‘I Don’t Want Children”: Challenging The Belief That We Should Have Kids

i do not want children

‘I don’t want children’- A challenge to the core belief that we should have kids. Not wanting kids does not make you a bad or self-obsessed person.

Firstly, I want to be clear about something. When it comes to having children, I am neutral. I have no particular feelings about having, or not having, a child in this period of my life. I remain in the middle ground. I am on the fence. I am in Switzerland. The truth is that I don’t really know what I want at this point in my life. So I will leave it at that, and see where the tide pulls me.

But what about other men and women? What about the desire to remain childless as opposed to having a typical nuclear family?

When someone tells you that they don’t want children what is your first reaction?

If you are like most people you will associate the desire to not have children in women as a sign of selfishness, self-absorption, or lack of desirability – same with men (but perhaps less so). If you are like most people you will think of childless women as “spinsters” or “yuppies” and childless men as “playboys” or “infertiles.”

Related: Sons Of Narcissistic Mothers and The Damage They Suffer

In fact, our beliefs surrounding conceiving and rearing children seem to be very warped and imbalanced. We seem to carry this deep-rooted conviction that life is about getting a job, getting married, having kids, working until the age of 60, and retiring. We seem to still be stuck in a 1950’s mindset of how life is “meant” to be.

We seem to believe that the desire to not have children is somehow narcissistic, unnatural and miserly.

It’s about time that we challenge the belief that adult life is inevitably about raising a hoard of children. We need to explore the other side of the equation.

Don’t Feel The Need To Have Children – The Choice Is Yours (If You Let It Be)

All throughout our lives we experience immense, but often subtle forms, of pressure. We face the pressure of being fashionable, we face the pressure of being liked by others, we face the pressure of getting a good job and education, we face the pressure of living up to our parent’s expectations, we face the pressure of remaining young and beautiful … and unsurprisingly, we face the pressure to fit our lives into the mold that society tells us is “acceptable” and “normal.

This, irrevocably, includes having children.

In fact, from a very young age, we are brainwashed to accept that raising children is our fate as adults. We see this belief reflected all around us: in newspapers, in movies, in TV shows, in books, in magazines, and in our everyday lives; in our friends, family members, relatives, and business partners.

We are constantly asked, “When are you going to have children?” by our friends and acquaintances, and we are asked by our parents, “When will you give me grandchildren?” As we age, the crushing weight of people’s expectations and demands for us to have children increase as our bodies mature. Women especially face overwhelming stress as the burden of “having to have a child” increases as their biological clocks begin to wind down.

All in all, we carry around the crushing weight of an out-dated idea that, for some people, results in a lot of regrets and financial hardship.

This is not to say that having a child is a bad thing. In fact, for many people having a child is the genuine, heart-felt highlight of life. This is perfectly fine as well.

On one side of the equation, people want to have children to:

  • Fulfill their desire to nurture.
  • Continue on the family name.
  • Find meaning in life.
  • Have companionship.
  • Have someone to pass on life’s treasures after death.
  • Live vicariously (through their joys and accomplishments).
  • Not wanting to die alone.

73 thoughts on “‘I Don’t Want Children”: Challenging The Belief That We Should Have Kids”

  1. This is a choice not an expectation! I chose to have one child at 35 years old. I didn’t want another one. I loved my kid, but I didn’t love “motherhood” so much. She’s a great kid, and she’s amazing, but her sibling might not have been so wonderful, and then what? I’m a childcare professional, so this speaks to me and my work. I was done at one, and I respect those who say no.

  2. Best thing ever there is enough unservable people in the world those they live to trouble others life. More than that the humain are the most catégorie commenst comparing it with the others catégories of animals and trees. All we do is distrubing nature and pollut the mother earth

  3. People are free to choose for themselves but you need to consider what you purpose in life is and what’s motivating those purposes, even more importantly, what the consequences are for the choices you make.

  4. The world is overpopulated as it is. Not to mention how fucked it is. It’s not so much that i dont want kids, it’s that i dont want them to have to endure this world. Maybe in another time or dimension.

  5. Decided at 16 that I did not want to have children. I was terrified that there was something genetically wrong with me after being abused by my older sister. At the age of 54, I know I made the right decision. There is nothing wrong with me or my family genetically. I share my love with my mother and father, my younger sister and her children, my boyfriend, my friends and my life saving cats. I do not feel the need to leave a biological footprint at all.

  6. Personal choice, never felt pressured to have any myself, as I species if we were dying out, yeah sure I would do my bit, thank goodness I don’t have to though, I have my animals.

  7. Had dinner with 2 intelligent, professional, beautiful women in their 30s last week who shared their gratefulness at living in an area that doesn’t push traditional views of women on them I.e. Having children, staying at home, etc. One is from the Midwest and shared that she and her husband would have children today had they stayed – via peer pressure, not out of desire.
    Although I have children and adore them, dont assume all women want that – or look at them funny whenever they say it.

  8. Never wanted them. Never had them. Husband felt the same. I was always more attracted to puppies..animals…
    than children. Never have felt odd about it. Could care less about what other people might think. I feel sorry for people with children in most cases. But if They are happy…good for them. If I had to do it again..ANY…questioning..I might have had regarding maybe having children…would be eliminated completely. I thank God…I didn t have any.

    1. I have 4 sons they all have children. Think about the ones that don’t want children it’s entirely their choice…realistically the way the world is today who can blame them.

  9. I don’t know the point of having children?? Except maybe fulfilling a biological urge to have our species on going but as a species we don’t really give into all our primitive biological wants so what’s the point really??

    1. I’m the father of two teenagers (one boy and one girl). Helping to bring them up is an amazing challenge and my life is the richer for it.

  10. I swore for 30 odd yrs I’d never have kids, I now have two gorgeous girls, I can honestly say that parenthood is the only thing that ever changes a person for the better, it encourages positive change, it blesses you with the ability to care
    for others, and many other things, but most importantly, parenthood is a divine purpose , I fully understand the fears though, with the right guidance and support anyone can be a parent, we think it’s tough now but think back to when woman were giving birth out in the wilderness, no bed, no meds, no doctors, just got on with it, the human race owes a debt of gratitude to its mothers, I think a decision to not raise children, especially in today’s world of wealth and privalidge, is a selfish one.

    1. Why is it selfish? Pretty selfish of you to push two kids out when there are so many kids out there without families who you could have looked after.

    2. Your statement “changes people for the better” that’s not always the case. Look at all of the people abusing their children, giving them away, failing them….that’s not for the better. You are entitled to your opinion. I find it selfish to add to an already overpopulated world without choosing to nurture a child who already exists…one of the many, many, innocent children who have been failed miserably while you create new children….

    3. I have always been a very caring person, don’t need children to bring that out in someone. I have fostered many baby animals from mice to bats to robins to kittens. I have also risked my life to rescue a dog from a partially frozen river one February. Human children are not needed to bring out the ability to care.

    4. That’s awesome Sylvia Chen❤ wow Lee J Jones…It’s very hard to take you seriously. I’m unsure if you’re living in a fantasy land or you really don’t know what’s going on in the world right now….it’s not a nice place fyi. In today’s times…maybe unrealistic to your old fashioned ways… but women can choose for themselves not to have children. Also, people don’t just need “guidance” to treat a child right. They don’t need to have children. why would you?….why wouldn’t you? I have never understood why people think that way. Sure, having your own blood is great….I feel like raising a failed child and making them into something great and restoring their faith within themselves would be much more rewarding.

    5. Sylvia I respectfully disagree, when parents birth a child both parents experience chemical secretions of “oxytocin” which aids bonding etc, you won’t get that from striking a dog mate

    6. Stacey evans,your comment saying that it is selfish to have your own children….were your parents selfish for having you?!? What a ludicrous and generalized statement. I find it extremely selfish for people to have children and not to educate them,because then they grow up to think they are so self important and self righteous that instead of keeping thier ignorance to themselves,they try to shame and belittle the life choices of others and the natural process of life. I can’t think of anything more sad and immature than full grown adults who are repulsed by children and babies and then to shame parents who have birthed thier own. Newsflash stacey,and for all that think having children is “the most awful and selfish ,disgusting”thing in the world….you were all children once and to shame us,you would in turn would have to shame your own parents which makes zero sense. So it’s perfectly okay to call people selfish for birthing babies but absolutely wrong to call those who choose not to?? Wow. Double standard much??

    7. Kimberly Noordhof…so much hate and anger you are spewing. I think it is selfish and unfair to those who already exist to choose to bring more into the population. I will not bash those who do choose it so harshly. To each their own. I just think about all of the innocent “forgotten” children who will most likely suffer their whole lives and add to the criminal and drug addict population. Children who could’ve taken the place of a child who wouldn’t have existed. I in no way would call having babies “disgusting ” lol. As for you saying that we would be shaming our own parents….no one is attacking you here. If my parents were to choose not to have me…well, then I would’ve never known, right?? Wouldn’t make a bit of a difference.

    8. Lee J Jones…children are wonderful and it is human nature to want your own. I get that. I’m just looking at the bigger picture. If you look up the definition of selfish….I don’t mean to sound harsh but choosing to create and ignoring the fact that there are millions waiting for you….that would fall under the definition. I mean, you are making the child for your own pleasure. I’m not some heartless person…I do love children and if you choose to have them, that’s awesome.

    9. Lee J Jones have you even read the article? It is selfish to not have children nowadays? Seriously, I can’t hear it anymore! Why do people have to tell you what you are ought to do and what not, what’s your probem??

    10. Hahahaha I don’t dislike children miss hypocrite – your generalizing that I don’t like kids because of my comment? I also never said having children is awful nor disgusting – I praise my friends who have children for how hard they work and for my poor parents having to raise me! Yes my parents were selfish – not in the way you might think but they desperately wanted me and my siblings and would have done anything to have us – they wanted a child to love and they have grown from making a ‘selfish’ decision to making selfless acts daily for my benefit and I am forever grateful. So no not a double standard at all.

    11. THE FAMILY
      A PROCLAMATION TO THE WORLD
      The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

      WE, THE FIRST PRESIDENCY and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

      ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

      IN THE PREMORTAL REALM, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

      THE FIRST COMMANDMENT that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

      WE DECLARE the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.

      HUSBAND AND WIFE have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

      THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

      WE WARN that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

      WE CALL UPON responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

    12. Just because you are a god fearing individual does not mean we all are. I find it very close minded to go by that. That my friend…is an indoctrinated fairytale. People cherry pick the “pleasant” parts of the Bible or what have you. I’ll have no part of it, thank you. Real life is going on outside your door….you can’t just pray that out of existence. I also have the question….why can’t adopted children be a part of the fundamental unit of society. Are they just damned because they weren’t born to the right people??

    13. adopted children live an adapted situation and have as much of an opportunity for exhaltation as any other family, disobedience to commandments is the only thing that damns a person, God is loving and understanding of all situations, I know all people arnt god fearing, I’m just stating my views, I feel very strongly about the sanctity of the family and I will fight tooth and nail to protect it, its not just about replenishing the earth (imthought the same as you too once) its about giving spirits a chance to occupy a body and live an earthly life so they can be tried and tested and gain experience so they can grow and progress.

    14. (P.S with all sincerity, I know the views iv expressed are a bit heavy, but I feel so strongly I couldn’t leave this one alone, I in no way aim to offend and I respect your views

      1. You do not respect the views of people; you have published religious propaganda for your own edification. Offended – a wasted emotion.

    15. I have never wanted children and have spent my life caring for others as a support worker and nurse. I am delighted that you are happy to have children but to say it’s selfish not to have them is ridiculous. The world is overpopulated to the point that we will make ourselves extinct possibly in the new 100 years. Having children benefits no one except you. No one else in the world wants your children in it. That is the definition of selfish.

    16. I have never wanted children and have spent my life caring for others as a support worker and nurse. I am delighted that you are happy to have children but to say it’s selfish not to have them is ridiculous. The world is overpopulated to the point that we will make ourselves extinct possibly in the new 100 years. Having children benefits no one except you. No one else in the world wants your children in it. That is the definition of selfish.

    17. I have never wanted children and have spent my life caring for others as a support worker and nurse. I am delighted that you are happy to have children but to say it’s selfish not to have them is ridiculous. The world is overpopulated to the point that we will make ourselves extinct possibly in the new 100 years. Having children benefits no one except you. No one else in the world wants your children in it. That is the definition of selfish.

    18. I have never wanted children and have spent my life caring for others as a support worker and nurse. I am delighted that you are happy to have children but to say it’s selfish not to have them is ridiculous. The world is overpopulated to the point that we will make ourselves extinct possibly in the new 100 years. Having children benefits no one except you. No one else in the world wants your children in it. That is the definition of selfish.

    19. I care for my mother and father. I care for my sister and her children. I care for my boyfriend. I care for my friends. I care for the people I work for and who live in my suburb. Do not presume and assume that you know what is best for anyone else. I chose not to have children; medically I was unable to have children. Divine purpose – your judgement on people like me is anything but “divine”.

    20. Lisa Heath what ever mate ! How could you possibly say that the world is overpopulated and then say we could face extinction? Thats a we bit far fetched. Children are beautiful and are blessing. You people that dont see that are right to have you choice and opinion. However dont make up some bull story saying that having children is going to cause extinction !!! What a joke

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