Category Archives: Childfree and Prochoice
Recently, and over the course of several posts, a troll told me I was selfish. For what, you might wonder? How is someone who regularly donates money to charity, always helps anyone who asks, participates in volunteering, and serves the US Army in any way selfish? Why, for not wanting to create kids, of course!
I wish I could say that this is a rarity. Just another random, baseless accusation in a long line of others from a certain troll. No. Sadly, the accusation that childfree people are selfish is probably the most common anti-cf cliches right next to the threat “you’ll regret it.” When pressed, however, accusers can rarely identify why not having children is selfish.
How is it selfish to not want kids?
Is it selfish for a woman to consider herself to be a person so much that she values her life over that of a person who does not exist? Is it selfish for a woman to see herself as having worth outside of being a walking incubator? How is it selfish for a woman to spend her life doing what she wants, not harming others, living a good life by her own terms?
How is it not selfish for other people to treat a woman as if she should live their way, or perform the functions that they expect of her, like she’s some piece of breeding machinery? How is it not selfish to expect others to sacrifice their hopes and dreams and time and energy so they can live in a manner that you expect of them? How is it not selfish to expect other people to risk their health and their lives just to make you feel better? How is it not selfish to insist that someone take on a terrific burden even as you have no intention toassist?
How is it selfish to not bring new people into an already overpopulated world? How is it selfish to not breed new children when there are so many who already exist and live in misery, or worse, because no one adopts them? How is it selfish for one person to not find their DNA so much superior to whatever went in to an orphaned or abandoned child? How is it not selfish for a person to see themselves as so important that they need some remnant of themselves to exist beyond their own death? How is it selfish for someone to go and accomplish great things themselves, rather than create new people to pass that burden off on to.
It’s not the childfree who are selfish.
At the conclusion of my Anti-Childfree Clichés series, I thought I was done dealing with combative attitudes towards the choice to be childfree, at least for the time-being.
But no, sadly one angry commenter on my other blog clearly didn’t pay any attention to the point of the series and went on to attack me for challenging someone else’s prejudice.
As with the Anti-Childfree Clichés series, it was a matter that has taken multiple posts to deal with and rather than repost it all here, I’ll simply provide links to the three parts.
- Anti-Childfree: A Challenger Appears Part 1
- Anti-Childfree: A Challenger Appears Part 2
- Anti-Childfree: A Challenger Appears Part 3
Quite some time back, I stumbled across a blog post at Childfreedom entitled The Top 100 Reasons Not to Have Kids (and Remain Childfree.) I remember it still as being a very good read.
As I will soon be visiting a new OB/GYN for sterilization, I thought it might help my case if brought something to show my reasons and demonstrate that I’ve given this all a lot of thought. So, taking a nod from Childfreedom, I’ve decided to make my own list of 100 reasons that I could think of off the top of my head this morning why I won’t be having kids.
Reasons I should not have kids
So, here they are, in no particular order:
1. I won’t have to go through the sickness that pregnancy causes. I can’t stand to be sick. I’ve avoided taking pain medications after surgeries just to avoid the nausea that they cause.
2. I won’t have to go through the mood swings and depression pregnancy causes. I value my sanity and control.
3. I won’t have to go through the pain pregnancy causes, or the agony that comes with delivery. I can deal with pain, but I’m not about to purposely bring it upon myself. I’m not a masochist.
4. I won’t have to max out my health insurance for the year, or pay a lot out of pocket myself for the necessary medical care. Seriously, has anyone looked at how much this shit costs? I have. It’s insane.
5. I won’t have to deal with invasive hospital practices, or risk having non-medically necessary procedures forced upon me. Not that all doctors are like this, but I’m well aware that some will perform procedures that are convenient for themselves, even when they conflict with the interests of the patients.
6. I won’t have to risk the serious complications that come with pregnancy and delivery, including death. Pregnancy isn’t as dangerous as it used to be, but the risks are still serious and undesirable. I’ve taken risks before, but not when completely unnecessary.
7. I don’t want a room full of people staring up my crotch. Seriously, I wouldn’t even want to be in a delivery room, let alone be the person on display in one.
8. I won’t have to be limited in the foods and drinks I can consume because of pregnancy. I’m a grown ass adult, I’ll eat whatever the hell I want.
9. I won’t have to be limited in the activities that I can participate in because of pregnancy or postpartum. I have a sporadically active life. I’m not about to hamstring myself.
10. I won’t have to miss education and career opportunities because of pregnancy and child-rearing. I might even get to achieve something useful as a result.
11. I don’t want my body to be the host to an outside invader. Thinking about pregnancy always makes me think of that one scene from Aliens. You know the one.
12. I won’t have to suffer the temporary and permanent body image and health changes that follow pregnancy. I eat somewhat decent, exercise a bit, avoid drugs and alcohol, and attend to my medical needs. I’m not in the best shape that I’ve ever been in, but I’m healthy. I’d like to stay that way.
13. I won’t have to deal with going trough all the hardship of pregnancy only to have a miscarriage or deliver still-born. That would be like running a marathon only to be disqualified at the end. All that time and effort and sacrifice wasted.
14. I won’t have to spend money on someone else’s education. I’ll get to focus on my own.
15. I won’t have to spend money on frequent doctors visits and occasional hospitalizations. Pregnancy and the children that result mean lots medical bills.
16. I won’t have to spend money buying all the newest kid’s toys. It’s mostly all overpriced plastic crap anyway. I’ll occasionally buy gifts for the few kids who make my lists, but for the most part, any toys I buy are for my own enjoyment.
17. I won’t have to have to spend money buying a whole new wardrobe for someone every six months. Kids go through a lot of clothes as they grow. I’d rather dress myself.
18. I won’t have to have to spend more for a home by being limited to areas in nice school districts.
19. I don’t what to have to spend more for a home by being required to get a larger one with more bedrooms. As long as I have my own room, I’m happy.
20. I won’t have to have to spend more for a home by being limited to ones in close proximity to schools or along bus routes.
21. I won’t have to have to spend more for a home by being limited to ones that have a child-friendly construction (no spiral staircases, wood steps, etc.)
22. I won’t have to have to pay for the expensive car insurance that a teen would require. I figure that I pay enough for my own as it is.
23. I won’t have to have to pay for damages and fines should a kid get into trouble.
24. I will spend less money on Christmas and for birthdays. Else, I can afford for the gifts that I do buy to be of a higher quality.
25. I won’t have to invest money in a venture that I will never see a solid return on. Kids cost a lot of money over the course of their lives. Odds are, I’d never see a dime of it repaid in any way.
26. I will spend less on groceries. Two people plus a dog consume less than a family of five. We tend to waste less too.
27. I will spend less on utilities. Less water needed for laundry and baths, less loss of heat as people go in and out the doors, less electrical power used as fewer things will be using it, etc.
28. I won’t have to spend money on expensive day-care or babysitters.
29. I will spend less on vacations and outings. Else, I’ll be able to afford to go on better vacations and outings.
30. I’ll be able to live in any home and area that I can afford, without being concerned about having a child-friendly neighborhood. I won’t have to worry about local bullies, pedophiles, or environmental hazards harming someone under my care.
31. I will live more comfortably, having money to spend on things that I enjoy.
32. I will live comfortably into old age, having been able to save more money for retirement. If I’m hit with the bingo “who will take care of you when you’re old,” I can respond that I’m taking care of myself better than any kid would.
33. I won’t have to child-proof my home, plugging up all unused sockets, padding corners, installing gates, and putting locks on cabinets. Frankly, that crap just annoys me.
34. I will have a much cleaner home, not being marred with children’s toys to step on, muddy boot tracks through my carpets, or crayon marks on the walls. I only clean up after myself, my BF, and my dog.
35. I will be able to continue to participate in activities that I enjoy, without having to bring a small, needy, easily bored person prone to disruptive behavior along, and without having to arrange for a babysitter. That is to say, I can actually enjoy my time out.
36. I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want, without having to prepare extra for others, or waiting for others to get back from whatever activity they were at, or taking their personal tastes into account.
37. I can eat in peace, without having to get up to serve others, wipe others mouths, or prepare special meals for picky and ungrateful eaters. My dog eats whatever I put in her bowl, and if my BF doesn’t like something that I made, he knows where the kitchen is.
38. I can go out, without worrying that a miniature tag-along will act out in public and embarrass me. I don’t need to be on the receiving end of every stink-eye in the room because of someone else.
39. I can own breakable things. Expensive breakable things, even. I need only keep them out of reach of my dog.
40. I can be spontaneous with plans, going where I want, when I want, for however long I want, without notice, and without arranging and paying for a sitter. I can actually enjoy the freedoms that come with adulthood.
41. I won’t have to censor myself for the sake of being a good example. I swear a lot. That’s not about to change. I don’t have to worry about my dog repeating any naughty words.
42. My home will be a peaceful haven after work, not place for even more work.
43. My home will be quiet. I’ll appreciate that. My BF will appreciate that. My dog will appreciate that. And my neighbors will appreciate that.
44. I won’t have to miss sleep because of a crying baby, a wet bed, or being on stake out for a teen out past curfew.
45. I will enjoy my privacy. I like my privacy. When my BF and I started looking for a place, never even bothered looking for a place with less than two bedrooms. We like having our own space.
46. I can watch whatever I want on TV, at any time, without having to worry about the effect on someone else. Violence, language, sexuality. My dog doesn’t mind.
47. I won’t have to set up parental controls on my TV and computer.
48. I will be able to have a smaller carbon footprint and produce less waste.
49. I will waste less food, clean water, fuel, and other resources. With 7 billion people on the planet, these resources are already horribly stretched.
50. I can drive whatever car I can afford, without having to get a gas-guzzling family car.
51. I won’t have to spend my time and gas playing chauffeur.
52. I will never be disappointed on Mother’s Day.
53. I will have more time to enjoy relaxing.
54. I will have more time to spend improving myself and my home and things.
55. I will have more time to spend on volunteer work.
56. I will have more time to spend advancing my education and career.
57. I can seek the education that I want, not just the education that I need to get the job that I require to pay for the extra dependent.
58. I can seek the employment I want, not just the employment that I require to pay for the extra dependent.
59. I can be a better, more focused student.
60. I can be a more reliable, dedicated worker.
61. I won’t have to put my education on hold to deal with pregnancy and raising a kid.
62. I won’t screw over my co-workers by having them pick up my slack so I can take maternity leave.
63. I won’t have to burn vacation days dealing with sick or misbehaving kids. My vacations can actually be vacations.
64. The only homework I’ll have to do is my own.
65. I won’t have to coordinate my work schedule with the school schedule, my partner’s schedule, and a babysitter’s schedule.
66. I will have more time for my friends and family.
67. I will be more able to focus on my partner. Our relationship can actually be about each other.
68. My pets will have a better lives, being able to receive more love and attention from me.
69. My pets will have better lives, not being hit, having their ears or tails pulled, or being harassed while trying to sleep. Seriously, kids can be nasty to pets.
70. I won’t have to punish my animals for defending themselves. Honestly, I’m not sure if I would anyway.
71. My life will remain my own, not being defined by my role as a parent.
72. The only obstacle between myself and my goals will be myself.
73. I won’t be limited in what pets I can own based on their size or someone else’s allergies.
74. My conversations will be more interesting, not being limited to talking about kids all the time. Not that all parents are like this, mind.
75. I will not have the work and expense that comes with childbearing put extra strain on my relationship.
76. My partner and I will never feel trapped in our relationship for the sake of kids.
77. I will never have to deal with messy custody battles.
78. I will never have to change dirty diapers on wipe snotty noses.
79. I won’t be constantly getting other people’s bodily waste on me.
80. I won’t have to turn down career opportunities that would require moving.
81. I won’t have to tolerate parents or kids that I don’t like for the sake of a play-date.
82. I won’t have my home overrun with children whenever one of mine has some over any day, or for a birthday.
83. I won’t have to worry if I’m being a good parent.
84. I won’t have to worry about my child suffering from a debilitating condition. Who wants to deal with that? Sure, parents can love their special-needs kid, but I don’t think anyone hopes to have a special-needs kid.
85. I won’t have to worry about having my child taken away. Abuse accusations, accidents, custody loss to the other parent, etc.
86. I won’t have to worry about my child dying. I can’t imagine what that must be like. I don’t want to find out.
87. I won’t resent my kid for the negative impacts having them has brought on my life. I can think of few things sadder than that.
88. I won’t have to regret having kids, or the guilt that regret causes. Some parents do regret having kids, or having them when they did. It doesn’t make them bad people, or mean that they don’t love their kids. But it’s a hard thing for people to admit to. There’s a stigma.
89. I won’t have to worry about passing down my bad genes. Not that I have anything to horrible in my heredity, as far as I know.
90. I won’t have to be disappointed when my child makes poor life decisions. I already deal with watching in helpless frustration as people I care about sabotage their own lives. At least none of those people are my problem, as a kid would be.
91. I won’t have to be disappointed when my child doesn’t achieve what I wanted them to. Face it, odds are, the kid won’t cure cancer.
92. I won’t have to stand helplessly as my child is bullied in school, or becomes a bully his/her self. Fact of life – the world is full of assholes. If you don’t know one, you probably are one.
93. I won’t have to play disciplinarian. Seriously, I have better shit to do.
94. I won’t have to deal with parent-teacher conferences, or sit tough boring school functions or children’s sports events. I never cared about any of that crap when I was a kid myself. I’d still rather play video games.
95. I won’t contribute the the severe overpopulation problem of the planet. The current count is over 7 billion, by the way. Just how many more people are we going to shove into this phone booth before we realize that enough is enough.
96. I personally find it immoral to bring new children into the world when there are so many already here that are in need of adoption. I don’t care if adoption is difficult. Someone worthy of being a parent could get it done.
97. I really don’t care about the perpetuation of the human race. Despite the fact that overpopulation is a much more pressing threat to the long term survivability of the human race, I’m occasionally hit with some variation of the bingo, “what if everyone thought the same way you do?” Frankly, it’s a moot point as the number of people who have kids invariably outnumber people who won’t by a significant margin. But if the race were to discontinue due to simple lack of replacement, I don’t see how that would necessarily be a bad thing.
98. The world sucks, and as the fundamentalists out-breed everyone else, it’s likely to only get worse. I don’t want to bring another person to have to deal with it.
99. I won’t have to worry about having a distant or resentful grown child. Imagine, all that work, expense, and sacrifice, and then the little shit might not even appreciate it.
And my #1 reason for not having kids…
100. I don’t want kids! I can think of 100 reasons not to have kids (probably more if I felt like it,) but not one single good, non-selfish reason why I should. The list below is all I’ve got.
Reasons I should have kids
1. Because other people tell me that I should. That’s not a good reason!
My boyfriend recently returned from a brief trip home. It was a harrowing journey through a blinding storm, but I did finally managed to make it to the airport to pick him up. (Yes, I’m being dramatic, but I was quite delayed.) It was a long, cautiously slow journey back, so we had plenty of time to talk.
One subject that came up, for whatever reason, was the fact that I’m an atheist and that he and his family are Christian. Apart from occasionally engaging the the cosmological argument and insisting that he’s not a monkey, he’s never been one to evangelize to me about his religion, so thankfully, we’ve never had any problem there. Occasionally, he gets on my case for being hostile towards religion, such as when people try to impose their religion into law or medicine, or use it as an excuse to attack human rights or science. In such cases, the way I see it, if people want to hide behind their god while being dicks, their religion is fair game just as any other argument would be. For the most part, he and I try to leave the whole subject of religion alone. We get along very well together as a result.
His parents, on the few occasions I’ve met them, rarely broached the subject with me either. His father barely mentioned god when telling some cute anecdote about my boyfriend giving out candy in church as a kid after a lesson about sharing god’s love. His mother seemed to try to get into a biology debate with me, when I mentioned having an interest in the subject. She tried talking to me about the perfection of natural systems being indicative of a designer. Naturally, I found this to be complete nonsense for many reasons (our systems are far from perfect. If there is a designer, he’s inept,) but for the sake of keeping the peace, didn’t take the bait. If I had, I may have asked her why the lenses of our eyes are in backwards and upside-down, causing all of our nerves to pass through our retina, causing a blind spot, and necessitating that our brains flip the images we see.
But I didn’t. I want these people to like me, after all. Still, it’s troubling that I still hear from my boyfriend that his parents like to talk to him about my absence of faith every now and then. This time, if I remember what my boyfriend said correctly, his father had brought it up to him, once again, that I’m not like them. I don’t know if it’s ever been explained why me being an atheist should be a problem, but of course I’m never present when such conversations take place.
Somehow, despite the fact that BF’s parents know he doesn’t want kids, and that I sure as hell don’t, the question came up of how we’d raise our kids, specifically, what we’d teach them to believe in regards to religion. I think BF’s dad is a nice guy and means well, but I found this to be a very disturbing question. Children will believe just about anything they’re told with an air of authority. Gods, monsters, Santa Clause, whatever. They haven’t the experience necessary to work out what is and isn’t plausible, nor the understanding that adults can be wrong or even lie. For this reason, they’re very vulnerable. I find it downright abusive to exploit their trust by telling them matter-of-factly what to believe without an ounce of supporting evidence. I’d like to think that even if I was still a Christian, I would at least have the sense not to indoctrinate a person that I am supposed to care for.
As to my atheism, you can’t teach atheism. Atheism isn’t a positive believe, it’s merely the rejection of theism. It’s the default position that people are lead away from by other people. At most, I could only teach a kid (let’s call her Hypothetica) to examine all matters for herself, never taking anything at face value or taking anyone at their word, and to reserve judgement until she has collected and analyzed all facts, and be ready to change her conclusions should new evidence necessitate doing so. That’s not atheism, that’s being scientific. That’s being realistic. That’s being honest. That’s being rational.
Despite neither of us wanting kids, my BF and I quickly agreed that hypothetically, should we have kids, the best thing to teach them would simply be to think for themselves and not impose anything upon them. That’s the way it should be, I think.
In a five-part series of posts on my other blog, I wrote at length about my experience with a woman on a favorite site of mine, My OB Said What?!? In the comments section of one post there, I made the off-hand comment that stupid/abusive doctors are one of the many reasons I’ll never have kids. This decision of mine was immediately attacked by a self-described “pro-natalist,” despite the fact that I made it clear that I was only speaking for myself. The exchange between this person and myself makes up the first four parts of the series.
The final part, I’m happy to say, is much more positive. It’s not that I need to be validated, or given permission, but the support and understanding offered by another commenter on that site who’d seen the whole thing was refreshing.
Rather than repost the whole series, I’ll just link to them.