I’ve never wanted children of my own. It’s just not in the cards for me. I like hanging out with them and I think they’re fun, but it’s totally different to raise them. I’ll stick to occasionally hanging out with my niece and nephew for these reasons:
I’m great with kids — for a while. People get confused because I appear to enjoy children so much when I’m around them. Not wanting kids doesn’t make me a bitter, angry child-hater! It’s annoying when people can’t seem to accept that it’s more complex than that. I love spending time with kids, but I also love giving them back.
I’m not good at disciplining. Being an aunt is wonderful because I get to spend time with the kids and play, but when they’re in trouble, I don’t have to deal with it. I can do all the positive stuff without handling the hard work that comes along with parenting. I always want to laugh when they’re naughty, not scold them.
I’m not very patient. I’m working on it, but I know that my lack of patience would make me a less-than-perfect parent. I get frustrated with others pretty easily, especially kids. They can be quite maddening, after all. My mom was very impatient, and I remember how that affected me. I would never want to be that way with a child.
I can’t see myself giving up my freedom. I’m an extremely independent person, and my freedom is essential to my happiness. I like being alone, almost to a fault. It’s hard enough for me to handle a partner in my life, let alone small beings who are completely dependent on me for all of their needs. Just the idea makes me anxious.
I enjoy kids, but I enjoy my current life more. I’ve built my life just the way I want it, and I’m not about to go and mess all that up with more responsibility and stress. I want to be free and wild and flexible. I want to be able to go on spontaneous trips or move to another city if I so desire. It’s essential to me that I keep what I’ve got going on now.
It’s fun to hang out and then give them back. Since I’m an aunt, I have total control over my schedule with the kids. I can go visit when I have time and only stay as long as I feel like it. We get to do fun stuff while I’m in town because it’s a special occasion. If I had to be there with them all the time for their everyday lives, I know I’d get tired of it quickly.
I get all the love and none of the responsibility. Being an aunt is a win-win! The kids are always super excited to see me and play with me. They’re silly and happy when I’m around, and if they get upset, it’s easy to distract them because I’m a novelty. It’s pretty much the best role in the world. I don’t do any of the dirty work, so I don’t attract any of their anger.
I don’t have to worry about settling down. The awesome thing about not wanting a family is that I don’t need to lock down some guy who will be a great father. I can stay single as long as I want and date whomever I like. Of course a lot of men want children, so that does hamper my options a bit. Still, I’m happy knowing that I can relax and focus on myself instead of worrying about getting married ASAP.
There’s no ticking clock controlling my life. I don’t understand the ticking clock because I’ve never experienced it. Never have I felt some biological urge to have kids. It doesn’t exist within me. I was worried it might happen when I stopped taking birth control, but if anything I became even firmer in my childfree stance. I love that my body isn’t somehow dictating my life.
I don’t like being beholden to anyone else in any way. This is the bottom line — I’m selfish. I’m not saying that as an insult to myself, because I don’t consider it to be one. I think being selfish is underrated and perfectly lovely, as long as self-awareness accompanies it. I would never have children for the wrong reasons because I know my selfishness and fierce desire for independence would lead me to resent them. That’s why it doesn’t matter how much I love a man — kids just aren’t going to happen.