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.

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