Recently I got engaged, and I adored it.
But it brought about a really annoying topic of conversation; babies. I don’t want them.
People seem to think you’re insane if you’re a woman who doesn’t want kids or, worse, that you somehow hate them and their parents. There were a few people that were actually offended by my choice.
Obviously, I don’t feel the need to defend myself on here but I thought it would be a good place to explain why.
I’m Just Not Interested
When it comes to my nieces, I’ve held my younger one- mainly as there was no one else to hold her.
Outside of the family when people show me baby pictures I’m not interested. With other people’s babies I have no idea what to say or do.
What I’m trying to say is I’ve never stepped away from an encounter with a baby and thought “how cute, I want one!”, or “maybe if I find the right man”. Generally my thoughts are “thank god that’s over!”. There’s no appeal, or spark.
But just because I don’t want kids doesn’t mean I wish them harm, or their parents. I’m pro breastfeeding in public spaces, and will always go out of my way to make sure women feel comfortable doing it. Having worked in a supermarket I know how easy it is for them to go astray, and I’m not going to do nothing. More than once I’ve jumped off my chair to stop a little monster from heading out the door with a mum or dad.
Sustainability in the Future
There really isn’t enough to go around now, why would adding to it make it any better?
In a recent(ish) study conduct at the University of Oregon in 2010, published here in Global Environmental Change, states that American children increase the carbon footprint by roughly 9,440 tons of carbon. That’s 5.7 times the emissions of the mother herself. The location will of course depend on how much of a carbon footprint the child will generate.
This is an average, and one based solely in America, but other western countries would have a similar amount. Others, in less developed worlds, where children enter into laboring work earlier, the impact would be a whole lot less.
What are the effects? Varied and wide. From the effects on crops (crops that are in much demand), ocean levels and acidity are rising and more! Have a read about these thing in more depth from The Earth Observatory’s Effects of Changing the Carbon Cycle.
In short I care more about the environment for the existing children to make more.
Money Money Mooooneh
Jobs aren’t for life any more. My parents or grandparents could start in a job when they left school and retire from it at a ripe old age. Not now.
The money, and also the stability of an income, aren’t something that millennials can rely on these days. If I don’t have a secure and stable income for at least eighteen years, can I realistically support a child? No, not really.
I’d not want to just support my child I’d want to give them every opportunity and chance. To say “Hey, kiddo, no worries about studying at uni, we’ve managed to save for you to go!”, and that kid to actually be thankful for it. WIth my qualifications, what little there is to speak of them, I’m not going to get a job that pays that much.
“But you’re engaged!” That I am, to the love of my life!
What happens if, like many parents, you grow to dislike your partner and we split up? I’ve seen this happen on at least three different occasions from people who I went to school with. Either splitting up shortly after the birth or after finding out about the pregnancy- then the father isn’t seen. If I can’t support the kid by myself- then I don’t want to bring one into the world.
Learning & The Future
Time for a sob story…
I wanted to study Photojournalism at university.
For that I wanted a strong set of A Levels including History and English. Everything was going swimmingly until the incident. At that point my then best friend couldn’t be in a room with me unless she was squealing with ‘emotional anguish’.
Yeah, I know.
We shared our English and History. Thankfully her behaviour in English wasn’t going to be taken, and she was threatened with being kicked off the course. With History however, the tutor said one of us had to step down. The tutor said she wanted me to stay, I had better marks, was generally more interested in the course- but my ex best friend wanted to study History at university.
I dropped History.
I didn’t get into university.
Now that I’m situation where my partner can support me, and wants me to, I can look into studying again. That wherever we end up I can study via the Open University, now that’s a different story!
Would I be able to do this whilst having to support a child? Not likely. Would we be able to afford a child once I have my degree and we’re both working full time? Probably, but I could probably afford a yacht by the but it doesn’t mean I’ll get one.
My Genes Are Ruuuubish
Lastly, my genes are terrible!
There is nothing that I would like to pass on to the next generation.
Physically and mentally what I have to offer isn’t spectacular.
So why should my children, with the poor genes, get given priority over the healthy children in the foster and adoption systems? Existing children who’ve been given the some of the worst chances?
You Can’t Deny Your Partner Kids!
There are going to be people that accuse me of denying my partner children- well he doesn’t want them himself. He has an entirely different thought process to me; he’s one of the few people that believe that the human race should be dying out. There are times that I totally agree.
What is difficult is when single childless women ask to be sterilised, with justifiable reasons. What is the answer? That they should wait until they’re older, in case they get married and in case their partner wants kids.
An abstract, possible non existent man, has more influence over a woman’s body than she does.
This has happened several times in the childfree groups I’m in. Women being told to wait as they’re too young to make that choice. Women old enough to join the army and make other lifelong commitments.
Why am I writing this all out, tempting all the trolls and the pro-procreators?
Because I want the other people, men and women in the world, that have the same thoughts.
To tell the people, who just think they’re being nice by saying “but you will later!” to stop saying that. We are grown ups. We have our own minds. This isn’t just a flippant comment when we say we don’t want kids.