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

i do not want children

However, on the other side of the equation, people who say they don’t want to have children, they say that because of:

  • Moral concerns, such as the desire not to bring a child into a world full of cruelties.
  • Overpopulation.
  • Financial pressure.
  • Financial and personal freedom.
  • The belief of not being a suitable or well-equipped parent.
  • Poor genetics (such as having physical or psychological illnesses).
  • Having already found meaning and fulfillment in life.

As we can see, both sides of the equation are legitimate. And both sides have equally noble and ignoble reasons supporting them.

But why do we still have such a black and white perspective of not wanting to have children?

Related: 20 Brutally Honest Things Women Turning 40 Want All Women In Their 30s To Know

Why You Don’t Want Children? 4 Myths And Assumptions

I believe the reason why we have such an ignorant and one-sided understanding of those who don’t want to have children is that we carry a set of myths and assumptions that muddy our ability to empathize with childless people.

Let’s explore them:

Myth 1 – Children will bring you fulfillment.

Children bring many gifts to our lives, there is no denying that, but to believe that children will bring us fulfillment is misguided. While children might bring us a lot of happiness, they don’t always bring us fulfillment.

The truth is that true, deep, and long-lasting fulfillment is something that is cultivated within, and the desire to bring fulfillment into your life by having a child is not only unreasonable but unfair on the child as well.

Mindful parenting can help you raise children without stress.

Myth 2 – If you have a child, you will never be alone.

Many people have children out of the fear of winding up “alone” during their lifetime and on their deathbed. In fact, it is common in our society to be pushed into having children to avoid this very primal fear.

The truth is that children are human beings, and human beings are unpredictable. We wear rose-tinted glasses when it comes to having kids, but the reality is that we don’t know whether we will be estranged from them in the future, or whether they will truly be there for us, no matter how we raise them.

Also, having a child to avoid being alone is not only an immense burden on the child but a form of escapism from self-responsibility. Many parents feel alone, even when they do have children. Why? Because true happiness is cultivated inside, not on outside things (such as children) which are unpredictable and transient. When we look for joy outside of ourselves we will always feel miserable sooner or later when these things are taken away from us.

Myth 3 – Not wanting to have a child makes you selfish.

As we have seen, many people have children for completely selfish reasons (not wanting to die alone, wanting to find fulfillment, wanting to be liked and accepted by friends and family) – and the same goes for people who don’t want children. There can be selfish motivations on both sides of the spectrum.

But the truth is that not wanting to have a child is so much more than just “being selfish.” As we saw above, not wanting to have kids also involves deeper matters such as the desire to not contribute to overpopulation, poor/dangerous genetics, not wanting to be a bad parent, and so forth.

Myth 4 – Women who don’t want children are not feminine.

Women especially cop a lot of criticism and judgment when it comes to not wanting children. They are seen as superficial, egotistic, uncaring, unloving, cold and sexually stale.

If not pinned with these nasty labels, women who don’t want children are also brushed off, seen as immature, or told “You’ll grow out of it. You want children, you just don’t know it yet.”

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

  1. Avatar of Marsheen Pleak Ryan

    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. Avatar of Moradi Jawhara

    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. Avatar of Lee J Jones

    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. Avatar of Josh Penney

    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. Avatar of Grace

    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. Avatar of Clare Mortell

    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. Avatar of Nicole Tragesser

    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. Avatar of Dawn Renee Muilenburg Bobolz

    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. Avatar of Michele Suzanne

      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. Avatar of Natasha Yusuf

    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. Avatar of Chris Owen

      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. Avatar of Lee J Jones

    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. Avatar of Stacey Evans

      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. Avatar of Angelaa Johnston

      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. Avatar of Sylvia Chen

      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. Avatar of Angelaa Johnston

      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. Avatar of Lee J Jones

      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. Avatar of Kimberly Noordhof

      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. Avatar of Angelaa Johnston

      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. Avatar of Angelaa Johnston

      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. Avatar of Marina Erben

      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. Avatar of Stacey Evans

      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. Avatar of Lee J Jones

      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.

      1. Avatar of Grace

        Go away with your Religious Propaganda. You have no right to push your religious institution on people.

    12. Avatar of Angelaa Johnston

      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. Avatar of Lee J Jones

      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. Avatar of Lee J Jones

      (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. Avatar of Grace

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

    15. Avatar of Lisa Heath

      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. Avatar of Lisa Heath

      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. Avatar of Lisa Heath

      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. Avatar of Lisa Heath

      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. Avatar of Grace

      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. Avatar of April Maria Jones

      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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