When I reveal my unconventional decision not to have children, people respond with “Well, you’ll understand when you’re a parent.” However, it’s not a lack of understanding that’s dissuaded me from parenthood. I know how having children gives you a new purpose in life by dedicating your care to another, and I have no plans to experience that. Naturally, people want a good reason why, so I have a few honest answers.
To Save Money
I wouldn’t call myself cheap, but I grew up in this recession and have become quite money conscious. The more mouths you have to feed, the more money you have to make! Finances are always on the minds of middle class parents (I should know; I was one of their children), and it takes away from quality of life. I plan to live comfortably so that I can focus on health and happiness. Scratching children out of my agenda takes away from the financial burden.
Not to Worry
My mother worries about me excessively. When I tell her not to, she says “it’s my job to worry.” I can’t argue with her there. This may be where the “I wouldn’t want to raise a child in this world” argument comes in. Parenting would be more joyful if there was nothing to worry about, although far less rewarding. And while you’d expect most caretakers to be mature enough for the challenge, most are not. I recognize that I’m not mature enough to worry in a level-headed manner for my child. Parents seem convinced that bearing children forces you to grow up quickly, but some people never grow up whether they have ten kids or none.
To Allow Time
In planning my goals, I never once see kids in the picture. I like to get a lot of things done in a limited amount of time. Having children would only elongate projects more. It’s selfish, but that’s not time that I’m willing to give up. I only have 70 or so years left to achieve my goals, and even that isn’t enough time. So unless I get everything done before I’m 50, you’ll probably never see me with a stroller.
A Pet is Enough
Honestly, a cat and a dog are all I need as far as a dependent. I love animals and enjoy taking care of them. Parents roll their eyes about non-parents and their pets, but the pet is our low-stress, no-talking, little kid. Being a pet owner allows me to express my motherly side without sacrificing my whole life. Also, if there weren’t non-parent types in the world, there would likely be fewer rescued and adopted pets.
“My God, are we gonna be like our parents?”
That line from the Breakfast Club makes me shiver every time. I remember many scenarios as a kid where I thought “I would’ve handled that way better!” Then this line reminds me that I probably wouldn’t. It’s everybody’s worst childhood fear, but they eventually cope with falling short of the tree. I know my qualities are too similar to my parents’ to try to avoid it. My heart would break if my child saw me the way I see my parents, or worse, if she/he became like me someday.