Why You Should Have Never Had Kids (If You Want To Be Happy, That Is)

Update September 2019: Wow. It’s been two years since I published this post and the comments are still pouring in.

Reading these comments will teach you more about human nature than the article will because of the strength of human biases (especially cognitive dissonance reduction and confirmation bias) that is being portrayed.

Please read the article before leaving a comment. Thanks


 

parenthood paradox parenthood gap

Do you think having children makes you happier?

If so, think again.

Research shows (over and over again) that having children reduces happiness (e.g. Anderson, Russel, & Schumm, 1983 or Campbell, 1981), even though parents think it will make them happier.

This phenomenon is known as “The Parenthood Paradox” or “Parenthood Gap“.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Positive Psychology Exercises for free. These science-based exercises will explore fundamental aspects of positive psychology including strengths, values, and self-compassion, and will give you the tools to enhance the wellbeing of your clients, students, or employees.

 

Why don’t children make parents happier?

One of the dominant explanations for this is that children increase the amount and level of a variety of stressors that parents are exposed to (Glass, J., Simon R.W., Andersson M.A., 2016,), such as:

  • time demands
  • energy demands
  • sleep deprivation (potentially starting a vicious circle)
  • work-life balance disturbances
  • financial burden

It goes without saying that all of these stressors apply even more to the lives of single parents. This is why single parents report the lowest levels of well-being compared to married or unmarried couples who are living together.

To make matters worse, people generally become less satisfied with their marriage when they have children (making the attempt to fix a marriage by having children even more ironic).

Research shows the disadvantages of parenthood to be the strongest in the United States. We’ll talk more about this in a bit.

 

When parents are at their happiest

In his seminal work “Meanings of Life“, Roy Baumeister tells us that there are two happiness peaks in the lives of adults in America, namely:

  • between the wedding and the birth of the first child
  • between the departure of the last child from home and the death of one’s spouse

So if you’re looking at children from the perspective of personal happiness, the phases of the married life without children are the happiest periods. Yet another argument against having children for the sake of personal happiness (what’s the score, 3 to 0 for not having children now?).

 

The good news

I can hear you thinking… but there’s got to be an explanation for why we’re making children, right? Otherwise, we would never have gotten this far as a species!?

Right.

And there is.

Because as emotionally taxing as having children may be, it has also proven to be a great source – if not the most powerful source – of life satisfaction, self-esteem and meaning, especially for women (Hansen, T., Slagsvold, B., Moum, T., 2009), even though men are a lot more likely to view childlessness as disadvantageous (Blake, J., 1979,).

This is true even, or even more so, during tough times and is illustrative of the fact that cognitive evaluation (what you think) and emotions (what you feel) are not on the same continuum.

I.e. we can value something and find it meaningful even if it detracts from our happiness in the moment.

In the words of Baumeister:

“Sometimes the quest for meaning can override the quest for happiness.”

But wait a minute.

That sounds familiar…

 

Would you plug in?

Do you remember Robert Nozick’s thought experiment of the Experience Machine?

He asked people to imagine a machine that would provide them with only pleasant experiences as soon as their brain was hooked onto it. Let’s say it’s a machine triggering dopaminergic and endorphinergic activity in the brain without building habituation or tolerance and without side-effects.

Would you choose to be hooked onto that machine?

Most people said “no” even though, rationally speaking, it would make sense to do so. That is, if your goal is to maximise happiness for yourself, which is the case for hedonists and certain types of utilitarians.

Like one of my favorite writers Tim Urban (n.d.) remarks:

“In the end, I think I probably would skip the machine. And that’s probably a dumb choice.”

This brings us back to the Parenthood Paradox.

A possible explanation for why the negative impact of having children on personal happiness is the highest in the United States might be its extreme focus on personal happiness (and hedonistic values).

There I said it.

The Parenthood Gap exists because of unrealistic expectations and desires regarding personal happiness.

And research is indeed pointing in the direction that the more individualistic a society is, the greater the Parenthood Paradox is (the level of financial support from the government being another important factor).

 

All this leads us to the real paradox…

The real paradox is not the Parenthood Paradox, but why people seemingly strive for personal happiness even though they would choose meaning and/or life satisfaction (subjective evaluation of one’s life as a whole) over personal happiness when push comes to shove.

It goes to show that, once again, we not only suck at predicting what will make us happy (as explained in Dan Gilbert’s “Stumbling on Happiness“), but also at valuing our personal happiness compared to other things, such as meaning in life.

And besides… happiness is so fragile.

Happiness fades with the first punch that life throws at you.

 

The solution

The solution is to avoid falling prey to the illusion that happiness results from meeting your ideal version of life.

Rather than holding on to an image of what a happy life should look like and comparing it to your current life, you can allow life to unfold with unexpected moments of happiness.

Having children will not make you happier, nor does not having children.

It is not what life offers, but what we believe that life should offer that prevents us from experiencing happiness.

So let go of your expectations and lower the importance of your personal happiness. Thereby you will lower the stress you experience from not being as happy as you think you should be.

In his book “If You Are So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy“, my friend Raj Raghunathan remarks:

“Because when one pursues happiness, one is likely to compare how one feels with how one would ideally like to feel, and since we generally want to feel happier than we currently do, we are likely to feel unhappy about being unhappy if we pursue happiness!”

This, Raj. This.

And not only do we feel unhappy about being unhappy, we can start to feel even more unhappy because we don’t know why we aren’t happy, especially if we have all the reasons to be happy.

But that’s a song for another time.

Please enjoy your parental unhappiness, for you have all the reasons to.

Best,

Seph

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Positive Psychology Exercises for free.

  • Anderson, S. A., Russel, C. S., & Schumm, W. R. (1983). Perceived marital quality and family life-cycle categories: A further analysis. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 45, 127-139.
  • Baumeister, R. (1991). Meanings of life. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
  • Blake, J. (1979). Is zero preferred? American attitudes toward childlessness in the 1970s. Journal of Marriage and Family, 41(2), 245-257.
  • Gilbert, D. (2006). Stumbling on happiness. New York, NY: Vintage.
  • Glass, J., Simon, R. W., & Andersson, M. A. (2016). Parenthood and happiness: Effects of work-family reconciliation policies in 22 OECD countries. American Journal of Sociology, 122(3), 886-929.
  • Hansen, T., Slagsvold, B., & Moum, T. (2009). Childlessness and psychological well-being in midlife and old age: An examination of parental status effects across a range of outcomes. Social Indicators Research, 94(2), 343-362.
  • Nozick, R. (1974). Anarchy, state, and utopia. New York, NY: Basic Books.
  • Raghunathan, R. (2016). If you’re so smart why aren’t you happy: How to turn career success into life success. London, UK: Vermilion.
  • Urban, T. (n.d.). The experience machine thought experiment. Retrieved from https://waitbutwhy.com/table/the-experience-machine

About the Author

Seph Fontane Pennock is a seasoned entrepreneur and the business mind behind PositivePsychology.com. With his background in online marketing and a passion for helping therapists and coaches, he co-founded the new mental health application Quenza that helps practitioners better help their clients with digital support.

Comments

  1. Jamie

    Hmm maybe it was the kid I babysat at age 15 who screamed bloody murder all day that made me not want kids 🤔 god that could have been it. Or the other kid I babysat who cried for her mother all the time. I did babysit good kids I adored as well.
    I felt like having kids was the be all and end all, as a young woman that’s allllll I ever heard about, and I’m like “really?” 🙄 That’s allll I’m supposed to do with my life? Get married and pop out some kids? Did you people meet the kid who screamed bloody murder all day when I babysat??
    I think I thought there was some kool-aid that everyone was drinking and it didn’t seem to have an effect on me. So I put it off, got engaged a couple times but the guys wanted kids and I was like “Who? What? From my body??” Naaa I’m not into being an incubator and then a ton of pain and gushing blood to have a kid who might just scream bloody murder all day!!
    Eventually it got down to my last few years of fertility, another guy who wanted to get married and have kids and this was it!!! Decide NOW or forever hold your peace!!
    All the things that people had told me to scare or shame me into having kids started running through my mind… Who will take care of you when you are old? You will regret it if you don’t have kids!! You owe me grandkids!! why don’t you have kids, how will I answer that as up to now I’ve just used the I’m not ready excuse…. Etc etc etc.
    I thought, this seems like a LOT of social pressure to do something everyone seems to think I should do, just because I’m a woman. I decided that just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I HAVE to procreate. Everyone will just have to get over it!!! The boyfriend didn’t feel the same way and I was dumped for a third time for choosing not to have kids, which I expected based on previous experience.
    Do I regret it? No, not at all! Do I worry about who will take care of me when I get old? No, I’m pretty good at taking care of myself and keep healthy and I guess if it comes down to it, I’ll just end it myself. Did my parents get over it, yes, in some way, they don’t talk about it, I mean I’m in my early 50’s so kind of an adult who can make my own life decisions. Which was true all along but really not widely accepted. No one EVER said to me, as a woman, it’s ok not to have kids…. But it is. I have a happy full life, do what I want to do, and I don’t feel like I’m missing something.

    Reply
  2. Anon

    I feel like we all have to express our hate towards people who try to teach us “what to like” and “what are we missing in our life”. We might not hate all the children, but we do hate the people who trying to tell us that we are wrong by not having them.
    Do whatever makes you happy.

    Reply
  3. Anne marie

    No regrets, even at 65. My life is full enough with people I love and who love me. Instead of spending holidays entertaining ( siblings, parents gone) we plan our own entertainment. Take a favorite walk, visit a new place, lounge, its up to us. There were so many things I enjoyed because I didnt have children and things I missed. For me, the former out weighed the latter.

    Reply
  4. F.U.

    People who don’t want children are people who can’t love anything more than they love themselves. It’s a harsh truth u must accept, just like having children is rough is a harsh truth to accept. But you will never love anything like you love ur child and if u don’t have one, ur missing out on that. It’s the truth. Deal with it.

    Reply
    • Kimberley

      Absolute garbage. I can tell from that one comment I’d beat you in an arm wrestle in two seconds flat.

      Reply
    • Mc

      Dead wrong. You can still be a passionate person and love your friends and family, pets, community. You realize some people can’t medically have kids right…..are you grouping all these people as people that can’t love themselves. We all should be careful with generalization but honestly I could care less if you expand your emotional IQ as it does not affect me. Good Luck to you with your happiness assuming that is important to you.

      Reply
    • F.U.2.

      Making a child is the most narcissistic thing one can do. People who have children are literally loving themselves more than they love anything else, the environment, the ever-shrinking green
      space, other animals, the climate, and the rest of the overgrowing population of the earth. You are not superior just because you do the most basic thing any other living organism on this planet does. It’s a harsh truth u must accept. Deal with it.

      Reply
      • Uranidiot

        Nice cringe take. Actually having children is the most SELFLESS thing a married couple could do. It’s literally how civilization sustains itself, Its how taxes are paid. Its how the elderly are cared for in their old age, brainlet. Western civilization, in the lead for its virtue signaling about climate and environmental concerns will CEASE TO EXIST. without children. The Civilization that YOU are currently benefitting from.

        Reply
        • Nancy

          You sound like you regret your decision to have kids and I trying to convince the rest of us that you are happy with your decision. FAIL.

          My kids as much as I love them, ruined a lot of my happiness. I was giving giving giving and missed out on a lot. So yes parenting does take your joy. Stop selling that whole rhetoric on rainbows and fairies parenting is not about that!!

          Reply
          • Ash

            This. This is the true reason having children is selfless and the complete opposite of narcissistic. Not because some stupid continuing the human race and saving the western world, but what you just said.

            When you have kids everything you want has to take the backseat for what your children need. You are no longer an induvidual. You can’t really just go anywhere as you please or do what you wish. You always have your children to drag along and slave over. You give, give, and give.

            I had kids and I’m not going to justify it to those that didn’t or don’t want to. Why? Because it’s f##king HARD! It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done simply because it never stops. Sure I can catch a break by using a babysitter for a few hours or have grandma keep them over night here and there but otherwise IT NEVER STOPS. It’s a 24/7 job with no sick days or vacation time. Honestly if someone doesn’t want kids, they shouldn’t have them! A huge part of me misses the peace, quiet, and simple life I had before of being an individual. I love them, I don’t regret them, but somedays I wonder how life could be without kids…

    • 7xqo

      Garbage. There are plenty of people who don’t want kids and are perfectly capable of loving people. I can tell you only wrote this comment to give yourself self worth and make it seem like you’re better than people who don’t want kids. Learn to accept other opinions and stop being a narcissist

      Reply
    • AP

      This is why we are all doomed, you can’t define a master narrative for all, to claim that people who do not want children are people” who can only love themselves” shows that you have no understanding of how we function as humans, or the way love grows. There are many people who refused to birth a child and exposed them to our corrupted, cruel, frightening world. Having children is joyful, for sure, the experience of creating a tiny human is inconceivable, mesmerizing and yet having children can have a disastrous impact on the parents life, therefore causing traumatic experience on the children. The way of life is constantly evolving, creating endless ways to attained happiness, fulfillment, joy and satisfaction. The ancient master narrative that define marriage, family and children the way to attained a successful happy life, is evaporating and clearing the way we see things. Curiosity mindset is being promoted, perfect way to induce everyone to experience different ways to attained happiness leaving a trailed of endless possibilities. These difficult times we are living are scary, watching the news is heartbreaking, and has also created the “I DO NOT WANT KIDS” movement. There are many awful things going on in our world, I myself can’t answer if I did the right thing on having a child, I see my son the innocence in him, the happiness and joy, that yes it leaves in AWE but when I look forward to our future that can only promised uncertainties leaves me consumed in agony. Children are part of the ancient master narrative, Cheers to those who were able to look beyond themselves and our cultural, religious belief and have chosen not to have children. When you have kids your freedom is compromised, anything that you do has to be reasoned with “how will this affect and impact my
      child” leaving you in hyper vigilant mode for the rest of your life.
      Creating a life is magical, but you can create magic without creating a life.

      Reply
    • William J Gallucci

      I totally disagree

      Reply
    • Lorna

      Nope 😂 When I hear about 10 year old children being raped in the Ukraine by Russian soldiers on the news, my first thought is ‘Thank God I didn’t bring children into this world.’ I wouldn’t bring a child into this disgusting situation on the planet where things like that happen. We’re overpopulated as it is and we don’t have the resources to handle it. Remaining childfree is the best decision I ever made – deal with that 🙂

      Reply
      • Elle

        Exactly! When my dad says, that’s life, and I say, I never asked for this, he says, Wow buddy, you need better coping skills. I’m like yea people just do things without thinking….

        Reply
      • JJ

        How can it be the best decision you made when you have never personally experienced what it’s like to have children? From my experience, having been married with and without children, You will never love another like you love your child. You would literally die for them. Obviously, I respect your decision and hope your don’t regret it when you get older.

        Reply
        • Sam

          I would literally die for my dog. You don’t have to have a human child to learn how to love unconditionally.

          Reply
      • Jeri

        Don’t believe everything you hear on the news. There is a specific narrative and they are telling you exactly what they want you to believe. The Ghost of Kiev, Soldiers dying at Snake Island. There are many many more “stories” That have after investigation been proven to be lies. Where there is one lie there are many more. I have family in Ukraine. War is hell. Ukraine has been hell for the last 8 years with children and mothers dying in the Donbass and Lugansk republics. (Alley of angels in Ukraine, look it up it’s a thing.) What you didn’t know this? Where have you been the last 8 years? Could you find Ukraine on a map before 2022? Only now you care because you are told to by the news. They neglected to tell you for 8 whole years. Why is this? Mothers have and are losing their sons on both sides of this conflict whilst people complain about having had children. There was a diplomatic solution to this problem but that was not what the western powers wanted. So we have war which is what they wanted and Ukraine pays the price. The truth will prevail however. There is an information war and then there is the war of which you know nothing about as it is not on your doorstep. I have had my own child die in my arms. To those who complain about their living children I would never expect you to dry my tears. Only a human with feelings could do that. Only a person with a functioning brain as well as a heart could see through the lies we are told. But you have to be able to unblind yourself. It is not my job to teach you. You won’t find it on the mainstream news. You must seek it for yourself. Google won’t work. Find your humanity. It is not lost. We have enough for everyone. But once again they don’t want you to believe this. Why? Because We have given control of our lives and our resources to psychopaths. I grew up severely neglected and abused. I stopped the cycle. I raised 5 children of my own and 2 more who needed a home with every breath in my body and all the love I could muster. (Animals wild and domestic found rescue and home with me as well as I am vegan) All my children are contributing successful and happy members of society. All because I believe deep down there is the possibility that there is still some good in the world. My childhood was not good but I could give my children something better than what I had. My children are doing good not just for themselves but for others. It was never about me. That’s the point. This is THE legacy. Not “my” legacy. The one that gets passed down and touches the world. It’s called love. Love is selfless not selfish. For everyone and everything. Babies, animals, grannies, the differently abled. Those who don’t look or sound like you or live where you live. That’s the trick to this game. Learn the lesson. Whether you have children or not this is your task. You better hope someone somewhere is trying like hell to make things better in the lives of children. They will grow up to be your doctor, surgeon, nursing home aide, hospice worker, mortician.

        Reply
    • Lol whatever

      I have an autistic one, you want him? Because I sure as sh*t dont.

      Reply
      • Jason BB

        Woah. I appreciate that honesty. A severely disabled child– I just can’t imagine how difficult.

        Reply
        • Lol whatever

          It’s hell, then the autists have the nerve to complain that we aren’t ~happy~ raising a feral goblin instead of the normal kid we actually wanted.

          Reply
      • An autistic kid

        Then why did you choose to have kids in the first place?
        Because it would be a laugh?

        By the way, autism is largely hereditary, so you can thank yourself / partner for how your kid turned out.

        Lol, whatever.

        Reply
        • Jeri

          One in 26 boys born today in Minnesota will be autistic. It was one in 10,000 years ago before the childhood vaccination schedule exploded to 72 doses by age 18. There is no genetic explosion or epidemic possible. Ask any scientist worth their salt it doesn’t happen like that. Autism is t he real pandemic. You can thank your government for it as they are in charge of our food and our medical establishments and education institutions. It’s not the genes of the parents. Children’s brains are being blown by autism. Would it make us feel more desperate to prevent it if their brains were Blown by a gun? Largely hereditary? Where do you get your information from? Wow there must be a lot of autistic parents having autistic children. (Heavy sarcasm) Our child health outcomes across the board in the US are behind Costa Rica’s. Why is that? Our children are unhealthy. What are we doing wrong? Who is in charge of what we are doing? Is this acceptable? Hard questions that need answering.

          Reply
          • An autistic kid

            “It’s not the genes of the parents… Largely hereditary? Where do you get your information from? ”

            September 6, 2019
            A new study looking at autism in 5 countries found that 80 percent of autism risk can be traced to inherited genes rather than environmental factors and random mutations.

            The study, published July 18 in JAMA Psychiatry, analyzed data of nearly 2 million people across Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Israel, and Western Australia. It is the largest family-based genetic autism study to date, including children with autism, their siblings and cousins, as well as parents and their siblings.

            “We expanded on previous results by including more family members and data from countries that vary widely in their autism health systems,” said Joseph Buxbaum, M.D., one of the study authors and professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai Medical Center. “We found that the strongest contributors to risk of autism are from inherited genes. Spontaneous genetic changes and other factors that we could not estimate are additional contributors to risk of autism.”

            https://www.autismspeaks.org/science-news/autism-genetic-study-finds-80-risk-inherited-genes

            “Children’s brains are being blown by autism. Would it make us feel more desperate to prevent it if their brains were Blown by a gun?”

            I guess you’re based in the US? Where do YOU get your info from??

      • Jeri

        I recovered my autistic son. We were told he would never go to regular school. He graduated summa cum laude with a double major and is now in grad school. The doctors answer to this? Perhaps he wasn’t autistic in the first place? Yeah right they should have been living my life. No sleep for 7 years. Straight. A child who stopped answering to his name. Who stopped speaking words he had learned and screamed at the slightest touch? There are no guarantees in this life and no guarantee the experts know everything. If your son is young there is hope for better days. Even if he is not young there still is hope for improvement. My son is living proof. Dig. Reach. Go outside the lines and outside the box. Don’t like his teacher his pediatrician or his specialist? Fire them. Find better ones. Go alternative. Homeopathy, special diets, chiropractors, throw the kitchen sink at it. It will take everything you’ve got. It will be hard. But it’s hard already. There was no guarantee for your parents that you would be “normal”. These are your cards you have been dealt. It sucks. I’ve been there. Keep trying your best for your son.

        Reply
      • Kay

        I do too! My has Aspergers and when I tell you it will make you rethink parenting, your whole life and existence, it will! Everyday I’m like, “Why did I do this to myself???”. I’m a single parent raising a child on the spectrum. I get called a horrible parent, told I’m gonna get pushed off a building, you name it, all on a daily basis. I used to be like, “People who have out of control kids need to get them in line, etc, etc”. Well, i got my reality check REAL fast! Not everyone has these wonderful parenting experience, and not everyone is being a “bad parent” and teaching their kids to be little maniacs. Having kids is literally a gamble, you don’t know what you are actually going to get. If I had truly understood that, as my son would say, I would have made “better parenting choices” and opted out.

        Reply
    • Ryan

      Let’s say yes, they’re selfish for not wanting kids.

      Doesn’t that mean it’s best for everyone that they don’t have kids then?

      I sure wish I was smart enough to have been selfish, all this sacrifice has caused me is grief and a wasted life. If I was selfish it would have been easier and much, much happier.

      Seems like the selfish ones are the smartest ones.

      Reply
      • Jason BB

        The ones who would be the best parents are too smart to have children, that figures.

        Reply
      • Nancy

        Well put Ryan! I’m on the same thought process and I’m a mother!

        The so called “selfish” ones are REALLY living the best life. Not going to argue there. Go child free people!! I envy you and respect your decisions cause I know a lot of thought goes into being child free than having kids! I cheer for all my child free friends! I love their lifestyle!

        Reply
    • F.U.3

      Some of us just find better more exciting things to do with our lives.

      Some people just have kids thinking it will fill a gap in their boring life.

      Bet your kids spend all day creating Tiktoks because you can’t be bothered to do anything with them.

      Reply
    • Desertfox

      Or you know..they just dont want children because they r not self centered assholes who bring life into overpopulated world filled with pain and violence and survival “just cause i want something to looove1!!1”
      and want to spread their genes. Want to proove you really can love go on and adopt instead of overpopulating again with your mediocre genes.

      Reply
    • Tracy

      Oh dear.

      It is precisely for the reason that I’m STILL learning to love myself that I choose NOT to have children!

      Reading your comment, I can’t help but be curious about whether you are a parent yourself, and if so, whether your harsh language and tone is something that you inflict on your kid(s) – even down to the choice of username.

      Do YOU love yourself? Or even like yourself? Because it doesn’t sound like you do.

      I would also ask why it is so important to you that people accept YOUR “truth” – because you don’t speak for me or everyone else. What do you teach your kid(s) about empathy, compassion and respecting others if you can’t be bothered to practice these yourself? Or does hiding behind a questionable username automatically excuse you from that?

      Reply
    • Caitriona Hogan

      You assume I see it as a “harsh” truth that I can’t love anyone as much as myself. I don’t. It’s the truth and I’m absolutely fine with it. I give love to people every day in the form of charity to a homeless man, one-on-one mentoring to an up and coming producer in my field, checking in with my mother-in-law, making my husband a cup of coffee or getting up early to put gas in his car. But would I knowingly enter into a situation that would force me to sacrifice my free time and my peace? Absolutely not. You’re right! I love myself too much. And if more people were honest with themselves and said the same, we’d end up with far fewer cases of child neglect and child abuse.

      Reply
  5. Nicky Bismar

    It is unethical to have children. You don’t know how they will suffer.

    Reply
  6. Cate

    Something that is overlooked in our society is how many young people who have children are out there completely alone. Women are expected to happily, do it all. It is NOT possible. The statement “It takes a community to raise a child” is absolute truth!! But in our world families are expected to manage alone, which is tough on a two parent family let alone a single parent. I think your reasearch might show a correlation with how much family/friend/community support a family has to their happiness! I believe we need to foster small towns/small communities/small education systems. Not quite “communes” but small worlds where we know and interact with our neighbors, we know who is educating our children, and families live nearby.

    Reply
    • Deborah Schoenfeld

      👍

      Reply
    • JJ

      Spot on

      Reply
  7. Georgiana Strait

    All of the references in this article are extremely old. I might have glossed over some but I don’t recall a single reference from the 2000s. People change as time progresses. It’s almost irrelevant to even read. But as a marketer myself here I am. And just as I am a marketer I appreciate valuable feedback. So I hope PP takes it!

    Reply
    • Victoria

      Citations from 2009: “Because as emotionally taxing as having children may be, it has also proven to be a great source – if not the most powerful source – of life satisfaction, self-esteem and meaning, especially for women” (Hansen, T., Slagsvold, B., Moum, T., 2009), even though men are a lot more likely to view childlessness as disadvantageous (Blake, J., 1979,).

      And Raj’s book was published in 2016

      Reply
  8. Athena

    The focus is all on self to have a child. Has anyone thought about the child not having a say in the matter of enduring a lifetime of pain, suffering, and ultimate death? Yet, it’s all about the parent, right? Completely immoral. If it is immoral to condemn an innocent person to death, then so it is with bringing an innocent life that had no say into the world.

    Reply
    • Blah blah

      People are allowed to regret choices they’ve made whether you approve of it or not.

      Reply
    • Gail

      That’s what you get out of life, “a lifetime of pain, suffering, and ultimate death “? Wow. That’s a hell of a negative outlook on life. It’s “immoral” to bring a child into this world… 🤔 With an attitude that negative why do you bother?

      Reply
        • F.U.

          An article from Reddit?! Well then it must be true!!!! Lmfao!!!!

          Reply
        • Bickey Nismar

          A teenaged Reddit self diagnosed autist lecturing adults on what it means to raise a child.

          This is why people don’t take you seriously.

          Reply
      • joesantus

        Choosing to have a child is akin to playing the game called Russian Roulette – – as the parent, you have no way to predict how much pain a person you bring into existence will experience, so you’re merely gambling that the child’s life will turn out “pleasant and satisfying enough”.

        Simpy because your own life or even the lives of most people turn out “satisfying enough” doesn’t mean everyone’s life does or will.

        You cannot promise a person you bear that his/her life will be even “good enough” in his/her perspective. You cannot guarantee that a child you bear won’t experience a lifetime of far more pain than pleasure. You can’t even guarantee, despite best intentions, that you’ll be a good-enough parent to the child, to prevent the child from experiencing pain and suffering, while she/he is still a child.

        Without the person being born having any say in whether he/she accepts a life of at least some amount of inevitable pain, you force that person to experience it. YOUR choice, therefore, is ultimately responsible for every bit of pain and suffering that person experiences from conception until death, forced on him/her without that person’s prior consent.

        And, my point isn’t hypothetical. I’ve known a person whose entire life has been marked by primarily and very little other than pain and suffering, due to life circumstances and physical issues completely beyond her control or choice, who, now 60, sincerely wishes she had never been born so she would have been spared it all. Her wishfulness is not a momentary reaction, nor something she feels occassionally – – it’s a calm conclusion she’s formed during six decades of misery.

        By the way… I’m married 42 years, father to six all-now-adult children, grandfather to six, so I don’t say this as someone who “never had kids so isn’t personally invested”.

        Reply
    • Tracy

      I both agree and disagree with you here.

      I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s “immoral” but, yes, most parents only focus on how happy and fulfilled (and socially ACCEPTED) they would be to have kid(s). And yet some of them have the audacity to accuse the childfree of “selfishness”, as if making this increasingly common choice automatically makes one a “Mr. Scrooge”, incapable of caring about anything or anyone else. Where did this untruth come from? Or is it simply an urban legend passed down through families (and society) to shame the “other”?

      Truth is, most parents don’t even ask themselves if they would honestly make EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY role models for their kids (yes, this includes some of the commenters on here). They’re just following their biological cravings – which is, after all, what enables the chain (and the generational trauma) to continue – convincing themselves that they wouldn’t have it any other way.

      I’m not knocking parenthood, per se, but if it really is the hardest (and most fulfilling) job in the world, surely all parents and parents-to-be have a duty to make sure that they are EMOTIONALLY equipped to take it on (and have the support to do so)? Otherwise, what makes THEM qualified to raise emotionally healthy, well-adjusted individuals, if they’re not psychologically equipped to do so (and lack the self-awareness to seek help when the opportunity arises)?

      Reply
  9. Grateful

    Can’t speak to anything but my own experiences and observations, but for my husband and me, having and raising our children has been the most rewarding, fulfilling, and fun journey of our lives. Has everything moment off parenting been bliss? Of course not, just as not every moment of marriage has been bliss, or any career, ambition, or friendship, for that matter. But the joyful and wondrous moments so significantly outweigh the stresses and heartaches that it’s not even a close call.

    Our kids are in college now, and I will really miss them when they move out to begin their own journeys as adults. We have always parented with the goal of preparing them for independence, and even find joy in the transition from doing the nurturing and boundary setting, to becoming their advisors and confidantes when they need us as such. We poured our time and treasure into our children, to raise well-grounded, loving people.

    Not everybody’s life script has to be the same. Some people miss the parenthood journey due to circumstance, others due to fear. Some probably should never have become parents, just as some should probably never get married. But for many — if not most — people, a life without children would be filled with too many regrets and what-ifs, and rightfully so. Who wouldn’t risk heartbreak in pursuit of love? No journey worth pursuing is without risk.

    For me, the thought of coming to the end of my life only knowing parenthood from the periphery of watching other friends and family raise their own kids would be a bitter pill. While my husband is the love of my life, part of what strengthens and deepens our love is the shared experience of having our children. Our love for them is profound beyond the ability for the childless to understand. I’ve always believed if you’re not enjoying the journey, you’re not doing it right.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Wow. The smugness of this is astounding.

      Reply
      • Refugio Ruiz

        Good point, Lisa. The smugness of what Grateful says.

        Reply
    • Antony

      Lucky you!
      I’m the exact opposite- having a child has completely destroyed my (previously wonderful) life, and now it’s destroying me. All my hopes and dreams are gone, financially I’m broke, my marriage has ended, my career has stalled; basically everything I used to enjoy- travel, weekends off, date nights, sleeping in, going to the movies- it’s all finished.
      If people (friends and family) had been honest with me about parenthood I would NEVER have gone through with it.

      Reply
      • Lexi

        100% Antony. I can’t echo that enough. It is just misery and if only I knew what I knew now 4 years ago.

        Reply
        • Carolynn

          I 100% agree Lexi

          Reply
      • Anonymous

        I am so sorry man, so sorry. I am currently 28 turning 29 later this year, I never grew up in a family setting, where I had a great dad and mother relationship. It was hell losing my dad to suicide after seeing a man feel he had failed his family and there was no turning back the glory days. A man that wanted his kids to be happy and his wife to be always happy, but depression and alcohol ruined him. At the Age of 25, I tried settling down after I tried my luck at starting a family, that did not turn out well. I knew in my heart I cannot chase this dream that the media sells us. Times have changed and we as humans have to adapt with them. I just landed a digital marketing ecommerce and development job and I am running two business concurrently. I have managed to have a better future for myself riding solo. This makes me happy given my past. I Know the fairytale life is not for me and I wont chase it anymore and I will be dealing with my trauma soon. Decided to finally get help and live a happy life for the rest of my life. For me and me alone.

        Reply
      • Carolynn

        I 100% agree

        Reply
      • Anon

        I love your honesty! I’m 36 and will have to have IVF (got until I’m 40) if I want a child. If I do (which I don’t think I will) I’ll use a sperm donor as I don’t want a relationship again. I’ve been single a couple of years and have never been happier so I’m googling whether I will regret not having a kid. I luckily have a niece and nephew who I love to bits, but seeing family and friends raise their children and the struggles and stress it brings has really put me off. The world is a shit show and I think I will feel more guilty bringing a child in to it than I will regretting not having one. Just because I’m a woman people are shocked when I say I don’t have kids, multiple people (the honest ones) tell me just don’t do it lol. It’s also very true that you can’t miss what you never had, I love my niece and nephew more than anything and for me I think they will be the greatest loves I’ve ever known.

        Reply
        • Kimberley

          Hi Anon,
          I’m 54 and childless. When I was exactly your age, and single, I really put my energy into researching whether having a child/children was for me. I knew I could just walk down to the pub and bring a sperm donor home.

          I watched a lot of docos and talked to parents. I was waitressing at the time while going to college. I observed the dynamics of singles and families. I tried to have conversations with parents about their kids. Their faces lit up when the conversation turned to their dogs.

          I always wanted a family, but never met a man I was willing to make one with. So single parenting was my only option.
          After college I ran a pet photography business and provided photos of people and their pets for the weekend magazine, along with their stories. Some, if not most of them were incredible. What I saw with my own eyes is…if you have the ability to love an animal, that animal will support you through anything. And dogs will (if you walk them, take them on adventures, give them what they need) enhance your enjoyment of life enormously, even save your life.

          So, I made 2 decisions.
          Not to have children. And most importantly…Not to ever regret not having children.

          I am so lucky to be very popular with kids, so have spent a lot of time with other people’s (having a dog is a magnet for them) and that’s been very rewarding too. I still have moments of feeling extremely envious when I see what appear to be happy families, but I just grab my dog and go on an adventure and I always feel great.

          At 54, I look a lot younger than most my age, I’m fit, and pretty happy on a day to day basis. People often ask me where I get all my energy. I’m free to do whatever I want whenever I want. I’ve travelled extensively with 2 dogs…moved from UK to Australia with one, got another one, and just returned from several months campervanning with them.

          I’ve copped all the negative comments. Been told (by a psychologist neighbour) that she pittied me because “kids teach you about life”….but she was obese, her hubby complained to me that they never have sex, and she’s just become a Christian hoping it will help with her depression, so, go figure.

          Reply
          • Kari

            Thank you so much for this comment. You’ll never know how much I needed to read that.

      • William J Gallucci

        Wow that’s pretty strong feelings coming from yourself but hey I won’t agree or disagree with your points because there is no right out wrong about them

        Reply
      • Whatever

        I feel the same way, my child ended up autistic and it feels like a punishment for some awful thing I did in a past life or something. The amount of stress is unreal, I know exactly why these kids are abandoned and abused at significantly higher rates and that’s not because everyone ~Else~ is the problem – it’s because their broken brains cause nothing but stress and misery for EVERYONE around them.

        Thy cry online about being burdens but that’s exactly what they are.

        Reply
    • Joy Michele Timmons

      Who are you to tell someone not have children if they want to be happy. There are people with no children are not happy. What you said is not all true. There are people who have children are happy. I will be a happy wife and mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Finding happiness is not having children. It is more than that.

      Reply
      • Zap

        There’s no guarantee you will ever become a grandmother and a great-grandmother. You need to come to terms with that if you want to have kids. Your kids might not agree with your vision.

        Reply
    • JJ

      Best comment on this article. Well said.

      Reply
    • Jason BB

      I’m glad you were happy with children. But hopefully girls today are not being taught from the cradle that a life without children will be a “bitter pill” of shame and cowardice and regret. That they can fulfill their life in whatever way they see fit without comparing themselves to other women.

      Reply
  10. Nonya Busnes

    Sounds like something the Buddha one said “life is suffering”. In telling people to lower their standards for their personal happiness you are reflecting the idea that Buddha instilled during his time. “Life is suffering”. You are right that here in the US we have a higher standard of living, and a higher expectation of ourselves and our personal lives. Notice it’s “life, liberty, and the PURSUIT of happiness” not “life, liberty & happiness”. Being a parent is a soul sucking, mind blowing, physically exhausting & financially burdensome journey. For anyone to say anything otherwise is sugarcoating it. Thank you for admitting that having kids sucks & that once we all start sucking it up we may be able to move past our individual BS.

    Reply
    • Childfree

      My life is not suffering, contrary to what the Buddha said, but I bet it would be if I had kids. I’m so glad I’m childfree.

      Reply
    • Krysten

      Well, I don’t know how I feel about this information but I do know I feel a little better about not being able to have children.

      Reply
  11. Jeff

    I don’t even have words for how miserable and unhappy I am. I have “that” kid, the one that no one else will let their children play with, the one that’s nasty, that hits and bites and interrupts, the one that runs off anyone dumb enough to try and play with him. He is a miserable sh*t of a child, no amount of therapy or medication has improved his behavior. He has destroyed my wife mentally, and the quality of our lives has taken a huge nosedive. I VERY much regret having THIS child, and am looking forward to his 18th birthday when I will drop him off with a suitcase outside of an army recruiters office and be done with it all.

    I knew there was something wrong with this little monster when he was still a toddler, and I will forever hate myself for not putting him up for adoption at that time when he was still little and adoptable. Too bad I’ve don’t live in an era where I could drop him off in the woods and walk away, because I would have a hundred times over by now.

    Reply
    • Liv

      My dude how old is your kid ?

      Reply
    • Nicole

      Sending you acknowledgement, understanding. My hope reading this is that he will grow into an adult who adds something valuable for our society and species. If your son cures cancer, you did that. That being said, I concur that it sucks that we can’t undo parenthood.

      Reply
    • Ra

      Hey Jeff, ya know what, I was going to suggest how altering his diet would most likely relieve you both of at least half of his behavior issues, if not MORE–but if he’s the terror you described, that will just be another challenge (switching his diet). You guys need a nutritionist. It sounds silly because it just doesn’t occur to people that the chemicals sold in stores disguised as food would have an effect on developing brains. Godspeed & good luck to you and your wife.

      Reply
    • lockedinthebasementasachildsonokidsformeHUZZAH

      Do whatever it takes to cut ties now. There’s a poem meant for parents of kids with disabilities.
      “Welcome to Holland ” Your son appears to be aspd. The poem is meant to be inspiring but a parent who expressed the same frustrations as you on qoura, turned the upbeat meaning on it’s head.
      Run. Holland may not be Italy, but it is a lovely place with canals and flowers and windmills and pretty buildings. But not for us. Our Holland smells like smoke and burning jet fuel. People are screaming. The flowers and buildings are on fire and the sheen of gas and oil shines across the surface of the canal. But I don’t see it anyway. For me the world is darkness, because I’ve gone blind

      Reply
  12. JP

    I have never felt that maternal instinct to have kids, but considered it because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do. It didn’t end up happening though, a combination of lack of money and timing. Now that I’m in my 40s I am absolutely glad I didn’t fall into that trap. My husband and I enjoy our freedom.

    Reply
    • Sher

      Hahahaha JP, same!! I feel the same.

      Reply
  13. Moey

    I’m a mom of 5 children. I’m also indigenous. I don’t see my kids as a réflection of myself. I have to cook a lot. I don’t enjoy travelling, and I don’t like working. I like to be home and clean and cook and be with my kids. My oldest is 19 and I love to talk to her. She is my best friend. I’m not rich, I work part time as a teacher in adult ed, I don’t think à lot about retirement or saving money or pension. I think society makes parenting too stressful. Like all ur kids have to go to University. They all have to be in extracurricular activities. They have to get top marks. I think it’s just too much pressure. I take my kids outside and we walk and I feel happy like this. When they fight I leave them to fight. I fight with my hubby too. Everyone fights. I don’t do all those fancy birthday parties and sleepovers because I’m shy and I think other mom’s will find me boring lol. Basically my life is hanging around with my kids, cleaning cooking and working part time but I wouldn’t work at all if I didn’t have to. I think to not have kids is fine too. My two friends don’t have kids and they tell me my kids are the only kids they can handle. Both of them say this. I taught grade one 25 kids now that was hard because of all the expectations and helicopter parents. Adult ed is way easier and I can raise my own kids. Right now we r renovating a house too, I don’t have a kitchen so I cook using an electric cooktop with a folding table in the basement. Everytime after we eat I tell all my kids let’s clean up. Clean up takes 20 minutes cuz everyone does it. I’m not happy all the time but I feel happy when we walk together, and when we go camping. Maybe it’s not having kids that’s hard, it’s societies expectations of what is a good parent and good children? I know my ancestors children were stolen and put in residential schools to be all smart and religious, but it was all à lie. So if u have kids, they grow really quick. U will close ur eyes and boom they r big. And maybe they won’t call u and visit u, not because they are selfish jerks but maybe because they took a path and love to be free it’s all good. Don’t worry, be happy. Hugs everyone e.

    Reply
    • SH

      I do enjoy your carefree attitude. 🙂 Thanks for that and yes, be happy!

      Reply
    • Maral

      Your attitude is so beautiful. I feel so much love towards you in my chest

      Reply
    • Liv

      My kids have always been “free-range” children, just living life. They both are national fighters, but really we just let them be themselves. I stayed at home, and although it was hard, I don’t regret it at all. Getting back to nature and raising children as they would in a village, instead of a structured, demanding, commercially driven society. If you can live as naturally as possible, having children is the most wonderful thing on earth, nothing compares. I agree with everything you wrote above. Let go of the “have-to’s” in life and enjoy raising these beautiful creatures.

      Reply
  14. ethan e stump

    As someone interested in why meaningfulness is meaningful, i have understood that meaning isn’t independent of a subject. that is, what fulfills us with purpose is based on personal observations/life goals/ want’s and needs/dislikes and hatreds/curiosity and introspection/ etc.
    also, since we have society to inform us of what emergent behavior can be expressed by the interaction between our personal purpose and the purpose of others, these very same subjective criteria can merge with the personal criteria of other’s. that is, our purpose in life isn’t determined by other’s, but it does influence in profound way’s the way we interact with others. basically, society influences how we interact with society, and how we compare our purpose in life to others. since our thoughts/goals/likes can and do change with our environment, so does our purpose in life. and since the environment of society informs us that the survival of the human species depends on reproduction, any action deleterious to that survival will be viewed by others as threatening to the survival of the species. life satisfaction is heavily influenced if not based on the needs of society, whether those need’s are reproduction, war, resource accumulation, and knowledge production and modification. TLDR: this article thus acknowledges that societal needs may be more important than personal needs, which then produce’s personal unhappiness, which then spreads into the wider culture. we should be focused on fulfilling people’s necessary hedonistic values in way’s that do not harm the reproduction of the species, rather than just accepting the status quo that it’s either one or the other.

    Reply
    • Liv

      Very well put. Even though I slightly disagree with what you are saying, I can’t argue your logic.

      Reply
  15. Shannon

    I am a 47 year old female, and I still sweat over ever being pregnant even tho I had my tubes tied in 2009. I raised 3 step children for 10 years then got divorced. I see people with young children and 9 out of 10 smell like poo. They put diapers in my trash and until they leave my house smells like poo. Kids are brats and I’ve never liked nor wanted any. They’re loud, sticky and smelly. I don’t regret my choice at all.

    Reply
  16. Amy

    Unfortunately, most articles discussing this subject pit meaning and happiness against one another as though they are diametrically opposed, and it just isn’t true. The sad truth for those who hate parenting is that many childfree people have just as much meaning in their lives and more happiness. It’s a bitter pill to swallow. The reality is, in the US, parents are less happy, while their childfree counterparts are happier, and many are living highly meaningful lives. I create electronic dance music. To see people light up on the dance floor and get rocketed to another dimension and connect spiritually with all that is – it is a magnificent feeling and one that brings me deep and lasting meaning. I am also a lifelong learner and traveller. Learning and interacting with other cultures brings huge meaning to me. I also have a robust network of friends and wonderful family.

    Perhaps it is our puritanical roots that equate suffering and sacrifice with meaning, but these are not synonymous and it is not necessary to suffer or sacrifice to have deep meaning in your life and to contribute to society. When you are in tune with your highest calling – yourself, and what you are designed to do – then you are happy, and then you have meaning. For some people, that’s having kids and a family. For many, if not half, it’s not.

    America is a very masculine country. European countries with happier parents are far more egalitarian. Here in the US, women do the majority of the child-rearing and all of the birthing, even in dual-income homes. It’s no wonder I opted out as a woman.

    Reply
    • ethan e stump

      while I consider myself pretty egalitarian (both gender and economic), and believe that there is much to be learned and copied from the Finland model, there are many historical examples of both patriarchal and matriarchal models that are both egalitarian and authoritarian. it’s not gender that determines freedom and slavery, but the material conditions and the superstructure of society that rests on those material conditions that affect’s freedom and slavery. in other words, it’s economic conditions that greater affect liberty, not gender relations. TLDR: Europe is happier due to historical socialism in combination with historical feminism. we have feminism in the united states that is far more authoritarian than European feminism, and that can be explained through a capitalistic/anticapitalistic viewpoint. socialist feminism held and continues to hold that class and gender are symbiotic, at least to some degree, and one cannot be addressed without taking the other into consideration.

      Reply
    • Liv

      Huh ?

      Reply
    • KristianJ

      Beautifully said, Amy. I couldn’t agree more!

      Interesting that, barring those people who desperately wanted children and couldn’t have them, the ‘regrets’ from the voluntarily child-free are virtually non-existent. Compare this with the hundreds of thousands of anonymous posters on the internet who openly admit they regret having children.

      Then there’s the more recent, growing phenomenon of adult children rejecting their parents, despite those parents’ sacrifices and doing the best they could. It seems to be a game of chance.

      I respect everybody’s decisions but, at 60 years of age with a happy marriage, freedom, peace of mind and happiness, I am so relieved I followed my heart and decided not to have children.

      Reply
    • Kimberley

      My kinda life!!!!

      Reply
  17. KRLDT

    Not becoming a parent means you will live a life with a terminal end. Everything you do will only be given meaning by other lives that exist due to the parenting of other beings. Every single need you have will be fulfilled by a being that is there due to a long line of parents. Existence comes with an unspoken burden to participate to the best of our ability. Or not, but if enough of us don’t opt in, we will cease and our purpose, happiness, all of it will become irrelevant.

    It isn’t really a virtuous response to overpopulation either – billions of childless people can’t just live out their own lives without reliance on the presumably reduced cohort who would be unable and perhaps unwilling to fulfill their outsized needs.

    None of this is as simple as I thought when I was younger.

    Reply
    • Susan

      Hella Brilliant comment! Thank you.

      Reply
    • Weaselina

      To say that everything you do is only given meaning by other lives is a stretch, my friend. I do many things that give my life meaning that no one even knows about.

      And, as for every single need a person has being interdependent on others, that is not really true either. People can exist in solitary self reliance.

      I get it, you mean the average, mainstream, “can’t think or act for themselves” person that is most people. But it isn’t all people.

      Most pregnancies are accidents, and a lot of people are very bad parents. These days it is a lucrative business to traffic your own kids, if you aren’t just abusing them yourself for free. It’s appalling.

      And then you have a lot of child free people who end up as step parents, foster parents, adoptive parents, teachers, mentors, etc. People who didn’t feel the need to trap their lover into a relationship/hostage situation, and who may in fact even have a lot to offer kids, but who know they don’t have the desire, money, family support, and did I say desire to raise kids.

      So don’t get too self righteous. In fact, I’m pretty sure most orphanages and the like have historically always been run by people like nuns.

      And for what it’s worth, I’m with a man who had two kids and never wanted to be a father. And it shows. It’s a sad thing when people who didn’t want kids end up with them, often because a partner compelled them to walk that path and they figured they had to, either because a surprise pregnancy occurred or the other person pressured them.

      If I had a dollar for everyone I’ve known who has kids and shouldn’t have, I could afford to go out for a very nice meal at a restaurant that doesn’t allow kids.

      My own mother hated her kids. The first one suicided, the second one is a drug addict/alcoholic who hates herself, and I have been in therapy talking about the abuse in my family for 40 years.

      It’s still good to be alive, but it has not been easy to say that when dealing with them before they all died or scattered.

      So, when you are judging everyone through your narrow views, remember, people who don’t have kids provide a lot for those who do, and we use a lot less resources while paying into the systems of support.

      So, you’re welcome 😉

      Reply
      • Michelle

        Brava! Well said:)

        Reply
    • CJMN34

      Of course humans are interdependent on one another, but to say that the only way our lives have meaning beyond our death is to procreate our own genes is very limiting. It is perfectly achievable to have a positive, memorable influence on the world via participating in a community without creating more people.

      The notion that enough people would opt out of procreation to cause the demise of the species is not realistic between the biological drive, and a lack of access to/knowledge of contraception, among other factors. There are a great many people who have more children than they are prepared to care for and form into productive members of society.

      Therefore, while you may not find it to be a virtuous response to overpopulation, it can hardly be argued that encouraging population growth is a solution, either. Bear and mind that contributing human hands are not the only resource we need to continue existing, and not all resources are renewable at the rate that we multiply.

      It is only one perspective, but from my viewpoint, it is a more worthy venture not to create more humans in the hopes that they have the answers, but rather to invest our resources and energy into improving the lives of those who already exist. In a world of exponential population growth, where children are too often homeless, hungry, ill, uneducated, neglected, abused, etc., perhaps we should not be so quick to give up on the untapped potential of these little people. They have more to give than they are set up to learn, but will need just as much from society, if not more, if left without support.

      Certainly sounds like meaningful work to me.

      Reply
  18. Grace

    I wanted kids after graduating from an Ivy because not only was I a lonely , ‘only’ child but an immigrant child as well . I had no one. I ended up a single mother of four. It was devastating but these children gave my life meaning and I love them beyond words. Happiest between the departure of a last child and death of spouse ? I think not . Before my youngest even graduated from high school I was already commuting long distances taking care of the needs of my aging parents. My kids are now long gone, fully independent with their own lives . I am very happy to see them always but expect nothing . I now manage my 95 year old widowed mother’s entire life. I am tethered to her care 24/7. There have been many moments of happiness and even some elation but life Is a major struggle for me. It always has been. I don’t understand an article like this that makes such sweeping generalizations based on personal bias

    Reply
    • Warren G.

      Hi
      I’m 30, few years ago my girlfriend broke up with me. Before that all I ever wanted to be is a parent. However, when she left me I decided not to go in a relationship immediately and explore my personal interests, so I started a few personal Hobbies, (Cycling, Reading Books, Playing Guitar, etc.). Only after a few months everything changed. I realized the sheer fun of only focusing on myself and my passion. And I can never let that go away. Cycling has helped me to stay healthy and slim effortlessly, reading books allowed me to explore whole new range of ideas, and playing Guitar? Where do I start? I can write a whole book about how learning to play the guitar (or any musical instrument at all) can be the best decision of your life, Even in this comment section many people are talking about the same thing.

      There are also other perks. I can sleep up to 9am without feeling guilty . If my job becomes unattractive I can instantly show it a middle finger and quit. I also have early retirement plans. I’ll probably retire completely before 50, so that I can devour into life of passion and well-being.

      Now compare your life with that. Even if I assume you don’t have any passion other than parenting, and you don’t care about your personal comfort and you’re willing to give up all your potential. But what about the mental stress you have to go through? Think about what happened to you when one of them came home late, or didn’t receive your call, or one of them got sick. One of them still could be diagnosed with terminal cancer, or have a really bad accident or become broke, what then? You exposed yourself to an intense amount of risk for no reason (and without even realising it). Even if all of them outlive you, they have to suffer the pain of losing you. Now you may say this is how the world works to which I agree, but it doesn’t have to. And ultimately of course all of them will die too.

      No one is saying what you did isn’t great or meaningless but when you consider the personal suffering you have to go through, do you really think it was still worth it?

      One of the reasons people think they’re happy after childbirth/parenthood is our failure to retrospect. We’re so much delved into parenting we stop thinking how our life was before or what it could’ve been without kids. You could’ve played chess at the same table with Magnus Carlsen, Played bass along with John Mayer or cycling in Tour de France, The point is there was limitless potential which you let go to waste for the sake of meaning. It’ hard to say whether you are happy or you just think you’re happy.

      Think about what will happen after 500 years. No one will probably remember that you ever existed, no one cares what you did or how you lived. Only thing you have is a very short timeframe, so my advice is think as little as possible of the world and the future of humanity, and make the most out of your life. While there is plenty of evidence that having children makes your life worse. There is plethora of evidence that learning to play guitar or reading books or cycling will improve your life in a way you could ever imagine. So maybe it’s not too late for you either.

      No one is making “sweeping generalization”, they are based on results published by professional psychologists and generally consistent with human behaviours.

      Reply
      • SH

        Dear Warren,

        I found your comment and your enthusiasm heartening and enthralling.

        I would very much like to agree. I am an accomplished and attractive man, in his early 50s. I am not being a narcissist in saying that, it is by way of addressing what you have said, and it is simply true. With regards to my love life, I have never had more offers from a wider array of females (I am a heterosexual man). With regard to my accomplishments, I hold multiple advanced degrees, have been flown internationally to speak at academic conferences, but have also been a professional sportsman with similar level of achievement. I am very solvent, having invested well and been careful and lucky. I have no illnesses. I am extremely fit and capable of defeating many who are semi professional athletes in their mid 20s.

        But yet… I also have no children. As I enter later middle age… those things you rate as endlessly wonderful in your thirtieth year, which I have in spades, begin to fade in importance. Precisely BECAUSE I have them. In spades. And I feel the emptiness in the houses I own. I feel the rooms unfilled, echoing with the voices of the children I never have known, and may never know.

        One aspect of your discussion focusses upon the fruitlessness of the pursuit of heritage, given the inevitable extinction of our memory. I take your point insofar as it goes, and yet your point simply fails to address the simple fact that in this life, in THIS life, that we have here, in fact all that we have here, not to experience the love of a family as an adult parent is an absolutely inestimable loss.

        I am not arguing with you, and wish you all the very best, my friend.

        Reply
        • Mark

          I was told over 40 years ago that those things of importance to me at the time (such as the love for old cars, weekend getaways and being free to do what else I wanted to) would also fade but that is not the case, in fact not even close. By the time I was 25 and heard of classmates already going thru divorces often losing their houses and child custody and being slapped with alimony payments. I said NO THANKS. Even those with successful marriages didn’t come without some toll of sorts or unscathed. What if they had a demon to raise? Would they then consider it a blessing? Or what if the child was special needs and they’d never be able to retire. Not everyone is mentally able to handle that.
          Those missing echoes of children as you word it is not missed at all. I like the serene sound of silence and then sometimes play music with the decibels up like we did 40 years ago rather that hearing screaming kids or having to listen to their rap and crap music that so big now. But I DO respect what your likes are. Don’t get me wrong.
          My parents raised us ok but we never got that special kind of love and rarely had those family outings even though money was not an issue. As I got older I had the sense that dad wanted me to have nothing (even though I wasn’t really that materialistic)
          I can see you are NO narcissist. Your desires are just different than some. Enjoy life !!

          Reply
      • SH

        To the other readers on here, please be kind. I only said the above to Warren G. in relation to my achievements or looks etc. because, when I am at my best, or in a positive frame of mind, I recognise that I have many advantages and privileges and successes, and other than having my own family lead a fulfilled life for which I am very grateful. To be clear, I also have had many failures and defeats, and much sorrow. I come from a broken home and struggled long and hard in life to get where I am today. I have faults and flaws and character problems and struggles like any person. The point is that I have managed, in later middle age, to overcome or deal with or mitigate these sufficiently to achieve what most people, looking from the outside, would envy. And yet I feel the lack of my own family deeply, and it is a daily sorrow.

        That being said, there are compensations. When I am alone, in particular, when I am living my own, quiet life, I am grateful for the peace of mind I have, and increasingly crave peace. I think this is a feature of aging, which likely will only increase with time. Watching the struggles of my family’s older generation and my own such with their adult children, many of whom have bitterly hurt their progenitors, or remain a source of constant worry, I do admit to being grateful for the balm of calm that my own lack of children often provides. There can be great positives in any life, and every life carries regrets.

        Reply
      • Liv

        30 years old? You haven’t even lived. Try to refrain from making such bold, unyielding conclusions, with so much of your life still hanging in balance.

        Reply
      • F.U.

        People who don’t want children are people who can’t love anything more than they love themselves.

        Reply
      • Mark

        Hey Warren. I enjoyed reading your message though I had to read it twice to be sure I didn’t miss anything. I’m 65, retired at 59, debt free, two classic cars and a truck and none of this would have happened if I went the married with children route. Life is meant to be abundant but some take the wrong turn and never experience that. I knew 45 years ago I wanted nothing to do with it as I loved the old cars/trucks and couldn’t imagine giving up my carefree ways.
        Fortunately my parents just wanted us kids to be happy and never pushed us to give them grandchildren. Back then every now and then a nice gal would come into the picture but when she started the talk about wanting to settle down and have a family I made a polite and graceful exit. People will do many things for love but the married with children route was not one of them for me. Today I’m happy and can do what I want and when I want . On the other hand, some of those (not all) I went to school with and went the married with children route are feeling the effects of health issues, debt and some even no retirement as they’re raising their grandchildren as well. In 2008 a cousin of mine, 44, shot himself as the pressures of taking care of a severely autistic child (along with bill collectors trying to collect on old doctor bills all the time) was too much for him to deal with any more.
        And you’re so right about being mostly forgotten after you’re gone. Most graves at the local cemetery never get any flowers. Cremation in order and ashes scattered at a place to be determined.
        It’s too bad some people are so terribly unhappy because they have no children or such people can’t find a partner who wants children. All I can say is such people need counselling as we can’t hinge our happiness on one thing (or be miserable without it) Life is what we make of it.

        Reply
    • Dana

      Actually, what’s very nice about this article is that it makes sweeping generalizations on scientific research of what is generally true. There are always outliers and exceptions. What the author is doing is pulling together what the bulk of scientific literature says on the subject and comes to some interesting framing conclusions. That’s not “personal bias” is reasoned analysis.
      Glad you enjoyed your kids though and hope the struggles caring for your parent have lessened.

      Reply
  19. Charles Wilson

    Well I’m a male and 66 years old now. I was just sitting here wondering should I have had kids which I have thought before. So I put it in the search box and I got here. To get right to the point when I was a child (13 or 14) I remember my father saying hey son let’s take off let’s get out of here let’s leave. Well I took that as my father being unsatisfied with his life and wanting to get away from it. Another thought I had was he was testing me to see if I really loved him like a son should. Well that comment he made stuck with me the rest of my life. I took it as he was unsatisfied with his life and he regretted having children and it was a pain in the ass to have to deal with a family. So that was one reason that contributed to my decision not to have kids. Another reason was my eyesight I was extremely farsighted and did not wear my thick glasses and consequently wrecked cars and was miserable all the time. When soft contact lenses came out I got those that helped a little bit but it’s still it did not correct the problem because I had not developed binocular vision skills. I got headaches a lot etc. I didn’t want to have another human being have to deal with this. Another reason I did not have kids is because of the state of the world do, I have to list all the things, I think most people know. Okay so I am currently living without kids I am retired I don’t have to work for anybody I don’t make enough money but that’s a whole nother story. For the most part I feel pretty good about my decision. I am not stressed out I have an easy life I’m not being told what to do and I can plan on doing anything just about anything I want to do. My favorite thing to do is nothing. I like watching TV. I just wished I would have had developed a musical talent. I could play the guitar and sing but I didn’t take the time to learn how to play the guitar. I regret not pushing myself to do that. I love animals and I’ve had relationships with them. I currently don’t have any animal because my cat got hit by a car. I plan on getting another animal as soon as my living circumstances line up with that. I could go on and on about this but that’s about all I’m going to say for now.

    Reply
    • cara tolbert-blunt

      its not too late to pick up a guitar!

      Reply
    • Jason BB

      I liked the story about your dad. I’m from a large family and if my mother taught me a single thing in life, it’s that kids will burn you out like a match. She once said she felt something in her life was robbed from her, by having kids.

      Reply
  20. Anna

    I had such a wonderful life before. We were happy. So why not spread that love and have a family?

    Well the kid ended up having adhd and autism. It ruined everything we had a child for. I’ve never been more miserable and regret absolutely consumes me. I take handfuls of constantly revolving anti depressants just to stay alive.

    I sincerely hope conditions like these can be diagnosable in utero like other disabilities. Parents deserve the right to make a fully informed decision.

    Reply
    • Freddy

      Who actually wants children?
      Delusional ass women, that’s who!!!!!

      Reply
      • Liv

        My children are the cutest, smartest, funniest fucking people I’ve ever met. I cherish every moment with these awesome beings.. and they are teenagers too.. it just going to get better. I love every fucking minute with them. I could just smell them all day. But go off.

        Reply
      • Vicks

        Freddy. I’m a woman. I broke up with a guy because he had a child before meeting me, kept it a secret for a year then when he told me he wanted me to have one just to keep his first mistake company. Hence I bolted. ✌🏽

        Reply
    • Jani van der Watt

      Well I sure am glad that you’re not my parent. Did you think your child was going to be perfect and without any flaws, or is the real reason behind your feelings due to internalized ableism and sanism? I feel sorry for the child, they deserve a better parent. Don’t be the reason for another kid’s suicide
      Your child’s adhd and autism is not the issue here… 😬

      Reply
      • Grace

        Yes.

        Reply
      • Aline

        Oh, it so is… until you parent a child with serious disability or suicidal or delinquent or anything less than what you hoped for, shut the F…. up. The worst part of regretting having kids is not raising them, is dealing with the guilt of waking up every day wishing they were never born. I stand beside every single parent who wish they could go back in time and have the option to make an informed decision based on what they were going to get. It”s not like lottery where either you get the money prize or life continues on the same, if you are unlucky you have to deal with shit, regret, shame, unhappinness and a whole constellation of bad feelings all day every day for the rest of your life.

        Reply
      • Sean

        I’ll take the parent who has the empathy to regret their choice instead of regretting the child over the parent who lacks the empathy to judge themselves instead of other people. Regret is allowed in parenting. Judgement is not. Never comment about something or someone you know nothing about. It’s like a bluffer showing his hand…now we know you have nothing.

        Reply
      • Anna

        YoU jUsT wAnT a PeRfEct KiD

        You know what? No one expects a perfect kid, but I ABSOLUTELY wanted a normal one and I make zero apologies for that. If you want to call it ableism, go right ahead. Your labels have no power over me.

        I am a human being with wants and needs that go constantly unmet, anyone would be unhappy under such circumstances but not only am I supposed to sick it up, I’m supposed to be HAPPY about it? Please.

        Feel free to be a respite caregiver or better yet, adopt one of these children. Obviously this should be a celebrated and joyful event so I’m sure you’ll jump right on it.

        Reply
        • Weaselina

          People who play the ableism card are often just snide people with nothing better to do in order to feel good about themselves.

          Honestly, even people who love their disabled or otherly wired kids with all their hearts find themselves running on empty, depressed, and without help or a support network to be okay.

          To not have compassion and understanding for that is a thing only a self-righteous person with little else but their kids to make them feel worthwhile would do.

          We’ve all seen “those” parents in action. It’s embarrassing and they often emotionally cripple their poor kids. The love to fling the world “ablist” around because they LOVE victim culture. It suits them.

          Reply
        • Ashamed mom

          Sending you love. Parenting a child with special needs is so hard. My son has rare immune disorder that puts him at very high risk during the pandemic and he has had seizures and surgeries since 13 days old… raising him has been very hard. I don’t regret having him but I did end up aborting my second pregnancy of a much wanted baby due to horrible anxiety over having to go through all of that again or be dealt Andover an even worse card, Although I don’t believe it was a mistake I sadly struggle with a lot of grief and regret and hope I learn how to cope with the pain and get back to my life. I empathize with you! Parenting a special needs child is hard on your mental state, Stay strong!

          Reply
      • Louise

        I am in my 30s and have made the very difficult decision not to have a child. Among many other factors I was brought up in a family where my brothers and father had autism and I can tell you now it was incredibly difficult for my family so before you judge this woman please here my story.

        My mother would run up to me from the age of 6 tears rolling down her face in complete exhaustion she would say to me please don’t ever have children they ruin your life it’s very very hard. I would regular witness the house smashed up, my mother had endless appointments with psychologists, my parents where judged for not working because autism is a hidden disability, they lived in a poverty trap, my brother is a severe agoraphobic he never leaves the house he has developed other conditions and has suicidal thoughts, psychotic breaks the list goes on and on.

        What I am trying to say is whether someone choses to have a child or not is absolutely a very personal choice and in some cases that choice is a very difficult one to make moreover we should not judge someone for being completely honest about how they feel if someone has a child who has a condition and they are depressed, lonely, regretful then that’s how they feel it should be respected and we should create a society where parents can feel that they can speak freely on how they truly feel without judgment or ridicule.

        Finally the one thing I respect from my mother is that she was honest with me, she didn’t pretend to love motherhood she hated it and she found it hard, my mother loved us and society failed her.

        Please don’t judge this woman for simply being honest, it does not mean she doesn’t love her child nor does it not mean she’s not a loving person she is simply being honest and we need more of that instead of people just saying what others want to hear.

        Reply
        • Audrey

          I understand how it must be hard to be a mother of a child with adhd and autism and I would hope there would be safe places for mothers and fathers to voice these concerns. It simply just hits hard for me, because I have ADHD and have had other struggled. It’s just sad for me to think about my Mom wishing she didn’t have me. I got lucky, she’s so loving and amazing and always makes me feel so valued and loved. Now that i’ve been researching to decide whether I should have children or not, I do recognize that it’s more normal to regret having children (even neurotypical ones) than people would like to admit. So I do empathize with this woman who doesn’t want her child and struggles with depression. People judge when they don’t understand I think we need to be better at providing safe places for parents to talk about their struggles judgement free. This is coming from someone who went to a special school for ADHD. A lot of kids there had autism, ADHD, anxiety, etc. So I really do understand the burden and stress put on parents.

          Reply
        • Opinionofmine

          Let’s be brutally honest, having kids is the decision and responsibility of the woman. Being a woman with a womb, I can totally say that. Mistake number 1; With modern day ways of contraception today, there is absolutely no excuse to have a child without consulting the potential father first. Women, in my opinion, who have kids without consulting the man first before conceiving is doing so for entrapment and basically using that man as a sperm donor, there is no love. Far too many women are with men not because they love their man for who he truly, really is in terms of spending the time (regardless of how many years or months it may take) and understanding the nature, behaviour, character for their partner I.e. man. Too many are in that relationship for the desire of wanting children – mistake number two. To want kids, be a woman and want a partner during the child’s upbringing is a basic god darn right which should be available to all. It was only 30 years ago that divorce with young kids was seen as socially abhorrent. Anything can happen with regard to the health of the child and let’s be frankly honest, it is mainly mum who will be bringing up the child; healthy or otherwise. Nothing can prepare you for if it goes array e.g. autism, CP, CF etc. Yes, there are gold dust men out there who are willing to throw their weight around but the woman has no idea how the man will be or how they will react to the face of fatherhood once child arrives. In today’s society, we’re far from Jane Austin era and there’s nothing stopping him from flying off or otherwise. I really do believe that it is down to the woman with making the decision and needing to accept that should all go pear shaped, it’s their responsibility and they don’t get the community support like they did 30 years ago when it was considered a family and a communal, local effort. I see far too many parents have expectations and hidden obligations for their offspring in terms of sexuality, religion, to or not have children and how many, to or not have a certain education, where does this end and how to they think that they had this right of expectation for the unborn in the first place? If child as adult decides actually their upbringing was inappropriate, they may never want more to do with the parents or visit them once or twice a year. Another bizarre expectation is for parents to have child because they believe that they will look after parent when old. Any parent who has children because they don’t want to work and have them as a carer really should reconsider having kids. I think what I’m overall getting down to is; you know as a woman that you pretty much guaranteed twenty years with child but what environment and opportunity can you truly provide it? What is contempt for you? Would you be contempt without child? Would you be contempt not achieving your life goals e.g. academically, professionally or otherwise? Would you still be contempt if with child and potentially without father, local family, family member support, state education etc. nobody can decide or make these decisions for you, there is no right or wrong. But, for me, entrapment, not knowing the potential farther and trying to hold hands up and say ‘oh but this is all unexpected’ – In this modern day is completely inexcusable.
          End.

          Reply
      • Aspergered

        Not wanting to become a lifelong unpaid caregiver =/= ableist

        You can’t just put an “ist” or “ism” on something and magically change the underlining dislike. Calling someone weightist will never make them want to date a person who weighs 600 pounds. Calling someone “sanist” doesn’t make the reality of dealing with a mentally ill relative any easier. And calling someone “abelist” because they don’t want to enter into lifelong servitude doesn’t make people suddenly happy about having their lives utterly ruined by the disability.

        Children have a right to make reasonable requests. In fact, they’re entitled to it. They deserve a proper education and a safe warm place to sleep, proper nutrition, and love. But to demand a parent give up the entirety of their rest of their lives, to just serve and serve and serve, to no longer have hopes and dreams and a life of their own in perpetuity – that’s absolutely unreasonable. No one has the right to demand another person be a slave to them forever.

        We need better services for these people and the poor caregivers who have had their lives derailed, not shaming them for being unhappy just because it’s not politically unhappy. Shaming someone for not being happy because their child is disabled fixes absolutely nothing.

        No one wants a disabled child. They deal with it because they have to.

        Reply
      • Jeremy

        I bet they’re glad they aren’t your parent either.

        Reply
      • Happily a mother

        I know it’s sad. Truly sad! So many selfish individuals. I wish they would see there is so much more to life than getting what you want all the time. Life isn’t even like that! You know the risks of having a child could mean they have a issue even if they ended up in a car accident needing around the clock care. That’s just the thing. Anything in life worth anything truly at all comes with sacrifice. But did you know people who sacrifice are actually happier and last in marriages or relationships. So it’s not that they last they are actually happier. So sounds like the missing link in all of this is sacrifice! If you aren’t willing to sacrifice then you will never know what joy is in store for you.

        Reply
      • Whatever

        “Saneism”

        Lol my sides.

        NO ONE wants a disaster of a mentally ill kid. YES, parents go into this wanting and expecting a a normal one. NO, they’re not happy with a broken, useless kid.

        Let’s stop pretending everyone is the same. A fork can be all bent to sh*t and be “unique”, but it’s also completely useless.

        Reply
        • Jenny

          We need to bring back institutions, orphanages, and asylums to put these useless kids in, instead of having them ruin the lives of other, actually productive people that could go on to have normal children instead but can’t because of the broken burden taking over everything.

          We, as animals and people, are meant to raise young, have the good ones survive, then have them go lives their lives and everyone move on. Parents aren’t supposed to parent useless resource-hogs forever. That’s why so many are miserable and kill themselves, because too much is demanded.

          Reply
    • Madison

      This is the most revolting thing I have ever read.

      Reply
      • Sara

        Wow!

        Reply
      • Anne

        It triggers you for a reason… if you were that happy, this would not be bothering you at all. But deep down you know is true and make you sick you didn’t thought of it and you now just have repressed regret.

        Reply
      • Weaselina

        You must lead a sheltered life. I read stories every day about kids being sold by their parents to other people for sexual abuse.

        And that is one more reason a lot of people don’t want kids.

        Reply
      • Jeremy

        No one want’s a defective kid, go to any support meeting. They all hate their lives and who can blame them, no one signs up to be a slave to someone forever.

        Reply
    • Rachel

      This is one of (so many) reasons I didn’t have kids. Our pro-natalist society really pushes all of us to do so, and is evermore encouraging of putting off having kids, but there are real risks as far as popping out a special needs kid (the age of the mom AND the dad play a big part in autism). I got pregnant this year at 42 and aborted.

      I am so sorry you are struggling, and I hope you find more support and strength to cope. I have heard from so many parents who are in your shoes that caring for a special needs kid all but consumes their lives. It isn’t easy. I imagine no one would want that.

      Reply
    • Grateful

      Anna, I can’t thank you enough for such an honest response. I’m sorry for the situation you’re in. Please know your honesty has helped another.

      Reply
    • Sara

      I feel for you Anna. It is so painful. You have the right to express your despair and I am glad some of us heard you. I think it is natural for ALL parents to feel some regret since parenting is brutally hard. I feel sorry for those who bottle it up and vent in under another name. THAT is lethal to children.

      Reply
    • brin

      You’re not alone! As an autist, I feel the same way about having to constantly interact with non-autistic people. I hope that one day scientists can create the oft-mentioned “vaccine that causes autism” and free us all from this neurotypical hell.

      Reply
      • Lol sure

        Yeah I’m sure a country full of hand flappers that can’t stand the sound of someone chewing would go over real well.

        How about the adult autists take these awful autistic children? That would be a great start, you can build your little clucking chicken and poop smearing world, and we can stop forcing able bodied parents to throw away their lives to take care of a person who will never be more than a burden.

        Reply
  21. Neoan

    I have never had this urge other People have to have kids or familj. I am 34 now, and still dont have kids. I neither feel strongly about having them or not having them and I dont really like kids that much, but then again im not a fan of People overall haha. So sometimes I mest little People and Adobe them, and sometimes I dont like them, just like adults. And I get all the logical arguments, but listening to the “no to kids”-crowd, they all sound a bit bitter… 🙁 I think alot of People dont realise that the reason they dont want kids, is because their family/parentes have failed them somehow so relationships are “scary” For them.

    Reply
  22. Kal Louis

    Covid is just an eye opener,,,, billions of orphans,poverty, trafficking,forests being destroyed to accommodate population,Poor innocent animals getting endangered are a few examples of breeding…
    Every person wants to breed to spread their genes,,,they don’t adopt ….how selfish how egoistic is that??? You can have kids after there are no orphans and poverty….till that stop breeding….stop being selfish for once…..it’s nauseating to see baby mamas breeding teens breeding,19 and plus counting and breeding while new norms are dumped in garbage,foster kids are growing immensely….children leave after they’re 18,,,,just for 18 yrs you want to spend more than a million dollars for what???they’re not gonna take care ,,,you’re gonna end up in a retirement home,,,,die sad alone and with regrets,,,,,stop being a hypocrite adopt and adopt dogs they’ll be more loyal giving you unconditional love,,,stop breeding pls,,,you don’t have Mandela, Abraham Lincoln or Gandhis gene that needs to spread…we are all worm food…do something useful save the animals, orphans and environment before this short life ends

    Reply
    • Kim

      Because adoption is often more complex and expensive than having biological children. One doesn’t just pop down to the orphanage and pick out a child. Lawyers, home study, parenting classes, finding an agency, so much money than many prospective adoptive parents must hold fundraisers, waiting, placement; and after all of it adoptions can fail and the process started over.

      Reply
      • Liv

        I was just going to respond the same

        Reply
    • John Fred

      I want my own children. Why should I look after someone’s else’s? Maybe you should tell them not to have them in a first place if they cannot look after them?
      Your comment doesn’t make a sense!

      Reply
      • Sour

        …because they have your dna

        Reply
    • Georgia

      what is the point of life for you?
      who cares about orphans and puppies when your life is meaningless and orphans and puppies lives are meaningless too in your opinion. Just live a long selfish life only looking for pleasure before you die.
      But as for me, I live by this motto

      “I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them, I shall live my life.”

      instead of hiding from COVID or refusing to have kids because “It’s a lot of work and It harms the environment” I will have my ten kids (which is what I want to have) AND I WILL LIVE MY LIFE! And when I die I will embrace God and live in eternal life. And COVID or climate change or hell won’t stop me from achieving this. I am thirteen and I have a long way to go before I have kids but I hope I’ll reach it 😊

      Reply
      • Grace

        wow. You are profound for 13.

        Reply
      • Weaselina

        Thirteen years old and you just know everything about life. I am sure there is no religious brainwashing there.
        How about this: some people don’t like kids. And some like kids but don’t want them. Just because. It’s not their thing.
        I like horses, but I don’t have a yard and don’t want to spend my time and money on one.
        Some people come from abusive families and have no one they’d have trusted enough to have kids with.
        Some people mind their own business and don’t go online judging people they don’t know for living their life the way they want, in a way that is hurting no one.
        But some people have kids, and brainwash them into believing that they are “supposed” to do things, because “god said so. “
        I bet I know which of the above types you are!

        Reply
        • Liv

          I don’t get your point. They are speaking their truth. Who or what are you speaking for ?

          Reply
    • Tony

      Beautiful Kal…I have been thinking this since I was a teen.I am 57 never had kids,have at least 25 nieces and nephews so saw early on it was not for me.Greatest thing I never did.My 47 year old nephew just met a wonderful woman same age as him and I like her because she never had kids,she is stress free and one of the coolest people I have ever met.Humans are so self important.The Planet does not nor ever needed us.

      Reply
    • Doesn’t matter

      Most of the kids placed for adoption have something wrong with them or they’ve been traumatized by neglectful or abusive parents.

      I know a lot of people think enough love will fix them but that’s such a naive view. Once small children are broken, they usually stay broken.

      And let’s be honest, no one wants a special or extra needs kid.

      Reply
    • Mark

      Kal the part about forests being destroyed to accommodate population (as well as enabling someone to make a huge amount of money!) really hits home. Just 17 miles from me that is happening. Wildlife habitat destroyed for several subdivisions and an apartment complex. The permit to do all of this was granted as the developer made huge campaign contributions to the mayor and several on the city council. And I live in a state where single teen moms are everywhere.
      Oh–I agree my pets give me unconditional love too. One’s now sitting on my lap as I type this and the cat is right next to the computer here!

      Reply
  23. Annmarie Johnson

    Kids are the worst mistake in my life. My fiancé decided she wanted kids at 40, and like a stupid ass I stayed. Now I gotta deal with an autistic screaming demon every day. I should have just left, now I’m stuck wishing for deal every. damn. day.

    Reply
    • Adam

      Few will see this comment so your direct attack to people with autism is futile.

      Reply
      • Anna

        Raising a child with autism is a nightmare. I’m sorry that fact makes you angry. No one wants this.

        Reply
        • Weaselina

          I dunno. We seem to have an awful lot of parents who display munchausen by proxy and love to have kids with issues that they can display as proof that they are such good people.
          I mean, look at all the mentally ill people grooming their toddlers to believe they were born in the wrong body.
          A lot of people would get no attention if not for the attention they can glean from their offspring.
          It’s disturbing.
          There are a few of them (looking at you, Grace) in this thread.

          Reply
    • Courtney

      Did you misspell death?

      ‘wishing for death…’

      Reply
    • Ani

      Why can’t you leave them?

      Reply
  24. Anonymous

    This was an extremely poorly written article. I don’t mean that the content was bad, although the content was also bad. I mean the actual writing style itself was at the level I would expect from a highly intelligent seventh grader. Sentence structure was poor, ideas didn’t properly connect from one to the next, and the mentioned scientific evidence wasn’t fully fleshed out (at least twice the author mentions that there are studies supporting his claim but doesn’t cite them, and twice he cites the studies but doesn’t say anything about what those studies did to come to their conclusions). There are trite little comments and phrases thrown in that illuminate nothing except the author’s own self-importance (e.g., “what’s the score, 3 to 0 for not having children now?” and “There I said it”, which should have a comma after “there”, I might add. ) Beyond that, this article doesn’t really seem to have any actual point. The writing was atrocious, and I struggle to believe that the actual writer of this article ever attended – much less graduated – from college with a degree that required any significant amount of writing outside of English 101.

    The article ends with some condescending comment about “hedonistic American values”, which goes completely unsupported except for some briefly mentioned but uncited articles. The author mentions that a lack of government support is a major contributing factor to the Parenthood Paradox, but decides to leave that thread completely unexplored in favor of leaving us with a condescending “life lesson” that is surprisingly paternalistic considering how anti-parenting this man apparently is.

    And no, I’m not a parent. Just someone who hates poorly written pop psychology BS.

    Reply
    • Emma R

      Yet, you want to be a parent. Hm?

      Reply
    • Stasa

      Whoever wrote this comment seems to be such a pessimistic and negative person… Couldn’t you find anything worthy and helpful in this piece of text?

      Reply
    • JC

      Please use care when criticizing the sentence structure and English proficiency of others when your own comments have punctuation errors and run-on sentences. If you are not interested in the topic, why bother to comment?

      I read this article to try to understand why my 25 year old daughter is choosing sterilization over parenthood.

      I have two children. Yes, raising them was difficult and expensive, but also joyful in so many ways. Without them, I would have had a long and lucrative career and a full bank account. Because of them, I have had moments of love, laughter, sorrow, worry, and pride that will remain with me forever. I have so many dear memories of the years when my children were young, and I was their world. They grew so fast and that time went by so quickly!

      My children are now adults. I respect and support the decisions they make for themselves, because I love them; however, I cannot deny feeling some sadness and loss of not having grandchildren in my future.

      Grandpuppies, perhaps.

      Reply
      • Georgia

        Look, you children might change their opinion on kids in the future it seems premature and selfish to sterilize yourself because of what you think you don’t want right now. Don’t let your daughter make a choose something that she might regret in the future.

        Reply
        • Sour

          There aren’t many people who regret that

          Reply
      • Ellen B

        That’s so sweet and considerate of you. You’re a good parent!

        Reply
      • Sour

        Good for her

        Reply
    • Scorpion

      Intresting, your narcisistic and overly arrogant and OT post made a clear statement about your present condition. I’m sorry.

      Reply
    • captain hook

      Irregardless of the content of this essay, your comment is extremely indicative of your overall temperament. Condescending someone with intelligence doesn’t make you seem more intelligent. It is ableist. You should know about ableism, yes? With your extremely advanced college degree, I am sure you have been forced to reconcile the moving parts of society.

      Very ill-spirited comment. You should be ashamed for displaying your vileness so openly. Gross.

      Reply
  25. Shawnie

    I am a 44 year old female and while I was open to the idea of children by around age 38 when I had not met anyone I accepted it was not going to happen. When I met my now fiance a year later we discussed it and decided that we both did not want to have kids. Imagine my shock last week when he came to me and said he wanted to start a family! He’s 52 years old and I will likely be entering menopause soon. It’s not just the logistics of pregnancy and the fact that I don’t want to deal with in vitro and such, it’s t hat he would make a horrible parent. He has ADHD, he is very selfish and is highly critical of others, all of which he is in counseling and working out, but still very much struggles with. I would never put a child in that situation. I told him this and he was very hurt. I told him that if he wanted kids he could go out into the world and meet someone who did, he said he was thinking about it, but I think I need to just leave. How should I feel I mean?

    Reply
    • Marissa

      I have adhd and ive noticed in boys in particular it seems to result in a ton of impulsivity or basically “sounds good in the moment or oh this is exciting! Without any thought of the long term responsibility. I think this is more common with people who didnt learn to self motivate/self regulate/see natural consequences from actions. And when people have been rescued from situations or always get bailed out, they really have a hard time connecting the concept that “i make a decision; that decision ultimately causes consewuences good or bad etc

      Reply
    • Rachel

      Yes, do please LEAVE! So many men are like this. Even older ones. “Now I want a family!” Like you just snap the fingers. THEY don’t have to be pregnant (at an advanced age, which is risky for you), and they know deep down that women do 80-100% of the child-rearing, even in progressive, hip, dual-income, leftist marriages.

      Please leave.

      I am 42 and have no kids and if my VERY amazing and patient and loving boyfriend said he now wants them, I would leave with love. You must do what’s best for you. Chances are that if he has ADHD you will have a high needs child, and those are incredibly hard to raise.

      Reply
  26. 22many

    Yes, yes, two lovely daughters.
    However, a fast tracked divorce and antagonistic court time (thanks Australia!), reactive defensive tendencies (thanks Mum!), limited social support (thanks modern social constructs!), an evolutionarily flawed decision evaluating mechanic (thanks midbrain!), a jeapordised biosphere and eclipsed peak resources (thanks immediately-self serving humanity!), topped off with a universal human mind that is egoistic and lacking inherent and sustained compassion – well, I can safely say that having children was an inherently and logically flawed action, and that the neurological correlates underlying evolution have won again.

    Reply
    • H

      Haha im reading this because i’ve been up again all night with 2 toddlers, at least there will be someone to wipe your bum when your old , only joking btw

      Reply
  27. James Hamilton

    Please read the entirety before commenting. Theres alot of comments here that are very ignorant to what the article is actually about. Feel free to make a rationale and educated arguement, but make sure first it is the prior. Don’t get defensive on what you think your going to read ahead, and instead just read ahead.

    From my perspective. I questioning potential parent turning into his 30s, it was an enlightening read.

    Reply
  28. Mama Bell

    I found this article insightful and amusing. I am a mother of 5. There are moments when I feel as if I have invested my life and talents into the MOST important pursuit in life: raising healthy, successful children.
    There are times when I feel as if I have WASTED my life and talents by doing the exact same thing. Why? Because kids are lazy. Ungrateful. Unmotivated. They exhaust you as you tell them the same things OVER and OVER again. They resent your input, no matter how insightful and necessary it may be. They do stupid things, then want you to fix it. Then when you help fix the problem, they still aren’t grateful. They cause fights with their brothers and sisters,–over stupid stuff. They steal. They lie. They are mega disrespectful.
    As a spiritual person, it makes me facepalm myself on a regular basis and say, “I get it, Lord, I get it.” Like God, sometimes I lament making the people that I created. But also like God, I also love them SO incredibly much. Even though they are awful. I see myself in them, and I want SUCH good things for my kids. If they would just clean the bathroom, make dinner. Stop lying to me. Things could be so much better. Alas…breathe. It is what it is. I have to tell myself that I did, after all, make the choice to have kids. One day, it’ll all be worth it.

    Reply
    • Dude

      Like mother like son. Lol

      Reply
  29. Rob

    Well there you have it. Guy thinks he has it all down. Hey dumbass children are important.
    Me – Economically stable – in love after 20 years with my sexy wife – make love STILL 2 times a day some days. Beautiful children and I had them in my 20’s.
    Sucks to be you people who spew venom into the world.

    Reply
    • Zed Fifth

      Your spewing venom Rob, you are. It’s called projecting

      Reply
    • Shaun

      Lol….sure. 🤣

      Reply
    • Jules

      Men don’t realise their wives are unhappy until she divorces. You left her to look after kids and give up her career. That is why men like having children. It doesn’t wreck their lives because the mother takes on the burden.

      Reply
      • Cindy

        THIS. Thank you! Say it louder for the men in the back 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

        Reply
  30. kiyo

    I’m a trans guy 35 years old. so cant have kids anyway but even if i had been a cis hetero man (or woman) i wouldn’t breed. don’t want to overpopulate the planet anyway and throw my DNA and genetics full of mental illness (thanks to my parents) out there. i love to travel anyway so having kids would prevent me from doing that and being happy .

    Reply
    • K

      You actually are a kind gifted human who cares about our planet….compared to hypocrites who overpopulate for their ego

      Reply
      • Weaselina

        Traveling is actually not good for the planet. Neither is your iPhone, or the plastic water bottles we drink from, etc.
        If you really care about the planet, you should also not have a lawn, golf, or ski.
        I can make a list if you *really* care about the planet.
        Just saying. This isn’t about the planet.

        Reply
    • EM

      Late to the party, another trans guy here. Same. Also I can barely take care of myself at the moment. I couldn’t imagine taking care of a kid.

      Reply
      • brin

        haha bro YES was not expecting mentally ill t4t rep in this comment section but I’ll take it

        Reply
  31. Weimin Sun

    Why am I here making comments? Yes, I have a very dumb but stubborn son who I just kicked out my house for a moment. I work extreme hard to give my kids a comfortable life but they fail to meet expectations. My entire life effort is a waste because of my kids. Without them, I would have a comfortable life. With them, my life is a complete waste of time. Meaningless.

    Reply
    • Bob Stinkfulla

      “With them, my life is a complete waste of time. Meaningless.”

      Please tell us why chose to have children.
      So many people say they’re unhappy because they bred, so I ask the obvious question. Why?!

      At the age of 7, I realized that children would make me miserable, so at taht age, 7 years, I decided I would never breed. NEVER. To this day, I remain child-free.

      “es, I have a very dumb but stubborn son who I just kicked out my house for a moment”
      Why would you do this?
      Do I need to repeat my Parental Duties Rant? it sounds like it.
      He did not ask to be born. it is your parental duty to provide for him. If he messes up, if he becomes unbearable to live with, you still owe him the necessities of life–food, shelter. For as long as he lives. Taht doesn’t mean he needs to live at home. It just means that you need to make sure he is provided for and deosnt end up homeless or dead from exposure.

      You also owe him the means to ensure that he is able to have a healthy and prosperous life. You owe him college or trade school. You owe him training in whatever field he chooses; Even if he wants to be an artist or a Theatre major and can’t get a job.
      You . Owe. Your. Son.

      Anybody who is unwilling or unable to do his parental duties should never have had children in the first place. Failing that, they shouldn’t be allowed to have custody of their children and should be considred for Mandatory Sterilization.

      Somebody needs to please think of the children. So few parents do this but instead breed like cats and dogs, dropping litters of babies whenever they want.

      Reply
      • Weaselina

        Most pregnancies are not planned.
        Statistically, it’s over 50% I believe.

        Imagine people drinking too much and making poor choices.

        Imagine people (often women) who really want to cement a relationship and think this will do the trick.

        Imagine people who are just not that smart and don’t think condoms and the like are necessary. If you knew how much men try NOT to use those you’d get it, maybe.

        And then there are the couples who are so delusional and think having kids will mend the rifts in their bond. Uh-oh, someone’s in for a life lesson!

        But if I had to lay blame at one big reason in the “I chose my own punishment” camp, it would be that society STILL guilts and pressures people, especially, mainly women, and tells you that even if you don’t THINK you wants kids, once you have them all that changes.

        So a lot of people are pushed into it by just everyone around them, and once there they can’t take it back, right? I mean abortions are only legal for like the first 12 weeks, not 12 years.

        So many reasons people who wish they didn’t have kids have kids. So few ways to sort it all out.

        Reply
      • Why does everyone say the same thing

        “Why have kids if you weren’t gonna be happy” is a question I see so often.

        It’s the same answer as anything else. Why did you get that degree that you regretted? Why did you move to that place you regretted? Why make a career change you regretted?

        Because you thought the reality was going to be better than it was. Parenting is no exception. You can want a child and be ready and willing to parent them – only to end up with a high needs temperamental sh*t that you love but deeply regret.

        Like any other decision someone ends up regretting – the imagined life does not match the reality. People regret choices they’ve made all the time and parenting can be one of them.

        Reply
  32. Laura

    I’m 59. I have two daughters whom I love, but if I were to do it over, I would not have children.

    As we all know, they are expensive, and if your spouse decides he wants out of the marriage, usually the mother ends up with both the financial burden and the majority of the child care. Even when married, the woman still ends up with the majority of the child care burden.–laundry, clean up, doctor’s appts, meals, homework help, teacher meetings, entertainment, transportation, clothes purchasing, and other general care.

    Having children can permanently wreck your body. You may get and keep horrific stretch marks on both your abdomen and breasts. The ligaments in your abdomen may stretch and no amount of exercise will take them to their pre-pregnancy state. You may suffer with prolapse (falling out of the vagina ) of your uterus, bladder and rectum, which can contribute to urinary incontinence among other issues. (For me, I now stand up to pee or the urine won’t come out completely.) For these issues, doctors recommend a hysterectomy and/or other repairs, but from 5 women I know personally who had these repairs from different doctors they didn’t work and their bladders, etc. fell again. –The repair didn’t work.

    Even with the best of parenting, once children are grown, they may or may not appreciate their upbringing. They may or may not want to maintain a close relationship and want to spend time with you. There are no guarantees.

    Reply
    • G. Rob hart

      i think the large responsibility for adults having sex with kids should lie with women!

      Reply
      • Make it make sense

        What does that even mean?!

        Reply
        • Anna

          It means he’s sexist

          Reply
    • kiyo

      thanks for your honesty. sorry you had to go through all that. I don’t ever plan to ruin my life with kids, even if i’m a guy. not worth it

      Reply
    • Rita

      I agree

      Reply
    • Bob Stinkfulla

      Laura, so few people realize that childbearing often ruins a woman’s body… until it’s too late. The damage is not merely esthetic (stretch marks, National Geographic tits etc) but physical to the point of being crippling, even fatal.

      The damage is life-changing. A new mother who once enjoyed running marathons is hobbled by the body damage you listed as well as vericose veins, vaginal-anal fistula, hernia that never goes away.

      Also, child birth ages the body on a cellular level by 3 years for each pregnancy; it causes premature aging on the scale of heavy drinking or smoking methamphetamine. Young mothers always look old before their time unless they spend millions in plastic surgery.

      Medical texts give a grocery list of harm done.

      Maybe people should spread the knowledge on social media how bad for you child birth is.

      Reply
      • Grace

        Ridiculous. I had four , and 35 years later can still pass for half my age. Utter nonsense.

        Reply
        • Grace

          not to mention I’m more fit, limber, athletic than most anyone I know who is half my age. And have NONE of the medical issues you mentions. Seriously insulting.

          Reply
          • Over it

            You’re so modest too.

        • Anne

          Yes you can be more fit but your body changes completely after pregnancy and childbirth, this is not an opinion but a medical scientific fact. I know so many women that state that they look younger for their age and they actually look older. Your pic is conveniently blurred so we can’t know for sure. It’s scientifically and biologically imposible that your body is the same or even better than before pregnancy lol just your vagina is not be the same after 4 woman please you don’t fool anyone. I’m a licensed dermatologist and I went through medical school.

          Reply
          • Weaselina

            Right, women who’ve had a litter of kids are always super in shape and that is why men are always going on about how fit and hot they are.
            Oh, wait…
            No, men are always going on about how hot those teenagers are. I think Grace will just say anything to try to reinforce her desperate need to see herself and her choices in a way that frames them as “better.”
            Here is the thing, Grace: you might consider that not EVERYTHING is about you, and that even if you are not delusional, your experience is NOT most other peoples.

            That seems to be hard for you. I think you might be better off in a different thread for people who hate that other people live their lives differently.

            Diversity is the spice of bad, amirite?

      • Jason A.

        Wow. Talk about sour grapes.

        Life is not and should not be about how you look. That is not what we’re here on earth for. We’re not on earth to see how good we can look and how fit we can become. No matter how fit or healthy a person is……..they will one day die. No one is immortal.

        I’d say I’m sorry that life threw you some curve balls and your life didn’t pan out the way you hoped it would….but I’m not sorry. Someone like you would make an absolutely terrible spouse and parent.

        You’re shallow. I don’t know your age but maybe with time there is hope that you’ll evolve. As long as you view things through the lens of how something is going to make you look (excessive pride), you’ll never be satisfied in life. And will make others around you miserable.

        My advice would be to partake in some existential counseling to get to the root of your deep unhappiness. Maybe it’s because you’re childless? Maybe it’s something deeper.

        Reply
  33. Anon

    Just setting the scene here, but when parents ask:

    “Do you have children?” and I respond with a blunt “no”….the look of their faces of disappointment is often followed with a swift “to be honest, I believe my dog is easier to look after”.

    I’m 40 years old and have gambled with the concept of parenting for a while now. My main reference point of believing that children are not for me is that I often look at my friends (who have children) and see them tired, unfulfilled, arguing and quite frankly confused with their own decisions making. Sometimes the evidence is right in front of you!

    I often hear the church / religious point of view (which no doubt was chipped into my mindset during a young period of time) which states ‘god’s will’ and ‘children are a blessing’ – but I don’t quite believe it and feel it’s a big overall lie! Go figure 😉

    Now at 40, I get to play the sports I love regularly with a good set of friends. I have more money availability and travel (albeit not the past year for obvious reasons) to some interesting places. I’ve managed to pay off our mortgage by the time I was 39 and love the cottage we live in.

    I would like to stress that young individuals aren’t not quite designed to make the correct decisions during their 20s – and it feels somewhat unfair that young people are all gooey with their babies one moment (i.e. in love)…whereas they’re upset with future bills, prices and problems associated with their children in the long run…which tend to arrive later in life.

    I now have 4 friends children as god children! Yes, 4! Me and my girlfriend often drop hints in front of our friends when they arrive with new babies…as to disassociate the idea of feeling sorry for us and signing us up for new responsibilities. I have a investment fund building for each of them, so by the time they’re 18, they’ll have a small money account…no doubt to blow on a big night out in town lol!

    I’ve always been the against the grain person, and feel it establishes me as who I am. I get on well with children and can have a good giggle with them. But…keep those little ones away from my spreadsheet please! I still have India, South America and New Zealand to visit!

    Another thing to share is that I have a neurological condition which can affect my temper…so, why would I have children? Wouldn’t it be mean to share my varied temper with children? I would, without blowing my own trumpet, believe this as considerate decision making. Also, I’m delighted to have made it this far in life, unfortunately my medical condition (which involves seizures) arrives without warning, which essentially means it could be shorter than the average person. Again, another reason why bring known trauma into a child’s life when his father leaves early on.

    My life…my planning!

    Off to walk the dog now 🙂

    Reply
    • Kal Louis

      Well done hats off to you guys

      Reply
  34. Susan

    I am now 73, had two kids with my first husband. I raised them alone once he and I split when they were 3 and 7. They are now grown, married and have kids of their own.
    My ex wasn’t a part of their lives after the split and did not pay child support or help with child care. I had known him for many years before we married; I thought he would be a part of their lives after we split but I was wrong.

    It was very hard, financially, emotionally and personally draining. I did the best I could. My daughter turned out fine.
    My son who was the oldest, is mean to his kids, has become a bitter angry tired old man married to a person very similar to himself. I am estranged from him and his family; they are not the kind of folks I would like to have in my life.
    I now know that I would never have kids again. My opinion is it is not worth the time, trouble , money or effort I put into it.

    Reply
    • Marissa

      So if you could do it all over again, you would change your mind about having your daughter? You would be okay with her not being a part of your life..?

      Reply
    • Weaselina

      A lot of women are coming out (and taking a lot of extreme hostile fire over it) for their true feelings about what should be obvious: raising kids is hard and often thankless for many, and a lot of times the kids have no relationship with you or you don’t like them as people.
      I see a lot of people whose health fell apart or when their relationship failed they were the one on the hook alone, and it was just a bitter reminder of that.
      It is what it is.
      We are all of us family here on earth. You can always find people with whom to commune.
      Women who tell the truth are still being treated like they are evil for doing so, when it is in fact a great service.
      In my experience, the people who REALLY want and love kids are the people who should have kids. They are the ones who turn out really well adjusted, happy people.
      Look around. So many people are terrifying as parents. They put tons of pressure on their kids, medicate them because they can’t stand kids acting like kids (raucous and noisy, messy and unruly little animals) and if covid highlighted anything, it was all the people who were horrified and miserable at being “stuck” at home with their kids (gasp). Like, I am supposed to feel sorry for them. If you love them so much, you should be happy to be together. Or at least not miserable.

      Thank you Susan, for telling people the truth. It’s not always sunshine and roses, and it can be painful for a lot of parents.

      Reply
  35. esmeralda

    I second you on that one Jane. My father was an absolute animal – a narcissistic abuser. I naively thought when I grow up we will clear up all the mess – have a few conversations and he will see “all the evil he mistakenly did”. The rage you go through when you realize your parent knew – he just did not care. He lives happily in absolute denial in perfect health condition being 82 years old while I struggled all my life with anxiety, depression and CPTD. My experience as a child was extremely bad. Mom was a co-dependant and naive parent. I am at war every day to just keep myself above water mentally. With 8 billion people breeding like bunnies, it is better to stay childfree. Children will suffer from the climate changing rapidly, even if you are financially secure. Those less fortunate will fight for their life in the coming decades.

    Reply
    • Bob Stinkfulla

      What you went through is awful.

      I find that it is as you say. BAd parents aren’t capable of caring about the harm they did to their children. They put less thougth into their children’s well-being than the stray bitch dog that drops a litter of puppies in the alley.

      My own father said,” Bobbie, you shoudl have kids. They are like dogs. They are stupid, and you can do anything you want to them, and they’ll still love you.”

      Those who had bad parents will spend the rest of their lives trying to undo the damage their parents did.

      Reply
  36. Ccjh

    Hi,
    Old tread, I don’t think it matters
    If you have a passion to have children do it. If you are not maternal don’t. We all have different ideals and for some people they have a life plan that involves being parents. Yes it’s going to be hard but embrace it if it’s your passion and hopefully you have not underestimated the reality and demands.
    For me I couldn’t do it, I already knew I would never be a good mother I’m really moody and reactive.
    I didn’t want to bring a child into my world it would not be fair.
    I’m really unpredictable and reactive so I don’t think that is acceptable. Children are far too challenging for my personality. And I didn’t ever want to damage an innocent because I lost my temper.
    It’s not like I would physically hurt a child or harm but I’m not sure I have the ability to deal with the various challenges parenting involves.
    I’ve seen how harmful parents can be to their children. I sometimes think parents shouldn’t have the right to guide a new soul into our world without certification.
    It’s a massive responsibility.
    I don’t judge people as selfish for not having children
    It’s a selfless act most likely
    We all understand our flaws and if you have a heart you would not want offspring to be the brunt of them
    People that decide to have them need to realise why the child free choose not too
    I chose not too because I’ve been treated in ways no child should be and unfortunately I fear I would do the same to my own if I had any
    I don’t want to lose my temper damage another life I’m already damaged I am breaking the cycle

    Reply
  37. Jack

    This article oddly hit me because I am a parent, and I am super happy, and everything out there seems so negative. So I dug in. There is a reasonable explanation for when and how children bring happiness or sadness—financial stress. Whether parents feel happy or not is directly related to how much financial stress they are under. This would also explain why countries with better social programs where parents can work report greater happiness. Me? Completely debt-free with a good income.

    So children can give you life satisfaction and make you happy if you can afford them.
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/the-asymmetric-brain/202010/do-children-actually-make-their-parents-happy

    Reply
    • Annie

      My parents were financially stable. My siblings and I grew up with everything we needed, wanted, and more. We went to nice private schools and lived in nice neighborhoods.

      My dad worked and my mom stayed home. They seemed pretty miserable in their relationship and it was an emotionally unhealthy household. We all grew up with issues – anxiety, depression, ADHD etc that required therapy. As adult children, we look back with some hurt and frustration. I feel we were emotionally neglected to a degree. Sometimes I wonder, WHY did the have us kids? To accessorize their lifestyle?

      I’m 34, strongly leaning childfree. The more I think about this decision, the more I have opened my eyes and feel RELIEVED that I don’t HAVE to have children. What freedom!

      Reply
      • Shawnie

        ADHD anxiety and depression are quite often hereditary but back then likely were not diagnosed. So it’s possible they were they were unhappy and emotionally unhealthy because they were also suffering but had no idea? The had kids because that was what was expected of them. I mean back then you were shamed horribly if you did not. Now it’s much more acceptable. I don’t have kids and I agree. I always say our parents did the best they could with what they had.

        Reply
    • Weaselina

      Yes. That is a huge thing.

      But also, having a large family support network, good examples set by parents and family around how healthy families function, and in general a desire to have kids in your life, doing as kids do.

      It seems so obvious, but so many do it out of obligation or accident. And at the moment, I live in one of the states that does a decent job of taking care of it’s residents, and still had to raise the number of foster kids allowed in a home to 8 because the number of kids in foster care is so high.

      Our culture also dictates some weird terms for being parents, and people no longer have the right to teach their kids what they believe, as the schools are teaching so much whackadoo post modern, pro censorship type junk that any sane person wouldn’t want kids if they have to go into this system.

      But here is one no one has mentioned yet:
      Having kids opens the door to other people you might not like, or in fact you may outright despise. And the system floods in as well. So if you don’t like the system we live in and other people make you want to go live alone in a remote forest, then having kids is not a great prospect.

      I wouldn’t want kids in this country, where you might lose them to the state because you don’t believe as the herd believes.

      Reply
  38. Jonathan Wagner

    A lot of these studies were culturally restrictive. New studies show that happiness in parents is geographic and based on social and economic policies. In certain countries, parents are happier than non-parents. Near the bottom of the list in the USA. So maybe you should have kids, just not in the USA.

    Reply
    • esmeralda

      Money (financial security) is clearly an important factor. An intelligent person would not choose to have children without stable background. It is just sad to see scores of children who live in dire conditions. Many are actually used as workforce/slaves by their parents or just trashed all their life by their disingenuous and selfish parents.

      Reply
    • Deb

      There are challenges, as well as benefits to parenthood. Finding a balance, as well as trying to not put all your happiness eggs into the child basket (seems a silly expectation to me). Expecting only happiness with no struggles is just not realistic, especially in today’s world. (but still true in the best of circumstances) Our systems, just a few generations back were useful and helpful in turning out bright and well adjusted people. Nowadays one has to take on much more personal responsibility because our systems are failing us terribly. A monumental task turned nearly impossible, without proper considerations all around. Yes indeed.

      Happiness, generally speaking, should never be pre-set upon a person or thing that is “outside” oneself. You have no real control over whether or not this new person in your life will have the power to make you happy. Probably not. However you have all that power for yourself, if you take the controls. It has always been the little unexpected things that happen in parenting that give joy. Lotsa work and worry and struggle, for a few rare moments that are “priceless” it has always been a trade off, in this way. A new thing, a new car, for example might make you happy, as perceived, but that happiness is a fleeting thing. Buyers remorse, for example, can easily destroy that happiness, and it often does.

      So, the wisdom to be found here, is to work on making yourself happy, first. If you are solid and content as an individual, then have a child without taxing that poor child with the responsibility of providing your happiness. Now, you’ve got something you can work with. You control your own happiness, and then you teach the child to do the same.

      Still a tall order of business, but a much healthier and sensible/practical approach overall.
      Don’t cha think?

      Reply
    • Boob

      Yep, that’s pretty much it. Culturally, the USA isn’t a place you should want to raise children (unless you’re rich or wh*te). A lot of my peers and millennials don’t want to have children because of the cost of having one, lack of healthcare, and not being mentally or financially ready. That being said, I did have a child recently and I am neither mentally nor financially ready. We are doing okay though but as a single mom, it’s hard to work 2 jobs and want to raise/take care of your child.

      I like the fact that more women are not having children and are not getting married.

      Reply
      • Bob Stinkfulla

        Times have changed. USA is a bad place to have children even if you’re white. The only thing that can make it possible is if you’re rich as President Trump and can send your children away to foreign boarding schools to be educated and kept away from the bad culture.

        The culture and the public school system are absolutely toxic. Children shouldn’t be exposed to that.

        Reply
  39. Anna

    My son has adhd and odd and parenting him has been the most miserable experience of my life. I regret him every single day.

    Reply
    • Tosin

      Wish I could help. #work #job

      Reply
    • Natasha Cooper

      Hugs!!!!! I feel what you said!! HANG IN THERE!!!!! <3

      Reply
    • Weimin Sun

      I will say my son is borderline ADHD. He is the biggest regret of my life. I would rather not to be born to avoid this mess. I feel hopeless. A quick and painless death is a blessing for me now.

      Reply
    • Deb

      Seems you are in need of encouragement. I wonder how many famously successful people in our history had ADHD? Albert Einstein was said to be a very odd child who misbehaved in class, and was given up on by the school system in His early childhood.

      A support group could do wonders. Create one if there are none available.
      Your child just might be so bright minded He is bored to tears with the system’s idea of education, like Einstein.

      Might be a silver lining here somewhere. Just don’t give up on him.

      Reply
    • Sheila

      I’m so sorry to hear this. I feel your pain.

      Reply
    • Bob Stinkfulla

      Why’d you have children? You must have known this was a risk.

      Reply
      • Josh

        Why’d you get upset about crippled in a car wreck? You should have known driving was a risk”

        Eff off with that garbage. People are allowed to be unhappy and disappointed.

        Reply
  40. Ben

    So good to read this thread! I’m single guy aged 36 and have never wanted the whole nuclear family unit thing. Being an out of work actor most of the time, a family seems like a terrible idea finance-wise, combine that with a strong gearing towards non-manogamy, and I feel that any attempts to start a family would end in chaos. It may well be my greatest fear: Being trapped in a resentful relationship with a child in the mix. It must be tough. I have a friend in that situation who often says how much he wished we were better informed about parenthood before we made a decision about it. All that said and done i dont want to die with regret. But I value my freedom highly. The question is, which would i regret more? Right now,
    it’s a clear No. And as mentioned above probably best those kids find themselves with parents who actually do want them and can support them properly. I can always play a Dad role on tv. That’s probably enough!😂 And I’ll make a great uncle. That’s plenty. Big respect to you all on your journey whichever one you’re on. I guess we make a sacrifice whichever road we take. Damned if we do, damned if we don’t. Blessed if we do. Blessed if we don’t. ✌

    Reply
    • Charlotte

      I hear you. I’m approaching 40, always thought I would have children even though I’ve always loved my freedom and am easily drained by others. I always thought I would because that’s what we’re programmed to do when you find someone you love. I’ve met a 44 year old man in the last year, we’re now in a relationship. His view is that children are a financial, emotional drain and something which takes away from your relationship. I absolutely see his point, I’m on board with him and I’m no longer at all bothered about having children. I don’t think I ever was, I just thought I should want them. The way I see it children drain your life force, you can’t control how they turn out. I’m looking forward to the future now as it’s fully mine to enjoy 🙂

      Reply
  41. Surfgal

    I’m 42, husband is 50. We don’t have kids. Lots of hobbies, travel and $. Life is good. I know not having kids is abnormal. Every once in a while I freak myself out, “Is something wrong with me because I don’t want kids? Am I going to regret this later?” Then I search the internet for articles such as this one and kindred souls in the comment section. Happy to see many others affirming my decision 🙂 Thank you all for speaking your truth and bringing me such comfort <3

    Reply
    • Alex

      I am 33 and my wife is 30 and we are at the age where we should probably decide if we really want them or not. My wife is a vegan animal lover and we have 2 dogs. We are leaning towards no but the biggest void is the potential regret for not having children later in life. If you don’t mind me asking, how has that played out for you and your husband throughout our late 30s? Any other insight you would share? Thanks!

      Reply
      • Lora

        To be honest, for us, my happiest years were both my 20s and 30s. We dated and married in our 20s and had our first of two kids when I was 30 years old. When they were little, I was over the moon. Sure I was tired and there were challenges along the way, but I was very happy and so in love with my family and grateful for my life. The real trouble started when my oldest became a teen. Noone tells you this part. The teen years has been the most painful and excruciating years. You are literally mourning the loss of your wonderful sweet child who adored you so much. That child has been replaced by a moody nasty ungrateful teen who is working to break away from his parents with every word and action every breathing moment. I spend my days reading books and articles on how to parent them during the teen years but still fall short. Yes, they say that’s all normal behavior. Yes maybe not all teens are like this. But based on everything I’ve read and talking to all my friends, most teens are like this. And it is exhausting. It’s emotionally and mentally exhausting. There are days that I wish we never had kids even though I was so happy during their childhood years. The teen years are a bitter pill to swallow and I constantly worry I’ve not done enough to raise good decent empathetic human beings.

        I just hope we survive it with a good relationship in the end still. However, more and more these days, teens leave home and never look back no matter how great their parents were to them. A lot of adolescents are now blaming their parents when things don’t go right in their life. I know a lot of great caring parents whose kids have shut them out after leaving the home. They’ll say things like “you were too strict on me” “you weren’t strict enough and didn’t show me enough unconditional support” “you didn’t give me what I needed and wanted when I needed and wanted it” “you punished me in 5th grade and it wasn’t fair and I never forgave you”. All actual things said.

        When I hear these stories, it breaks my heart. These are good people who loved their children and tried their best. They gave them love and birthday parties and guidance and time and affection and homework help and family trips. And suddenly, all of that is forgotten and these ingrates choose to disassociate with their own parents. It’s insane.

        Sorry I’m rambling. My point is, stick with your dogs. It’s a lot less heartache. You may luck out and have a fantastic teen and not go through all this. But I’m not sure it’s worth the gamble.

        Reply
        • Bob Stinkfulla

          Why is your teenaged son being hateful?

          My paretns beat me and abused me in unspeakable ways, so it’s hard for me to undderstand why a child who is treated well would behave that way. I was too busy tryign to survive childood.

          From what I read, the USA and much of the world is a more fscked up place now than ever in recent history

          With internet and access to knowledge teenagers today are more likely to know just how f*cked up the world is.

          They know about issues previous generations never faced on such a scale and all at once: global warming, environmental collapse, socioeconomic inequities, political breakdown, joblessness , health care costs, cost fo living, and never ending wars.

          The future is no longer guaranteed. Scientists who specialize in such things estimate that life has a 50% chance of continuing as usual by the yaer 2100,

          Teenagers might not be able to put these concerns into words, but the writing is on the wall. They know somethiogn is horribly wrong with the world.

          At some point, they’re going to wonder, they might even ask you directly IF YOU KNEW.

          Depending on your answer, or their conclusion, they will judge you, and that judgement will be final.

          Reply
          • Zed Fifth

            Bob, sounds like you are reading a lot of Facebook

        • Weaselina

          Yeah, our culture in the west is also pushing kids to believe their parents and families are the “oppressors.”
          It’s obscene.
          I feel very sad for people who are decent parents and their kids are falling prey to an internet and social media driven culture that seems to only revere abuse porn and hideously bad computer generated music.
          They say if you love something, set it free, and if it comes back it is truly yours. I guess that’s all you can do. Let go and just hold on loosely. Maybe these depressed and self medicated kids will find their way through it.
          But I can honestly say, when I know my friend’s kids are like that, I drop those friends rather than allow their kids to be anywhere near the step kid. But all those parents were generally permissive and the kids never had discipline. So…

          Reply
    • Mike

      I envy you a lot.

      I knew that having kids is a mess, but my wife insisted and I was too soft to contradict. Stupid fuck.

      Now I regret every day. I hate kids. I’m fantasizing about how good my life would be without children. I can’t enjoy life anymore.

      Reply
      • Keezy

        Can you give specifics? What are the things you dislike about it? It’d be helpful for those of us still on the fence about it!

        Reply
        • jelly

          freedom,just to go about anywhere without worrying about another human being,emotional demands can’t take this anymore,that include husband i also hate being married.

          Reply
          • Tori

            Sounds like you might have an avoidant attachment. Look it up, might help. It’s hard for us avoidants out there.

          • Tori

            avoidant attachment style*

    • Jacqui fisher

      Thank you for your words. I’m 33 and every women I know has kids and marriage while I have been in a ten year relationship my partner is ready for kids but I have not maternal instincts. Feeling so lost and I don’t think I want kids but I feel like if I don’t people will judge me. I even heard my own mother saying to my sister that people like me are odd that don’t have kids. It hurt pretty hard. I hope to be as comfortable and happy as you are one day.

      Reply
      • KIYO

        dont listen to your mom. its your life. not hers SMH

        Reply
      • Bob Stinkfulla

        Global warming, melting icecaps, rising sealevels, flooding cities, drought, famine, polution, mass extinction, ENVIRONMENTAL COLLAPSE.

        Outsourcing, offshoring, joblessness, increasing socioeconomic inequities, housing that’s so expensive that only BAby Boomers can afford to own a home, economic meltdown.

        Hospitals are so expensive, it’s cheaper to die. Teh so-called “justice” system is so hostile, even the innocent take a plea.

        Times have changed. Teh only people having children anymore are those who don’t know any better: places like Starving Africa. Down there, they’re blissfully and mindlessly popping out babies quick as they can.

        The “Golden Rule” says to treat others the way you would watn to be treated.

        Given a choice, I wouldn’t want to be born into this. Would you? I for one am not going to have children.

        Reply
        • K

          Exactly my thoughts,,,humans have done more damage than good…it’s pure hypocrisy…all these for children who grow up and leave after 18 yrs…plain stupid

          Reply
        • Crystal Soni

          @Bob, you speak about Africa like you’ve been there. 😂 America is actually becoming a ghetto, it’s easier to raise children in Africa.

          Reply
      • Weaselina

        I never had the desire for kids, and at 51 I am so happy I skipped that.
        If you want to have kids in your life, divorce rates are like 60% now, and most of those people seem to come with kids.
        And the way things are in the world, you could probably just stick a marshmallow on a stick and lure on home as climate change and global unrest and famine swell.
        So take heart.
        But if you don’t feel it, listen to that. Don’t get tricked by people who guilt and pressure you. It’s a big reason people end up with kids and are unhappy.
        If your mom is pressuring you, tell her you found our you’ve got fibroids and your uterus is not viable. Then get a puppy. And ask mom to pay for all it’s training and stuff, cu your sad about not being able to have kids. Haha.

        Reply
  42. Celia

    I knew when I was 13 I did not want kids. With every fiber of my being, I knew it would be a horrendous experience that would ruin my life. Somehow I sensed that once I had a child *I* would not matter, and it would always be about the child. I would lose my identity and always be the child’s mother, as if anything I did or said was worthless unless it was about the child. Who knows where that comes from at 13?

    Nevertheless, I stuck with that, and divorced one husband and lost one fiance over it when they said if I didn’t get pregnant they’d leave.

    I am now 66 with absolutely no regrets.

    There are some things that you “pay for” — no one to care when you get sick and old. Being the odd person out when everyone else is taking about their grandbabies. But it was best for the children I did not have that their souls land in families that wanted them.

    Reply
    • Davy Moar

      Glad the world won’t continue to be stained by your DNA after you kick it…
      🙂

      Te amo

      Reply
      • GS

        Haha the amount of hate you have for her is telling, especially as her choices don’t effect you in any way. The article must be true, parents are so unhappy they insist on dragging others into their unhappiness.

        Reply
        • Sonnnk

          100%

          Let it go Davy!

          Reply
      • stan k

        Please stick to your choice without judging others.
        People are unhappy, because of people like you Davy – that put them under pressure.
        What do you care anyway? You don’t even know her.

        Reply
    • Nicole Random

      I have similar thoughts as you! I am 34 and highly introverted, and I knew at 10 years old I did not want kids of my own. I used to have to babysit my teenage cousins children (YES, children) when she was working (or whatever). I hated that I was stuck babysitting children at 10/11 years old. I love babies, other people’s babies, but I do not like children or teenagers.

      My Husband and I had the conversation about not having children before we were married, and he did not want them either. He was willing to have children if I wanted them though. Lucky for the both of us we have siblings with multiples. We borrow our nieces and nephews when we need too, and quickly appreciate our decision to be parentless.

      Reply
  43. no. Just no.

    I am 38 and when I came out at 16 years old to my Mum, one of the first things she said, apart from that it was no problem, was that it was sad that I wouldn’t make any grandchildren. I mean, she was right, but not because I am gay, but because I did a week’s work experience at my own primary school because I thought I might want to be a teacher. And from that experience I learned that for the most part, children are random, unnerving, chaotic, horrendous, destructive evil, creepily small agents of Beelzebub who know no reason or compassion and seek only to destroy and disrupt all that they encounter, rending the air asunder the air with their shrieks and curses and causing the very sky above to shatter and fall in shards upon the cowering masses. Hearing what the teachers said about them behind closed doors in the staff room, their drawn, pale complexions, and thousand yard stares… that was enough for me. What a revelation! Never looked back. Still shudder when I think about it. Maybe my primary school was built on an ancient burial site. Maybe I’m just not the paternal type. Anyway, I have a wonderful sister, and now also a niece and nephew and they are amazing little humans. They are ginger and hilarious and super smart. I don’t know what she has done differently, but she has smashed it out of the park with the parenting. And when they grow up I can pass on all my cynicism and bitterness and questionable life lessons to them in the guise of ‘wisdom’ without having to go through the rigmarole of adopting any of my own, heaven forbid… It has all worked out nicely!

    Reply
  44. Pita

    I read happy so many times it doesn’t make sense any more….i started reading “harpy”

    Reply
    • Miller

      Despite the use of intellectual thoughts and philosophical ideas this article and corresponding comments are laced with so much immaturity. And to those promoting their ideas on the motives and reproductive behaviors of others I ask…what credentials or authority do you have to make your assessment and/or recommendations? Do you have years of experiencing counseling prospective parents? Is your personal experience sufficient to make broad commentary on such an intimate subject as though it should be applied to the masses? Does the authors experience as an internet marketing specialist qualify as an accredited professional in reproductive psychology? Anyone reading this should consider the source of information before taking seriously any advise or making any conclusions. It seems irresponsible to publish conclusions about how people should behave knowing it will influence others when you lack credentials to do so. Maybe I’m in the minority that still values the authority and source of information

      Reply
      • Rachel Striz

        I really appreciate your objective response here. Sadly most people will skim the article to validate their parenting fears and move on without questioning the authenticity of the information.
        Also… why is the author using such outdated references if not to validate their own ideals? Psychology changes with the times!

        Reply
      • Ace

        I completely agree with you. This article is riddled with immature thoughts and ideas. I understand there are women who do not feel the need to have children because of financial instability as an example. My issue is that this article does not consider the feelings of women who truly want to have children such as I do. I will give my life for my children and I will nurture and guide them to be the best they can be. This article entices young women to think that having children equates with slavery, depression, and irritability. I assure you it does not. This writer of this article is a man who I assume does not have children, yet he has the audacity to claim that childbearing is pointless. Lastly, I fear our society has grown much too selfish. According to an NYT article, many millennials do not want to have kids because they want more “leisure time” for themselves, they want to travel, and do not have a partner. So, instead of working towards building a family, many young adults are having one-night stands and giving up on the idea of settling down and finding a true partner that they will love forever. To all of you who may read this, you were once a child. A child that your parents did not give up on. A child that they decided to raise and give love to for years. If you truly believe that having children causes unhappiness, ask your parents if they regret having you. Stop reading nonsensical articles such as this one and look into your heart. Do you want to have children or not? Make your own decisions and do not let others persuade you otherwise.

        Reply
        • GS

          Interesting that you tell others to make their own decision. And then proceed to judge negatively those who choose singlehood/ the child free life as if it is somehow more noble to have a child. The more people think about their choices, for instance by reading articles like these which provide a very different viewpoint than the mainstream, the more information and opinions they have to make their decision. That’s why they read.

          Reply
        • Jane

          Yes, I was a child and my parents DID give up on me. Father hasn’t talked to me since I was a child. Obviously forced into having a kid he didn’t want. Please stop speaking to the audience from your own biased views. Not everyone has your life experiences. It is more selfish to have children to full fill your own egotistical desires of continuing your gene pool or to find some self importance in your life. People just have better things to do with their life than have kids . I’m sorry it’s all you got

          Reply
        • M

          You don’t regret having children. I hope your children don’t regret you having them. Life sucks, even when parents try their best and like being parents there’s an endless number of horrible things that could happen to your children (and you) simply from bad luck that you can do absolutely nothing to stop. For what it’s worth, I hope y’all enjoy life though. I just wanted to offer another perspective since you think being child-free is more selfish. I sure wish my parents had spent their lives on goals that didn’t involve children. They don’t regret having me, but I regret them having me. Bringing a whole living being into the world for your own sake is selfish.

          Reply
        • Sonnnk

          Meh. I’m good thanks.

          Reply
        • Claire

          Your response comes across as if you we’re personally offended.
          Did you read the whole article?

          It does actually talk about children providing life satisfaction for many people.
          And a feeling of accomplishment.

          The point is that children don’t bring happiness.

          In psychology they often point out that nothing actually brings you happiness. You make yourself happy.

          So if you’re unhappy children will not make you so.
          If you’re relationship isn’t good they won’t make it better.

          And you assume that everyone reading this had parents who did not give up on them and raised them in a loving, caring environment.
          Many parents are emotionally unstable abusers, who not only mess their live duo but also their children’s.
          Often they come from a family of abuse and neglect and keep passing it on.

          When you work in fostering, schooling or psychology, you notice the amount of abuse in families. You see the children abandoned and neglected.
          Most children are not in holy nuclear families.

          You are dangerously naive and paint a rosy idea of family.
          Many people should simply not reproduce. They have too much trauma.

          It’s not a selfish decision to have not have children. Especially if people do not want to pass on their issues and want to break the cycle. There are so many children in the world already who don’t have a safe home.

          Accusing people of not having children of being selfish is ridiculous.
          Parents are the most selfish people. They don’t care about anything but their children. Or they traumatise them with their own issues. Try to make them a mini version of themselves or force them into what they believe is best for them.

          There a plenty of childless people who make the works a better place by helping the community, being there for friends and family (parents are often too busy loaning about their kids to help anyone else) and actually making a difference for the good of society rather than for themselves.

          Reproduction is selfish. You want to pass on your genes, make a family as you say. You want to see your kids grow up and feel pride. You want to show off to everyone about how amazing your kids are.
          How is that selfless?

          Selflessness is dedicating your life to charity and helping others nit making mini mes so that you can show how great you are.

          And going back to the fact that most parents are pretty terrible at it, just passing on the circle of trauma and abusing their children.
          I know maybe a few people out of thousands I know who grew up in a happy nuclear family. Indeed most people have so much family trauma they will need therapy for years.

          I truly hope you’re one of the good ones, but ironically you’ll always think you are even when you are not.

          So yeah try not to ruin your kids lives eh. Good luck with that.

          Reply
        • Emmeline

          I agree. I can not describe how tired I was when baby was born but it all lasted only two years. The sweet little girl is now 4 and sleeps 2 or 3 hours after launch and during the whole night. She is so sweet and nice and doesnt scream or cry or anything. We even go to the mall together and put some lipstick and perfume before we go out holding our hands… I mean I hate kids. I have always hated all of them and I always knew I will only love my kid. And now when I have her I only love and like her and I dont care about other parents or kids. And also I dont want to have another kid as I wont be able to love another one more than this one. 1 kid is the best. 2 kids is a hell and stupid decision. Being childfree is ok until 40 or 45 but after that it becomes stupid decision too and u become miserable old person who watches happy families through the window… and your phone never rings..because u have no one. No one. Also.. one more thing. Kids gro very fast…. very fast… and all this baby crying and lack of sleep during the first 1-2 years goes away very fast and u forget it. It is totally worth it. Ppl who dont want kids are usually the ones who want to have more leisure time.

          Reply
          • NP

            Emmiline Emmeline,…Lord be with you. Life will humble you.

        • Maria

          You are being very judgemental and moralistic about millennials for not sharing your views on children, and making assumptions on their sexuality (by the way, are one night stands to be banned just because you don’t like them?). This does not help with your final statement that people should make their own decisions. Unfortunately your comment shows all the moralism and prejudice that pressure people who don’t want any children into having them anyway.

          Reply
        • Marissa

          That dont feel the need to have children? I think you need to examine why you feel the need to judge other people for making a choice that is already stigmatized by people like you.

          Every person is an individual, every female has a different journey, and everyone has different capacity or desire to do or not do things in life. It is not up to another person to tell someone what they should or shouldnt do, thats exactly why so many
          People have kids thAt are not ready or dont understand what a huge responsibility it is.

          I do not want kids. I am very intelligent but i also have issues taking care of myself with codependent tendencies in all my close relationships. I am just learning at 33 hos to put my needs first. And do whats best for me. I have major sensory issues and cannot handle loud noises and am pretty OCD with my space etc.

          I can barely handle crying babies in a grocery store and am appalled at kids entitlement that exists and the way kids are raised these days. Its very sad

          Reply
        • K

          Hypocrite,,so many children are orphaned and waiting for fostering,,,,you’re gloating about your “precious” grandchildren,,,you’re gonna end up in a home,,, solitary life is what everyone gets eventually,,stop your hypocritical selfish ideas….do something good,,save the planet…save kids from poverty,,save animals,,,,you’re Not special,your genes aren’t gonna cure the famine,,,stop blabbering

          Reply
        • LD

          ‘Lastly, I fear our society has grown much too selfish. According to an NYT article, many millennials do not want to have kids because they want more “leisure time” for themselves, they want to travel, and do not have a partner.’

          This quote, right here, is everything that is wrong with society. How on earth it can be said that the choice to abstain from parenthood is selfish is inconceivable to me. This is not ‘A Handmaids Tale’, there is no low population crisis we need to solve, there is in fact the exact opposite. Regardless of this fact, I would never consider judging my own friends and loved ones for having children and nor would I expect to be judged for my own choices on this front – currently 33, female (if that is relevant!), childfree and a very seasoned traveller. I will never apologise for failing to force the single biggest responsibility someone can inflict upon themselves for fear that people like you might shame me…

          Reply
    • Anon

      I leaned more on the side of having a kid. My husband really wanted one because he was scared he would regret not having one.

      We both had long talks about having a kid and I shared my concerns such as, impact to the environment, how difficult rasing a child would be, the expenses, the lower levels of happiness in our marriage etc.

      What changed my mind was my husband saying that having a child would contribute to society in a positive way.

      Although there is always a chance that no matter how you raise your child they might not turn out as good humans, we believed we were both financially ready and educated.

      Now that I have my daughter, I love her very much. If I could turn back time I would make the decision to have a child on my own.

      The only regrets I have about having a child is the worry of something happening to her.

      In conclusion, I did not choose a child to make me happy. I chose to have a child to give her a happy life so that she may provide happiness to others.

      Reply
      • Stop Lying

        “n conclusion, I did not choose a child to make me happy. I chose to have a child to give her a happy life so that she may provide happiness to others.”

        No you didn’t. You did it for yourselves. I’m not sure why you can’t admit that.

        Reply
      • Mel

        choosing to have children is always a selfish decision, as is not having them.

        Reply
        • mx

          Not having kids to prevent them from experiencing whatever bad things might happen in the future is a selfless decision. Especially if having a family is smth you’ve always wanted to experience.

          Reply
          • Jabin

            It breaks my heart to delay having a child, because I love having kids around and spending time with them, but how do I make sure that my child has a healthy life physically, mentally and emotionally. I’m so scared of my child suffering, and this has persuaded me to wait until we find a good enough reason to have a child other than the fact that my husband and I want them, to me that isn’t a good enough reason. I’m not judging people who have kids as being selfish. In fact I don’t think about them at all. I don’t know whether our decision to delay/deny until we find our reason is selfless, but it isn’t selfish and easy and liberating as the judgemental crowd thinks it is, because it is heart breaking sometimes to realise that not having them now is an adult choice that we’ve made that is denying us the meaning that kids bring ( especially to people who love kids, like we do)

      • Sonnnk

        I’m sure your child will grow up to be a wonderful middle manager.

        Reply
  45. Aubre F

    I love this article, especially in a time where most things posted are pro family, and romanticize having children because, whose labor will be exploited in the future, if we dont all have children?? My husband and I have been married 17 years and we chose to be child free. It’s one of the reasons I attribute to us being together this long, and the fact we constantly nurture our relationship sans interruptions…… for the long haul. Having a dual income household in this time is wonderful. We do what we want, when we want. We both have a handful of degrees, simply because we wanted to formally study a topic that inspires us. We love to travel together, weather it be for a random night, or a month in Greece. Most people have children, whilst still being broken themselves, therefore continuing to raise broken people and pass down generational trauma. Instead of therapy, people try to fix themselves, others and their relationships, with children. It never works out and the divorce rate in America proves it. When we get home from work, my husband and my time is unapologetically our own, and lovingly shared together and with our animals. Being well rested, spiritually and emotionally nourished, and financially responsible for only ourselves breeds an environment ripe for happiness and longevity. We love our child fee life, and coming into daily contact with parents who want nothing more than to escape from their own lives, proves this point even further. Constantly we are told “Just have a kid you’ll regret it!!!” but misery loves company 😏. Life is good, and we have been extra responsible with our reproductive health, to see our child free dream come true. Many women call me selfish, but I know it’s a direct reflection of their jealousy of my own, although different, life choices. Thank you so much for this article.

    Reply
    • Justyna

      Thank you Aubre !!!
      That’s exactly what I think , that’s exactly what I want! We decided to be child free aswell …. What I want to say is nice to know that, there ,are people like us ❤️
      We love our company,we love our free time ,we love travel…. So many things we love !
      When we are looking at those ” happy parents- somehow ,they look so miserable 😂

      Reply
      • TJ

        Being a parent is hard, but you will never
        know what you’re missing because you’ll
        never be a parent. I won’t explain. I’ll just leave you to your obliviousness and list of pointless/redundant leisure activies.

        Reply
        • Alternate TJ

          Being a murderer is hard, but you will never know what you’re missing because you’ll
          never be a murderer. I won’t explain. I’ll just leave you to your obliviousness and list of pointless/redundant leisure activies.

          (For anyone who can’t parse this on their own, conflating the uniqueness of something with its value or superiority is a deep logical fallacy.)

          Reply
        • Sarah

          There are a lot of us parents that do know exactly what we’ve gained and what we’ve missed out on – and the sacrifice isn’t worth it.

          If I could go back I wouldn’t do it. There are an awful lot of us.

          Reply
        • Mel

          And you will never know what you are missing in a childfree life either.

          Reply
        • Sonnnk

          Keep telling yourself that!

          Reply
          • Billy

            You’re commenting on everyone’s comments with nothing but negativity and challenging people that say they are happy with kids. Why are they lying but you’re not, surley it’s subjective. Not every parent is going to hate/regret it and not every parent is going love it. People, overall are just so negative and self loathing I really don’t get it. (Not a parent btw).

        • Zed Fifth

          TJ , calm the hate. This is exactly what she is writing about .

          Reply
        • Mark

          I know what I would be missing—freedom both personal and financial. Sex would largely disappear, as well as the bank account (unless one makes six figures) as the $$$ all goes towards the kids. Hobbies and friends are mostly gone as life is all about the kid(s) Most of them don’t want to hear you talk about your kid all the time. You work 50 weeks a year and have nothing for yourself. Any stable person would soon be in despair. Those “pointless” leisure activities are what keep out mental states in good order—just ask any psychologist.

          Reply
    • Anon

      I don’t know how to post a new comment to the article, so I’ve hit “reply”, though this isn’t a reply to the comment above.

      I simply want to share a different perspective, particularly for women on the fence.

      I am a 44 year old female. More or less conventionally attractive, as well as bright, personable, caring, well employed (but not career obsessed), have good hygiene, am fit, healthy, etc.

      Nonetheless, after finding myself unexpectedly single when I turned 30 due to a tragedy, I have spent the last almost-15 years hopeful to find a new partner who,
      like me, wanted to be in a relationship and who wanted to have children. I should mention I was also totally open to divorced men with kids. I make a good living, but financially wasn’t (and am still not) in a position to become a single mom by choice, despite how much I have saved over the years. I don’t have any other family but me, so also I wouldn’t likely have had anyone I could truly lean on to help in an emergency. So I felt I needed a partner to have a child with.

      Perhaps it is because I live in a big city, but for whatever reason, I couldn’t meet a family oriented guy. The single men I met were happy to be single and playing the field on the dating apps. Most were happy to date me and lead me on as long as it took to (finally) sleep with me and then they would move on. Please don’t jump to any conclusions about the bedroom – I’m great, it’s just these men liked the game, and the lifestyle dating apps provide. They also would love to pretend otherwise until the moment that the relationship might get more serious. It’s our culture now, it seems. All of them, to a person, are still single and on those apps years and years on. The issue was not and is not me. I dated everyone from the apps that I matched with and always gave it a chance.

      So, now I am 44 years old, single and childless not by choice, and finding it so hard. My city has been in lockdown the past year, so I haven’t been able to date or move that part of my life forward during this time. My government also has done so much messaging about “bubbling with your family”, and for single people without their own family, it’s hard. You feel like an alien.

      I spend a lot of time wishing that at 30 I’d have had a crystal ball to know all that dating wouldn’t have worked out, and maybe I could have found the courage to have a child on my own, despite the financial challenges.

      Now, I will never know.

      The grass may always be greener I guess. I know parenthood is very hard for a lot of people. But for those of us who didn’t really have a shot, the loss is so real.

      I think I would have been a great mom. My only sibling died long ago, as did my parents. I was the only one left. I have no one to pass down family stories and heirlooms to, etc.
      I’m the end of the line.

      It’s hard. I think all the parents here are so blessed beyond belief, even the ones with truly challenging children – you at least know you had the chance to do it, that you took that chance. Some of us on this planet truly have no one, not even an extended family. I have no idea what I will do when I am a senior citizen, I am so scared I will be taken advantage of financially or hurt by staff etc at a state run nursing home (I don’t think I could afford private). I know having kids doesn’t mean they will look out for you in your old age, but a lot do. I would have for my mom.

      Anyway, if you’re on the fence, and you can afford it and you have support from family to do it, I think…take the risk. It may work out better than you think. It may work out beautifully.

      I google these message boards to try to soothe my angst about not becoming a parent or having a family, but all it does is the opposite. You’re all so lucky.

      Reply
      • This fence is hurting my backside

        Hey don’t get too beat up about it, focusing on the negatives too much is never healthy and we seem to be the only species who do this.

        Do you think you might be putting too much onus on having kids with a man (or a man with kids), rather than just having a partner to share your life with?

        I think most men like to just be with someone they love without fantasizing about how life would be different with one or two extra people to care for/deal with. The nice ones just want to put all of their effort into you and enjoy that process without having to think about children as the be-all and end-all.

        My sister is divorced with 2 early teen kids (ex husband is a real piece of work), and has dated several men, not because she wants more kids, but because she wants someone around her age and commonality to share her life (outside of kids) with.

        She said she never wanted kids at any point, but wanted to just be with someone, her ex-husband was fixated on having kids (Irish social fitment it seems) but after the birth of their first child he changed a lot (perhaps because he couldn’t deal with his wife’s attention being diverted so much to the child he wanted so much..). They ended up having a second child in a ‘whoops’ kind of way, he went through the motions but my sister could tell he was a different man by now and this new child really showed that up (I won’t go into detail but it’s not what you would call ideal father-daughter relationship).

        My point is, don’t think you will be lonely just because you don’t have kids, you will find a good guy if you keep going, and when you do make that your happiness time, what’s gone is gone, it’s not the end of your journey, just something you didn’t do (like billions of people who never do that one thing they always wanted to do) and to let that eat away at you for the next 40+ years is doing your one life on this planet such a disservice.

        Best of luck (which is just timing really)

        Reply
      • Dick Dastardly

        Thanks for sharing. I am currently in search of someone just like you. 37 single father of 3. I’m reluctant to bring someone new around the kids. Their mom and I (even though it didn’t work out) have the same values on how we want to raise them. I went from having roughly 2 days a year away from the kids to a couple days a week and every other weekend. 3 months of this led me to giving up alcohol. I look forward to my time with the kids and don’t really have a life without them. Everyone says that doing things solo is so great; I’d beg to differ.

        Raising kids is like going to the beach everyday no matter what the weather.

        Reply
      • Lisa

        You’re not the only one anon. I’m on the other side of the world. I recently ended an otherwise fantastic long term relationship due to a non compatibility over having children. Family oriented men are rare indeed these days. Especially difficult to find these things when you are 35 + and the majority have already been there done that.

        Reply
      • Emdee

        I’m so sorry to hear about your situation, my heart goes out to you and I hope you meet someone worthy who is on the same page as you. I was on the fence for years about starting a family and am now in my 30s with an infant. I am pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable parenting is for me with my little girl, it has really enriched our lives. Recently my nephew passed away and it really hit home how important family is to me, and how all the older generation – parents, uncles – will soon be gone. I’d love to have another child or two. My husband and I are also interested in fostering when our kids are are a little older. There are so many kids out there in need of loving. If you have the desire perhaps you could consider fostering? Or adoption? Loving a child in need would be a most rewarding experience I believe. All the best and take care xx

        Reply
      • Tosin

        I wish I could help…we would connect, talk, and successfully help each other get matched and hopefully pregnant in the shortest time. I’m 40, female, lovely (just like you) just maybe

        Here’s something I would try together if we were friends – a dating app called HeyBaby, because it’s for people who value the babies aspect of life. So far I’ve been too shy to try it myself, wondering if it would work, if it is weird, all that. I know, I would have thought that was everyone but apparently it’s not 😁

        Here’s what I’m now inspired to do for myself – be friends with someone who can help match me asap hahaha. I should do a TV dating game.

        Good luck, Anon.

        Reply
      • M

        If it makes you feel better, think about it from this perspective: plenty of people wish their parents never had them. Life sucks, there’s an endless stream of bad things that can happen to people that is down to sheer chance. I wish my parents had been infertile, and I’m pretty lucky compared to a lot of people.

        Also, so many people’s kids dump them in a nursing home or worse, and don’t care about heirlooms or your stories. You really shouldn’t have children for what they can do for you, because you can’t control another human being’s actions. Even if they WANT to do their best by you they might not have the resources. What if they were disabled, and you were stuck caring for them until you died of old age/stress then they get dumped in a home (which can be REALLY inhumane to disabled people, even these days)? I speak as a disabled person who tries my best to not be a burden to my parents, and is always exhausting myself trying to be less of a burden, but I still am a big burden to my parents. I definitely made their life worse, and when they’re gone I’ll be stuck alive, but I don’t know what I’m gonna do… My parents wanted a child! But I didn’t want to be born! Having children is selfish..

        To all prospective parents: Get a dog instead. You’re still placing your happiness as a burden on another living creature that was forced into this world and didn’t choose you and might continue to upset you despite their best efforts, but a dog generally won’t outlive you. Poor dog

        Reply
      • Deborah

        If my bf is financially/mentally/physically stable & responsible & willing 2 contribute 100% effort in parenting, I would B open 2 giv it a chance naturally (not forcing anything w/ fertility drugs) b/c he’s commited 2 do it 2gether lovingly as a team & not leave me w/ all responsibility

        Reply
    • Eowyn

      Haleluja! Leave the reproduction-burden to people of lower social classes. Let’s kill this darned family tree once and for all! *dead branches, wohoo!* Let’s wreck The World because guess what: our genes are nowhere to be found once the apocolypse hits.

      You and your partner sound incredibly immature. You should not have children, you should instead seek adventure and thrills.

      I’m saddened by the fact that you will never get to experience the biggest of all adventures and thrills: watching your kid turn to his or her belly from the right, when he or she has been doing so from the left for a month straight. Now that’s s trip! *dopamin overflow guaranteed*.

      Reply
      • Secret

        Stop being judgemental. It’s your choice to have kids like it is other people’s choice not to have any. If anyone is immature it’s the one who does not possess the mental and intellectual capacity to respect different opinions…

        Reply
      • Sean

        You’re calling someone immature when your writing resembles your average middle schooler. Yet what you said manages to be less substantial than that. I guess its the Dunning-Kruger effect.

        Reply
      • Sonnnk

        stay calm Eowyn

        Reply
      • FlOra

        What?? No one told me they rolled over!! Mind changed.

        Reply
    • John

      God I’m so envious of your situatoin you don’t even know–and to make matters worse, I even “knew” all of this prior to have 2 kids.

      I am MUCH worse off from having kids (we have a 3 year old and newborn atm). And yes, my toddler is amazing, i love him dearly, i spend a shit ton of time w/ him and we have an amazing attachment to one another. . .yet. . .I work my ass off, have no free time, and am otherwise miserable. My wife isn’t as attractive as she used to be. . .she was hormonal as fuck when pregnant, and a lot of damage has been done that otherwise wouldn’t have had we not had kids.

      I’m fortunate enuff to where my wife can stay home w/ the two kiddos, but then this means we don’t really save, and I continue to labor at a job I hate (i pretty much hate all work though to be fair).

      Had I been single, I’d have my house paid off, be working maybe 1-2 shifts per week, and have 300+k in the bank.

      Our culture is definitely NOT set up for parenthood, nor our kids meant to be raised in this kind of isolated environment. I mean this shit just doens’t make sense. There’s NO community whatsoever, and the burden fo parenthood for two people is outstandingly overwhelming. Can you imagine being w/ kids 24/7 like my wife does? Can you imagine coming home from work and having no “me time” to relax or do whatever the fuck you want?

      that’s parenthood. And unfortunately the way a lot of parents deal w/ parenthood is by using screen time as an alternative. There’s no community, but there’s screens! And your kiddos can built relationships w/ the screen and all it’s wonderful friends.

      Anyhow i”m just mindlessly typing but I agree 100% w/ Aubre’s assessment, and I wish our culture was more forthcoming about just how fuckin amazingly difficult and demanding parenthood is, and how, at least from my own perspective, it’s definitely NOT worth it.

      Reply
      • Billy

        See you say our culture should be more open about how difficult children are, yet all I see and hear from parents is how bad it is. Personally I believe it’s a Morden western thing, especially amongst my generation (millennials). Most people are relatively unhappy unfulfilled with or without children, I could be wrong but I genuinely believe it’s a cultural thing.

        Reply
      • stan k

        John.
        Thanks for sharing and thanks for point out pros and cons.

        Reply
      • Sam

        I agree. if I had my time over. I wouldn’t have had a kid.

        Reply
    • J. Carr

      Very smart. Wish I had made that decision.
      Kids, then grandkids, then great grandkids. It’s all a pain and hasn’t brought me any happiness.

      Reply
    • GS

      Aubre your life sounds amazing! You are spot on about misery loves company ;). All the reasons you stated are true, most people have trauma that they pass on because of wanting kids for their own benefit (wanting to be loved, wanting to have someone to look after them when older etc.). Selfishness is not thinking about the impact of your own upbringing/trauma on potential future children, and having them because society/family/friends/everyone says it is the only way to live life.

      Reply
    • Nicole Random

      My Husband and I had the conversation about not having children before we were married, and he did not want them either. He was willing to have children if I wanted them though. Lucky for the both of us we have siblings with multiples. We borrow our nieces and nephews when we need too, and quickly appreciate our decision to be parentless.

      I have heard “you regret it”, “you’ll change your mind”, “who is going to take care of you if your old age”. There are no guarantees any of these things will be satisfied with children, and I think comments like these are more of people trying to convince themselves they made the right decision. I made my decision not to have children a long time ago and my stance has not changed. Plus, my husband and I are highly introverted and don’t like noise…LOL. We even opted for fish and a cat over a dog because of the need to socialize and listen to barking.

      Reply
  46. ANOM

    Can I ask anyone this question?

    Is it okay that I’m happy? All of you seem to think I should be unhappy for being a mother. My husband and I are happily married. We have been together for 15 years. We have savings. We don’t want pets. We have a nice home. We have jobs with pensions and set to retire in our 50s. We aren’t in debt. We go on vacation (save pandemic) twice a year. I’m literally just asking because every comment against having children seems so sure I should be unhappy, but I’m not. I have a career I’m thrilled with, I have a good relationship, and stability with finances. I don’t expect all my friends to be parents (I have many who are happy being childfree, and are happy I chose to be a Mom). I happily raising my son. I am happy.

    Why is that a bad thing? Because this whole thread seems to think I shouldn’t be.

    Reply
    • This fence is hurting my backside

      I think the general tone of the article/comments boils down to people being unhappy if they are in a less positive situation as yours seems to be, rather than “if you have kids you must be unhappy”.

      If we had decent savings and a dual income we wouldn’t have any second thoughts about kids, alas we do not, ergo kids are not a luxury we can indulge right now.

      If you put on your empathy hat for a minute and see how others might feel (and therefore yourself) about children given one or more of the following:

      – You do not have a loving husband/do not have a partner
      – You have no savings.
      – Your home isn’t what you want and it will take many years to even get the house you always wanted, never-mind the cost to refurb to your taste.
      – You won’t retire at 50, you’ll be 70.
      – You have debt, not excessive debt, but enough that eats into your disposable income.
      – Your job isn’t what you aimed to do when you were young, but it’s too late to change direction now due to the above.
      – You don’t have enough money to go on 1, let alone 2 vacations a year.

      Pick a few of those, and try to picture life like that, you’ll still love your child and raise him the same way, but I’m sure your outlook will be very different.

      Reply
      • Noname

        I ended up here because I started watching “Sex/Life” on Netflix.
        I am 22 and constantly asking myself why there are so many series and movies showing that (as I interprete it) life will suck when I get married and have children.
        I read this article and was left confused.
        I read the comments and am left sad.

        I feel for all of you and wish that each of you struggling with different problems, the best outcome. I just hope life is not worthless. Because this it how it seems.

        Reply
        • Lolo

          Very interesting comment. I had a conversation with a 50 year old man recently who stated that EVERY single man he knows (and has every known for that matter) that’s married with kids is unhappy. He said that the men who get married and have kids and are inevitably unhappy down the road while the women are usually pretty content with staying in a blasé marriage and often describe themselves and consider themselves as “happy”. I guess this was astonishing to me. He basically said getting married and having kids usually benefits women more than men and they get the better deal. I was just kind of soaking it in that this was his reality. He even encouraged me to get married and have kids, and when I laughed said why would I want to be with a man who is unhappy like you’ve so described he brought it back full circle and said I’d probably be happy so who cares hahah. Very illuminating.

          Also, I watched Sex/Life and thought the same thing as you. But alas I am not married nor do I have children so I guess you don’t know until you know if that makes sense. There’s no crystal ball to see where our particular parenthood journey may lead, some may love it and others may hate it, obviously evidenced by this thread.

          Reply
        • Anon

          Not so much in a direct reply to you, I just couldn’t find the general reply button.
          I am a single mother of two, a 17 year old daughter and a 14 year old son. I’m 40 years old. I am single and disabled with many debilitating health problems that already make my life very difficult.
          My daughter is amazing, I can’t imagine my life without her, she was planned. However her dad choses to have nothing to do with her, it’s truly his loss. She is smart, bright beyond her years, talented, beautiful, reasonable, fair, and gives me zero bit of trouble, she is a genuinely good person. We are very much similar in personalities. Then I have my son. He was unplanned but I was still excited to have him. I knew when he was a baby something was wrong, he was always miserable, crying, biting, unhappy and very hard to deal with. As he got older everything just got worse. It has been 14 years of sheer hell for me, I live the same nightmare over and over again every single day. He has been formally diagnosed with ADHD, bipolar, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder ( the worst diagnosis a minor can have when they have no answers), explosive personality disorder. Despite all of these diagnosis none of the medications we’ve tried have helped him at all. I have sent him to boot camp multiple times, he’s been in therapy and sees a psychiatrist consistently, he goes to a school for kids with behavioral issues and has an IEP, he’s been in day programs and community service (all of which he’s been kicked out of due to behavior) he’s been in juvenile detention multiple times and juvenile diversion programs, hospitals, you name it. Nothing has helped and he continues to get worse everyday. I really try to do the best I can in this situation, I don’t ever abuse him, I rarely yell, I try and show love and patience, he’s well taken care of, I don’t do drugs or have random men around my kids, I live a clean respectful life, he was not raised this way at all! He is emotionally, mentally, physically and verbally abusive towards me all the time, also to my daughter and his grandma. This kid talks to me like I’m a piece of trash, disgusting things all the time, addresses me as fu**in Bit**16 and stupid, fat and ugly, cusses constantly, damages and tears apart my house, has given me a concussion, punches, hits, kicks, spits, slammed my arm in the trunk, and the emotional abuse has taken years off my life. The doctors keep telling me I have to lower my stress because my health continues to deteriorate, how can I when all of my stress comes from him?
          There is no escape. His dad has chosen to not be in his life and has never paid a dime in child support, so all of this burden falls on me. My relationship with my daughter suffers because she isn’t legally allowed to live with me because of my son’s abuse, so she stays with my mom and I see her when I can. My son is currently on a tether and probation, he has had 5 or 6 criminal charges against him since he was 8, nothing has been done because of his age. I’ve been trying to get help from the courts for over ten months and it keeps getting drug out with the judge giving him chance after chance, he has been to school once in over a month, refuses to go, he violates his tether every single day and runs away and leaves whenever he wants to, he terrorizes my neighborhood to the point that everyone hates us and I’m worried that we are going to be evicted, what in the hell is a mother in my position supposed to do? He steals all the food, he’s a disgusting slob, I can’t enforce any rules or punishment otherwise he will attack me and destroy our home, so I walk on eggshells every day while all he does it torments me, plays video games locked in his room, runs the streets and then sleeps all day. He also makes up extreme lies about me and is on a mission to try and get me in legal trouble for things I’ve never done. The police were at my home 76 times just last summer. My life has been threatened on multiple occasions, my home has been vandalized as well as my car, because people can’t stand him and take it out on me. Ive developed heart issues in addition to lupus, seizures, complete deafness, migraines, severe anxiety and depression. I have nobody that can or will help with him. I don’t have the money to send him to a boarding school or into a facility as I can barely make my bills now. Should I just be happy that my life is completely destroyed because I happened to have a child like this? Should I just let him abuse me into my grave or wind up homeless and lose what little I have because I decided to birth him? Nobody talked about these things when I was younger, I never even knew it was possible to have a child like this. I had my tubes tied after having him. I will always be grateful for my daughter and wouldn’t change having her for the world, she’s the best part of my life, but I live with regret every single day and would give anything to be able to go back in time and not have my son. I love my son, but is loving someone worth living like this? Had it not been for my daughter I would have ended my life a long time ago, this isn’t living, this is torment and hell on Earth every second! I don’t even sleep because he’s up all night long screaming and carrying on every single night. I lay in bed and ask God why me? I wish that I never would have had him. And if that makes me a bad person then so be it.

          Reply
          • Mark

            Dear lady I really feel for you. Having someone turn out to be a demon or having special needs such as autism is why many choose to be childfree. It would be wrong for anyone to fault you for something that isn’t in your control, I must say that your life may be in serious jeopardy. If he doesn’t take it out on you he’s going to hurt or kill someone else. He’s definitely a future state prison inmate. There are steps you can take to have him removed from the home. Do it before it’s too late. He is a danger to you and anyone in the vicinity.
            NO you’re not a bad person. Hugsssssssss!!!!

    • Anjali

      nobody said you can’t be happy, or you shouldn’t be happy, nobody said that. Its not hard for you fine, its not the same for everyone.

      Reply
    • John

      Of course this isn’t a bad thing. . .not even sure why you’d posit it, but okay.

      I will say you are NOT the norm however, and are an odd exception. You defy the statistics and my own anecdotal evidence. But honestly I’m happy for you, despite my own paternal misery. : )

      Reply
    • Raspa Oti

      Of course you’re allowed to be happy and that’s not a bad thing. This article is about choice rather than one lifestyle being better than the other or one person winning over the other. Either decision is ok and you are free to make it, rather than society and people perpetually telling you that having children is normal.

      Also, interesting that some of the meanest comments in the thread are from parents to those that choose not to have children. What’s with that?

      Reply
    • Louise

      That’s because you only have one kid.

      Reply
      • My bad I should have gotten my tubes tied

        Hey now.

        I have only one kid and am absolutely miserable 😂

        Reply
    • Sonnnk

      Glad you’re happy with children. Glad I’m happy childless. To each their own.

      Reply
  47. Max

    No kidding. I’m convinced that the people who have children because they really want to spend most of their life dedicating themselves to raising children is a very small minority. These are the people who when asked how they want to spend a Sunday afternoon, their answer would nearly always be “with my kids”. Nothing makes them happier than spending time teaching, cleaning, socializing, participating in school and athletic events, and all the rest… with and for, their kids. And to them, I say, “Wonderful! You SHOULD be parents, because it’s the thing that makes you happiest in life and that will make you great parents!”

    For the rest of us? Nope. A lot will do a decent job as parents, but it won’t really make them happy.

    Don’t get sucked into having kids because it’s what you think you should do. Don’t do it because you “want kids”. YOu have to also want all the burden and truly enjoyit. You have to actually look forward to poop, sleepless nights, irritable teenagers, noise, filth, lack of privacy, destruction of your romantic sex life, and all the rest. Yes, there are people who relish their children more then all they will sacrifice. But if you are not one of them, do NOT have kids.

    Reply
    • Justyna

      Thank you ! I would like you give you a big hug for what you said. Yes for everything what you said

      Reply
  48. Anna

    Wow. To hear most parents talk, their kids are the worst things to ever happen to them.

    Husband and I don’t have kids. Because I couldn’t.

    Just be grateful you could have kids at all!

    Even if you regret every second of it. And if you don’t like the first kid, don’t have more, then keep complaining. It’s sad to see so much regret and taking fertility for granted. Really damn sad.

    Reply
    • Dominika

      Just because you’re infertile doesn’t mean that someone’s struggle as parents should not be put to words or their regret should be invalidated.

      Reply
    • The Realist

      You only THINK you want kids because you can’t, otherwise you would adopt and stop the judgmental BS. Who cares about your desires in the scope of someone else’s life? Many ARE miserable with kids and wish they could go back. It’s crap on either side so get over yourself.

      Reply
      • john

        Well said.

        Reply
      • Billy

        You don’t know how she would be, just because you are your life don’t take it out on someone who unfortunately can’t have kids. And her point is 100 percent valid, why do people hate being a parent and end up having 3 or 4 children. People love to moan and blame their unhappiness and failures on others. Nothing wrong with choosing not to have kids but if you have them own it and stop self loathing, they can probably tell you don’t like them.

        Reply
    • Emily S.

      You CAN have kids. Only if you stop being SELFISH and are willing to adopt.
      That does not give you a right to HATE on those who can naturally have them and choose NOT to.

      Reply
    • Justyna

      See what you saying?!?!? Most parents hates their kids 😂😂😂 so concider yourself very lucky then 😊

      Reply
    • Mel

      So many kids in need of loving homes. Why didn’t you adopt? Or must it be born from your womb only for you to love it?

      Reply
  49. Luis

    As a father, I did what I felt I had to do at the time to give my 2 sons a good shot at life. In retrospect, I realize now that much of what I worried about did little to change their outcome. In fact, when I talk to them about outbursts/emotionally difficult moments that have made me feel guilty over the years, they don’t even seem to recall the events/circumstances around them. They turned out well, thankfully. They are both kind, they seem to be handling themselves well on their own, both in college, one graduating in a few months.

    My take away? if someone would have told me back then (before having kids) in a REALLY realistic manner just how mentally difficult, emotionally and physically draining, time consuming (20 plus years – minimum), and extremely expensive kids really are, I would have gotten a vasectomy on the spot without thinking twice about it, guaranteed. Instead I was fed the Hallmark illusion we’re fed about this perfect family with perfect kids, perfect pictures, perfect life…. that did not happen at all. Instead, it was the typical American family tale of unfulfilled expectations, fears, inexperience, different thoughts, different plans, the eventual divorce. That made things more difficult for all of us, but even then, we still maintained our agreed upon commitments/responsibilities to our boys.

    Looking at it all now, with the 20/20 benefit of perspective, I wouldn’t change a thing because I see that life turned out well for them and I didn’t croak in the process after all (even though there were times I wished I could just disappear forever just so I could get some peace). There is a certain satisfaction, maybe it’s just a bit selfish, in seeing them thrive and do better than I ever did as a human being.

    Reply
    • Emdee

      I’m so sorry to hear about your situation, my heart goes out to you and I hope you meet someone worthy who is on the same page as you. I was on the fence for years about starting a family and am now in my 30s with an infant. I am pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable parenting is for me with my little girl, it has really enriched our lives. Recently my nephew passed away and it really hit home how important family is to me, and how all the older generation – parents, uncles – will soon be gone. I’d love to have another child or two. My husband and I are also interested in fostering when our kids are are a little older. There are so many kids out there in need of loving. If you have the desire perhaps you could consider fostering? Or adoption? Loving a child in need would be a most rewarding experience I believe. All the best and take care xx

      Reply
  50. Kathy

    I’m 32, married for 11 years and I never wanted kids. We tallked about this very early onto our relationship as everyone should. My husband got a vasectomy at 28. There’s a friend my same age with 2 kids already that keep pestering everyone to have kids. She went to college but never worked. Now keeps repeating that everyone shoul have kids and that I don’t want them because I don’t love myself enough. It’s so hard for her that her only thing she’s dobe with her life is having kids. I have a career and I’m successfull by muself I don’t need my husband money at all. We can travel and do whatever we want with our money, and we know we are not making the world worst bringing more humans to it.

    Reply
  51. Angie

    I’m 31 and I’m undecided.

    I accidentally got pregnant with my partner of 6 years (at the time), at 28 years old. He didn’t think he was ready for another child, but I went and got the abortion without much thought.

    My dad was having an affair and my mom got pregnant. He never stuck around and chose his existing family. She decided to keep me, and while I’m happy to be alive, I wouldn’t wish this type of pain on my worst enemy.

    The very thought of my partner not having 100% chosen to have a baby was enough for me to not go through with it.

    Aside from that, the way I view having children is overt technical. You prepare a child to face the world as we know it. I’m not entirely sure I want that responsibility. I have a hard time picturing myself as a mother.

    At the same time, even though I’ve always found myself cold towards children, everyone has always told me I’d be a great mom. I have an “obvious mom gene”.

    And maybe that’s what’s keeping me from deciding. I know I’d be a good mom, and maybe that’s why there’s never been a strong urge to go through with it.

    But I have to decide because my partner is already a father and doesn’t want to be a dad again. And I’m on the fence, I don’t want to make a decision that I’ll regret. So far, I feel okay, but is it just because I’m 31 and feel like I still have time?

    It’s complicated.

    Reply
    • Dave

      You “accidentally” got pregnant???
      There are countless methods of preventing pregnancy at your disposal.
      What precautions did you take before getting “accidentally” pregnant?
      There is no such thing as getting “accidentally” pregnant.
      You’re obviously an irresponsible, liberal baby factory, that I HAVE TO PAY FOR.
      You’re welcome…

      Reply
      • Grace

        Jesus, this is a little harsh don’t you think? I would also like to point out that she was not the only party responsible for the pregnancy that could also have considered contraception. You’re obviously very liberal with your nasty and unsolicited comments, keep them to yourself in the future.

        Reply
      • Carol

        Comments like this is why I hate republiscums.

        Reply
      • Concerned

        Wow, imagine being so incredibly misinformed. Since you obviously never took a sex education course, let me enlighten you. No birth control, even when used completely correctly, is 100% effective other than abstinence. Therefore, there very much is such a thing as accidentally getting pregnant despite taking steps to prevent pregnancy. Unless you would prefer all women to refrain from sex unless they immediately desire a child I would quite kindly request you keep your ignorant and misogynistic words to yourself.

        https://www.emedicinehealth.com/ask_is_birth_control_100_percent_effective/article_em.htm

        Reply
        • Dr. Helen

          I agree, that’s a major problem. There is no contraceptive method 100% effective or 100% harmless to the woman. Even condoms hurt women with sensitive bodies.

          -Abstinence–my method–fails when the woman is raped. There is no way I can predict that. It has made my Endometriosis way worse than it was in the past.
          -Condoms break, might cause allergies and irritation, and also reduce enjoyment.
          -Birth control pills and patches might cause hormonal issues, mood swings, blood cloths, permanent infertility, issues with the metabolic system and fail when missed one day.
          -IUDs might fall, hurt during sex, cause infections and uterine tears.

          There is no single method either 100% effective or completely healthy for women. I chose abstinence because it is the one that makes more sense in my case. But it truly sucks to be a woman. I wish I had never been born.

          Leave Angie alone. She really knows what is like not being wanted in life. She is 100% right.

          Reply
          • Natalia

            Thank you so much for this reply.

      • Jen

        This is why all right wing men are becoming incels.

        Reply
      • Alex

        Actually liberals pay for themselves and then what’s leftover goes to the failing republican states. Lookup states receiving most federal tax aid and which states contribute more than they use. All poorest states getting handouts are red. So in fact you are the one who is welcome!

        Still unsure if I should have kids or not but I am sure that republicans make the country a worse place for raising them.

        Reply
  52. Paul

    This is an interesting message board. Childless people talk about how miserable, selfish, and self absorbed parents are. Then they pat one another on the back, justify their life decisions, unpack their past trauma and emotional baggage, instead of actually talking about the ideas presented in the article; which are few a far between. I don’t have a dog in this fight, but the arrogance presented here is a bit sad and off-putting. Like many click bait articles the comments follow suit.

    Reply
    • Lisa S

      Before having children, you should understand more about human beings.

      Human beings are the most DANGEROUS animals on earth whether their IQ is below 50 or higher than 150. Human beings are more dangerous than wild animals and viruses because ALL human beings have greed, self-interest, and tons of negative emotions. Only those who have very strong self-discipline could suppress their bad and natural instincts.

      Life is too short and we only live once. There are a lot of things we can do and enjoy doing in our lifetime, but raising children is not one of them. The best advice I had given to my two children is the following:

      Why do you want to create burden and uncertainties on yourself and to sacrifice your freedom, your time, and your money to raise him or her or them whom you have absolutely no control of the outcome and no way of knowing in advance what kind of human beings they would turn out to be? If that’s not scary enough, think about the best end-result. You are only raising and creating a good wife for other people’s son or raising and creating a good husband for other people’s daughter. That’s it. So, I considered being a parent is more like playing a sucker’s game.

      Reply
      • Isabel

        Wow, that’s a depressing sentiment. I feel sad for your kids 🙁

        Reply
      • PrincessLove

        Lisa; Thank you for being open about this matter, many people might dislike your views, but not me. You are perfectly correct! I was frustrated and depressed this morning as pain of feeling rejected by my adult children stabs through my heart! I’ve been very unhappy as a parent, and so I google that topic; I stumbled into this article. Your comment really inspires me. I have raised wonderful fatherless children singlehandedly, all done through through lots of hard work, so I resonate with your comment. My children are now adults, they’re all married and raising families; that’s a good thing, and a dream come through, particularly for us ingle parents. But, of what benefits are my toiling as a single parent who had submerged her life to play the role of father and mother? I can also be counted as one of those whose delusions of becoming a parent and be happy ever after – how so wrong was I!

        What purpose is my labor in life to serve as human producing factory, raising great and awesome people (my children) for other people to enjoy? Single parents (or parents in general) hardly give a thought of the challenges that lies ahead, when we pour out our lives to be good parents, we just do until we become very EMPTY! As you said, humans have negative emotions which we tend to project on each other, there’s no exception of this phenomenon happening in family units. I often ask myself if my children ever stopped to think of my own trauma from losing their father; he was also my best friend? My children are normal because they’re human beings by projecting negative emotions! Now I am learning never to base my criteria for happiness on children. And I encourage young people to think very carefully before bringing children to this world for the sake of happiness. The true source of happiness is inherent within our individual soul, in other words, your happiness is within, and not without. Other than what we are told from the Bible, “go ye and multiply…” there’s not much to having children other but labor and toil, in the hope that you’re creating further descendants! I wish they can rewrite that bible to reflect modern day life! And be more specific on social issues such as dysfunctional family, as we see in the modern day.

        As a parent, where is the happiness when I am struggling to cope with the feelings of rejection, as my children rightfully moves on with their lives. I will never blame them for focusing on taking care of their lives and family unit,, that makes me proud of them as a parent. However, where does that leaves me? I live with constant fear of getting old, and dying alone. I don’t even know how to socialize since my entire life had revolved around raising single parental family. It recently dawn on me that I have never truly lived a life of my own, and it’s not too late to start. I have lived much all my life as a sacrificial animal to family, siblings, and later my children! Sadly, having children was a wrong life choice in my own case!

        Honestly, having children doesn’t make me happy. Im not sure if not having children would’ve made me happier either; but judging from my own experiences, I believe I would be happier without children!

        Reply
        • Wise Soul

          We can’t change our lives dear. You would have had a very different life with no children but not any happier. My sister and I were like twins growing up. She had kids and I didn’t. She gave in. What we learned is…different life…same shit. I don’t have to worry about being sleep deprived. She doesn’t have to worry about being bored. Over stimulated vs. under stimulated. Structured vs. Unstructured. We can chose to live life however we want but there will ALWAYS be challenges because there are pros and cons to EVERY single decision we make in life. All we can do is hope we make the right ones for US and not based on other people’s input. That is the hardest part. Filtering out all the noise in life.

          Reply
          • Melissa

            Thank you for this, wise words.

          • stan k

            Thank you for pointing this out – Overstimulated vs. Understimulated. Brilliant comparison between siblings.

    • Noelani

      Pots and kettles much, Paul?

      Reply
      • Crystal Soni

        @Bob, you speak about Africa like you’ve been there. 😂 America is actually becoming a ghetto, it’s easier to raise children in Africa.

        Reply
    • This fence is hurting my backside

      What have you been “put off” exactly? The children of other people making comments about their experiences with their own children? Or the children of other people discussing/opening up about why they decided not to have their own children.

      Everyone justifies their life choices in any given situation so to say that is arrogant says a lot more about you than anyone else. Unless you never justify anything you choose to do, and just do it? Highly doubtful as even on a subconscious level you will have justified your actions at several points.

      I dare say a lot of people comment on here as a cathartic experience so to judge that is a bit shitty.

      Reply
  53. Theverytruth

    Many of us single men as it is have trouble meeting a good woman to settle down with, let alone having children. Women today unfortunately aren’t like the past at all which makes it very difficult meeting the one. So many women with their very high outrageous expectations today, and usually want very rich men which makes these type of women real gold diggers altogether now. So many more narcissists women all over the place as well.

    Reply
    • Anon

      I don’t think the issue is with women, it’s with you. You think women have high standards and you call them gold-diggers because you haven’t met someone who likes you back, and after reading your comment here, it’s easy to tell why. Yes, women have changed from the past, and in a good way, they’re more independent and confident. They’re not going to settle for someone who believes they’re all gold diggers just for not liking him. It’s obvious here that you are the narcissist, do some self-reflection and let go of your toxic mindset if you ever want a chance at finding a women who wants to spend the rest of their life with you.

      Reply
    • Richard Irizarry

      You sound like you will be forever single. Blaming everything on women instead of taking a good look in the mirror and realizing that you like to project your insecurities onto them. Grow up.

      Reply
      • Steven

        I actually agree with Theverytruth. Obviously not ALL women are like that, but around here in Michigan you see countless examples of gorgeous women married to less-than attractive guys but they have a very comfortable bank account so you just connect the dots. And then when you finally find a nice girl who has a great personality, she’s either overweight or not the most attractive looking girl. Yeah I probably offended some people but I’m just stating what I’ve experienced in my 29 years.

        Reply
        • Anonny

          What you are missing here is that it is not the bank account that allows the “attractive” woman to settle with a less attractive male. It is that women do not operate the way men do. In your comment, it is clear you are a male. Men are focused on physical attributes. So from your ego, it is difficult to perceive someone else (a woman) being happy with someone less physically attractive than them and assume it must be money. However, women look at men as a whole. It is usually the males who are less physically attractive who these woman find attractive as a total package which includes security, stability, and loyalty. If a woman settles with a man with a not so good bank account and very attractive, she will not feel secure in that man and will not feel a desire to settle with him. A man who is more attractive or equally attractive to his woman is 95% likely to cheat because men are physical and small-minded. So women find it difficult to trust “pretty boys” because she knows he can have any girl and will eventually grow tired of her. A less attractive male has more longevity, is less likely to cheat and appreciate what he has, etc, etc. He is also willing to put more work into making his non-physical attributes more attractive (i.e., bank account). Your lens is too narrow.

          Reply
        • JM

          You know you most surelly aren´t exactly THAT attractive, right? Not all women in the world need to be attractive, not all attractive women are worth it. I´m not saying it in a sense of “If a woman is beautifull she is going to be a bad catch!” because everybody likes physical attractiveness, but it´s just a complement really: The most important thing is for you to have fun with your partner and having complementary world views about important stuff…

          Maybe the problem with most of you guys is that you are asking for a supermodel being a bit of an average joe… Or even being handsome, you don´t exactly have the best personality.

          Start by going to therapy, not because you are crazy, but to open yourself a bit to new ideas, and if you are already going… I totally advice to start talking with them about how you view relationships with women.

          PD: Also, I´m a man that have been both with attractive and non canonically attractive women, dating the later right now and being very happy about it.

          Reply
    • gianna

      no, we want a man who will not ignore us . we want a man who will not get upset with us. we want a man who doesn’t want kids. we want a man who will let us keep our job even after we are married. we do not want a provider we want a nice and kind livelong friend to have sex with, cook with and laugh with. that’s it. keep your money we want to make memories with you .

      Reply
      • Mimi

        True
        You said all .

        Reply
      • stan k

        It would be nice to meet someone like you. But your kind is rare and far in between.

        Reply
    • Therealtruth

      “Women today unfortunately aren’t like the past at all”. You’re not interested in a partner to navigate life with. You’re just romanticizing the good ol’ days when women had no personal autonomy.

      “So many women with their very high outrageous expectations today, and usually want very rich men”. Why would a woman who wants to be a homemaker settle for someone who’s broke? Who is going to pay the bills?

      “So many more narcissists women all over the place”. Take a look at yourself, pot, before calling the kettle black.

      Reply
      • stan k

        You do not have experience with the world.
        50% divorce rate – 80% of those divorces are initiated by women.
        Maybe you should take a look at yourself the realtruth.

        Reply
    • NotAboutMenAndWomenButHumans

      Ohhhh spiking narcissism isn’t a female problem. It’S a Human problem. Not at all easier for young women to find a man to settle down with and trust _so_much_ that you’d really think they are a good father for future kids and faithful supporters for their wives, who go through immense changes to give them children. More and more, we’re taught to only think of ourselves. The reason you pin this on women and say the women in the past were better is that society used to beat them into submission and they had no other prospects in life Except be supported by a man. Now that all genders can be selfish in any way they want, it’s a shock to men who culturally used to have greater control over women. Now the main problem is that we’re a society of self serving, vain materialists without strong, shared values and respect for life, who believe happiness means that life is Always Fun Fun Fun and we should remain young forever. Don’t make this sexist for no reason, it is the conditio humana

      Reply
    • Sabrina

      We raise our standards to men who actually make money because we’d like our spouse to be paid a salary similar to ours or more if lucky and not be so dependent on us. Many of us women today made the right decisions in the past and are now successful in life, if you don’t live a life as successful as us then of course we’d look past you to someone who does. Improve on yourself so that you meet the standards, but don’t hate on the standards and call women gold diggers for having them.

      Reply
    • Lulu

      Yeah. It’s usually a big fat slob of a guy that hates when I turn down his marriage proposal or date request. Maybe work on yourself and you will attract someone? Gluttony is a sin. It’s just greed in a different format.

      Reply
    • stan k

      50% divorce rate.
      80% of divorces are initiated by women
      Men go to jail on the weekend because they cannot pay child support.
      There are good women out there. You just have to find one. I haven’t been able to, and i agree with your view

      Reply
  54. One Happy Dude

    I’m 43 and never had kids, and self employed with no bills. So..I do what I want, when I want, watch what I want, say what I want. I don’t have to worry about other parents, the system messing with my kids head, paying for clothes, food, etc. If I want to crack a beer and crank some Slayer,.. done. If I want to just take off to Italy, done. No hassle, crying, worrying about them. No college savings, just happy and stress free every single day. Get out of bed when I want, go to work, when I want, heck..if I want. So great for you if kids make your whole world, and that’s what makes you happy, God bless, for me, my wife and I have pretty much been doing whatever we want for the last 25 years, and it’s been awesome. That’s an understatement.

    Reply
    • Alice Kendall

      i already have a responsibility to deal with,like paying bills,cleaning the house,and going to work.Taking care of a child on top of all that is just not my thing.

      Reply
    • One Confused Dude

      Hey man. Thanks for this comment. I know it’s only one person’s experience but I’m struggling right now with the thought of wanting children. But I never thought I did before. My partner does not want children and is adamant about it, as she had been long before meeting me. Was there a ever a time that you thought you would want children? If so, what clicked that made you and your wife realize you didn’t? I’m just kind of wandering through these feelings and I’m not sure how to properly navigate them.

      Reply
      • Second confused dude

        I am in the same boat, I am like opinion less, I don’t have a drive or want them just was conditioned to think jt will happen. I don’t necessarily like kids I’m very unemotional around them I used to teach swimming in early life and hated kids lessons, I have a dog I love her. I’m 31. My fiancee 36 doesn’t want kids never wanted kids but said she would do it for me if I wanted… Dilemna

        Reply
        • Second confused dude

          And to add details… I am 100% financially secure and independant at 31 with more than adequate resources for the entire lifetime of the child so that’s not an issue. I guess I’m facing dilemna as I’m thinking yes it’s possible to live life you want and have a child? They come along for the ride kind of thing? Maybe I’m wrong? There’s people raising kids on sailboats these days on YouTube…. If there’s a will there’s a way… Although I suppose without the responsibility is better…

          Reply
          • Remember Me

            Come along for the ride lmfaooo You’re watching propaganda mostly. Everything you consume in the media will promote children because more humans means more consumers. You clearly have no idea what it is like to raise a toddler lol They cry, they scream, the hit, they throw…Your idea of parenthood is a fantasy. The reality will slap you hard in the face. Dare you to try it lol Then remember this comment always!

    • I agree

      Thanks for writing this. You are my role model now. What you described sounds way better than life with kids!

      Reply
  55. BG

    The first 10 years of a child’s life may not be super difficult but once they turn into a tween/teen, there’s no saying how they will turn out. Our child changed from an angel to a devil once she turned 11. My marriage was already on shaky grounds, but having a kid made it worse to leave him. Now with the added stress of a rebellious kid, I feel trapped in a non functioning marriage. Each day is a burden and there seems to be no end to the misery. Some kids turn out ok. But with others it may be an uphill battle.

    Reply
    • The whole truth

      Every child is different, I’m already catching hell at my child’s 7th year… As I look at these comments of happy marriages, I realized that some are curious or wish they can experience children. I hate to break it to you but that’s only because you don’t have any to ruin your life! People will always want what they don’t have. Take heed to the honest parents, including myself, not the ones pushing a fairytale. This is definitely not what you want to do with your valuable freedom in life! If most of us knew it the truth from the jump, we would not be in this predicament. My marriage didn’t survive it and I was left with all the burden, baggage and endless sacrifices that still won’t end… Knowing what I know now, I am done after having one. And relationships are not appealing either at this point. I just can’t wait until he is 18 with everything I’ve supported and given him to prepare for in life, and goes to college or the workforce. Either way, go be great out of my house.

      Reply
    • Wasted life

      “ The first 10 years of a child’s life may not be super difficult”

      Well that’s not comforting as my 10 year old has always been a nightmare and I was hoping he would mellow out.

      There has literally not been one single day where I was glad he was alive. He came out a miserable colicky demon and went straight to autism, and adhd.

      F*ck this life, and f*ck people trying to shame a parent for being unhappy they got a broken child.

      Reply
  56. KnockKnock

    I’m in my early 30s and I received elective surgical sterilization in my mid 20s. I have no children and I’ve never wanted any. Meaning and purpose in life can come in many forms. I personally know quite a few regretful parents but have not met anyone who regrets the purposeful choice to forgo having children. I know it was the right one for me.

    Reply
    • Who’s there

      Thanks! I always wonder if many people end up regretting not having children. I always thought it would be less than who regret having children but it’s good to hear some confirmation.

      Reply
  57. Allison Shulman

    I’m 29 and I just scheduled the surgery to tie my tubes. I do not have children and my boyfriend doesn’t like young children. We have agreed to adopt an older child if we ever decide to do that. I do not want to bear a child not just because I’m not a fan of them, but also because I’m terrified of bringing a baby into the world who might grow up and suffer like I have – I have so many genetic mental health problems that are very prevalent and inheritable and I still suffer now, despite generally finally finding happiness in life. I can’t bear the idea of watching someone I made with my genes suffer. It’s just not fair to them.
    Of course, now that I’ve scheduled the surgery, I’m having a psychological sort of meltdown – which I predicted – trying to decide if I’m doing the right thing. I need to maybe write a letter to myself reminding me that I’m doing the right thing, or maybe make a pros and cons list. I would really appreciate feedback to help me reduce cognitive dissonance. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Jamie

      I’m surprised they allowed you to get it done. They are usually pretty sexist and force you to wait until you are a certain age or done extensive counselling for women. Men aren’t even required to schedule an appointment in person. Adopting an older child as you probably can imagine is gonna really positively change the outcome of that child’s life. That child however as you also can imagine will need extra love and care for a while. But I don’t see a downside you guys will totally grow to love and trust each other. And an older child will be more appreciative. I watch this YouTube channel mother the world and they adopted a sibling set from Ethiopia and a few other countries that family is precious. You got this.

      Reply
    • HiThere

      If you are even the slightest bit unsure, consider an IUD such as Mirena. It’ll buy you 5 years to think it over!

      Reply
    • Belen

      @Allison, I was reading your comment and first of all I totally understand you. I guess we as women will always have these mother instincts, because this is the way nature is. Our body was designed to not only reproduce, but to carry that new life inside us. We become a very important factor for the world to continue. If one would decide to not have children, that means you are deciding to end your DNA string. You will be ending all the generations you have behind you. Also in my opinion I think this person Mr. Seph Fontane Pennock is very wrong is saying something he doesnt even know about. In my perception I think he isnt even a dad himself so he has no evidence to come up with ths absurde conclusion. Allison you are in all your right to feel nervous and dont be scared, confront all your fears. You said exactly the correct answer when you mentioned about writing your pros and cons, I will also recomened to add your emotions next to those sentences. Think about it and ask yourself who or what made you feel this way? Where did this feeling come from? and if the answer was based in somebody elses opinion, it is just this a simple opinion from 1 person. I consider myself also with a negative mental history in my family but this didnt affect me, or maybe it did but it made me even stronger than many other people. I consider myself a very independent person and mentaly stonger than many psicologist. I was so surpised when I found this website but it is all the oposite of what I thought. Allison I hope you read my comment and if you ever need someone to talk to about this topic fell free to message me at sbelen1919@gmail.com. Also I forgot to mention I also have a daughter and she is growing up to be very inteligent, and emtionaly strong, and everyday I try my best to be a better person myself so I can be the best example of happiness for her. Everybody struggles and stressed because they want to be perfect, but no one understands that true peace and happiness comes when we stop wanting to become perfect and accept our unperfectness, and accept our mistakes. Most important of all forgive them beacuse they werent our mistakes, they are actually our ancestors. It just depends on us to end this cycle and make a better generation by not repeating the mistakes our parents did unconciously with us.

      Reply
      • Tabby

        I think it’s funny that people think they’re so self important that the world needs their specific DNA to make the world work. It’s people like that who are trashing the world and making it over populated. The world will go on it you don’t reproduce. The majority of children will never be anything more than average.

        If you want kids, have them. If you have doubts or don’t want them, then don’t. The world will go on.

        Don’t let oppressive beliefs of society, religion or your peers direct you. Misery loves company.

        Reply
      • Karen

        There are other ways of leaving a legacy than carrying on your “DNA string”. Helping in your community, working hard, and being charitable are honourable ways of leaving a legacy and do not require children. In fact, there are plenty of people who may be leaving a legacy by having children, but have done little else beyond that (and if they leave behind nasty, lazy children, it’s even worse!)

        Reply
      • Sandra

        Sorry but why do some people even care if their DNA goes on or not after they die? They’ll be DEAD! They won’t exist anymore so they won’t actually care. Personally, I don’t give a flip about generations I’m preventing by not having kids. That’s neither my responsability or problem. It’s MY life and I’m the one who decides how to live it. As for my ancestors, I don’t care about them. Especially after learning some horrible things they did like beat their children and horses. A few were criminals. They may have shared my DNA but that’s all I ever had in common with them. Plus they’re a bunch of dead folks I never met. Good for you if you have a daughter that makes you happy but some of us just don’t want kids, period. Unlike you, I think his article is spot on. You clearly don’t agree since you’re a mom. All I can say is that my husband and I have been together 15 years and love our childfree life. Over the years we’ve met other childfree couples who’ve become close friends and some even travel with us on a regular basis. We live a full and satisfying life without kids.

        Reply
    • Jen

      Allison, I empathize with your emotional turmoil. I felt the same when my husband and I decided to have him get a vasectomy (we have two kids). I was initially confident with the choice and had done my pros and cons list. But as the appointment got closer, I felt uneasy in my gut, anxious and unsure. We ultimately postponed the surgery, which gave me more time to think and get in touch with my emotions. Six months later, I feel calm, confident and honestly excited about him getting the vasectomy.

      Give yourself time to understand why you are having these feelings and don’t rush into surgery until you feel peaceful about your choice. As some one else said an IUD might by the perfect option while you decide.

      Reply
    • Carl

      Not always we heredate the genetic issues, cause the genes of the other parent have a important part in it. Do not renounse to motherhood for fear, instead make research of your illness an if there are treatmens which in the future could help your child. Bless you.

      Reply
    • Hope this helps

      I wish more people would do what you have decided to do. I know so many people who struggle with the same extreme mental health issues as their parents and I can’t help but think it was a bit cruel for their parents to bring them into this world knowing that they would likely have the same issues. I am not fond of children at all, but even if this were not the case I would never have my own kid because I would hate to see that kid struggle with all of the same issues I have struggled with.

      Also, as another commenter pointed out, by adopting an older child in need of a good home you will indisputably be doing a wonderful thing for another human being. To me you have already discovered the correct choice and you should trust your gut.

      Reply
    • Remember Me

      Good news is you can always untie vs hysterectomy. Go with your gut.

      Reply
  58. Lisa

    I am a 49-year-old woman in a happy relationship. I have been with my partner for 18 years. We chose not to have children. We both feel happy and fulfilled and have absolutely no regrets whatsoever.

    Reply
  59. Jo

    I’m 37 and have just met the person I want to be with for the rest of my life. He has 2 children from a previous marriage.
    My clock is ticking. People keep asking if I want to have a child and I just don’t know.
    He has said he doesn’t really want another baby, but if I want one we can discuss, but l also don’t want him to have a child under duress.
    My work is demanding and I love to travel live life on my terms, but terrified I will regret it if I don’t take the leap.

    Help!

    Reply
    • akm

      i was in your shoes at age 38 and i am now 44 and have had several failed ivf cycles, after deciding aged 41 that i did indeed want kids after all. i feel desperately sad that i missed the boat. i know they can be a nightmare (first hand from my skepkids) but i feel an enormous lack of meaning and purpose without them. If you think you want them, dont waste any time as you will regret it deeply and as you will probably know by now, stepkids dont ever come close to being a substitute, if anything they make it all the more painful. good luck x

      Reply
      • Biscuitfrench

        Ouch man, maybe for you.

        Reply
      • Remember Me

        You are wanting to have kids for the wrong reasons. Looking for meaning and purpose in life by creating life is not the way to go. And if it were truly about giving purpose to your life, you would simply adopt a child in need. What you need is to find your meaning and purpose in life. I guarantee it is not to reproduce as much as your mind may be tricking you into thinking so as you age.

        Reply
    • Belen

      Jo, are you actually terrified of what people tell you? Or because you think you will want to have a cchild in the future? Because it is you, it is your life and your decisions not the peoples. Dont feel guilty for being selffish. Dont feel bad if you are not following what the society or culture expects from you. It is you not them. So you decide what you want to live, just be responsible with what you decide. Analyze the results or consecuencess it will have.

      Reply
    • Queen Nardia

      Girl, I’m 30 and decided last summer after 15 years of baby fever that I don’t want kids. Then met an orphan in December that asked me to adopt her.

      I’m ready for her to be grown so my duties are lightened.
      It’s definitely a task.

      Definitely confirmation that I don’t want to birth children.
      Literally you have to base your schedule around them. You’re grown technically but you can’t really be grown grown with out being neglectful (going and coming as you please).

      I’m glad I get the experience and the child but I’m also glad she’ll be grown next year and I’ll just have to be a support system instead of having a fully dependent kid.

      Reply
    • Defeated dad

      If you’re not sure. Don’t do it! It will ruin your life.

      Reply
    • Andi

      I got married at 37 and did IVF to get pregnant at 39. I ended up having a boy who I of course love but I think it is much harder to be a parent at an older age. Perhaps I had too many years of freedom and was too used to free time for myself. It is life changing and sure there are positives but it requires so much time and attention, you will barely have time to yourself. I’ve struggled trying to accept what parenting is actually like. I would say if you are on the fence about it, don’t do it. It will really change you and your relationship and TBH I miss my old life and how my relationship with my husband was before. You have your partner’s children in your life as well.

      Reply
    • Marina

      Try freezing your eggs if your are on the fence now. That will buy you time to make up your mind. I am 49, I froze at 37. I decided not to have kids on my own. Now I am living with a man with two girls ages 8 and 10. We are exploring having our own (2021… anything can happen !!!). Even if chances are slim I am very happy to be able to try with him which I can only because I froze earlier on. If it does not happen I know I will not feel terrible because I gave it my best shot. If your are step mothering and love him, my advice is that you go for it.

      Reply
    • Karen

      Honestly, have a baby. Very few people regret it. Children really add a dimension to life. If you are torn now, you will probably have regrets later. We usually regret what we don’t do, not what we do. I have major infertility issues and waited 10 years for my son. Spent heaps of money. I don’t regret it. Best decision I ever made. I just wish it was easier to have a sibling.

      Reply
  60. Eddie

    Anisah – How your siblings turned out had nothing to do with you. You were a child yourself and couldn’t possibly grasp the intricacies of adulthood, life, and much less parenting (and all it really takes). I find it funny that you blame yourself – I mean, if anyone should be blamed, it should be your mother! I also find it weird and ironic that your mother is the same one asking you to now have a child. Given your background growing up and all that you saw with your mother’s struggles, and her responsibility put on you at too early of an age, it would not only be understandable that you don’t want kids, but also likely, wise for you to avoid having them. Don’t believe all the BS everyone tells you (including society in general) about being normal by having kids! The truth is, not everyone is cut out to be a parent and some should never become parents. This world is harsh, brutal, and unforgiving, and the things we do as parents can have a detrimental effect on the children we raise as they become adults into this world. And, even when we raise them right, things can go wrong (and sometimes terribly wrong just because). The amount of disruption to one’s life is incredible, and not everyone is of the right temperament for having kids. If life is hard alone, having a kid will just make it worse. A kid never solved any problem in the world. Anyone telling you otherwise is selling you snake oil. Sometimes, it’s better to be with someone who also doesn’t want kids, or for you to just be alone and live your best life.

    Reply
  61. Miriam

    The world is often a cruel and unfair place. I can see why many people make the perfectly rational decision not to bring more life into it. As I see more and more of what is going on the Middle East etc, then our own history in the West which has negatively impacted millions, I often wonder if I made the right decision also because it could all end in forests again 🙁

    Reply
  62. Kayla

    Hi there,

    I have the dilemma that I am 90% sure that I don’t want children, but my partner has said he knows for sure he wants children/a family, and that I still have time to find someone else/follow my own dreams. This is such a hard decision as I don’t want to lose my partner because I don’t want kids.

    We’ve talked about it in the past before this recent conversation, I’ve said I dont think I want kids, but he keeps telling me I will feel different as I get older and I simply disagree . I am almost 29 and have never had the feeling or urge to have children, deciding that I don’t want the responsibility and financial, emotional and physical burdens. The only reasons I would want to have kids is to not miss out on that “family” life, seeing what a mini me/something of both him and I would be like, and the fact that I think I (and we) would be a good parent… but I think think those reasons outweigh my reasons not to have kids.

    Should also note these other reasons I don’t want children. Freedom being the biggest reason.. I’m huge on travel and my ultimate dream would be to live around the world.. a few years here and there, to see more of the world, explore other cultures etc. Which my partner is also interested in, but he says we can do this later in life.. but I would much rather do it sooner than later. We would be like 60 by the time we could leave our kids and live that kind of life!

    It seems we have some similar life plans but they are not 100% aligned.

    I’m seeing these are my possible outcomes.

    A – He decides he doesn’t want kids and we stay together.

    B – I decide I do want kids and we stay together.

    C – We do not agree and go separate ways.
    – He finds someone else to have a family with
    – I find someone else with the same plan or stay single

    Has anyone here gone through this dilemma of their partner wanting children and you not.. how did that result for you? What did you end up doing? Also, please do not roast meeeeeee

    Reply
    • NoraRye

      After reading your story, please do not have children. You should leave your partner, give him that opportunity. His feeling will likely not change and neither will yours. It will only get worse with a child no matter how “easy” the baby is. It will be a strain. If you do compromise and have a child, you’ll likely resent your husband and blame him when things get difficult. This is my honest opinion. You’ll 100% lose your peace of mind, partner and freedom. Don’t do it.

      Reply
    • N

      Hey Kayla,
      I’m going through something very similar. But in my case, I want kids and my partner doesn’t and his reasons for not wanting kids are exactly the same as yours. I’m super confused about what to do as well 🙁

      Reply
      • Hel

        you and Kayla should switch partners 🙂

        Reply
    • Judson Moore

      Kayla, I am in a similar situation as you, and it is in searching for others’ perspectives that led me to this blog post and your comment, so thank you for sharing. My girlfriend says she might want to have kids one day and though I’ve always held the position that I would go along with whatever “she” (future or present) desires as I am rather agnostic about the topic myself, I am thinking more and more that having children is not the right path for me. The only benefits I see in having my own kids are selfish in nature and most likely fallacy (for example, not wanting to be alone when I am older).

      I’ve never had any spark of joy in the presence of children. I’ve often felt guilty that I can’t be happy for my friends when they announce pregnancy or when a child enters the room and other adults will giggle with glee, I just want to be transported to another planet. The root cause for this in my own lived experience is probably due to growing up with an older brother with severe disabilities who died when I was 14, and seeing how his 24/7 care altered the paths of my parents’ lives… I do not want to repeat that history, and I can’t shake the thought that having a child of my own would lead to a similar outcome.

      On the point about traveling when you’re older, I actually wrote a book based on the topic of not waiting until your older, and what you’re describing about traveling the world after your kids leave the nest is the thesis for a chart I illustrated which became the center-point of the book. Maybe this will be of interest to you:

      https://www.judsonlmoore.com/the-sixth-philosophy-do-it-while-youre-young

      Reply
    • Derek

      Hello there,

      I am currently in the same situation. My partner wants kids 100% and I’m about 98% I do not want kids.

      Result? That’s tbd. She’s my partner of 5 years, connection like no other I’ve met. She’s been trying to constantly convince me to have kids and it just doesn’t right for me due to all those circumstances you’ve listed.

      I feel the inevitable must happen with such a strong difference in wants unless either of you bend to each other. Ask yourself, would having kids be worth it just to stay with him? If on your death bed at 80, would you regret not having kids?

      You seem to have clear outlines of what you want and don’t want. Accepting it may be the toughest part. Change is uncomfortable but kids are forever.

      I wish you the best for I can empathize with your exact situation.

      Reply
      • Mike

        I hope you still have no kids. Don’t make a mistake like I did.

        Reply
      • Mark

        Having a kid to cement your relationship probably has a 90% failure rate. For one you BOTH aren’t on the same wavelength about it. Later on things between you and her will be different. You will no longer be her main focus but rather the kid will and you’ll be second fiddle. Other couples whose relationships or marriages are on the rocks often think that having a kid or another kid will patch things up which it seldom does.

        Reply
    • Eddie Lee

      Kayla – I’d get out while you can. Having a kid is one of the most stressful events/experiences you can have in this world. Even if married life is perfect with the current beau (which it won’t be), having a kid literally upends everything up to that point. Don’t believe me? Ever visit the hospital where first parents have their first child? It’s some of the most stressful times you can experience (or witness) b/c those parents are suddenly thrust into the reality that life as they know it will drastically change. Just the first 48 hours were a complete and utter gut punch for me, realizing that my wife and I couldn’t even sleep continuously for a few hours b/c of a baby crying non-stop, all-day, everyday…we had to have the nurse wheel the baby away to the nursing room (where other babies are) just so we could get some sleep and sanity. Imagine adjusting to this, after a married life of relative leisure (we could do what we want, when we wanted, etc.) and comfort…except realize that this is for the next 20+ years of your life (until they move out). Don’t even get me started on all of the sleep regressions they’ll experience (and lack of sleep you’ll experience with each regression) for the next 3-4 years of their life (and yours).

      Also, realize that any problems you might have (knowingly or unknowingly) from your childhood with your relationship with your parents (and how they were parents with you) will bubble up into the ether of your parenting life. A lot of this may also be on an unconscious level too, meaning you don’t/won’t even realize you’re doing or reacting in a certain way. Parenting a child, especially a newborn through toddlerhood is an emotionally taxing endeavor and these things have a tendency to bring out the worst in us.

      Don’t believe all of the people (especially other parents or expecting parents) who say you should have kid/kids. A lot of them said the same thing when my wife was expecting, but they would all slowly introduce more horror stories as we got closer to delivery. Funny how reality finally comes out from all the BS about how having children is “pure joy”. Misery loves company. Don’t be a fool and fall for it by trying to go against your inner gut feeling. If you’re hesitant b/c you suspect you are a certain way, listen to what you’re gut is telling you. Having a kid is not a hobby, project, or dream…it’s a cross to bear.

      As for my marriage, I almost lost it all. Having a kid brought out the worst in me…made me full of rage and anger. Almost ended up divorcing and actually separated for a bit. After a lot of counseling and therapy, we reconciled and got back together. I think it’s better now, but it was a long road into hell for me, and I’m sure my wife too. And, it’s still not over as our child is still a long way from moving out.

      All I can say after this is, marriage, building a family, is not what you think when you think of the family you grew up in/with (assuming you had a positive experience). Even if you did grow up in a great family, just know that your parents, ideally, loved you unconditionally. Your own marriage however, will be fragile and can be broken by so many issues between you and your spouse, and, between parent and child. Bottom line, it’ll take a ton of work, and the work is non-stop and endless. I’ve heard that raising kids after 4 will get easier…but I’ve also heard from others that it’s easier when they’re past 10, 15, moved out of the home, etc., etc.

      Just really think about what’s important to you in life…all that you want to accomplish, try, see, pursue, become, experience, etc. and figure out whether parenting enables or precludes you from those things. Based on that, you’ll have your decision.

      Reply
      • Alice Kendall

        i don’t understand why so many men want kids,when women are the ones going threw the pain giving birth to them.men don’t have that problem which is why they don’t care about having kids or not.

        Reply
    • Sophie G

      I dated someone 15yrs older than I was. He wanted kids, I was sure at age 20 that I didn’t. He moved on to date someone closer to his age with kids of her own, yet never had his own children. I married my high school sweetheart after 18 years of being estranged. No kids, no regrets, happily working from home, traveling & living my best life.

      Reply
    • Sarah H

      I am in the same situation. Life is moving and I am either wasting time or will have waited until it’s too late. Idk if I can sacrifice something I never thought about until these last couple years (I’m 33) but know I want or leave a great man and his kid for my potential future children. The love we share is what I want but I have to choose as he is fixed.

      Reply
    • MS

      I am a man, in the same situation, like several others who already commented. My long term girlfriend profoundly wants children. I never felt that urge or desire. We love each other very much. After years of her insisting and of me trying to convince myself that I could want some too, trying to picture the happiness of a “family life” with the woman I love, I managed to realize that deep down, I really don’t want anything to do with the multiple stressors and burdens mentioned by m