Not Having Kids Could Be One Of The Smartest Decisions You Could Make

It’s so easy for people to label a woman who doesn’t want kids as “selfish,” but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Deciding to start a family is a big decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Not everyone wants to be or is meant to be a parent, and sometimes not having children really is the smart thing to do. Here’s why:

  1. You want to give meaning to your life in other ways. Too many people are having kids because they think that doing so will give them a sense of fulfillment, fix their relationship, or make them feel that they’re worthy people. It’s BS! It’s better not to have kids then, and it’s much smarter — as well as less selfish — to not have kids if you can’t think of a good enough reason to have them. Period.
  2. It’s better for the environment. A 2009 study by Oregan State University found that the impact of having one less child in the U.S. made nearly 20 times more positive impact on the world than doing eco-friendly things to reduce climate change, such as recycling. Bringing children into the world puts pressure on the world’s resources, and you’re creating another person who will contribute to greenhouse gases.
  3. There’s so much pain in the world. Yes, there’s beauty in the world, but look at all the evil that’s happening, like terrorism and how kids are being exposed to so many more bad things from an early age. You might think that you don’t want to bring a pure, innocent life into this crazy world, and you’d have every right not to, especially if you don’t think your nerves can take it.
  4. Not having kids pushes you to find other things that fulfill you. Instead of having kids as a way to feel like a worthy human being with a sense of purpose, not having them at all is a great way to push you to find other things that make your life beautiful. Perhaps it’s about giving love to those around you, doing good deeds to uplift those in need, or chasing a dream.
  5. You choose things for the right reasons, not because you have to. When you have kids, you want to give them the best of everything, as any good parent does. But sometimes this can cause you to sacrifice what you really want. For instance, you might stick around with your husband for the kids, even though you would love to leave. Or perhaps you’ll stay in a career you hate because you have mouths to feed. Somewhere along the line, you end up compromising yourself.
  6. Your resources can go to other things. Children take up a lot of your time and money. In fact, a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that it costs approximately $241,080 to raise a kid. That’s a fact. If you have other things you’d like to do in your life, like pursuing an exciting career, traveling the world, or chasing down a passion, it wouldn’t be fair to add kids to that equation.
  7. Your body is a temple and you want to keep it that way. It sounds vain to say that you don’t want to ruin your body with childbirth, but it’s not just about stretch marks and weight gain. There are weird things that can happen to your body after having a baby, such as losing your hair, having wider hips, and a painful private area that can severely hamper your sex life. If you’re an anxious person, these things might be too much to take, and that’s okay.
  8. You don’t want to pass on your bad genes. If you have a mental or physical illness that’s genetic, you might feel that you don’t want to pass it on to your kids. This can be a smart idea, especially if you’ve suffered a lot because of an illness that you’ve had to deal with.
  9. You just don’t like kids. Announcing this at a baby shower might get you stoned, but what if it’s true and you really don’t like kids? Why should you have them then? It would be worse to have them in the hope that when it’s your kids you’ll find them cute instead of intolerable. The truth is, if you don’t like kids and have them anyway, you’ll be a jaded, angry mother, which won’t do your kids any favors.
  10. You don’t think kids fit into your lifestyle. Maybe you like the freedom you have to go away for a weekend at a moment’s notice, or you work really hard and never have time for anything. Whatever the case, if your lifestyle is not kid-friendly then why would you have kids?
  11. You don’t feel obligated to have them. Having kids isn’t something you should feel you have to do just because you have a womb. FFS, isn’t it time the world stopped thinking in such an outdated way? You might feel that having kids is not something you have to do, so you’ll pass in favor of doing other things with your life. So what? It’s your right and smarter than bringing kids into the world just because you feel you have to.
  12. Motherhood frightens you. It’s a beautiful thing, but let’s be real: it can also be terrifying. It never ends, you don’t know what you’re doing, your child could grow up to be a bully or terrorist, you can lose yourself to motherhood, you end up giving so much of yourself, and your life will never be the same again. The list goes on and on.
  13. You don’t want to be depressed. Research from the Vanderbilt and Florida State Universities has found that there are more cases of depression in parents than people who don’t have kids. Perhaps it’s best to choose happiness instead, no?
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.