Why Not Having Kids Is Something You Should Seriously Think About

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of childless woman out there is higher than ever. While this thought might perplex any brand new mom of a bouncing a baby girl or boy, the reality is that, at least from a scientific perspective, not having kids is actually a good idea. Once you throw in what it means to skip having kids from a personal perspective, it makes even more sense. While I would never tell any woman to not have a child, before you do, there are definitely some things to seriously consider first.

  1. To be honest, the world really doesn’t need another kid. Have you looked at the World Population Clock lately? As I write this sentence, there are currently, 8,048,818,116 people in the world and counting. By the time I finished writing that sentence, it had gone up by 50 more people. If you really think the planet is never going to run out of resources for all those people, then you’re out of your mind.
  2. Kids murder your sex life. Breaking news: This is not a myth at all. Between all that lack of sleep that comes with having kids, the lack of time to do it, and the general stress of being a parent, sex lives of people with kids tend to get wiped out. Sure, you’ll still get it on — once a month if you’re lucky, as opposed to the days when it was several times a week.
  3. Kids will make you miserable. While there’s no denying that pregnant women glow and a new mom, while exhausted AF, is for the most part happy, science has a brutal wake-up call. According to a 2014 Gallup study, if you’re not rich and living in an English-speaking country, you’re likely to have a “lower life evaluation” thanks to your kids. What this means is that you’re not exactly going to be a happy camper.
  4. Your career will suffer. It may be nice to think that you can “have it all,” but it’s not true for many women out there. Unless you have a career that affords you a certain lifestyle so you can actually have it all — that house in the Hamptons, the nanny, the partner who gives just as much as you do in raising the child — you’re going to have to give something up. This isn’t some archaic thinking, but a reality. Not to mention, you’ll have to take time off for maternity leave, which isn’t guaranteed to be paid because the federal government has yet to make paid maternity leave mandatory. So you miss out on that 80 cents to the $1.00 that your male counterparts are making, while also falling behind in your career. Think about it.
  5. Kids can take a toll on your relationship. Although from an evolutionary perspective, settling down with a partner and having kids is what we’re “supposed” to do to keep the species afloat, studies have found that having a rugrat can actually wreak havoc on the satisfaction of a relationship after that first kid is born. No thanks.
  6. Kids are leaving one hell of a carbon footprint. If you haven’t looked into the carbon footprint of Americans and their offspring, then you definitely need to check yourself before you wreck yourself. Studies have found that the average carbon footprint of an American is twice the size of the average person in the U.K. If we look at countries like Ethiopia, our carbon footprint is 200 times the size of an average Ethiopian. In other words, having a kid is just contributing to the slow but inevitable destruction of the Earth.
  7. You can kiss your freedom goodbye. To quote Kanye, “She got one of yo kids got you for 18 years.” While he’s talking about gold digger (a term I loathe), the fact remains that once you become a parent, you have at least 18 years of your life being sucked dry, financially, emotionally, mentally, and physically by a kid. Say it out loud: 18 years. Plus, being a parent doesn’t really stop once your kid officially reaches adulthood, either.
  8. Your kids are going to be jerks someday. Think about how you were in your teens. Think about the selfish, ungrateful jerk you were. Do you want to deal with that crap from someone you brought into the world? I don’t think so.
  9. You have better things to do with your time. It may sound brutal, but it’s the truth. You only get one shot at this whole thing called life and there’s a world out there, a beautiful existence that comes when you skip having kids, that’s worth exploring. Don’t you owe it to yourself to try that on for size? Yes.
  10. Kids are expensive AF. According to a 2013 report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average cost of raising a kid from birth to 18 years of age — which doesn’t include college — is $310,000. And that doesn’t include inflation. While that amount might be spread out over 18 years, it doesn’t include extras — that’s just putting food on the table and clothes on their backs.
  11. It’s better to regret not having kids than regret actually having them. I’ve written quite a few pieces on why I don’t want kids. I’ve also received quite a few responses; some called me selfish (true!) and some from women who openly admitted that they regretted having kids. They were adamant about the fact that they love their kids, but if they could do it over, they wouldn’t have gotten on the baby train. Regret is a horrible feeling to have. It rips at your insides on a daily basis and makes you second-guess everything. No one should live with regret — YOU shouldn’t live with regret.
Amanda Chatel is a sexual health, mental health, and wellness journalist with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured in Shape, Glamour, SELF, Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Elle, Mic, Men's Health and Bustle, where she was a lifestyle writer for seven years. In 2019, The League included Amanda in their "15 Inspirational Feminists Every Single Person Should Follow on Twitter" list.

Amanda has a bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She divides her time between NYC, Paris, and Barcelona.

You can follow her on Instagram @la_chatel or on Twitter @angrychatel.