I’ve reached that age, around my mid/late twenties where a lot of my friends are starting families. As many of you know, John and I have our own reasons for not starting a family right away (although we still haven’t given up hope that it could happen for us one day) but many of my friends are starting to question whether or not they want children at all.
I actually really admire them; it’s so important to ask those big questions of yourself before you do something as colossal and irreversible as bringing a child into the world. Having children isn’t for everybody, and, while there are many blogs out there who will tell you all the great reasons to have kids, here are the perfectly legitimate reasons for not wanting children. And no, none of them make you selfish.
You like your sleep
I’m not a parent, but I don’t need to be to know that being a parent means that, once I am, I won’t get to sleep again properly for a very, very long time. Personally, I love sleep. It’s the best part of my day. Giving it up would be really hard on me, I don’t function well without it. While I want to be a parent anyway, I can completely understand why someone would choose decades of rest over sleepless nights.
You like things to be clean
If you’re a stickler for cleanliness, having a kid could be challenging. Children are messy and dirty. They poo and wee and throw up. If you can handle a bit of grime and having no time to clean it up, then there’s no problem, but it’s one of the reasons having kids isn’t for everybody!
You want to focus on your career
I would love to live in a society where we (and specifically, I mean women) can have kids and bounce back into the workplace without it being incredibly difficult. It can be done, and there are some amazing women out there leading the way, but when it comes to employers’ support, we’re just not there yet. If your career means the world to you, that’s a reason to think about what’s more important.
The world is overpopulated
It’s true – and while that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have kids, it’s fair enough if you don’t want / need to have your own. You’re not under any biological obligation to reproduce.
You’re happy with your freedom
Want to go on holiday? Pack a bag and go. Want to go out to a bar? No need to call a sitter. It’s OK if you enjoy your independent life or your life together as a couple. If you want to spend your disposable income on yourself, rather than Peppa Pig toys, that really is OK! Liking the status quo is a perfectly valid reason not to change it.
You just don’t want them
And, after that list of reasons, the biggest one of all is that, actually, you don’t need a reason. Simply not wanting children is enough. Maybe you just don’t feel that urge or maternal instinct you thought you might feel one day, maybe you’re just happy with your lot or maybe you don’t like kids at all. All of these things are OK, if you don’t feel the need to pass on your genes or parent a child, there’s nothing wrong with you.
You don’t have to have children just because it’s the done thing. If you don’t want any, the worst thing you can do is have them anyway and then resent them for it. And even if you go through all of the reasons above and still decide that you want children, it’s great that you’ve questioned your decision and it’s only strengthened your resolve. That means you’re really ready!