Some people can tell you the exact moment they realized they wanted to become parents. Others, however, can tell you the exact moment they realized they never want kids. Ever. Which, of course, is exactly the point of our AskReddit thread du jour: Submitted by Redditor u/xxena, it asked the denizens of the AskReddit community, “When did you have an ‘I don’t ever want to have kids’ moment?” And although the thread isn’t new — it was originally posted about five months ago — the stories within it all drive home one important point: Kids are not for everyone, and that is just fine.
What the point is not is that kids are terrible (althought here are plenty of tantrums in the thread), or that people who have kids are terrible (although there’s a lot of bad parenting witnessed by others in the thread, too), or that people who don’t have kids are somehow superior to people who do have them (there's some sanctimoniousness in there, too). I bring up all these stories because our culture is often so relentless in pushing this narrative on us that insists that we must have kids, that of course we should want kids, that we’ll change our minds later even if we don’t want kids right now — and honestly, that is BS. Not having kids is just as valid a life choice as having kids; everyone should be free to make their own decisions. (Also, this is why safe, legal access to birth control, reproductive health care, maternity care, and abortion services is so important. JUST SAYIN’.)
What’s more, you don’t need to be able to point to one specific moment that turned you off kids forever. No one ever needs to justify why they don’t have or want kids; “I don’t want them” is always enough.
It can, however, be hilariously, cringeworthily entertaining to read some of the stories that do peg the whole thing to a particular experience, though — so that’s what we’re going to do here today. Head on over to AskReddit for more; there’s plenty where this came from.
1101 Reasons I Hate The Mall
Mall play areas are where happiness goes to die.
2The Three Laws Of Robotics
Back in my day, our “babies” were regular old eggs; we had to make it through the week without breaking them. Honestly, it wasn’t that bad — eggs don’t need to be changed or fed, and they don’t cry when they’re unhappy. I can’t even imagine having to deal with a robot baby instead.
3The Car Ride From Hell
That’s, uh… quite a permanent solution. Good for you for sticking to your guns, sir.
4Don’t Let Work Follow You Home
Dealing with kids all day at work, only to arrive home to more kids does sound kind of like a unique and special kind of hell.
Wow. Just… wow.
5Smash The Patriarchy
6Your Body, Your Choice
Like, it’s totally fine if other people are OK putting their bodies through that… but not everyone is down for that. And that is A-OK.
8The Babysitter’s Nightmare
All of this makes perfect sense.
There’s a reason I put “selfish” in quotation marks. It’s not actually selfish not to dramatically change your life by having kids if you’re happy with it the way it is without them. The mindset that it is somehow "selfish" is kind of the pits. Plus, see point number nine, re: overpopulation.
11Ups And Downs
For some people, the good parts of parenting outweigh the not-so-good parts. For others, they don’t. Both points of view are fine.
13This. Just This.
I kind of feel like Philip Larkin and Roald Dahl subscribe to the same school of parenting. Anyone else?
If you’re going to do it, do it with intention.
15No. Just… No.
Babies are cute to some people, but absolutely repulsive to others. This is kind of a running theme, isn’t it? Some people feel one way; others feel another; both feelings are totally valid; let’s just let each other handle our own situations and stop forcing cultural norms on folks who have no interest in them.
16Flip The Script
Just because the cultural script has traditionally been, “Grow up, get married, have kids” doesn’t mean that’s the only script we can follow. Heck, let’s just do away with scripts all together. You do you, right?