6 Terrible Reasons to Have a Baby

By Gwendolen Fairfax, DivineCaroline

You know you’re an adult when your friends start acting like stereotypes. A friend confides that she’s only getting married because she’s afraid her sub-optimal fiancé is her last chance. Or your married pal moves away from your hip, fun city to live in the suburbs, where they can have a yard and a laundry room. Or your college roommate, who always swore she’d be a relaxed, stress-free mom, starts obsessing about tutoring her two-year-old for the SATs. Welcome to adulthood, which is more complicated, painful, and confusing than you thought it would be.

Nowhere is the complexity of adulthood more pronounced than in the decision to have a baby, where formerly sane, smart women start saying things that sound like lines from a Lifetime original movie. Whether or not to be parents is a decision that people make in different ways and for different reasons, but let’s be honest—for every good reason to have a baby, there are some spectacularly bad reasons for doing it.

1. “It’s Time”
Perhaps your friends are starting to have kids, or you just got married and you’re beginning to wonder what’s next. If you’re surrounded by people more or less like you who are happily breeding, you may understandably start to suspect that it’s what you should be doing, too, but—this should go without saying—there is no right time to have a baby. Look around: from fourteen-year-olds on MTV to post-menopausal miracle moms, obviously there’s a pretty wide range of what people find acceptable in terms of the right time to reproduce. It’s time to start a 401(k). It’s time to start wearing sunscreen. There is no such universal “time” to start having babies.

2. “I Love Babies”
I hate to break it to you, but babies do not stay babies forever. They’re only babies for a hot, messy, screaming minute; eventually they become toddlers, and before you know it, they’re teenagers. No one has children because they love teenagers. If you have children because you love babies, you stand a very real chance of turning into Octomom.

3. “It’s What People Do”
Generations of feminists fought for today’s women to have the right to control their reproductive destinies. Your life isn’t scripted, and there’s no need to have a family just because of some vague, undefined feeling that you need to check this milestone off a list. Popping out 2.5 kids and living in a four-bedroom house with a dog isn’t a foregone conclusion anymore, and plenty of people are perfectly happy without them.

Related: Myths about Childfree Women

4. “I’m Lonely” or “I’m Bored”
It’s a sad truth that not all marriages are happy ones. Some of those beaming wedding day couples soon turn into a real-life Revolutionary Road. But if you’re not getting any attention from your partner or you’re unsatisfied with life, bringing a child into the mix isn’t going to help. You can’t have a baby so that “someone will love you.” It’s not a child’s job to provide love and fulfillment to the parent; it’s the other way around. What you really need is a therapist.

5. “My Parents Want Grandchildren”
Your parents are allowed to demand that you do your best in school, that you obey the law, and that you respect their rules while you live in their house. They are not allowed to demand that you bear children solely for their own benefit.

6. “A Baby Will Fix Our Relationship”
There’s a reason that studies consistently show that parents are unhappier, as a whole, than childless married couples. Why? Being a parent is really hard work, and it’s brutal on a relationship. Whatever fissures and emotional breaking points exist in your relationship now, a baby will amplify them by a thousand. A baby won’t make a husband grow up and stop playing video games all weekend. A baby won’t make a wife suddenly learn how not too overdraw the checking account. A baby won’t bring you closer together or solidify your bond or prevent your partner from leaving. A baby will be something you both fixate on for a while, but eventually will become just another thing to fight over.

In a perfect world, every child would be a wanted child born into a stable, loving, financially comfortable family, but of course the world isn’t perfect. And if everyone waited until they were emotionally, physically, and financially ready for kids, the world would be a much-less-crowded place. When it comes down to it, even if you’re a Teen Mom who’s having a baby because you desperately want somebody to love you, the only thing that matters is that you love your baby and try your best to do the right thing. And read to it … I hear that’s really important.




Serena Alonzi
6 years ago

people should be ready and prepared before they have babies

April Thompson
April Thompson6 years ago

Only people who really want children should have them!

Natalia Giorgi
Verónica G6 years ago

I noticed that mothers felt insulted or looked over the shoulder: If you don't have your babies for any of these reasons, it shouldn't bother that someone openly said the truth. All these are terrible reasons, don't matter the way someone want to masqueraded it. Sure, ones the music starts playing, you have to dance.
But for example: my sister-in-law, when my hiperactive nephew was yelling and bothering to have our attention, while she was breast-feeding my baby niece (toys throwed all over the living room, my brother asking if there was anything to eat with his coffee and complaining about work) in a moment of awful truth told me in a very soft voice so nobody else could hear her: "I feel I'm a disgusting person saying this but some days I just HATE him (looking at my nephew). -when I open my eyes a bit surprised, not much really I arrived just 15 minutes before and I wanted to throw my nephew through the window- I love him but sometimes... (my brother showed up and our moment ended there. He kissed her and my niece, and my nephew was almost like Spiderman: climbing the walls to have our attention by ANY possible WAY. She told my nephew to calm down -which fall in deaf hears- and my brother look at him shrinking his eyes. I bet he was thinking the same she told me. And she said) Remember when he was like her... calm?!". Both sighed and my brother added "She will be different, a lady"
With 4 y.o., the girl is an unbearable brat who looks, her own parents, over the shoulder

Zolena W.
.6 years ago

Very true, it wouldnt be wise to choose to have one when you are not ready. But when you are, babies are so magical.

Ferrell Bullock
Ferrell B6 years ago

thank you Tracie A. I enjoyed your comment more than the article.

Tracie A.
Tracie A6 years ago

I love the diversity of people and their diff. opinions. It take all types :) And yet I do not understand why so many have to act all high and mighty beacuse they are not having children? You are not single handedly going to save the world, lol. Throwing around this attitude of how dare you have babies is not going to change the increddible blessing that they are in my opinion. I chose to have children for many reasons one being I want to help change the future by raising good people and encoraging them to do good things. The world has many ways to control poputaion, i.e. sickenss, natural disasters, survival of the fittest to name a few.

Jessica Crane
Jessica Crane6 years ago

Agreed! Too many unwanted children in the world!

Susan Duncan
Susan Duncan6 years ago

It all comes down to personal decisions. No one path is right for every woman. I chose not to have kids, I was simply never interested. I don't consider kids any kind of "gift" but rather a biological process shared by most all species, one in which I chose not to participate.

Humans are not in danger of extinction any time soon with baby number 7B to be born in the near future, so reproducing for the sake of "saving humanity" is beyond silly. Perhaps women who choose to forego reproducing are nature's way of controlling the population somewhat when others blindly deny the impact and have several.

Fortunately, my husband of 46 years never wanted children either, so that was never even a consideration. It has been a wonderful life, childfree.

Matilda H.
Past Member 6 years ago

LOL, I agree, these are terrible reasons. ;)

Sara W.
Sara Williams6 years ago

Thanks! I plan on having a kid hopefully one day, but definitely not until I am ready. I won't be pressured into it or do it for the wrong reasons.