Societal norms have come a long way in terms of women’s participation in the workplace, voting rights, and bodily autonomy – yet menstruators are often asked when (not if!) they’re going to have children.
There are plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t feel pressured to have kids and we’re all for you making the decision that’s right for you!
Keep reading our article from Aima for some compelling reasons as to why your side of the argument is entirely valid.
Not Having Kids is Perfectly Okay
You may be wondering, is it “okay” to decide not to have children? We wish this needn’t be said, but yes, it is absolutely okay if you have determined that parenthood is not for you.
Becoming a mother is often considered the pinnacle of womanhood, but there is so much more to life than procreating and child-rearing, so let’s get into it.
7 Reasons to Not Have Kids
Kids May Put a Strain on Your Relationship
As warm and fuzzy as sharing a child with someone sounds, consider the reality that most couples experience a decline in the quality of their romantic relationship after having their first child.
When you’re putting all your energy into raising a child, it can be all too easy to neglect your partner. Plus, a clash in values or approaches to raising your child may drive a wedge between you and your partner.
If you’re content with your relationship now, then this is a good reason why two doesn’t need to become three.
Kids Will Destroy Your Sleep Schedule
Having young children, especially in the newborn phase, will disrupt both the quality and quantity of your sleep. Babies need to be fed, burped, changed, and comforted frequently. You can say goodbye to leisurely mornings spent sleeping in on the weou have kids.
If you’re used to being a night owl, you’ll need to change your ways so that you can be up bright and early to care for your child in the mornings.
Kids Contribute to Unhappiness
Having children is a huge adjustment, no matter what your lifestyle. When you have a little person to be responsible for, your autonomy and freedom take a big hit.
If you’re someone who enjoys spontaneous travel and an adventurous lifestyle, you may find the routine that children tend to require monotonous and limiting.
So, it’s no surprise that some parents report lower levels of happiness than child-free people. The lack of sleep already mentioned contributes to stress, irritability, and even health problems.
Some parents are also frustrated by how difficult it is to focus on their careers.
Kids Are Expensive
Having a child comes with countless expenses, with everything from clothing, food, childcare, education, extracurricular activities, and health costs, taking a huge hit on your wallet.
According to the 2015 Consumer Expenditures survey by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, middle-income two-parent households with a child born in 2015 will spend around $284,570 on raising a child through the age of 17.
If you’re not ready for 18 years (and often more) of being the sole financial provider for someone else, that’s a pretty good indication of why you shouldn’t have kids.
Kids Put a Damper on Your Sex Life
Having children can get in the way of your sex life from birth onward. Doctors recommend that women avoid sex for the first four to six weeks after giving birth due to vaginal pain.
But kids continue to cramp your sex life well after the newborn phase. Privacy is often a thing of the past for parents. It’s not easy to keep up a steamy sex life when you’ve got a toddler crying to be fed or a demanding pre-teen bursting into your room all the time.
The hours and energy put into parenting can also make you tired (see previous point about sleep), leaving little energy or desire to put effort into your personal appearance or initiate sex with your partner.
If you’re a single parent, the need for childcare and the need to maintain a routine can make it difficult to date.
Kids Contribute to Overpopulation
So far, the reasons to not have kids have been focused on personal impacts, but there are some far-reaching implications of whether you choose to have kids or not.
As the global population exponentially rises even in the face of environmental degradation and dwindling natural resources, we’ve reached a point where arguably, the responsible thing to do is to merely replace (rather than multiply) ourselves.
More kids mean more people, more use of resources, and more waste produced.
Kids Leave Big Carbon Footprints
With climate change being a very real concern, it’s important to consider the consequences that having children has on the planet. North American kids have huge carbon footprints compared to children in other parts of the world.
A daily diet often rich in dairy and meat, being driven around in a personal vehicle, and owning lots and lots of stuff adds up in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.
Why More People are Deciding Not to Have Kids
We’ve seen plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t have kids, and this is a choice that an increasing number of people are making.
A rising cost of living, wanting to enjoy a long, fulfilling career, and environmental concerns all contribute to a falling birth rate.
Having Kids Is Not for Everyone
Do women have the urge to have children? Not all! Being a mother is often glorified in the media and popular culture but passing on your genes is not the only way to have a lasting impact on the world.
Unfortunately, it is most often people who identify as heterosexual, cis-gendered women who are expected to want children, revealing a gender gap in societal expectations.
But if you’ve always known that you don’t want to be a parent, then you should not feel bad about that at all, regardless of how you identify.
Final Thoughts on Reasons to Not Have Kids
As with most things in life, the decision to have children comes down to your personal preference and circumstances. If, after reading about all these reasons to not have kids, you’re still keen to be a parent, then more power to you.
And if these reasons struck a chord and helped you confirm that you don’t want children, that’s great too. Your body, your choice!
Editor: Lanna Last & Thomas Sauls
Scientifically Reviewed By: Mali Meibod