer from misophonia, which you probably know as a disorder in which certain sounds are a trigger for psychological or emotional responses that others may perceive as unreasonable. Personally, two of my biggest triggers (PTSD-related ones aside) are the sounds of eating, and (funnily enough), children screaming or crying. I can understand the need for a child to scream or cry, and I’m not trying to dispute that, but it’s just a sound that physically hurts whenever I hear it.
I know it’s unlikely to happen to others, but as it turns out, Alzheimer’s runs in my family. My nanna has it, my great-grandad passed away from it about 13 years ago, and my great-uncle recently passed from it. I’m probably going to suffer from it, and so would future children.
Speaking of issues that are passed down the family, both myself and my partner have a family history of heart problems – his mum had a heart attack a few years ago, and my own mum had a heart attack nearly two years ago. They both survived, but my uncle (fit as a fiddle, ran loads of marathons) had a sudden heart attack and passed away towards the end of 2018.
I am concerned about overpopulation, and while I may not appear cautious about the environment as a whole, I do have my concerns. According to researchers back in 2017, having children is one of the worst things you can do to the environment – I mean, yes, having one or two children probably isn’t going to kill the world, but it puts things into perspective when I see families with multiple children (I’m talking 4+ children here). The article actually suggests having smaller families than larger.
Yes, travelling is also a bad thing to do for the environment, but I actually don’t get to travel by plane that often at the moment.
I have no maternal instinct
I actually don’t feel anything for a child. Like, I think about being pregnant, and that can be a passing thought, much in the same way as I think the sky looks really grey that day, or what I’m going to have for lunch. I haven’t had that need to have a child, and I don’t want to risk getting pregnant, to give birth only to hate the child.
After all, it’s better to regret not having children than it is to regret having one, in my opinion.
My friend’s predicament
My friend has five children. The eldest slapped one of the younger ones. The blame was put on the friend’s boyfriend, and the eldest was forced to lie to Social Services and the police about the slap, leading to a two-year investigation. I’ve been to one of those meetings, and despite the progress that had been made, it was like a criminal court. I went through that whole issue with her, supporting her. Social Services are very harsh in the UK, and at times undergo borderline illegal dealings to make sure that they get children taken away from innocent parents to get their commission. If anyone wants to refute that, I’ve seen it first-hand. It was one of the first things that truly put me off having children.
Morning sickness = no thanks!
Yeah I am also emetophobic – I don’t want anything to do with the slightest notion of vomiting, and even people telling me they’re nauseous sets me on edge. I’ve been like it since I was a kid, for seemingly no reason. I wouldn’t be able to cope with morning sickness, I barely cope with food poisoning.
I enjoy my life as it is
I discussed this with some friends, and I like the notion that I am responsible for myself, and at this point in time, I enjoy my life enough. Sure, I could do with more money, but everyone thinks that. Besides, I like the fact that I can plan for a trip here and there whenever the budget falls right (I’m off to Liverpool in April, for example), and that I can work on myself without working on someone else.
While we in the UK are very lucky to have the NHS, according to a 2017 Cost of a Child report from the Child Poverty Action Group estimated the cost of a couple raising a single child up to 18 is £150,783 – not taking into account that nowadays most children stay at home past 18 due to external factors such as lack of job security, caring for one of their parents or education. Plus there’s so much to prepare for even before having a child. We’re definitely not in a financial position to have a child.
Because I don’t want kids
Pretty simple, isn’t it?
I want to know other people’s reasons for not having children. And if you did change your mind and eventually had children, what made you change your minds? Just out of curiosity, of course!