Pity is often the default response from people when you tell people you do not want kids. But, as this writer is explains, sometimes it’s a decision that comes from a very happy place.
Besides the usual distractions from life — friends calling in tears because they’re heartbroken, flat tires, deaths in the family, leaks in the ceiling, work—I pretty much have the ability to do whatever I want, whenever I want because I don’t have children. That’s not the only reason why I don’t want children—it’s just one perk.
And yes, I don’t want children. As far as I know, I can have children. But I’m not great with kids and the thought of raising them scares me—it’s more terrifying to me than an empty house in the woods or a clown doll sitting in a chair. You’re just so screwed if you find yourself in any of these situations! There’s no way out!
Most people assume that “doing whatever I want” includes partying all night and enjoying my hangover without a toddler sitting on my head. But I’m actually pretty mild. I got nervous one time after taking Benadryl three nights in a row to fall asleep. I fantasised about whether I would have to call my loved ones before checking in to Betty Ford or would someone from the rehab center go through my iPhone for me?
I remember asking my mom when I was little if I could go live at this place in Boston called “The Home for Little Wanderers.” I didn’t realise that it was a facility for orphans. It sounded to me more like a place for free spirits who knew that even if they loved where they were one moment, that could change tomorrow.
One thing I know about myself is that everywhere I go is my new favourite place. And I’m not a cold, heartless vagabond either. If in my wandering I end up reading to children at a zoo in Madagascar—wonderful! I don’t hate kids. I just hate the idea of dragging a kid around with me as he or she is forced to adapt to my lifestyle. I also don’t want to have to carry animal crackers around in my purse.
The way most people feel about loving being a parent is exactly how I feel about not being a parent. I love it. And I can’t imagine my life any other way. I’m one of those people in an ever-growing movement called childfree by choice. I think it’s a clinical and defensive name for what sounds like an otherwise fun group of people.
I’m convinced that people who want kids and people who have kids have secret meetings where they come up with their talking points. There’s not one response to “I’m not having kids” that I haven’t heard and I’ve heard the same questions and comments approximately one bazillion times: