5 Reasons Not to Have Kids

Whether or not to have children is a deeply personal decision that should not be taken lightly. Some people come out of the womb knowing they want to be parents one day and others simply never have the urge. For everyone in between, there is a lot to consider before making plans to add tiny, new family members into the fold.

If you are on the fence, there are a few factors that should be considered red flags. Each of the situations below deserves tons of processing to make sure you’re making the very best decision for yourself, your potential child and the world around us. Find someone trusted (and possibly professionally trained) to help you sort out your feelings before taking this giant step. Remember: even though so many people around you may be having kids, it’s okay if your decision is to not have any yourself.

1) You don’t want to

For some people who decide to be childfree, it’s hard to put into words why they don’t want kids. In a world that seems convinced that everyone should and does desire this specific type of family, trying to explain a feeling that goes against the grain is tough.

Ultimately, though, you don’t need to explain yourself to anyone (well, maybe a medical professional if you need approval for a sterilization procedure… which sucks). If you don’t feel the urge, it’s completely okay. Wouldn’t it be nice if people were asked to explain why they do want to have kids, instead of why they don’t?

2) You feel having a kid would “complete” you

This can be dangerous territory. Just like seeking out a romantic partner who you believe will “fix” you, it is unbelievably unfair to the other person to make that kind of demand. And bringing a kid into the picture means they have absolutely no choice in the matter.

If, at the root of it all, you are seeking companionship, meaning, love or feeling needed—talk it out with a counselor first. You may come to the conclusion that having a child is an appropriate step, but you also may find other ways to satisfy these needs.

3) You have other priorities and ambitions

“Man, I really want to graduate, pay off my student loans and travel across Europe before I start a family… but I’m not getting any younger.” Even though society (and “traditional” values) may tempt you, don’t set aside your passions and life goals because you feel you need to achieve a milestone that isn’t as important to you as those passions and life goals.

4) You feel pressured

Most people have at least one relative that asks “So, when are you going to give me a [child, grandchild, niece/nephew, etc]?” While you may want to shout “If and when I damn well please!”, you can use other words to get your point across without hurting Aunt Millie’s feelings or compromising your autonomy. Just because someone else wants kids for you doesn’t mean you have to give in.

5) Mother Nature would appreciate if fewer people had kids

In case anyone has lost count, there are about 7.5 billion people living on the planet. Scientists project Earth can only support a maximum of 10 billion people and it is estimated we could reach that threshold by the year 2050. This means we have some slowing down to do. Creating more humans means more food to feed them, water to hydrate them, fossil fuels to get them around and land for them to live (and eventually start reproducing). If you are not super-sure that you want to have children, take into account Mother Nature’s point of view and consider redefining what it means to have a happy family life.

Related:
5 Reasons to Adopt an Older Child
Top 5 Reasons to Adopt an Animal Today
5 Stigmas About Foster Care Children and Foster Parents

Photo credit: Thinkstock

131 comments

Aaron F
Aaron F7 days ago

#5) 7,600,356,320 humans on this planet @ 10:19:32a.m. with 14 more born every second.....

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Angelo Morella
Angelo Morella9 days ago

Kids or no kids
“DON'T PANIC — Hans Rosling showing the facts about population” is a great YouTube video that tells us that the cause of continued population growth is not having too many kids but people living longer.
What is causing stress to the planet is associated with affluence (I call it effluence), we consume and waste any of the resources available to us, be it food, energy or products. Families and couples only have the same amount of money to live on, families spend it on family stuff and couples spend it on? Well my childless friend spent it on smokes, drinks, cars, motorbikes, huge houses……hmmmmmmmm, probably has done more damage to mother nature than having a family. The spending of money on food, energy and products causes stress on the planet; if we did not have the money to spend we would not be in a position to cause the stress. Pegging back to a lifestyle like in the 50’s or 60’s, while still affluent may be a good step back. If we want to do better we need to eat food that costs less to produce (e.g. fresh produce rather than processed or eat out), use less energy and not throw away perfectly good products.
I am amazed by the number of people that bang on about our impact on the planet, of course it’s not us that is causing the problem it is someone else, and they continue to fly about the place as if it doesn’t produce greenhouse gases, eat foods that have to be transported from the other side of the planet

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Carl R
Carl R13 days ago

Thanks!!!

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.13 days ago

Nobody should be forced to have kids, although I have to point out point 5- it's possible to sustain 7 billion humans, but it's not possible to sustain the 180 billion farmed animals we breed, raise, and kill each year.

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heather g
heather g14 days ago

Think about the world's population, water, fresh air or un-plasticised sea. We're already lost control of all of those aspects. We brutilise too many young soldiers and treat animals with no respect.

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Jessica whitfield

Thank you. There is so much pressure today from friends, family, and society to have kids. Nice to see an article that says it's okay to make up your own mind and maybe not have them if you don't want to.

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Lynda H
Lynda H16 days ago

There certainly was wear and tear on my body, Trish! Having a child late in life is hard physically, but the best thing I ever did. My son is worth all the time, money and love we have invested in him, and he enriches our lives. I cannot imagine how empty our lives would be without him.

This article focuses on the first part of motherhood: it's damn hard, expensive and almost impossible to focus on your own goals. But there are constant changes, and in 5 short years they are in school, and you may enjoy some "me time" and/or work on your career or plans. The teenage years can be chaotic, but mostly if you are a controlling parent (we are not and had no chaos whatsoever) and when your child is an adult you are free, loved, supported, and maybe blessed with grandchildren. When deciding whether to have children or not, look past the first years of interrupted sleep, sticky fingers and exhaustion. They can be fun, but it gets better.

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Trish K
Trish K18 days ago

The wear and tear on your body. All that lovely money you get to keep. You sleep better. More time to be selfish. More time with your honey and your friends. Many more reasons Not to have kids, but help others with theirs if you want to see what you are missing or volunteer at the Boys & Girls club. Be very careful tho, you might just want to adopt.

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Lorraine Andersen
Lorraine A18 days ago

Mother nature definitely needs a break from us having more children, yet I look around and see most young couples with three, four and sometimes more!! It is unfortunate that they do not see what overpopulation is doing to this planet.

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Janis K
Janis K18 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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