The Anti-Quiverfull April 26, 2010

The Anti-Quiverfull

Godless Girl explains why she doesn’t want to have any kids:

I don’t want kids.

That’s it.

Does she really need more of an explanation?

Some people might think so, but GG is comfortable with her decision:

I’m delighted with my choice to not have children! I’ll miss out on some great experiences parents have, but I’ll be an available friend or relative to support them. I’ll gain the benefits of being an adult without such a lifelong responsibility: I’ll have more money, more ability to be flexible and involved in my hobbies and goals, and I won’t lack love, friendship, or joy.

She also offers a nice list of what people should avoid saying to women who say they don’t want to have children.

Definitely some thought-provoking material from someone who prefers not to grow her own food.

How many of you have no desire to have children? What are your reasons for not having them?

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  • Kimpatsu

    I don’t want kids because the planet is already overpopulated and I don’t need to add to the problem. Even knowing of overpopulation, people want their own kids (as opposed to helping raise other people’s) because they want to pass on their own genes at the expense of others. (Not that they realise this as their motivation.) As I strive to love all people equally, however, it doesn’t matter whether the children are mine or someone else’s; the important thing is that they be raised in a nurturing environment. And maybe, just maybe, we can help save the planet along the way.

  • I do one day want to be a parent, but most likely by adopting a kid who doesn’t have parents.

    There are way too many kids who are without good parents or parents at all, who am I to bring another kid into the world? Hopefully whoever I end up with (assuming I do end up with someone) will agree with me, making it easier to adopt a child. If, of course, I end up with a woman who wants to have a biological child, hopefully she would be happy with having one biological child and adopting another child.

    Another a related note; I honestly don’t care if someone does or doesn’t want to have a child. It’s really not my business whether or not a person wants to be a parent at one point, as long as they’re not assholes towards people who do want to be parents (by having biological or adopted children).

  • Tony

    But who will she live vicariously through?

  • Andrew Morgan

    I absolutely plan on having kids, and kids of my own (rather than adopted). I don’t think I would adopt a child.

  • I support people’s rights to make their own damn decisions about having kids. I got a taste of what folks like Godless Girl go through when I didn’t want to have a second child. People say unbelievably obnoxious things!

  • Andrea

    If if if if I decide to “have” a kid, it will be through adoption; preferably over age 3.

    I like kids okay, but I loathe babies.

  • All of my life I was convinced that I would not have children, until I met my husband. I fell in love and wanted to see what kind of people we would make. So we had 2 kids and now we are done.

    It wasn’t us wanting to continue our genes or suck more resources from the planet. I think that the misunderstanding comes from one person suggesting that their choice is far superior than others.

    I have friends with no children. Happily married, focusing on careers and self fulfillment, childless friends. I do not question their decisions any more than they do mine.

    Its difficult not to go on the defensive reading the comments above.

  • beckster

    It should be an individual choice. And people saying obnoxious things goes both ways. I have had people say awful things to me about wanting to have children.

    @Andrew – As an adoptive mother I have to mention to you that, while I understand what you mean when you say “my own (rather than adopted)”, it is a really hurtful expression to use for adopted children and their parents. I would never introduce one son as “my own” and the other as “adopted.” If people inquire, I am happy to explain that one is my biological child and the other was adopted, but they are both my own. (sorry for being the PC police, but it is a sensitive area for me)

  • I have found people ask questions either way. And some can be considered intrusive/nosy. I think people are just plain ‘ol interested in what other people are doing and why. I’m not sure it is intended to be rude or critical.

  • MeagD

    Is it really so terrible to say that I don’t want kids because I selfishly want to live my life for myself and not some being I haven’t brought into existence?

    We all make selfish choices every day. I don’t understand why selfishness is such a negative trait. I’ve met droves of parents that have selfishly had kids and treat them like status symbols or property. Worse, I know people that have adopted kids because they think having a “family” makes them appear more loving and pleases God. What’s the difference?

    Oh wait, the difference is that I’m not ruining anyone else’s life by being a terrible parent.

    I don’t have or want any children and I really, really doubt that I will want any later in life. I have a pretty good grasp of what I want in life now, and kids don’t have any role in that life of mine. For more reasons than I can count. Thanks for posting this!

  • Sarah

    If i ever decided to have a kid, it would be one. However, that opens a different discussion. “Won’t your child be lonely and damaged?” I am an only child and people have said insulting things to me and pitied me because I must have been so “lonely.” The things some people have the nerve to say to others.

  • Andrew Morgan

    @beckster

    I understand. Like you mention, I said it to clarify given the context of the discussion thus far rather than to be exclusionary. I wouldn’t have ever used the phrase in “actual” conversation; it was just cumbersome to say “I would like to produce children with my own genetic material.” Point well taken though.

    I dunno. I’m so far from the point of having children (single 25 year old guy) that I probably can’t accurately judge. Aside from that I don’t want one now. Good lord that would not be good.

  • Carrie

    No desire for kids here. Never wanted any. My husband (of over 9 years) feels the same way I do. I remember being told by someone who barely knew me and didn’t know my husband at all that “All men want kids.” And this was just a guy in his 20s that I worked with, not a father.

    It’s not that I don’t like kids, I love kids. I’ve worked in an elementary school and enjoyed every minute of it. But full time? No thanks. And babies do creep me out a bit.

  • My wife and I are also childless by choice. We have a variety of reasons but the primary one is that we simply don’t want to have children. Much like gender roles and other artificial constructs, the notion that people are “supposed” to want and have children is drilled into our heads practically from the moment we’re born. Those of us who buck the system often pay a price, which is truly unfair.

  • beckster

    @Andrew – Thanks for being understanding. I hope I didn’t come across as too reactionary. My comment was intended for general information for those who may not understand how important terminology can be when speaking to and about adoptive families.

  • Jelena

    I want children – in a few years, with a “right man” which I have still to meet. One or two, not more. One side is that there is enough people on the planet and we shouldn’t bring more here but on the other side – I’m an evolutionary biologist, wouldn’t it be a sin against my ultimate law (of reproduction) not to breed? 😀 (Seriously: I just want a child, no other reason there; I can, however, understand those who don’t.)

  • I do want children, honest to goodness. And, hell, if I didn’t have a near-obsessive desire to be as evolutionarily fit as possibly by donating daily to sperm clinics, I’d feel more justified in my desire–

    But really, it’s an appeal to emotion. I want to be a father, and I want o see my children be raised to success rather than giving into temptation and eating them. I want to see if I’m at all a good role model in teaching them right from wrong, and rational from illogical. I’m only getting out of university, but I still have a huge desire for a family– hopefully, a girl first.

  • Tizzle

    Kids cost too much over the long term. Although it would sure help right now with taxes and education money and health care, but I did the math: Still not worth it.

    I don’t like babies, although once the little bundles o’ spit can talk (5 yrs-ish), I don’t mind them. I also don’t like puppies or kittens either. They’re so wrinkly and squirmy. I’m one of the few people on the planet who prefers surly teenagers to babies. At least teenagers know how to use the bathroom. I don’t potty train.

    Plus, my vagina would spread and my pelvic bone would break. Well, maybe that last one is a myth.

  • fiddler

    I had my first child just after my 18th birthday. I really wish that I could explain to people that I love my children (5 of them over the years) but I sincerely wish that I hadn’t had them so young. I had so much growing up to do…well still do… lol. Most people I know either DON’T want kids ever or DO want them early. Some of the “do”s never have them and some of the “don’t”s do have them. My advice is to quit obsessing, you will or you won’t and there are a myriad reasons for both sides.
    BUT WHEN/IF YOU HAVE THEM: Please just love them and do your best to make them rational and caring people. Don’t ever do something just because your parents did.

  • Nicole

    I don’t want kids basically because I don’t like them, and because pregnancy/childbirth honestly scares me quite a bit. That said, I am willing to do absollutely every thing in my power to ensure I never become a mother. As I am not atracted to either gender in a sexual way, or interested in sex in general, this is not a big sacrifice to make.

  • Emily

    I don’t want kids for multiple reasons and which one is primary changes with my mood and how much of the news I’ve been reading. Of course my parents say it’s my duty to profligate, because I am college-educated and those are the kinds of genes we need to pass on, but the closest I’d come would be donating eggs.

    Also, I have a twin brother and science says his testosterone in the womb is why I don’t want to have kids or get married. We can blame him allllllll day, if you want to.

  • In addition to the reasons listed above, such as not wanting to add to overpopulation,and being somewhat selfish, I’m also afraid of messing up some poor kid! Besides, even if I wanted kids I’d need to find a woman with whom to have them, and that doesn’t seem likely to happen any time soon!

  • Vene

    Not gonna have kids, even if it was possible (the girlfriend doesn’t have a uterus and our shared mate is surgically sterile). The two of them tried it once, they couldn’t handle her and had a family member adopt her. I see no need for them. They’re smelly, messy, and expensive. Not to mention that the world doesn’t need more fucking people.

  • Revyloution

    Good on ya for making those choices. We received quite a bit of criticism for choosing to raise an only child. I just couldn’t for the life of me see how it was anyone else’s business.

    People need to spend more time paying attention to their own back yard before they point out the dandelions growing in yours.

    Sarah, thanks for saying that about only children. We get that comment all the time. Usually the same person will compliment us on having such a pleasant, well adjusted and smart daughter. I just boggle at the cognitive dissonance.

  • I had always assumed that eventually I would have kids. When I got married though, I realized that I didn’t actually *want* kids. We have a wonderful niece, and we love spending time with her, but are quite happy not to have any children of our own.

    I would like to be able to have my own hobbies, and to do my part to give back to society and hopefully improve the world a bit as a result. While I would like my genetic material to continue propagating in future generations, it seems like an unreasonable strain to add yet another mouth to feed to this world. Only time will tell if this has been the correct decision.

  • Min

    My wife and I both decided long ago that we don’t want children. There are lots of reasons — for one, we simply don’t like children! They’re messy, loud, annoying, and having to deal with other peoples’ children occasionally is enough of a headache. We don’t need to deal with them 24 hours a day.

    There’s also the more selfish motivations of wanting to live our lives for ourselves. Compared to my coworkers who do have children, I have a lot more money to spend on myself and a lot more free time.

    We’re certainly not lonely — we have each other, plus our friends, and we have two cats who are great companions. We’re probably going to adopt a new kitten soon, too. At least it doesn’t take too long for a kitten to grow up enough that it can more or less take care of itself.

    Of course, all this just means that we’re working hard to fulfill the prophecy foretold in Idiocracy.

    Sometimes it can make dealing with the rest of the family a pain, though. No, grandma, I really don’t want to have kids. Ever. My mind didn’t change this year, either. Sigh.

  • AxeGrrl

    Meredith wrote:

    Its difficult not to go on the defensive reading the comments above.

    Then I’m guessing that this is one of the only online discussions on the subject you’ve partcipated in?

    I say this only because I’ve read/participated in a few and most have been MUCH more contentious/heated than this!

    My jaw has literally dropped at some of the ignorant, presumptuous and judgemental comments written by people on both ‘sides’ of this issue……why why why do so many people feel they have the right to tell others what’s ‘wrong’ about their family planning choices?

  • Jack Applin

    “What are your reasons for not having them?” You’ve got it backwards—the default decision is, or should be, to not have children, unless there are sufficient reasons to have them. I don’t need reasons to avoid having children—one should have real reasons to reproduce.

  • AxeGrrl

    Revyloution wrote:

    We received quite a bit of criticism for choosing to raise an only child.

    Send them to me and I’ll happily ‘witness’ to them about how great it was and is to be an only child 🙂

    You know, it’s mind-boggling to me that so many people have this idea that there’s one ‘perfect’ family scenario for raising kids that everyone should subscribe to…..and somehow, if you don’t adhere to that, there could be negative repurcussions *cue creepy theremin music here*

    Look, practically NONE of us grew up in a ‘perfect’ scenario ~ whether it be because of divorce, or the death of a parent, or whatever. Emotionally/psychologically kids are produced by all kinds of different family ‘situations’……why does this idea persist that some family ‘configurations’ are somehow ‘lesser’ than others?

    Few things annoy me more than some people telling others what ‘makes’ a ‘family’.

  • AxeGrrl

    Jack Applin wrote:

    “What are your reasons for not having them?” You’ve got it backwards—the default decision is, or should be, to not have children, unless there are sufficient reasons to have them. I don’t need reasons to avoid having children—one should have real reasons to reproduce.

    Great point 🙂

    Can you imagine someone asking someone else: “so, what made you decide to have children?” I think most people would look at you like you’re crazy!

  • Oh the irony of it all…
    Most of the folks I know personally that do not want children are the very ones that I wish WOULD have children so they could populate the world with some really cool people. Of course, it’s none of my business. I keep my thoughts to myself and cry inside at the thought of all the idiots that are breeding.

  • Nastia

    I’ve never wanted kids, it was never a second thought. I’ve never enjoyed having them around me, even when I was a kid. I know I’d be a terrible parent, forced into it against my will, and that’s not fair to any kid.

    I first came to this decision when I was in kindergarten, and it has never changed. Lots of people throughout my life would gleefully tell me that I’d change my mind, so I thought maybe if I did, I’d adopt an older kid. Adoption appealed to me because I have no desire or need to have some kind of DNA copy of me running around to give me some sense of satisfaction, and an older kid appealed to me because I cannot deal with babies or toddlers.

    But the mind-changing never happened. I’m in my 40s now, very happily childfree, not regretting it for a second. I have a great marriage, a peaceful home, and I do a lot of volunteer work helping animals. It’s all good.

  • K

    My husband and I would like to have kids. We enjoy spending time with children of all ages, especially those which we have had the opportunity to watch grow and evolve as people. I, for one, am fascinated with language acquisition, learning, and personality development in children.

    We’re in our fourth year of marriage and people are starting to get a little pushy with their opinions regarding our lack of reproduction. Husband and I are in no rush to procreate. If we can have kids, great! Would love to have one or two of our own in a few years and raise them to be good, honest, thoughtful people. If we can’t have kids we would be happy to adopt. There are many children in this world without homes and we would welcome them into our own.

    I’m a firm believer in reproductive freedom. To have kids or not to have kids…who cares?? They’re your own internal organs, do with them what you will.

  • Roxane

    It’s hard to imagine a more personal decision than this one. Most of these arguments, pro and con, went through our heads before we had kids. What pushed me over the edge was the death of my mom, with whom I had been very close. It seemed to me that the only way I could fill that hole in my life was to become a parent myself. Some people may think that that was an invalid or self-indulgent reason to have a kid, but frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

  • rbray18

    i never wanted kids,i’m fairly selfish i’ll admit and i have a short temper,but life loves forcing you to do things you don’t want to do.as i am currently helping to raise my niece and helped to raise my nephew for his 1st year of life cause my sister is well,so much more selfish than i could ever be.though not wanting kids makes finding a girlfriend beyond difficult in Oklahoma.

  • Terra

    I said from a young age that I did not want to have kids. I even joked that when I turned 18 that I would go have a hysterectomy to prevent it. I continued this line of thought for many years. I then got married and neither of us wanted kids and life was good. Then, suddenly, what I can only assume was our biological urge to procreate kicked in. We both went baby crazy, for no discernible, rational reason. We have a son now, and I love every moment of it. I do remember feeling the same way as Godless Girl. I am NOT saying that she will change her mind. I am just saying that I have seen it from both sides of the argument and that both are valid. I do feel guilty for adding to overpopulation. I just hope I can raise him to be a worthwhile contribution to the world.

  • BlueRidgeLady

    I would have one biological child because of special reasons for my partner but any other children after # 1 must be adopted. Right now I want nothing to do with kids.

    However, I am very pro-choice and that includes the right of women (and trusting women) to decide when to raise a family. I understand very much reasons for not wanting children, but some of the comments here are really nasty and I know I would be hurt if I had them- I’d be irritated if someone said that stuff about my dogs! Kids are people, too.

  • beckster

    I sure do wish children could be more like adults. Adults are all clean, mild-mannered, fun to be around, and non-headache causing 😉

  • Do I have to do all the work of bringing new non-religious people into the world by myself? I’m good for two. Never say never but if you end up not having any, I wish you well.

  • @Jeff P
    Nope buddy, you’re certainly not alone!
    I made two of ’em already with my first wife. Now my second wife wants kids…

  • My fiancee and I have decided that two is a good number. I think my reason might seem kind of silly to some people, but both he and I come form working class, non-college educated families (except for his dad, who just got his masters in social work). I was lucky enough to get a full scholarship to a university, and plan to get a PhD in psychology, and he is a career Army guy, so we will both have “better” careers than our parents ever had. I feel like we will be in a great position to have children in a few years. I want to raise a couple of children with my future husband because I know we can do so much good for them, and we can (hopefully) increase the number of critical thinkers on earth while we’re at it.

  • Carol B

    I always assumed I’d have kids “someday”, you know, “later, when I’m ready.” But I’ve never been interested in the whole baby/diapers/feeding/discipling/raising kids thing, whereas ohmigod I love animals. So I decided I would have kids when I believed, in my heart, that I could look at my baby, and look at my dog, and know I love the kid more.

    And there’s just no way. To this day, I can’t imagine loving a squirmy drooling kid more than my glorious dogs. People assure me I’d be a great mom… and I am! To my dogs. 🙂 *happiness* Luckily, my husband feels the same way. We’re two little peas in a pod.

  • I don’t think I want any kids while the popes still around!
    Sorry, fatuous statement.

    My partner and I both have single children. Mine was grown and gone before my partner and I cohabited. The kids have done well and are happy.
    Nearly all of our family and friends each have three children. The question has never really arisen as to why in either regard.
    There are reasons to have none, there are reasons to have some.
    Some people don’t appear to be suitable for the kids they have and others appear to be perfect to have more than they intend.
    Just because society attaches such a high ‘value’ on kids doesn’t mean that the factor of choice is any more irrelevant than it is for choosing a car or gravy.

  • fritzy

    Along the lines of what Godless Monster said above, I see the movie Idiocracy becoming more and more realistic every day.

    That said, yeah, it’s no one’s goddamned business whether another person choses to have children. Except Octomom. She can suck it. As a CA resident, I am goddamned sick of paying for her litter.

  • Personally I think that it is a privilege to be a parent and that privilege comes with responsibilities. Not only do I think that it is optional to have children but I think that the default position should be that people don’t have them. Only those who really want children and are willing to take on the responsibility of caring for them for the rest of their lives should have them. Even then they should get training and support in parenting. It’s not as if you’re born knowing how to parent and some of us don’t have shining examples of what to do.

  • Another one who doesn’t have kids by choice. Mostly for the same reason as GG — I don’t want them.

    I like kids reasonably well, but I don’t have good instincts around them and, with a few exceptions, I’m not that comfortable around them and don’t know how to talk with them. Plus they take an ENORMOUS amount of time and energy — time and energy I’d rather devote to my writing. And I think I would be a lousy parent — I’m too anxious, and I’m sure I’d be ridiculously over-protective. (Much like my own mom was.) I’m already somewhat like that with my friends’ and relatives’ kids; I’m sure I’d be ten thousand times worse with my own.

    If those are selfish reasons… well, I can’t think of anything more selfish, in a bad way, than having kids when you don’t really want them, just to satisfy a social or religious expectation. There are enough people in the world — too many, really — and there is absolutely no reason to bring unwanted children into the world. People are too important for them to be brought up by parents who don’t really want to be parents.

  • Jim [different Jim]

    All arguments on all sides are very valid. The funny one, tho, is “overpopulation”. The truth is, there is more than enough food for everybody on this planet, and then some. Distribution, waste and politics are the much bigger problem. Where you live also makes a huge difference. Here in North America, we are nowhere near overpopulated and population growth is almost stagnant. Most economists agree that the North American ecomony is in for serious trouble in the near future as more and more baby boomers are retiring and the number of remaining workers to support them is actually shrinking. The best answer would be immigration from overpopulated parts of the world but that is a political hot potato. As always, the final decision is up to the individual and nobody should interfere, or even comment for that matter.

  • Colin

    I’m amazed that so many people do want to have children.

    My reason for not having children is the same as Godless Girl‘s. I simply don’t want any.

  • Sally

    I just turned 27 and contrary to popular opinion, I still don’t feel any ticking of my internal clock. I made a concious decision years ago that I have no interest in having children. I don’t particularly want to go through childbirth with all the associated bodily traumas and cost involved.

    Probably one of the biggest factors was that I’m the eldest of my cousins, so I had to deal with them all in their baby stages which is enough to put anyone off for life. The amount of times I’ve been pooped on, puked on, bitten, or been given a headache by screaming babies and toddlers…no thanks. I have no problem with others choosing that for themselves, but it’s not for me. Money is a huge issue and I enjoy my freedom tremendously – I go travelling all over the world meeting interesting new people and seeing things that people who tie themselves down with kids may never see in their lives. I don’t know if I’d be willing to give that up. Perhaps that makes me selfish, but then, it’s my life.

    I’ve had plenty of pressure from my mother on this issue because she wants grandchildren. I don’t think it’s so much that she wants *me* to have them, she just loves babies and was expecting to have them popping out by now. She feels she’s done something “wrong” in raising me because I’ve never felt that gooey, protective feeling that you’re supposed to feel when you hold a baby. However, I get on pretty well with older kids and teenagers. Likely when I’m around 40 and have settled myself down and paid off most of a mortgage I will start fostering and/or adopting kids aged 6+. I’m too laid back to deal with something that needs constant attention (particularly when I’m sleeping), and besides, as an atheist, I might get tempted to snack if I have babies of my own!

  • idioteque

    “To have committed every crime but that of being a father.” ~ E.M. Cioran

  • I did want children for a long time, but as my career progressed and my ambition to rule the world grew, I realised that having children wasn’t going to happen. My husband still wants children, but is mostly resigned to the fact that we’re unlikely to have them.

    The ectopic pregnancy that almost killed me was also another major factor in stopping the whole procreation plans.

    I think we’d both be good parents, but I want that time to spend on myself, my partners and the things I enjoy. I don’t wan the risk of added debt or stress because I have children and have to juggle them and my career.

  • Sue

    One reaction I sometimes get when people find out that I don’t want kids is “You never know! Accidents do happen!”

    Yes, accidents happen. So do abortions.

    I got a much friendlier reaction from mothers of kids with Aspergers or autism. I don’t know why, but they all seemed quite at home with the idea that parenting isn’t for everyone.

    And my reasons for not having kids? I don’t want them and I don’t much like them. I firmly believe that children should be brought up by people who love them. And that’s not me.

  • weas

    I just don’t want children. Sure, I couldn’t financially support them right now and I’m not sure what I am going to do with my life. I’d probably be a good mum and I do like kids BUT I don’t want children. I just don’t.

  • Ash

    33, never wanted kids, still don’t.

    My mother, however, is still very broody in her 60’s. She’s disappointed that I don’t want to breed, but has accepted it. I am very fortunate, given her views, that I have 4 siblings, 2 of whom have already procreated. I cannot imagine the pressure I would be under otherwise.

  • Sunioc

    There’s plenty of reasons I don’t want kids. First, there’s the strong history of cancer, heart disease, and birth defects in my family. Almost everybody in my extended family who’s had kids had at least one with a major birth defect. Then there’s the fact that I’m training to become a chef, and in my experience, that’s a profession that doesn’t mix well with having a family, due to time and energy requirements. Third, I just generally hate kids. I find them loud and obnoxious, and it takes years of work before you can even train them to take care of their own bodily fluids. My main reason for not wanting kids though is loss of personal freedom. I don’t have much downtime, but I want to spend what little time I have doing the things that I enjoy, rather than babysitting an anklebiter.

  • Christonabike – it’s rare that I find the comments here not to my taste, but all that BS trying to find a cogent well reasoned argument about why we should or should not have children. Give me a break.

    Either you want to have children or you don’t – end of. Stop trying to justify your position.

    We have 3 children, we are messing them up, we get no time to ourselves and it is financially crippling us – but screw it, we love them and we wouldn’t change a thing.

    Anyone who wants kids but is not having them because of those reasons is an idiot (sorry). Life is for living – it’s not a Star Wars Action Figure that stays in its box in pristine condition for 20 years. Get over yourself – you are an significant lifeform on an insignificant rock in a massive universe: breed and be damned (or don’t).

  • JayJay

    I am childfree by choice and the main reason I don’t want kids is because I see bringing a child into the world as a dangerous and risky experiment. Not to mention that I do not like uncertainty and anxiety which comes with having children. I am also anti-natalist, which means that I don’t think more people should be brought into the world to suffer and die. HOWEVER, I respect everyone else’s right to have kids or to not have kids. Whatever floats your boat, I say. If I were to have children, I would simply adopt. I feel that there are way too many kids here already to bring more kids into this world.

  • …… Actually, David, those are pretty damned good reasons not to have kids yet. If you aren’t in a situation where you can handle them, you really shouldn’t have them. People have made your same argument for buying an expensive sports car.

  • I don’t even know any women IRL who don’t want to have kids. Me not wanting them is the reason my last two (and thus far only) relationships ended. So any non-kid wanting women here: are you single, and if so, I live in Minnesota – wanna go out? 😀

  • Sunioc

    Mathew: You and me both. I have a hard enough time finding a woman who’ll talk to me, much less date me. Finding one who doesn’t want to breed is even harder. Guess I’ll throw my hat in, too. Any non-procreative women out there interested in a 27 year old chef in central california?

  • Anna N

    I don’t want kids. I have never wanted kids. Largely because I don’t want kids, I have never wanted kids but also because I don’t think I would be a good mother, I don’t like being around kids (although I plan to make an exception for kids of close friends and my sister, if she has any), even when I was a kid, I didn’t especially like other kids. I’m selfish, impatient, and I have a really bad temper (I do have some good qualities, too, which I assume is why my friends hang around : ).

    To pile the justifications on, I’ve never had a stable job or a relationship lasting longer than a few months, but that sounds like an argument for not having kids yet and I don’t want kids ever. Also, I can get migraines from lack of sleep, loud repetitive noises, an overabundance of bad smells. And so on.

    I can’t tell you how much I hate it when the subject comes up and people say “oh, you’ll change your mind!” No I will not.

  • Darwin’s Dagger

    Well this is going to be a demographic nightmare for the next generation. 100 godbots for every agnostic, atheist and free thinker. Too bad that an atheist population crash isn’t going to be significant enough to save the planet.

  • @Mike

    Obviously I don’t agree.

    Children change your perspective of everything. Big thing I learned was that my belief that I was in control of my life was a complete myth, and that the things that I thought were important (like expensive sports cars) weren’t.

    Waiting until everything is exactly right: right amount of money, right amount of marital stability, right mental attitude, is a foolish thing to do – because the minute you have that child, none of that will be right.

    But, of course, a little planning wouldn’t do any harm. (Unfortunately, those that should don’t).

  • Sally

    Ha! Too bad you guys are in the US and not the UK, I’m a 27 year old with no intention of breeding either. In all honesty it’s rare to see guys who don’t want kids either – usually the kids/not kids argument is the divide that breaks otherwise solid relationships – even when you made it clear early on that you don’t want them.

    There’s an assumption that because I’m a young woman (and therefore flaky with no mind of my own), that I’ll change my mind with just a little pushing. The fact that they actively try to change my mind when I don’t try to change theirs is quite a turn-off.

  • Steven

    It is puzzling that this is such an issue. What difference would it make to me whether or not someone wanted kids? It doesn’t stop me from having (or adopting) any of my own. I recall being disturbed when a woman in my office said that she “didn’t really want” her children but had them for her husband’s sake. It was the cold and dismissive way she said it that really bothered me – not much motherly love there! I agree that being aware of the reasons why you want kids is far more important than why you don’t want any. “I just don’t want kids” seems more than satisfactory – no justification should be needed.
    As much as I love being a Dad I know it is not for everyone (some days, it’s not for me so much either!). I always wanted a family and I started the whole business with my eyes open to both the rewards and the sacrifices required. It works for me, I would never presume that it would work for anyone else.

  • littlejohn

    I’m 55 years old and got a vasectomy at a relatively early age. I decided in my teens that I never would want to have children.
    Both my parents were abusive. My mother sexually molested me (she is near death at a home for Alzheimer’s sufferers). My father was a macho guy who made fun of me for needing eyeglasses. He’s dead, although he did mellow a bit in his last decade of life.
    I now have mixed feelings about not having children. I realize this probably doesn’t help much, but my point is these decisions are difficult and and you may change your mind when you’re too old to reconsider.
    Just something worth thinking about.

  • I have experience a significant amount of judgement from my fellow progressive humanists for my decision to have kids. As is quite evident in this comment thread, the judgement goes both ways.

    As a parent I can only assume that being told you are adding to the downfall of mankind by contributing to the population problem is as offensive as being told, “Even if you don’t want them now, you’ll want them later.” if you have chosen to not have children.

    My tension breaker argument is to say that someone needs to breed an atheist army to fight the religious zombie hordes.

    The ideal we should be supporting here is responsible choice. Parenting requires an incredible amount of patience and sacrifice. Many important things simply cannot be done to their fullest extent while raising a well rounded, responsible human (let alone three of them). Someone who neglects his/her kids to work 16 hours a day on a noble humanitarian project is being irresponsible and harming children. At the same time, if the only people reproducing are Islamic radicals and wasteful slobs, we are breeding our own doom.

    Conscious choice is the noble, responsible thing. Praise people who choose either way.

  • Erika

    I don’t want kids. Why not? Because I don’t want kids. 🙂

  • AstroGirl

    Happily childfree by choice with a wonderful partner who, thankfully, feels just the same.

    Accidents *don’t* have to happen and to us they haven’t. We’re getting to the age (early 40s) where we’re not going to have to worry about this for many years more – and still not a peep out of the biological clock from either of us – I guess we must have forgotten to wind it 😀

    There is already too much going on in our lives for us to wish to be additionally responsible for other people’s. We love the freedom we have – and before you call us selfish, remember that we’re using a fair bit less of the world’s resources thanks to our choice.

    I think we each need to spend our time on earth as we see fit without judging others for their choices or be influenced by others’ judgements.

    If having kids is your thing I genuinely wish you a wonderful experience. I only hope that you can extend the same respect to my decision.

    Please give those of us who aren’t particularly child-centred a little space, and do remember that we still have lives, concerns and responsibilities (such as caring for elderly relatives or community work) which may cause us to ask for some flexibility and elbow room from time to time.

    As long as we all keep in mind the simple fact that others’ experiences may differ from our own, and that this is not a problem…

  • I don’t want kids. Never wanted kids. Don’t have the patience, nor the inclination. I get the standard, your selfish, you’ll change your mind, just wait for motherly instinct BS. But my favourite was the person who told me I shouldn’t be allowed to vote because I don’t care what happens in this world. No kidding? Some people have told me I’d love my own kids. While that may in fact be true, that is a social experiment I am NOT interested in engaging in (unlike boobquake, which is an AWESOME experiment).

    I wish I wanted kids because agreed Mark, I would breed more atheists. But my 2 best friends, and my brother, are atheists and I’m roping them into have an extra kid to make up for my lack.

  • Sunioc

    Sally: My biggest problem is even finding a skeptical/atheist woman around here. I never even get to the kids debate, or at least haven’t in the last several years. Maybe I should relocate. The UK seems a bit more my style anyways…

  • Jolly Sapper

    My wife and I choose to remain childless due to several reasons.

    First, we don’t make much money. I make less than a grand every four weeks working full time. My wife has a really good paying job with the county but her job security is dependent on state funding ( which suffers the whims to of the American tax payer).

    Second, we don’t really want to have to deal with kids.

    Third, my wife is wanting to start her own business. This takes up all of our time and most of our money. The rest of our money is spent on keeping us fed.

    Fourth, I spent four years bathing in carcinogenic petrochemicals, vehicle fuel with warning labels about negative effects to male sterility, and who knows what else. So I’m not sure what my previous vocation may have done to scramble my half of the genetic goop needed to create another human being. The cost to have my junk tested to make sure that I won’t be the father to a child that is born inside out or with flippers is more than I have at my disposal.

  • After reading some of the previous comments, I have to say I am very lucky. My family all agrees that I shouldn’t have kids. Nobody is pressuring me. Kids are a first date question (or pre-date fishing expedition) and the fastest way to get my mother off my case about a guy is to tell her he wants kids. She immediately says I shouldn’t date him, which is awesome. I figure, there are likely more men who don’t want kids then women, so if he can put up with my stubbornness, I’ll be a catch. Too bad you other guys aren’t in Canada!

  • Sunioc

    Not Guilty: As I told Sally, I may be willing to relocate. 😉

  • Sunioc, LOL click my name to read my ranting blog as a start!

  • Sally

    @Sunioc: I thought California was fairly godless and liberal (well, apart from that prop 8 debacle). So what on earth are they teaching women over there?! I honestly don’t get it…Men who can cook usually get instant brownie points.

  • Sunioc

    @Sally: Not all of california is. I currently live in a tiny little mountain town who’s occupants are mostly conservative, country music listening christians who can’t wait to get hitched and start breeding. In addition, I can probably count the number of single women under the age of 40 here on one hand. The only person who I’ve met since moving here who I know was atheist was a guy who has since moved to Los Angeles with his new wife.

    @Not Guilty: *clicks*

  • K

    @Mark: My husband has made the very same argument! It’s true, the religious zealots push procreation. Many times it’s written into their religion that one should have as many children as possible (e.g. Mormonism). Often, atheists choose not to procreate for all the reasons noted above. It seems that free-thinkers are the folks we would want, as atheists, to raise children and many would prefer not to.

    As stated by the illustrious Harvey Danger, “all the stupid people are breeding”.

  • Sally

    Weird. It must be one of those stereotypes that we have then, rather like how we brits all speak “properly”, drink tea and wear tweed jackets with the leather patches on the sleeves. I guess because the average brit never sees more than Orlando in Florida we assume that the religious wackos are all safely cooped up in the midwest.

    😉

    We’re lucky though, all our rabid Christian fruitcakes are middle or upper class and they rarely have more than two children. The’re slowly dying out, as much as they’d hate to admit it. Their attempts to indoctrinate children in primary schools fails parlessly.

  • anne

    I’m about to turn 30 (Saturday!) and I don’t know yet. Ideally, I would like to wait until my late 30’s but people lay on the ‘risk of birth defects’ talk when I mention that. Evolution needs to hurry up and get with the program;) After all, I need more time to figure stuff out so I can be a better mom than mine was! And make enough money to support a kid! Anyway, I hope enough of you rational folks continue to raise kids so we prevent an Idiocracy from truly blossoming.

  • RavynSkyes

    I’m 28. My husband is 34. We don’t want to have kids. Ever. Period.

    We have a fantastic relationship that we’ve been able to nourish over seven years, and neither of us can see how bringing a child into it would make it better. Is it really so selfish to want to dedicate your love solely to your spouse?

  • K

    @Sally: as a U.S. Midwest (Kansas) dweller, I would have to say that the assumption that religious weirdos reside in this region is only partially true. Thing is, holier-than-thou zealots are everywhere in the U.S. (especially Texas!). Around here, you do see Mennonite, Amish, Mormon, and Quaker communities but they keep to themselves and are usually only seen at the farmer’s markets.

    I’m thankful I live in an area full of Universities where religion really isn’t an issue, although Fred Phelps and his gang aren’t far enough away for my peace of mind.

  • Sunioc

    Weird. It must be one of those stereotypes that we have then, rather like how we brits all speak “properly”, drink tea and wear tweed jackets with the leather patches on the sleeves.

    Psh, next you’ll be telling me you don’t all use monocles, either. But seriously, California is a very large state. 50% larger than the whole of the United Kingdom, in fact. There’s a few pockets of liberalism, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, and they make up the majority of the population because they’re so dense. However, in between all those is a whole lot of rural areas that are a lot more conservative.

  • Sally

    @ K, I don’t think Phelps and his lackeys are far enough away from anyone. Perhaps NASA could employ them all as astronauts and send them off to Phobos. Would make it considerably harder for that particular bunch of crazy to breed as well.

    @ Sunioc, so the assumption that everyone in California smokes pot, drinks California wine and listens to skunk is also false? Dang and I was so going to move there after I graduate.

    (I kid, I’ve been to LA and San Diego and liked it very much!)

  • Two thoughts: Kids…be they adopted or your own spawn…are rather nice to have around as you age. Sure, you can live a functionally self-absorbed life deep into your 70s. But then, well, you’re looking at some serious suckage. In the absence of younger folks who love and care for you, the last decade or so of life will just bite. Your friends? They’ll be dead or marginally functional. Spend some time in an assisted living facility. Those with families, particularly close knit ones, do better. There are other ways to connect crossgenerationally…but I’m not sure atheists develop those networks as intentionally as we churchy folk. Ah well. Y’all are more open to euthanasia, so I suppose that’s your out.

    Second, on a purely genetic level, this does mean that freethinking folk are at a disadvantage. If a more substantial percentage of y’all choose not to have progeny, and working under the admittedly untested assumption that the traits that lead to freethinking are in some way hardwired, things don’t augur well for the movement.

  • Killer Bee

    In a few generations we’ll be overrun by stupid people popping out babies like pez dispensers.

  • Sally

    @ Beloved Spear – with the amount of money you can save by NOT having children (what is it, $300,000 per kid over 18 years?)…you can probably finance the cost of hospice care fairly easily. Besides, how many people do you know who happily stick their parents in a nursing home so they a) don’t have to look after them and b) can sell the family home and take themselves on a nice cruise?

    Besides, most kids have to be trained intensively from a young age to believe in God. Atheism is a natural state for all of us when we’re born, nothing genetic about it.

  • @Beloved Spear: having children so that they can take care of you when your old, that isn’t selfish at all [dripping sarcasm]. I’ll take all the money I save and pay somebody to do that. Considering most lawsuits are between family members, it’s probably the better choice.

  • Carol B

    Drat, NotGuilty, you beat me to the comment! 🙂 I was also going to say that childless couples are often accused of being selfish, but it seems to me that the height of selfishness is to have children so that you have someone to take care of you in your dodage.

  • I always wanted kids (2 to be precise) but was told that, due to damage done by a creeping uncle when I was a child, I probably wouldn’t be able to.
    I married hubby in 2006 and we started looking at our options (adoption, fertility treatments) in 2007.
    In our (red)neck of the woods the private adoption providers are christian. We were NOT going to lie about our atheism so we were not eligible to adopt (I suppose believing in god is WAY more important than being a good parent).
    We looked into Child and Family Services (I used to work for them) but it is very difficult for a non family member to adopt the kids from CFS and if you do get one it’s an older child who usually has moderate to severe behavioural issues. We determined that was more than we were willing to take on so looked to the fertility clinic.
    Fertility treatments aren’t covered by Alberta Health Care and our private insurer didn’t cover it so we determined that we would do 3 cycles of IUI (artificial insemination) and if that didn’t work, we’d take out a loan and do 1 cycle of IVF (in vitro).
    Fortunately our 3rd IUI cycle worked and I’m currently 33 weeks gestation with our first (and only) child. I’m on bed rest (which is driving me batty) and in excruciating pain due to an “irritable uterus” but hanging in there so she can have the best possible start in life.

    Before I was able to get pregnant I felt like I was inferior as a woman. I’d see a pregnant woman waddling down the mall patting her belly and smiling beatifically and I’d want to punch her in the face (usually I’d just burst into tears though). I was resentful of my uterus because it couldn’t do something that any idiot’s uterus could do.

    To my child free friends: don’t make the morons make you feel guilty or inferior. You made a choice. It’s a good choice. It’s YOUR choice.

    To my friends with biological kids: don’t let the environmentalists make you feel guilty. It’s not like we (atheists/agnostics et al) are pumping out 20 kids each and I’d be willing to wager that we’re more environmentally conscious parents than some people (like using cloth diapers, glass bottles etc).

    To my friends with adopted kids: thank you. As an adoptee I think adoptive parents are the best.

    And to the gentleman above who said that people should have kids in order to have someone look after them when they get old. That’s what nieces and nephews are for. I’ve worked in long term care and often the most doting are the nieces and nephews (the kids themselves are a pain in the ass!)

  • walkamungus

    Like some of the commenters above, I have never wanted kids. I don’t like kids, and I didn’t like kids even when I was a kid. I’m now in my early 40s, and my mother has finally accepted the fact that she can have granddogs, not grandkids. 🙂

  • Ash

    @Sarah, congratulations! Hope it all goes as smoothly as possible 🙂

  • Angie

    From a young age, I knew that I did not want to be a mother. I’m childfree, and I had my tubes tied three years ago, which was one of the best decisions I ever made.

    In my opinion, children are annoying, messy, foul-smelling, time-consuming money siphons who would decrease the quality of my life and prevent me from making optimal contributions to the world. To boot, the world is overpopulated as it is!

  • @Ash: Thank you.

  • skinman

    I never expected to have kids, or even get married. The overpopulation issue was one of my many reasons and it is a very legitimate reason. But having children was the best thing I’ve ever done. It is true that they are expensive and exhausting and take up every last ounce of your free time. But my two daughters and my son are the light of my life. The world would be empty to me without them.

    Now this is not to say that everyone should have kids. Not at all. I commend anyone that is that confident in making a decision of such magnitude. I was the same way. But for me it would’ve been a huge mistake, one I’m glad I didn’t make. As a matter of fact, the day my oldest was born was the day I went from agnostic to atheist. Her birth showed me that reproduction is simply biology 101: wonderful but not miraculous. Her birth and those of her siblings changed my life permanently for the better. And, hopefully, by teaching them to think for themselves and to appreciate the natural wonder of our universe and to constantly question (even when it annoys their parents) I will help to improve the human condition. Because this world needs more humanists and skeptics.

    So I say good for Godless Girl. Stand up for your right to live your life as you please. Stand up for your convictions. I’m just glad I didn’t. Because, in my opinion, all the money and hobbies in the world don’t hold a candle to being called Daddy.

  • Killer Bee

    prevent me from making optimal contributions to the world.

    To boot, the world is overpopulated as it is!

    You assume your progeny wouldn’t make any contributions that would offset the opportunity cost of your diverted resources.
    Maybe bringing you into the world was a mistake.
    Maybe the world needs one less of you. That could be your contribution. Off yourself today, and spare us potentially decades worth of wasted resources.

    I’d appreciate your sacrifice.

  • JodyM

    Just thought I’d throw this into the mix: there is a group on Yahoo for childless people.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/childlesschoice/

    I’ve been a member for a while. Sometimes it is quiet, sometimes not so much. Usually entertaining. Sometimes people looking for childfree mates (not me, but there have been some women who’ve lamented not being able to fine men of like minds, hint hint). It is a nice place to vent if you need to, also, as most everyone can relate.

    35 here, married to a great guy. I’ve never been interested in having kids, and my clock is not ticking yet. I have a lot of reasons, but it mainly boils down to: Ya know, it’s just not for me. Why that isn’t good enough for some people is sometimes confusing.

  • @Not Guilty: I’m from Minnesota – that’s practically Canada! Eh! 😀 Plus, the way this country is going, what with the Teabaggers and all, I’m pretty sure I would like relocating to Candada. (Especially if Palin/Bachmann is on the ballot in 2012.)

    Yes, I have hijacked the thread and now declare it my official personal dating thread. Ladies, your e-mail addresses and photos please. lol (You probably would believe just how hard it is to find a nice godless girl in central MN. In fact, I don’t even know any atheists IRL, though a few of my friends are non-religious – insofar as they don’t go to church and I’m guessing they don’t think about religion much if ever.) Blah blah blah. Sorry.

  • Aguz

    The family’s genetic material is already save by mi older sister so… I decide I don’t want kids of my own, and if I fell like passing my memetic knowledge to a child I would just adopt.

  • Sally Makin

    Lol Mat 🙂 perhaps there needs to be a new subsection on the forum! (Admittedly, I’m not signed up on the forum, because I’m lazy).

    Look me up on Evil Facebook, I’m the chick with the bandana. Like you, I feel bad about contributing to the derailment of this thread!

    Back on topic, do you think that one of the reasons that atheists have less children is because of our habit of eating babies?

  • Lauren

    I like my life…no, I LOVE my life as is. That’s it.

  • Canadiannalberta

    Too bad you guys looking for girlfriends aren’t in Alberta – I’m lookin’ but being an Atheist and someone who doesn’t want children/marriage, its a bit hard to find a decent guy.

    As for the debate – if you want children, then do! If you don’t want kids – then don’t!

    Whatever you do, be happy.

  • @ Canadiannalberta, they are all willing to move up to Canada but Alberta is hardly an improvement if you ask me! Ontario is where it’s at!

    I really hope this thread has enlightened some people as to how rude it is to harass people about having kids.

    Two interesting articles from awhile ago in Canadian mag Macleans on having kids. The responses are the funny part. In there, I was told I shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

    http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/08/13/the-no-kids-debate-continues/

    http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/07/24/no-kids-no-grief/

  • Melissa D.

    IF, and it’s a big if, I had kids, it would be one child and only one child.

    Reasons for wanting kids:

    1) Part of the life experience.
    2) Do all the things for them my parents didn’t do for me (alternately, to NOT do to them what my parents did to me)
    3) Have someone who is bound by all social codes to take care of me when I’m old and cranky and just want to eat ice cream. 🙂

    Reasons for not wanting kids:

    1) I like my vagina the way it is, thanks. I don’t want it to tear. I don’t want to be awake when it tears. I don’t want to be pushing a baby out as it tears. I don’t want the doctor to cut my vagina as the baby comes out in an attempt to spare me the tearing. I would prefer to avoid scar tissue on my vagina. I would like to be continent for most of my life. Getting the point?

    2) Money. Babies are expensive, ungrateful things.

    3) I don’t want to be tied down. Maybe that sounds bad, but I want a life where I can be selfish sometimes and not always worry about others.

    4) Gender roles. I know that, as the big-bellied pregnant lactating hormonal mess I will become if I do have a child, I will be biologically driven to nurse and care for this thing day and night. My boyfriend’s sister just had a baby, and believe you me I am DILIGENT about birth control after seeing what a wreck she is–and she is a very mature, very sweet tempered woman. I would go bat-shit crazy leaking milk through my shirt and having my boobs throb.

    Adoption sounds nice, though.

  • lapseton

    As it happens, I’ve been thinking about this a little bit for the past few days, since (due to miscommunication and my own stupidity) I’m probably pregnant right now. I’ll be having an abortion.

    I will probably not feel guilty about it. I’m not agonizing over the decision. I once took the morning-after pill, and sometimes think ‘Huh, maybe if I hadn’t I’d have a six-year-old now’. I also sometimes think about what it would be like if I’d gotten pregnant the very first time I had sex, and it’s much the same; a quick ‘huh’ followed by a shudder and an ‘ick’.

    I’ve never wanted children. Partly because I’m in a fairly difficult financial situation (thank you, recession), partly because I really don’t have the patience for children, partly because – to ditto another commenter – because I’m selfish. Mostly it’s because I just don’t like children.

    People say it’s different when it’s yours. Then again, when I argue with people about the right to choose, they say the same thing. Shows what they know.

    Sorry for the rant.

  • I’ve always wanted children, but I would prefer to adopt rather than have biological kids. I’ve gotten some odd reactions to this. Some people have praised me because they think adoption is a “noble” choice, which implies I’m giving something up by not having biological kids. In fact, for me it’s precisely the opposite. I gain the benefit of having my own children without having to go through pregnancy and childbirth. Then you have people who can’t seem to understand why I don’t want children of my “own.” Since I’m (presumably) fertile, the expectation is that I should want “real” kids. And nothing annoys me more than terminology and attitudes asserting that some types of families are superior and others are inferior.

  • I’m not even that adverse to being pregnant (although all that talk about tearing might change my mind..). I think it would be an interesting life experience. I just don’t want to have to keep the kid. I’ve told my close friends I’d surrogate for them if need be. My other friend finds it hilarious. She would never go through pregnancy and not get to keep the kid. Maybe I should listen to her, she’s had two…

  • Beijingrrl

    Just want to point out to all the women who think pregnancy destroys your body – you’ve been sold a bill of goods. I don’t have a link any more, but I know of one study which found that nuns were as likely to be incontinent in old age as women who had multiple births. If you don’t want to pee when you sneeze when you’re older, do your kegels. Stretch marks may be a reality for most, but they don’t bother me any more than wrinkles or my graying hair. Pregnancy certainly changes a woman’s body, but to act like it’s a devastating event is overdramatic.

  • Sharon

    I’ve never wanted children. Part of the reason is that I have a really bad temper and I knew that was a bad combination with a child.

    Where some of this came from is that I was abused as a child, by a Mother who was abused as a child, by a Father who came from a somewhat questionable family situation (from what little I could find out). I decided I didn’t want to pass this on to another generation.

  • JayJay

    Beijingrrl, pregnancy does destroy your body. And many women have incontinence caused by giving birth. Hell, you can end up having a stroke or you could DIE trying to give birth and it is more common than people realize. We are not being “overdramatic.” You need to do your research and every woman who wants to have children should do their research. Google “pregnancy complications” and get back to me. Society has sold YOU a bill of goods because you don’t understand how serious pregnancy is. THIS is why abortion is legal in America because pregnancy can destroy your body or end your life.

  • JayJay

    Beijingrrl, pregnancy does destroy your body. And many women have incontinence caused by giving birth. Hell, you can end up having a stroke or you could DIE trying to give birth and it is more common than people realize. We are not being “overdramatic.” You need to do your research and every woman who wants to have children should do their research. Google “pregnancy complications” and get back to me. Society has sold YOU a bill of goods because like many people, you don’t understand how serious pregnancy is. THIS is why abortion is legal in America because pregnancy can destroy your body or end your life.

  • Staceyjw

    I felt the only way I could have a kid (and I am currently 26 weeks along), is to have a stay at home husband that supports me, and will care for the kid(s).

    So, while I don’t get comments about having/not having kids, I DO get LOTS of attitude because I am the bread-winner AND a woman. My husband supports me the way a “traditional” wife would. When the baby comes, he’ll be the primary caregiver, and this drives other people NUTS. You would not believe the rude comments we get, even from close “friends”. If the situation was reversed, we would be “perfect” and people would be envious, but instead, he’s a “loser/dead beat” and I’m an “idiot who loves to be used”. Sadly, women are critical 90% of the time!

    We got to our switched roles by figuring out what works for US, but many people don’t respect this. Their ideas of gender make them unable/unwilling to see the rational reasons that our situation works, and works well. They would rather me stay home while he works, even though his income is paltry and my patience is as short as my temper!

    ******************************************

  • Staceyjw

    Like Terra said, I NEVER wanted kids, never liked them, I even loathed babies. I spent my entire sexual life avoiding pregnancy!

    Then I turned 30, and I started having non-stop “I want a baby, and I want one NOW” thoughts. I fought it, but biology is relentless, and over the next 3 years the desire only increased- almost to the point of obsession (not in a pathological way).

    After years of thinking, planning, re-evaluating, the rational part of my mind caught up! After a short time, my husband agreed- and I got pregnant right away 🙂 Now, I’m 26 weeks along, and every time I feel baby Jack move, I am amazed and awed by the sheer improbability of it (biologically, personally, evolutionarily).

    As for other people’s opinions, most were stunned, but still happy and supportive- it’s the gender reversal that brings out the gloves!!!

    And I don’t feel the least bit bad about adding to over-population, and if all goes well, I want 3-4 kids. Why should fundies be the only ones that get to have babies and big families?

    I’m an environmentalist, and I understand that consumption of resources is the real problem, which can be controlled, even with kids! I live in Mexico, and I see families with 8+ kids that use less than half the resources of one typical, suburban, American couple. And these days, you can have a small foot print without living an impoverished life!

  • JayJay

    Staceyjw, no offense, but why are you having a child if you have a short temper and you’re impatient? Children will only make everything worse because kids are stressful by their very nature. Even if your husband is a stay at home dad, you still have to interact with the child from babyhood until adulthood. Also, while over-compensation is something we need to work on, over-population is still a big issue because we only have a limited amount of resources. I agree that you shouldn’t feel guilty. We only have one life to live and it’s a waste of time to fill it with guilt. Good luck with everything. I am childfree by choice, but I like that you actually thought about what having kids entails. A lot of people just mindlessly breed.

  • AxeGrrl

    not guilty wrote:

    Two interesting articles from awhile ago in Canadian mag Macleans on having kids. The responses are the funny part. In there, I was told I shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

    http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/08/13/the-no-kids-debate-continues/

    http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/07/24/no-kids-no-grief/

    Oh my god, the deluge of negative feedback MacLean’s got as a result of that first article eh?! I remember reading it thinking “what the hell is wrong with people that this topic brings out such intolerance and (yes) dogmatism??”

    and to Canadiannalberta: you’re an atheist and you’re living in Alberta??

    *trying to wrap my head around that*

    what’s life like?

  • AxeGrrl

    Staceyjw wrote:

    I DO get LOTS of attitude because I am the bread-winner AND a woman. My husband supports me the way a “traditional” wife would. When the baby comes, he’ll be the primary caregiver, and this drives other people NUTS. You would not believe the rude comments we get, even from close “friends”. If the situation was reversed, we would be “perfect” and people would be envious, but instead, he’s a “loser/dead beat” and I’m an “idiot who loves to be used”.

    You know what you guys should do, just to irritate your irrational/ignorant friends even more? Tell them that your hubby has decided to take your last name!

    That’ll make their little heads explode! 🙂

    But seriously…..what the hell is wrong with people?

  • Sally

    @ NotGuilty – I can’t believe the amount of venom being directed towards you in particular on those boards. I don’t understand why people think they have a right to stick their noses in your business and judge you for choices you’re free to make. There’s nothing wrong with people on opposite sides giving their reasons for/against, but the scale of the personal attacks you’re getting makes me wonder what I’m letting myself in for as I get closer to 30.

    It’s like they feel their own relationship is somehow threatened by your childlessness in the same way that a lot of people feel threatened by homosexuals.

  • Sunioc

    You know what you guys should do, just to irritate your irrational/ignorant friends even more? Tell them that your hubby has decided to take your last name!

    If I ever get married, I may do just that. I’m not particularly fond of my conservative christian family (especially my dad, who loudly parrots everything rush limbaugh and glen beck say), and I love giving the finger to tradition.

  • Sally

    I was thinking about changing my name by deed poll to something more Scandinavian. Something really hard to spell and even harder to pronounce.

    My sisters are always competing for the title of “who can come out with the most random name to call their kids” (they don’t have any yet, they just like to be prepared). They’re losing to the celebrities so far.

  • I understand that the world is overpopulated, but I’ve wanted kids almost my whole life. I remember having maternal urges at the age of 5. I don’t think I should deny my biological hardwirings and go against my perfectly natural instincts of wanting to be a mother. At least not completely.

    I mean, I’m getting a university education right now, so things have been on hold. I’m 26 and most of my friends have kids are in the process of making them, so I do feel left out. Of course, I also work in the area of child development (because I’ve been obsessed with being a nurturer since I was 5), so I think about kids all the time.

    But I am a rationalist. I know that my greatgrandmother had 13 kids, my granmother had 8, and my mom had 4. Although I know I’d probably love to have 5 or 6, I’ll stop at 3, for financial, environmental, ethical, and social reasons. But for biological and emotional reasons, I’m having 3.

  • @AxeGrrl When I said “funny” I was being a little trite. The comments are awful, but I just laughed and told myself those people were batshit crazy. But yes, the anger and hate spewing from some people was unreal. There were so many personal attacks it made my head spin.

    You think atheism in Alberta is impressive? Well I lived in Texas from age 5-9 before coming back to Canada (Ontario) and I managed to escape with my senses. As did my brother. LOL

  • JayJay

    Modern Girl, I don’t really believe in the whole “biological clock” business (probably because I’m childfree by choice and even if I wanted a child, I would just adopt), but good on you for knowing what you want and actually planning everything out. Few people do that. And a college education is definitely a plus. Good luck with everything.

  • Canadiannalberta

    @ AxeGrrl

    very, very lonely, sad to say. I have yet to meet an Atheist (other than my uncle, but all he loves is hockey, which I hate . . . can’t win, eh?) and everyone else is a form of Christian. While people don’t care if I’m an Atheist when it comes to friendship – I have yet to date. As I said, I don’t want kids, so that’s another notch against me. I’m not dumb enough to tell people I’m bisexual, though, that’d be disastrous.

    But, hey, I’ll find the right guy or girl!

  • i want kids, but i can’t/won’t have them cuz i can’t afford them.

  • Kristen Potter

    I am not planning to have children and that’s mostly due to the fact that I just don’t want one. To go through the pain of child birth, possibly fucking up in the process, spending $10,000 or more on even one kid; those are the best reasons why I won’t have a child.
    Plus, I drink soda like a caffiene addict and I’m a minor anemic. My body isn’t a temple, nor is it a safe place for a fetus to huddle inside. lol

  • Mariana

    I can’t help finding it amusing that so many people cite how much they dislike children/babies as a reason to not have kids. As if we weren’t all children and babies ourselves at one point, whom our parents nonetheless loved and put up with.

  • JayJay

    Mariana, it’s not a good reason to bring kids into the world if you don’t like kids. Well, you could, but it’s a pretty shitty thing to do to a kid. Everyone here is pretty smart so we know we were kids once. Some people didn’t like kids when they WERE kids themselves.

    And no one asked to be brought into the world in the first place and it was our parents’/parent’s JOB to put up with us.

    Not liking kids has nothing to do with being mean to kids. Some people just don’t like being around kids. Regardless, kids grow up so it doesn’t even matter.

    I don’t know if you realized it, but you just utilized the very irrational “You were a kid, too!” bingo/knee-jerk reaction. 😀 ::hands you a cookie::

  • Sally

    “You were a kid too” meaning that we have to like them or we dislike ourselves when we were babies or something?

    That sounds like crazy non-logic to me.

    I just don’t like being around children and never have done. The sound of children crying sets my teeth on edge like nails down a chalkboard. Foul smelling liquid seems to spew from every orifice, usually just after you’ve cleaned them. I ignored my dolls as a kid in favour of lego, drawing and running around like a hoodlum, climbing trees and learning about the natural world.

    Please also bear in mind, that just because someone has children, that doesn’t mean they like them. Otherwise why do so many children have to be taken away by social services after having been abused in some way by their parents? When people have children just because society or their religion says they have to, the outcome is rarely good for the child.

  • leanne

    a woman having ONE CHILD and doing all the recycling she can will still increase her carbon footprint by FOUR HUNDRED PERCENT just by giving birth to a child. reason number one!

  • Circe of the Godless

    I seriously dislike young children, always have.
    I have never had any real desire to have children. I’m mid forties, definitly won’t ever have any, and don’t have one single friend who does. I know lots of women like myself. I think its seen as “un PC” to say you don’t like kids, right on par with being labelled an evil aetheist because you don’t believe in a sky fairy, but lots of women just don’t like them.

  • Circe of the Godless

    “Mariana Says:

    April 28th, 2010 at 10:01 pm
    I can’t help finding it amusing that so many people cite how much they dislike children/babies as a reason to not have kids. As if we weren’t all children and babies ourselves at one point, whom our parents nonetheless loved and put up with.”

    What a stupid argument. Basically you are saying that because someone put up with you when you were once a screaming brat, then you should just shut up & put up with screaming brats as well. Good one, you’ve shown yourself to be one of the typical intolerant people who think they have the right to tell me how to run my own uterus. By the way, if you don’t think that NOT LIKING CHILDREN isn’t a good reason not to have them, you are pretty fucked up in the head department mate.

  • Mariana

    Wow, you all sure are eager to put words in my mouth and assume I’m “making an argument”…talk about knee-jerk reactions.

    What’s so wrong with seeing children as a gift rather than a curse?

  • JayJay

    Mariana, you put the words in your own mouth. You are the one who said “You were kids, too!” and “Your parents loved you!” like we didn’t already know that and like that should somehow factor into whether people should or shouldn’t have kids.

    And NOBODY said that kids were a “curse.” NO ONE. THAT is an example of putting words in people’s mouth.

    Like everyone has mentioned, SOME people who don’t want kids just don’t like kids. (Personally, I am childfree but I am indifferent to kids.) THAT IS IT. Nothing more, nothing less.

    If you want to see kids as a gift, that is your right. NO ONE has argued that your view of children is wrong or silly or anything like that.

    If people respect your opinions/feelings about children, you should respect others opinions/feelings about children.

    Again, what POINT are you trying to make? If you have specific questions, ask them instead of “bingoing” people which is exactly what you’re doing and that is why you are receiving the grief you are receiving.

  • Mariana

    What’s so wrong with seeing children as a gift rather than a curse?

    Nothing at all but you have to accept that this is simply a matter of opinion and not an absolute. Some days I see my own children in just such a positive light and on others I’d cheerfully strangle them (not literally). The point though is that I chose to have them, they are my responsibility and what I gain from having them is mine to appreciate. If others don’t want that then fine, it is an understandable and reasonable position to take even though it isn’t for me.

  • BEX

    I am 26 and have known I don’t want to have children for most of my life. People have always told me “you’re young, you’ll change your mind,” including most of my family (who are a generally accepting group). Then I got married to a man who is 10 years older. He also doesn’t want kids. I think it was that fact that finally convinced everyone that I’m serious. They don’t ask anymore and simply accept it. The only time I hear that now is when a stranger asks.

    Occasionally I have doubts. I think of my Nana and how happy she is to be surrounded by her family in her old age and it makes me fear my own twilight. I have to really make an effort to be social and I imagine it will only get harder as I get older. With an older husband I see myself being alone in my old age. That scares me. But then I think of all the wonderful years I will have before then and I always come around to the same decision. I’m just not mother material.

    But I think if we ever do change our minds we will discuss adoption. The idea of pregnancy really bothers me in such a deep, personal way I can’t describe.

    This is such a personal issue. No one has the right to impose their preferences on anyone else.

  • Canadiannalberta

    Hey, Not Guilty , have you ever been to Alberta? I’m curious because you said ‘think Atheism in Alberta is impressive, Well I lived in Texas . . .” like living in Alberta is somehow easier then Texas.

  • Mariana

    “Mariana, you put the words in your own mouth. You are the one who said “You were kids, too!” and “Your parents loved you!” like we didn’t already know that and like that should somehow factor into whether people should or shouldn’t have kids.

    And NOBODY said that kids were a “curse.” NO ONE. THAT is an example of putting words in people’s mouth.”

    I’m sorry, I thought I was gently pointing out the irony of how, kids being such a nuisance, it’s a miracle the human race has survived this long, innit? That was my “point”. I was in no way telling anyone what to do with their reproductive powers. Didn’t realize people would read so much into, or be so threatened by, a humorous observation. Sheesh.

    And describing children as screaming, stinky brats who are going to destroy the environment seems to manifest a pretty dim view of children. Am I wrong?

  • JayJay

    Not only was your point not clear (and that is why no one got the point you were trying to make), but it is not “irony” that the human race wouldn’t have survived had everyone been childfree since it’s common knowledge. And if we hadn’t existed, we wouldn’t have known, so it is not like it would be something we would cry about. ^_^

    And no one was “threatened” by your comment. As I mentioned, please look up “childfree bingo” because you have been using a lot of “bingos” and you don’t even realize it. Hate to break it to you, but people find “bingos” rather annoying even when you don’t mean them to be. (Not to mention that you do obviously have a hidden agenda because of your other bingo “What’s so wrong with viewing kids as a gift?” which I will get into later.)

    And I agree that you weren’t telling anyone what to do with their reproductive organs but you were implying that it was somehow “amusing” that people weren’t having kids because they didn’t like them. As if it is valid that we should compare our reasons and choices to the reasons and choices our parents’ made. I don’t think it’s a good idea to bring kids into the world if you are indifferent to them or don’t like them. Not that most childfree people would harm a child (I wouldn’t, for example), but there are WAY too many parents who shouldn’t have had children and their children had to suffer terribly, some even DYING.

    Because I think it would be unfair to my child for me to bring it into the world, I’m not going to do it. I appreciate what my parents did (I guess; I don’t view life as a gift necessarily), but I’m not going to do it myself. Thankfully, I live in a time period and a nation where I have a CHOICE in the matter. My ancestors oftentimes did not have a choice.

    Having children does increase your carbon footprint. This is a fact, not an opinion. Some people don’t want to have children because they don’t want to increase their carbon footprint. (And keep in mind that some people view it like this: “Your future family won’t have to fight my future family for resources.”) That is their right. Some people think kids are screaming and stinky brats. (And there is a grain of truth to that.) Some people don’t like children. That is their right.

    HOWEVER, again, NO ONE has called having children a curse and no one has said that it is wrong to see children as a gift rather than a curse. That is the question that you asked, remember?

    And, again, whether you agree with other people’s opinions/feelings or not, if they respect your feelings/opinions, you need to respect their feelings/opinions. hoverfrog is a mother herself and she respects the different feelings/opinions of others, so you can, too.

    Me? I worry about the people who actually harm kids.

    Is there any point that you want to make that no one here doesn’t already know?

  • JayJay

    Not only was your point not clear (and that is why no one got the point you were trying to make), but it is not “irony” that the human race wouldn’t have survived had everyone been childfree since it’s common knowledge. And if we hadn’t existed, we wouldn’t have known, so it is not like it would be something we would cry about. ^_^

    And no one was “threatened” by your comment. As I mentioned, please look up “childfree bingo” because you have been using a lot of “bingos” and you don’t even realize it. Hate to break it to you, but people find “bingos” rather annoying even when you don’t mean them to be. (Not to mention that you do obviously have a hidden agenda because of your other bingo “What’s so wrong with viewing kids as a gift?” which I will get into later.)

    And I agree that you weren’t telling anyone what to do with their reproductive organs but you were implying that it was somehow “amusing” that people weren’t having kids because they didn’t like them. As if it is valid that we should compare our reasons and choices to the reasons and choices our parents’ made. I don’t think it’s a good idea to bring kids into the world if you are indifferent to them or don’t like them. Not that most childfree people would harm a child (I wouldn’t, for example), but there are WAY too many parents who shouldn’t have had children and their children had to suffer terribly, some even DYING.

    Because I think it would be unfair to my child for me to bring it into the world, I’m not going to do it. I appreciate what my parents did (I guess; I don’t view life as a gift necessarily), but I’m not going to do it myself. Thankfully, I live in a time period and a nation where I have a CHOICE in the matter. My ancestors oftentimes did not have a choice.

    Having children does increase your carbon footprint. This is a fact, not an opinion. Some people don’t want to have children because they don’t want to increase their carbon footprint. (And keep in mind that some people view it like this: “Your future family won’t have to fight my future family for resources.”) That is their right. Some people think kids are screaming and stinky brats. (And there is a grain of truth to that.) Some people don’t like children. That is their right.

    HOWEVER, again, NO ONE has called having children a curse and no one has said that it is wrong to see children as a gift rather than a curse. That is the question that you asked, remember?

    And, again, whether you agree with other people’s opinions/feelings or not, if they respect your feelings/opinions, you need to respect their feelings/opinions. hoverfrog is a mother herself and she respects the different feelings/opinions of others, so you can, too.

    Me? I worry about the people who actually harm kids.

  • JayJay

    P.S. I would like to add WHY I believe your “curse” comment sounds like you putting words in people’s mouths: I don’t like eating coconuts (they taste gross to me), but I do not see them as a “curse.” I just don’t like them personally. I respect other people’s opinions/feelings about coconuts. If coconuts make some people happy, more power to them, I say.

  • @Canadiannalberta I wasn’t trying to be offensive, I was being facetious. But considering that Canada is generally far more reasonable as a country than the US and Texas is the heart of Bible-thumping country, I am pretty sure it is easier in Alberta than Texas. That being said, I can’t be sure. I’ll limit my sarcasm in future.

    @Mariana, the reason people are up in arms is because you presented the stupidest non-argument as a reason for having kids. Yes we were all children once too, and me personally, a very difficult child. But that is not a “reason” to have kids. I didn’t ask to be born; I was born and I behaved the way I did. I would likely strangle a kid that was like me. Either add intelligently to the debate, or expect irritated replies. Human reproduction is not “special”. Everything on Earth reproduces in one way or another and to think that just because we are humans that our reproduction is special, is absolute stupidity.

  • Julie

    No children for me, ever. I find it most annoying that it is considered a disgrace (never a plus) for a woman to eschew children yet a man can emphatically state he doesn’t want children and people (in general) are much more accepting of this. I’ve yet to see/hear about/etc. one male who has experienced the same horrified expressions I’ve had to endure.
    I’ve definitely paid through the nose when I was open and honest about not wanting children so I no longer say anything except online or around those who I trust.

    There are LOTS of morons out there who would be genuinely thrilled to see every woman has children, whether she wants them or not. I’ve met tons of them. Very few people are capable of letting others live their lives.

    I’m fine with your decision to have kids if you’re responsible for them (or choose not to have kids). My main objection (besides overpopulation, squealing unhinged children, long lines and bad traffic) is that many parents somehow think they are doing a service/giving the world a favor by having children. This is evident when they seek to validate with others their procreating ways or see their child as an ego extension and not a separate entity. The validations are often cloaked in an seemingly innocuous statement or they resort to compliment fishing for their children. I’ve heard more trite ignorant diatribes from parents about finally understanding what “unconditional love” is through having children when the reality is their children aren’t born with an understanding of love and the children are simply using their survival mechanisms to ensure they will survive-crying, etc.

    If you have kids I do expect you to not whine and complain about them to others, not play the single parent pity party card if you happen to be one, avoid preaching or coercing/guilting shaming others into having children, provide for all children you bring into this world without government assistance, be capable of providing for all of your children with or without the help of a spouse or significant other, avoid overused rhetoric about how you’re doing the most important job in the world by being a parent and should be compensated for it, and to teach them to be responsible upstanding citizens and tolerant of others – the common sense stuff.

  • Julie

    For Stacey jw

    You seem responsible, self-aware, and happy. Definitely a great example of parenting. Bravo to you and your husband!

    The gender stereotypes should have died with the 50’s.

  • Canadiannalberta

    @ Not Guilty

    No harm done. I wasn’t offended (Sorry if I sounded that way), just shocked. I didn’t mean to sound offensive. As I said in another post (its in the Canada has church/state issues, too!) I honestly thought all of Canada was like Alberta : cities and tourist towns are a good go, but avoid other towns.

    I know people who made the mistakes of trying to live in small towns, and then were actually forced out for stupid reasons. Like, skin color. Or going to a church in the city, instead of the one in the town. Or being an old lady that never married or entirely devoted to religion.

    This being said, not all of them are like that – or at least, I hope they aren’t.

    Eckville is nice 😀 My aunt and uncle live there now, deciding to give a small town a go anyway.