10 Reasons Not to Have Kids
Having kids is not for everybody and there are lots of reasons not to have them. I have them, but I'm not so conceited to think that they're everybody's cup of tea. They're not. Sometimes they're not my cup of tea. There are a tremendous number of things that suck about having kids and if you decide not to have any, you shouldn't feel guilty about it. It's not some kind of imperative that you have them or that you be a parent. Life can be enjoyed to its fullest without children. Deciding not to have kids can be as liberating a decision as deciding to have them. As long as you can tolerate your friends who do have kids and all their stupid questions about when you're going to have them or why you don't have them and you can convince your parents to get off your back, things should be okay. Anyway, if you need a few pat responses to questions about your lack of children, here are 10 pretty good reasons not to have children.
- The planet has enough damn people on it - Just take a look at how many people are living on our planet and how many of them are starving to death or living in squalor. Do you really want to bring another human being onto this planet who's going to suck up resources that could potentially go to somebody who is already here? Overpopulation is a pretty decent reason not to have children.
- They will suck every last dime from you - Children require money and lots of it. And even if you have lots of money, those kids are likely going to suck up every extra last dime you've got. So if you want to keep your money, not having kids is an excellent way to do that.
- They will suck every last minute from your life - Do you like your free time? Do you like lounging around on a Sunday afternoon watching football in your pajamas or staying up until midnight playing video games or sleeping in until 10am on a weekend morning? If so, don't have kids because you'll never do anything like that again, at least not for the foreseeable future. Every last minute you have will be spent with the kids. The whole concept of free time will likely vanish and you'll be left wondering, quite often, where the hell your old life went.
- They give you nightmares - The upside to having kids is how much you will love them and how much they will love you. The extreme downside to having kids is how much you end up worrying about them. When they're young, you have nightmares about them getting hit by cars and abducted and eaten by zoo animals. It's like being on a constant, very disturbing haunted house ride that never ends. As they age, you worry about why they're not home. Then when they finally move out, you worry about how they're doing or why they're not calling. It just never ends.
- They'll poop, pee, and vomit all over you - If you've got any hang-ups about bodily functions, you should not have children because within a very short span of time, you'll be pooped on, peed on, and vomited all over. Not to mention, children are little germ carriers and you're going to be sick a whole lot more than you ever were before. Still, if you want to prepare for having kids, try rolling around in a sewer or a cess pool.
- They'll test every last emotional reserve you've got - Whether you thought you were a calm person, a smart person, an emotional person - kids will turn everything you feel about yourself upside-down. No matter how much of a pacifist you might be, when your little sweetheart takes his entire bowl of food and overturns it on the floor, you'll want to kill something. When you spend a couple hours rocking your little one at 2am trying to get her to sleep only to have her wake up the second you put her in the crib, you're going to want to punch a hole through the wall. And pretty much after every emotional reaction, you're going to feel like a terrible human being.
- The scope of your adult interests will become embarrassingly narrow - I remember sitting down with some friends of mine when they had two kids and I had none. All they talked about was their kids and I thought they were pathetic. How could they let themselves get to a place where they had no other interests besides their kids? Now I have kids and I basically have no other interests other than my kids. That's because they take up all my time. If I'm having a conversation, I usually end up talking about my kids, however hard I might try not to. It's the one thing I'm still an expert on.
- Personal achievement outside of the home becomes very hard if you want to be a good parent - If you haven't already achieved your professional and career goals, having kids is not going to help it. I have some smart friends who realized that if they wanted to achieve the career goals they had in mind, having kids was not in the cards. To put it mildly, having children screws up the life you thought you were going to have. It's the rare person who is a career overachiever and a good parent. And if you're part of a two income household (as I am), you can forget it. Or at least, it certainly makes it harder if you want your children to come first. You take them to daycare. You pick them up from daycare. You attend their events. You stay home with them when they are sick. All this eats into your work time, which gets noticed by all those people who don't have kids. Some of them understand it. Some of them don't. Regardless, they know what comes first in your life and it's not work. There's only so much time in the day and balancing home life and work life is very, very hard.
- Hitler was somebody's kid - That's right, Hitler was somebody's son. Now, the easy thing to do here is to write off Hitler's parents as crappy parents, which they probably were. Still, there are plenty of parents out there who are perfectly good people who end up raising kids who shoot up high schools or set animals on fire. You just don't want to be one of those parents. There's a lot to be said for nurture over nature, but sometimes something goes wrong. It is a scary proposition to do everything right and to turn out a kid who ends up in jail or kills somebody in a drunk driving accident or actually decides to become a mass murderer. It doesn't happen often, but it happens. You can really lower the odds of this happening by not having kids in the first place.
- You might really suck at being a parent - It sucks to suck at something. As with most people, you probably already have enough people who dislike you without raising a child who ends up hating you because they think you're a bad parent. Then, what if you just don't have the aptitude for it? Maybe you end up being an abuser. Then there are all those stories about parents who kill their kids or drown their kids or beat their kids and mostly I would attribute that to them not really understanding what it takes to be a parent. It takes a whole bunch of commitment and a whole bunch of patience and a whole bunch of other stuff too. Nobody wants to suck at the one thing that we're supposedly born for. It's like sucking at walking or breathing or talking. Here's the thing though: parenting is really, really hard and it's not that hard to suck at it. In fact, you'll very likely suck some of the time being a parent. You just don't want to suck all the time. Really, if it turns out that you're just a terrible parent, that fact will probably ruin the rest of your life.
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