I love kids, but I also love tigers – doesn’t mean I want one

Quite a few people have asked me why I don’t want kids, and want to know what I have against children – well here’s my response.

I have rather long list as to why I will never be a mother, I thought I would write it all down here, so that I can point them in this direction.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Don’t get me wrong, I love kids. Then again I also love tigers, but I wouldn’t want to raise one in my house.”]

When most people find out I don’t want kids, they seem to take it personally or as a challenge (which I find absolutely hilarious). I’m going to go through just a handful of the responses I have received so far.

inSwindon Artisan Market inSwindon Artisan Market

“That’s really selfish”

This response is one of my favourites, as one of my simplest reasons to not have a child is yes, I am too selfish. To be a good parent you need to have high levels of selflessness. I have a lot of respect for good parents, because it takes everything you’ve got. It’s not easy. If parenting were easy everyone would be a good parent, and the sad truth is there are a lot of bad parents out there. I don’t want to be one of them.

I love my life. I love having the freedom to be able to do what I want, when I want. My partner and I have planned to go on three holidays next year, something that would be near enough impossible if we had children. I also love how spontaneous we are. Usually every plan we ever make ends up going in the exact opposite direction. We change our minds, or something better comes along. We couldn’t have this lifestyle if we had kids, and I never, ever want to give it up.

Another one of my ‘selfish’ reasons is that my career is only just starting to develop. I want to be able to climb or move around if needed. I don’t want to end up one of those woman tied into a mundane job just because it’s stable and it puts food on the table. That’s not what I want my life to be about.

Baby
© Flickr/sabianmaggy

“You’ll never truly understand love”

So you mean the love I have for my family and friends, the unconditional love I have for my partner means nothing at all? Ridiculous. You don’t need children to know what love is. I wake up every morning and see the love of my life sleeping soundly next to me and my heart feels like it could burst with happiness every time. If you haven’t felt that sort of love until you’ve had children then you’re with the wrong person. It’s as simple as that.

Also, what about the love for your parents? If you don’t feel any of the same sorts of love for your parents as you do your kids, then how do you think your kids feel/will feel about you? Which leads me perfectly into my next point…

“Who will look after you when you’re old?”

I’ll tell you who – the exact same people who will be looking after you. Yes you get the odd few offspring that are totally devoted to their parents, who move them into their downstairs living room they’ve turned into a bedroom, and look after them until they’ve snuffed it. But I guarantee, children or not, we’re all headed for a retirement home when we can no longer look after ourselves. Oh, but your son would do absolutely anything for you? I’m not sure his high maintenance blonde bimbo wife, with their three ‘adorable’ children would agree to moving you in and changing your nappy after you’ve soiled yourself for the third time that day. You’ll be in the room next to me at Shady Oaks buddy.

“It will be the making of you”

Women don’t need to have a child to have worth. There are a lot of woman out there who physically can’t have children, but that doesn’t make them any less of a woman than one who can. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Everybody’s wants and needs are different. My best friend was made to be a mother, and I have no doubt that she will thrive in motherhood. She is creating a life for herself that will fit who she is, and that will bring her happiness. I am a completely different person. What makes her happy, doesn’t make me happy, and vice versa.

“You’ll change your mind”

This is the one that winds me up the most.

Why will I change my mind? Did you change your mind about having children? Why does my decision have less weight behind it than yours?

I just don’t have it in me. When I was younger I used to think I wanted kids, because that’s what society expects from every young woman. I was brainwashed into thinking I had to. I used to have a pet African Pygmy hedgehog that got a chest infection, and I had to give him up because I couldn’t keep up with giving him his antibiotics through a syringe throughout the day. At the end of the day I had a job to go to!

I remember phoning up my mum in a total state asking “if I can’t even look after a hedgehog, how am I meant to be able to look after kids?!” My mum was the one who told me she never even expected Grandchildren from me, and in fact she didn’t really fancy being a Grandma at all. As soon as she told me that it was like a massive weight had been lifted, and I’ve been able to breathe easier ever since.

Pregnancy, and even pregnant woman terrify me.

I’ve had pregnant ladies ask me if I’ve wanted to feel their belly before, and it’s made me feel physically sick. You know that bit in Alien where the alien bursts through that man’s stomach? Yeah, I rate it right up there with that.

What’s more, you also have to deal with your body completely changing in pregnancy and giving birth. Stretch marks, things starting to sag, your lady parts being torn up so much you need stiches. How about when you poo yourself during labour? And what about the awful complications that happen to poor women around the world every single day? No thanks; I think I’ll give that a miss.

Don’t even get me started on all of you woman who constantly talk about your children. I don’t really care if Bobby is a level ahead at infant school, or that Cecelia did her first wee in the potty all by herself. Honestly it sounds like you have literally nothing interesting in your life except your children. And that’s really sad.

I know there is a lot of good and beauty in this world, but overall it’s a horrible place. Every single day our televisions and our newspapers are filled with horrific stories of rape, famine, murder, sickness and war. I would never, ever want to bring an innocent child into a world where stories of crazed men shooting up a school are a common occurrence.

On the topic of schools, bulling is now worse than ever. I wouldn’t know what would be worse, finding out my child was being bullied at school or finding out they were the bully. I couldn’t deal with it. I’m not equipped to deal with it.

Also there is a history in my family of mental health problems. I’ve had to deal with it myself, and also watch my Grandma, Aunty, Mum and Brother deal with it as well. I will never have enough words to describe how horrific it is. Living every single day with a lump in your throat, wishing you would die or that you had never been born, long sleepless nights of self loathing, panic attacks, self harm…Why would I risk inflicting that awful, soul destroying, heart breaking illness on to my child?

There are around 7.125 billion people stuffed onto a planet that is 71% covered in water. About 153 million of them are orphaned children. If you love children so much, do the world a favour and adopt. There are enough children on this planet already.