Devil's Advocate 

Don’t Have Kids

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This is a Devil's Advocate post.

Ever hear someone mention that they don’t want to have kids only to hear, invariably, someone ask “why not?” The reason people ask is because having kids is the norm, actively not having kids is not the norm, and so in this DA post I tackle the reasons I think one would decide against having children. I think this particular post falls into the realm of personal opinion and desires, not “good” or “bad” advice, so it’s slightly different from other DA posts.

Kids Are Expensive and Time Consuming!

The number one reason why having kids is a bad idea is that they are expensive and they require a lot of time (time is money!). Given the cost of a hospital stay, which is almost unavoidable, your upcoming kid is already costing you a lot of money and they haven’t even been introduced to the world yet (Read Connie’s story about how much it costs to have a baby). Afterwards, this little tyke is going to eat a ton, run through clothes like it’s the Running of the Brides at Filene’s Basement’s Bridal Gown Sale, and they’re going to have ridiculously expensive hobbies. That’s before they leave elementary school! As the years go on, they get more and more expensive, culminating in college. College, while not required (see this DA post on why you don’t need college to succeed), is basically the minimum of education demanded by society if you want to make something of yourself (or at least that’s the public perception of what society demands).

Tremendous Responsibility

Once you get the past the money, there is a tremendous amount of responsibility when you’re raising another human being. Not only will they be expensive, but you’ll also feel compelled to spend that money because you want your child to succeed. Marketers will bombard you with advertisements about how your child needs to have the latest learning gadget, or how they need to be in this plan or that plan, or how you can’t buy thing particular product because it’s not as good for you as their product. You’ll have to make these decisions, try to make them independent of cost, and still try to provide what you need for your kid to succeed? It’s like when people say they won’t go to the cheapest person for Lasik even if they’re certified and have done thousands of them, they don’t want something that important to be dependent on price; well, are you going to buy the cheaper cereal or do you not want what your child eats to be dependent on price? What’s more important, your child’s health or your eyes? Do you want to be making those decisions?

Your Life Is On Hold

I can’t imagine having children in my early twenties, but that was the norm many many years ago. Heck, I can’t even imagine having a child now, at the age of 27, when my parents had me. With so many young professionals focused on their careers, it’s very difficult to for someone to put it on hold, if only for a little while. Certainly there are plenty who find it more important to raise a family than it is to generate income but many young professionals want to work, advance in their organizations, and make the big dollars so they can, maybe, relax in their older years. Women are no longer looking to become housewives and I think they shouldn’t have to be compelled to feel that way, just like men don’t often look to becoming stay-at-home dads. So, asking anyone to put their career on hold might be a little unreasonable.

I think those are the main reasons why people wouldn’t want to have kids but to be perfectly honest I don’t know (we want children) for certain because I’ve never broached the subject with anyone. If you’re on the “No kids” side of the argument (or at least “no kids for a few more years”), please do share your thoughts. If you’re on the side, I’d love to hear your opinion about these reasons.

{ 283 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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283 Responses to “Don’t Have Kids”

  1. aua868s says:

    more than thinking about if kids are expensive, there’s an element called sentiment…we spend our whole life earning (or thinking about earning)….maybe we can spend some money for that as well!

  2. Pauline says:

    Do not believe that lovey dubey Johnson and Johnson commercials!!!!! Kids are unbelievably hard and they are so immature that they just have no ability to care about anyone else but themselves. I am a woman with 4 kids and if I could wind back the hands of time, I would have zero, none, nada. That is not PMS talking that is real talk. There is no time for anything that doesn’t involve my kids. There is no village or anyone to help raise them, it’s my husband and I and we are drowning from exhaustion. So wear a condom, get fixed but do not have kids. They will ruin your life!!

    • KZ says:

      I agree! Here’s the reality….,

      You bear this cute little baby that you will WORRY about your whole life and what’s your reward for that………………, More worry about how you’re going to retire comfortably.

    • NICOLE F. says:

      I hear you Pauline.. I get this one all the time from women with children, not to have any. I have 17 neices and nephews and believe me they are so selfish its not even funny.. Alot of my friends nag me about having children but none of them are going to help me raise them.. The extended family era has passed unfortunately.

    • warriorwoman73 says:

      Pauline, thank you so much for your honesty in this regard – if only others could be so direct!

  3. Joe says:

    If you don’t want kids then don’t have them. They’ll know you don’t like them and they won’t like you either. If you have depression, social or anxiety issues and you want to be alone all the time you shouldn’t have kids. If you have to drink or use drugs to excess all the time with your “friends” then you shouldn’t have kids. If you’re obsessed with saving money and retiring early rather than making money and working longer you shouldn’t have kids. They cost a lot.

    But what’s the deal with all the money issues? You can have kids and money too. Not that hard. In fact where I work the promoted have families. It’s an unwritten rule. Sure you can be single and childless in your 20’s and 30’s and climb the ladder. But YOU WILL be known as a either a drunk, wierdo or pervert in your 40’s and IT WILL affect your career if you choose the selfish life in the later stages.

    That said, this is not a reason to have children. Only have them if you want them because they are awesome and not experiencing what they offer would be shameful.

    • NICOLE F. says:

      I dont have children but I will tell you what kids offer.. Heartache.. My aunt ended up having a heart attack last year behind her child. Kids are not the same and because you cant spank them, they are growing up to be disrespectful and overly selfish.. Some kids are cool, I do have 17 nieces and nephews and guess how many I babysit.. none because they are all spoiled and since I cant spank them when they act up, I wont watch them.

      • warriorwoman73 says:

        Exactly Nicole! The same people who love to say “it takes a village to raise a child” are the same one who get outraged when “the village” (i.e., you) sees fit to discipline your kids for behaving badly. You can’t have it both ways, people.

        • NICOLE F says:

          The funny thing is Warriorwoman73… these same ladies always talk about how they discipline their children and then when i see the discipline, i now see why the kids talk back to their parents and have no disregard for them.. spare the rod spoil the child plain and simple. Its been 3 years since i posted last on here and I still refuse to watch any of my nieces and nephews.. some parents dont realize how much damage they do to their kids by spoiling them. The world is not going to cater to them the way they do, so the kids unfortunately are in for a rude awakening as an adult.

  4. abby2009 says:

    well said p! i dont want kids. my hubby does though. we just got married this year. weve been together for bout almost 4 years….i seen few things in my life that scares me of having kids. and i am disabled (cant drive blind in one eye) and so my hubby supports me and our dog. and what if he loses his job? the way this economy is how can we afford a kid? ya we have lil money saved for a rainy day…..but what if whenever me and/or the baby needs to go to the dr. uh hello we lose money bc I cant drive and we lose a day pay bc hubby has to take me to dr..(live far away from my family and my mom has MS so hard for her to drive sometimes and his family, well no comment…)…i totally agree with you lynne!!! i swear if i get asked ONE more time when are my hubby and i having kids i am going to hit that person (whether its a friend or a relative)…… gets annoying and it makes me uncomfortable and feels like i get judged bc i aint in the club.,.and ya id be a stay at home mom nothing wrong with that call me old fashioned…….i mean ya a few of my friends are/ or already have kids…..few friends have neices/nephews…crud i have nephews who i love dearly. but i dont think i am the mommy type. ya i had a good childhood (well parents split but have a stepdad who is more like my dad now. and my dad always picked me up once a week. (r.i.p)(i am 28 by the way). …..i agree frostbite about the supermarket thing. whenever me and my hubby are in there, i hear a kid screaming, throwing a tantrum, and whining. its like geez someone get that kid a happy meal or smack that kid (but then again that might be a form of abuse in todays society. noone has heard of a lil thing called DISCLIPLINE)! its aggravating…….then again whenever look at kids either looking at toys or hear my mom over the phone ask a kid if they are excited for santa claus then ya kind of want a kid……..idk, just not a kid person….i am happy with my hubby and our dog. ya id like to keep my last name going. and need more girls in the family, but hate getting pressured…..

  5. darwin says:

    Hey people, go and spawn kids so I can have servants in the future..

    • NICOLE F. says:

      News flash! Kids are not going to take care of you.. Servants, forget it.. they are too caught up in Playstations and Ipods.. They care about you alright, they will be putting you in a nursing home, then they will never visit you and then wait for you to die to get the life insurance money..

  6. Hazy says:

    Ha, I absolutely dont think everyone should have kids, not even most people. There are too many humans on the planet.

    Ironically its often people with kids who will talk about how you should do whats natural, but it is NOT natural to have so many humans across the world- theres a general lack of food, water, shelter. We see it all the time with all the charity stuff. And sure, there will always be a richer and a poorer, because thats what comparison does – BUT I dont think the poorer should have to be disease-ridden and earning like a penny a day.

    Of course this is rarely a reason for not having kids, because people are selfish and will just have them anyway if they want them. But it is a response to those people who act as if theyre doing the world a service by having kids.

    If you wanna do a service by having kids, adopt. Just like people argue about breeding pets because there are plenty of animals in shelters… Its not really all that different – if you adopt, youre choosing the ‘right’ thing, over a ‘special bond’ that comes from seeing the birth/giving birth and raising the puppy/child from infancy.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hey people, wake up! We don’t know what life is all about~this crazy weird universe and shit. May be after we die those that experiment on us will keep our souls in a jar. I do feel we are part of some psycho experiment. The world is not a nice thing, just look around you and see how ugly everything is, even our bones and crap. We ALL die, your children too. The truth is ugly but humans ignore it. Everybody is a DEATH MAN WALKING!~there is nothing after that. NOTHING! Ignorant Cowards!

  8. BunnyG says:

    Question: Do you think if someone really loves you they will sacrafice having or not having kids depending on your desire? In my mind if a person is not willing to sacrafice for the other…it is not true love. Please tell me what you think.

  9. NICOLE F. says:

    Ive always tossed to and fro with wanting kids. I never grew up wanting children, I just wanted to be married and that I have accomplished. People keep trying to pressure us into having children with their comments and nagging. Although there may be some underlying reasons why we arent with child yet, I see it as a blessing in disguise. Even at my age of 35, im not ready to give up my time, freedom, privacy, money and sex. In my opinion babies are deception because they are so cute and people go nuts over them but in reality they grow up! Boo!

    • abby2009 says:

      i agee with you! a few close friends (one bff) keeps on askin when havin kids. my sorta sil keeps asking and its like geez we will wait. been married almost a year and its like good greif!let us get our life together….(i am almost 29) ya they do grow up but its on how u raise the kid. try to raise the kid the best u know how to. ya people make mistakes, but just try to teach the kid from right/wrong. raise the kid the best u know how to….noone said u had to give up anything its your choice if u want to have kids or not. maybe like u said some people arent the parent type…..i used to think like that, but the more just got to thinking i think that i am ready to have a kid with my hubby.

  10. abby2009 says:

    also to NICOLE F. not all children are bad. i have two nephews who are special needs kids (eight and seven) and they are good kids making straight a’s in school, very polite and mannerly, not spoiled brats who sass there momm or throw tantrums if they dont get their own way. and my 2 nephews if they get a spanking they know they did something wrong. they respect there mom. so not all kids are just so HORRID! just bc YOU dont want to have kids dont rain on everyone elses parade just bc either they have kids and they are happy bc the kid brings joy in there life or they are tryin to have a kid.

    • warriorwoman73 says:

      I didn’t see her “raining on your parade”, Abby. She was just being honest, and I for one appreciate it.

  11. Youngblood says:

    This sounds like a disease.

  12. Tara says:

    I am a 29 year old single mother. This is my first and only child I do believe. I love my child, don’t get me wrong, but if I could have left her where she was, I would have. I wanted to have a child or two when I was married, even a little younger. It’s crazy because when I stopped thinking about it and started focusing on getting my life together is when it all happened. She is a blessing but she also runs me crazy.

  13. sono downtown says:

    I am 27 years old, soon-to-be 28, career driven woman. The gentleman I am involved with is a divorced 40 year old father to 3 (12,6, 4), soon-to be 41, who I am absolutely in awe of. Both marriage and children have been questionable for ME. Children more so than marriage. I like kids but am glad I currently do not have any. Everyone always says that changes when it is yours. I am thinking NOT. I know that my guy is open to one day getting married. However, he once told me kids were an option with the right person (i.e. future wife) but recently said, “If you are aksing me Today, no, I do not want anymore.” Which is totally fine. He had a vasectomy before we met. My dilemma is that I told him in that past that I wanted to have that option of having kids,now I really know that I don’t want them. I want him over marriage or kids. We actually have fun together, travel and give each other personally attention, that we deserve, outside of our very demanding jobs. This is defintiely to the men on the post and the women who understand – How do I agree with him about not having any kids without coming across as 1) desperate and 2)not being sincerely honest? I want him, not kids, and maybe down a long road, marriage. Help!

    • Chris says:

      Don’t play games, just tell him the truth. If that won’t work for him then he wouldn’t work for you.

  14. Chris says:

    Being truthful, I think that having kids is the most financially draining decision you could ever make.

    Unless you understand that you don’t have to have a big house in the suburbs, drive fancy cars, take expensive vacations, and send your kid to college for them to be happy and successful.

    • sono downtown says:

      Chris, I totally agree about just telling him the truth and they are financially draining. Kids would definitely put a dent in my pocket and lifestyle.

      It is so different when it is just the two of us, compared to the “5”, sometimes “6” if the ex is blowing up his phone. :)I think for him it is not even the money but more so the time consumption. He is a busy body and likes to go, go, go and sometimes he likes his “me” time. He is a terrific father and is very involved but I think he is glad that he shares custody. Thank goodness for me, his kids mind him and are not disrespectful. Another thing I hope he can understand when I tell him this is that regardless of my need to have children or his need to have more, I still like his kids and I am not going to not want to be there friend.

  15. abby2009 says:

    i agree with u chris u dont have to have a fancy house that u cant even afford to buy furniture in, a fancy car that ull be paying until u are dead and u dont have to to some ivy league big name college either…… my opinion, as long as u have enough money for food and roof over yours your hubby or wifes and your childs head then thats all u need. who cares if u drive a fancyshmancy car. it is all maertial stuff anyway. u cant take it with you when u die. my hubby and i are ttc and we dont live in a fancy shmancy house. we have a car that is only like eh six years old and no problems with it so we have enough to raise a child and to get by to survive in this world. so its up to u if u want a kid or not. kids atleat carry on your family name once u r gone.

    • sono downtown says:

      People always said that if you waiting to have kids until you can afford them you never will. Unfortunatley, I am definitley not superficial but I guess a little selfish. Super plain jane but I like my bottle of wine and new books.

    • warriorwoman73 says:

      Not if the kids are female – most women take their husband’s name once they get married. If you want kids, have kids, but please don’t throw out rationalizations like “kids at least carry on your family name once u r gone.” That’s not a good reason to have kids and you know it.

      • NICOLE F says:

        I agree with you.. or some women make statements like “they will take care of you when you get old”… BS where is that guarantee at.. Id like to see it.. thats a very selfish reason to have kids if you have that expectation… your going to be very disappointed when it doesnt happen… and you cant even expect them to do that anyway, you had them.. there is no obligation on the kids part, it would be nice but thats not so..

  16. Jim777 says:

    Society puts a LOT of pressure on people to:

    1. Own a house
    2. Get Married

    If you do not participate in perusing the above goals with your life, then you will be SCORNED by everyone you meet.

    Your Boss might not promote you if you don’t have a family to support. Many people will not want to associate with you if you don’t spend ALL your time and money perusing the above goals.

    If your not married, then you are expected to be OUT DATING and TRYING as hard as you can to find someone to live with.

    Once you find someone to live with, then they pressure you constantly to GET MARRIED.

    As SOON as you get married then they start demanding “When are you 2 going to have kids???”

    It’s crazy and you have to think for yourself and not listen to the idiot brainwashed masses.

  17. Dolly says:

    Thank you for educating the public. Everyone darns you to heck if you have different tastes or goals in life. If you like chocolate ice cream and others like strawberry, there’s no problem with that.

    • warriorwoman73 says:

      Did you really just say “darns you to heck”? LOL…I haven’t heard anything so silly since I lived in Southern Utah! It’s okay to say “damn” and “hell”, you know – we’re all adults here. 🙂

  18. ehartsay says:

    A factor in deciding not to have kids that is ignored in thus article is the simple LACK of desire to have them. The listing of reasons that people might have to not to have kids – and all of them being reasons to actively decide against kids – falls into the same mindset if seeing kids as being do normative that they are a default. Here there is an implication that people, as a default, are just going to have children unless there is some overwhelming reason not to. Considering that the choice to have kids creates all new lives to be plunged into this world, one might fo better to (at least also) question the reasons people have to have children – not to assume they will unless they have a good reason not to. One might say that unless you want children, you prob shouldn’t have them. Not having a desire for kids is a very good reason not to have them.

  19. ehartsay says:

    A factor in deciding not to have kids that is ignored in thus article is the simple LACK of desire to have them.
    The listing of reasons that people might have to not to have kids – and all of them being reasons to actively decide against kids – falls into the same mindset if seeing kids as being so normative that they are a default.
    Here there is an implication that people, as a default, are just going to have children unless there is some overwhelming reason not to.
    Considering that the choice to have kids creates all new lives to be plunged into this world, one might do better to (at least to also) question the reasons people have to have children – not to assume they will unless they have a good reason not to.
    One might say that unless you want children, you prob shouldn’t have them. Not having a desire for kids is a very good reason not to have them.

  20. lolo says:

    I’m 31, i’ve never wanted kids, never envisioned them in my future, and my loving boyfriend of 7 years feels the same way. I’m always questioned on why i don’t want to have children, and it does get a bit tiring to always have to explain myself. I don’t think anyone should judge either way.

    I think that having children is both the most selfless AND selfish thing that you will ever do. Parenthood is more often than not an incredibly selfless act, I’m sure no one here is debating that. It is selfless in that you are making sacrifices in order to gift someone with the wonderful experience that is life, for better or for worse.

    However, it’s selfish because essentially you want to duplicate yourself. I mean, is there really a bigger ego trip than spawning a miniature version of yourself and your favorite person on planet earth, aka, your mate? Think about it. You think of yourself and your mate as such special beings that you believe you should be reproduced. You want to feel those bonds, you want to experience that love, you want to invest in the future, you you YOU! lol. It’s all about feeding your ego.

    However unlikely the thought of me ever wanting children is, i would more than likely not have a biological child. I know adoption is often an expensive and painful process, but I think it is a truer test of real love and devotion to the notion of parenting, regardless of whether the child came from within your own loins or not.

  21. jarm says:

    This seems to be one of those touchy subjects that everyone has an opinion about, so let me
    share mine with you.

    You’re going to hear something like this from almost every parent with an inferiority complex: “Well, I love my kids, and I’d do anything for them.” No shit, Sherlock. Everyone loves their kids, doesn’t make you special. Having children has nothing to do with love. It’s about the desire to procreate, and the will to perpetuate our genes. In short, wanting to have kids is purely an act of biology, or instinct, no more and no less. Why people feel the need to puff-up the image of parenthood is beyond my understanding. So you think you’re a hero because YOU decided to have kids? Boy, there’s nothing more heroic than bringing more kids into this overpopulated blue ball that orbits the sun.

    The worst kinds of parents are the ones that talk incessantly about their kids–you know, the obnoxious ones that become involved in every dimension of their child’s life. It’s just really fucking disgusting. Do the world a favor and don’t have kids. The human population is big enough, and we’re running out of resources. I say, if people want to make the world a better place, adopt a kid instead.

    • warriorwoman73 says:

      Jarm, you are my new hero. Thank you for so eloquently summing up my exact stance on this!

  22. Jaime says:

    This is a personal decision and we shouldn’t demean anyone who chooses to not have kids and the same respect goes to those who do choose to have kids.

    Its a personal decision and in the end no one cares more about your life than you do. If you don’t want kids, then don’t. If you do want kids then do. Its no one’s business but your own.

    Personally I’ve chosen not to have kids with my bf. We’re 27 and 30 years old respectively. Frankly I have found that no one cares what we do, on that same note, not to sound rude but I don’t really care if other people choose to have kids.

    Its the 21st century, we have so many different lifestyle choices these days, its not the medieval era, its not the 1950s anymore. There is no “right” way to do life anymore. Do what is right for your life and be happy. =)

  23. Jayjay D says:

    I enjoyed reading these comments more than the original article 😉 Now I feel a little better, even empowered, about my decision to not have kids.

    I’m 26, husband is 41. We don’t want kids (he even got fixed) but he does have a 14 y/o from his previous marriage. She is enjoyable, smart and funny. But ultimately we are thankful she lives with her mom. I do love her don’t get me wrong, but it’s PERFECT (for me) to be a step-mom to a kid that’s half grown, that just visits.

    I never have felt the maternal instinct to bear children, nor do I fret about my clock ticking. Pets are enough for me. The cat does whatever the hell he wants and the dog you can put in a crate so you can go out. Wouldn’t recommend doing that to a baby, lol. We are more focused on each other. He supports me in my business & I support him in his career. We are paying off debt, paying off cars & house, saving a nest egg, taking trips…retiring early, walking around naked drinking martinis if we want to 🙂 We don’t have a fancy life either, we just enjoy what we do have.

    Unrelated side note: I think it’s BS that parents pay for kids to go through college anyway. I mean it’s good to help them get started, but make the kid take out loans and learn real world responsibility. Then they won’t blow off classes or think college is only about partying & having fun. It’s called tough love and goes along with discipline and spankings. You can support & be there for them without making things so easy that they don’t know how to handle real world problems on their own. I know 2 25 year-olds that have never put anything in their own name, car, insurance, utilities, apartments, it’s all in their parents name. So I don’t think these kind of kids are going to be there for you when you’re old and dying anyway.

    • NICOLE F says:

      I agree with you.. Im even in the same predicament that your in.. My hubby also has a 14 year old daughter who lives in a different state, who visits once a year which is great.. we have a cool relationship and like you im glad that she is almost grown..

      I love your sidenote, its so true, parents need to severe the unbiblical cord and let the kids grow up… My auntie was spoiled rotten by my grandmother and when my grandmother died my auntie has no skills whatsoever.. That spoiling and doing everything for kids will not make them responsible.

  24. magdalene says:

    I really don’t like it when people say that kids give your life meaning… what kind of parent are you, what do you have to offer your child if your life did not have a meaning before you were a parent??? that’s the problem. a vast majority of parents are not grown up human beings. they expect the poor child to be a perfect human being on their behalf. that’s why we have an unhappy society. be a happy human being first. be a rich soul first, a ripe soul which is ready to give a birth to another soul and let the soul LIVE, dont make it your debtor

    • NICOLE F says:

      I love this magdalene…. i always wondered what that statement actually means.. Your alive and breathing which means your living.. so how could having a child give my life meaning if im already existing… Alot of women put their self worth and need validation by having children because they have such low self esteem and dont know how to stand alone(which will happen when your kids grow up and leave the nest).. cant stand peace and quiet and being able to come and go as they please.. No, they would rather stress out over that fowl mouth lil something or other…. but then smile and lie to me by saying that having them is the best thing they have ever done.. BS..

  25. cfiz says:

    To everyone who’s worried about the aging population and there not being enough new kids for the workforce – it won’t be a problem considering how many people want to immigrate to the US (and the developed world in general). We actually have a problem with too many illegal immigrants – if there’s a shortage of kids, just in let some of the immigrants waiting in line to work here! There are plenty of kids being born in the world – there’s definitely not a shortage. Overpopulation is a big problem. The global birth rate is currently more than TWICE the death rate. The last thing we need is more kids.

    Plus it seems there’s actually no shortage of people who want to have kids within the US itself (just look at how many are in this thread). And many of those end up having more than 2 kids.

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