10 Women Get REAL About Why They Don't Want Kids


Their reasons may surprise you.

I don’t want kids. When I tell people that, I get one of three responses: I am either told I will change my mind, that I am selfish and it is somehow my duty to procreate, or that it's awesome that I know what I want and good for me for not conforming to pressure.

The latter group is, nine times out of 10, women who feel the same way I do about parenting.

I have written about my desire to not have kids a couple times. I was also interviewed for a piece in the New York Post about it some four years ago, and the backlash from that piece was a resounding cruelty that I was not only selfish, but that in being so selfish, I didn’t "deserve" to know such "happiness."

I think it was supposed to be some sort of insult, but I didn’t see it as such. I find happiness in my childfree life, not a life steeped in dirty diapers and the trappings that come with being a mother.

Women are deciding to skip the whole motherhood thing more than ever and studies have actually found that more men than women are interested in being parents these days.

A 2013 national survey found that while 80 percent of men were down to have kids someday, only 70 percent of women could say the same. If our world is allowing us to have more choices than that of our grandmother’s generation or even our mom’s, isn’t it our duty as human beings to weigh all those options instead of falling into the one society has prescribed to us? I think so.

Wanting to live a life without children may not be very new, but women actually making the move toward a life that is childfree —and being vocal about it — is finally catching on and that’s a great thing for all of us. I talked to 10 childfree women, of all relationship statuses, about their decision to not have kids. Each reason is unique and personal, and will hopefully make even more women who are opting out of motherhood feel less alone in their decision.

1. “We weren’t desperate to be parents.”

“We decided not to have children after we lost three pregnancies in two years. We were told that we still had options to pursue, but they were prohibitively expensive and we weren't that desperate to be parents. If we could do it the regular way, cool. But if it didn't happen that was more than fine. I have an IUD for now and when the 5 years are up I'll ask about something more permanent.”

2. “I don't like the idea of being pregnant.”

“It's never appealed to me to dedicate the rest of my life taking care of someone who is snobby and mildly resentful. They usually call these kinds of people children. I would like none of that, please. The main reason is the entire idea of being pregnant, and then later birthing that child out of my own body, sounds like the absolute worst thing in the world. Then people will expect me to feed it directly from my body, which will further destroy it. It would take a seriously amazing dude to make me even consider changing my mind.”

3. “There isn’t enough time.”

“I even have a seriously amazing dude and haven't changed my mind. It's not that I dislike children; there just isn't enough time in the day already.”

4. “I just don’t want my own.”

“Deciding not to want kids wasn't a decision at all. Much like how women who want kids don't have a moment where they decide they want them ― it's just part of who they are and who they've always been. I've never wanted children and at 34, my desire to be childfree has never wavered.  I am married to the love of my life and we couldn't be happier. I'm a lawyer and he is a professional as well. We travel and live and love each other and our friends ― and our friends' kids.

"It's not that I don't like kids; quite the contrary. I just don't want my own. Some would say that makes me selfish but I disagree. A woman who knows what she wants out of life and doesn't cave under peer pressure isn't selfish ― she's brave for standing up for what she knows is right for her. Instead, my husband and I spend our time giving back, being on the board of non-profits, volunteering, and even starting our own non-profit. Although we aren't leaving our mark on the world with offspring, I think we're still doing our part to make the world a better place.”

5. “The world is over-populated already.”

"What it boils down to is I simply don't want to do the day-to-day slog that is raising children. It just doesn't appeal to me and I don't want to spend my time on earth dedicating my life to someone else. I mean, huzzah to the parents out there, thanks for having me and all that, but if it doesn't appeal to the core of my being, I probably shouldn't make such a huge commitment!

"I have a very caring and helping nature, but it makes more sense to me to put effort into helping the people who are already on this earth and who really need help now. We're also so incredibly over-populated that I feel better leaving the reproducing to people who actually want to do that. I don't need to get involved; we don't need more numbers.”

6. “You only have one life.”

“My thinking is this: You only have one life and you have to make the most of it. For me, making the most of it isn’t about taking care of someone else and devoting at least 18 years of my life to their care. I have things to do and people to see. It doesn’t mean that I don’t like kids; it just means they’re not my priority.”

7. “I’d rather regret not having them.”

"I require more alone time than anyone I know, which means I do not live well with others. With my cat, I can leave a fresh litter box and giant bowls of food and water and take off for a weekend on a whim. That's frowned upon with toddlers.

"I've never wanted children. I love being an aunt. I'd live and die for my nephews; they make me understand why people want kids. But I'd rather regret not having children than to have them and regret that."

8. “I just don’t want them.”

“Among other things, I was raised by a single dad and was basically abandoned by my mother at 3 years old. My half-sister (10 years older, from my mother's first failed marriage) abandoned her twins when they were 2 years old. I do not like those odds. Really, though, I just don't want children and never have. I'm still involved in the process of raising myself, and that is really interesting and important to me, and if that's selfish then so-f*cking-be it.”

9. “My maternal instinct is fulfilled another way.”

“I feel like my mothering needs are met through the kids I teach, and they're exhausting.”

10. “At one time it appealed to me, but not anymore."

“Most of my life, the idea of giving birth and giving up everything you are to raise a kid utterly terrified me. I spent some time in the last decade reconsidering the option, especially in light of my then poly-relationships and the idea of having multiple partners to raise a kid appealed to me. Then one long-term relationship bit the dust and my husband decided he would rather just be an awesome uncle … and after some time dealing with life and dream losses, I agree. Part of me is sad because I think our kid would kick so much ass, but most of me is fully aware that I still have days I can barely take care of myself and some pets, let alone another human being. Plus I really enjoy the shit out of some "me" time.”


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