There are lots of reasons why it's ok to not want children. Being a millennial has the upside of being on the liberal side of history where we are able to fight for several different causes and equality across the board. While this seems like the ideal position to be in, we still have to answer to the baby boomers. We are the future and they have their expectations.
As a 26-year-old female, I am 110% expected to grow up, get married, have babies and be a proud wife and mother. But, there’s a catch. I have no desire to be a wife at my current age or a mother at all. Is there something wrong with me? Aren’t all women supposed to want to have children?
Here are five reasons why it's ok to not want children.
1. Kids Are Expensive
The cost is one of the top reasons why it's ok to not want children. No one wants to say it but having children is expensive and it’s an expense that never goes away. Unlike a mortgage or a car payment, the cash flow to a child is never-ending. Not only does it cost almost $234,000 to raise a child, those expenses are only figured until the age of 18. It doesn’t cover college tuition, obligatory car repairs, groceries when they raid your pantry once they discover how much it truly costs and of course the elusive IOU cash that your forfeit knowing you will never see it again. Oh, I forgot the expenses accrued when your child moves back in with you after college which is what approximately 40% (if not more) of college grads do. Take note that we did not even scratch the surface of medical costs when you have the baby initially.
If you are like me, you do not buy anything at sticker price. You are always looking for a sale. It is perfectly okay to look at the expenses of having and raising a child and decide that it is not for you. Most people work a job that is okay to have enough money to do some of the things they want. Having children slows that down and there is nothing wrong with saying a broke and obligatory lifestyle is not for you.
2. You Know Yourself Better than Others Know You
You know who you are. You know that one little thing that irritates you beyond belief that you are not able to tell anyone for fear that they will stick you in the looney bin. Maybe it is when someone drinks the last of something and leaves the container in the fridge. Maybe it is having to go out on a rainy Saturday when all you want to do is curl up with a good book and a coffee. Maybe it is having to listen to cartoons rather than watching a much-needed episode of How To Get Away With Murder. While it may be hard to hear your mother talk about how much she would like to be a grandparent before she croaks, maybe that task is better left to your siblings. Being selfish and opting to not have kids beats being a parent that is constantly irritated and resentful of a child that did not ask to be born in the first place.
3. Being a Single Parent is ALWAYS on the Table
As the old saying goes, when you have kids they come first. No matter what. One thing that people neglect to think about is the fact that their relationship is going to take the backburner. Couples rarely think about keeping their relationship alive let alone interesting and radiating with love when a child is demanding 95% of your attention at all hours of the day. Studies have shown that once you have a child (especially amongst the millennial era) the chances of getting a divorce is 40% while the chances of unwed parents getting married is at an all-time low at 22%. While couples think having kids is expensive with two incomes, imagine the cost of a divorce in the middle of that. If being a parent with support is hell, being a parent that is heartbroken and alone is worse.
4. Your Body Will Never Be the Same
Every woman that has had a child says how their body will never be the same again. Peeing a little when you laugh or sneeze, bloating in places you have never seen water retention before, the stretch marks all over your body and of course, the immediate deflation of your breasts which is probably one of the reasons you were in this situation to begin with. As someone who lives in the era of #CleanEating, hot yoga classes and kale shakes and as a lazy gym-goer myself, losing the progress made due to a pregnancy can be devastating to the point of breaking your spirit. I know that I personally get upset when I eat healthy for a week and gain a pound let alone gaining 60 giving birth to a six-pound baby. Loving your body and working hard for it is a common notion that all women are leaning toward these days. If not wanting kids is based on wanting to keep the hard work you have put into your body intact, you do you, girl!
5. Your Options Are Limited
For many women like myself, not have options means suffocating on an internal level. As a recent college graduate, the sky is the limit. While I am 26 years old there is so much more for me to accomplish and I personally know that having kids would put a massive limit on those options. You often times cannot pick up and move, splurge on that trendy handbag once it goes on sale or finally take that long weekend trip with your new bae. If you want to keep your options open and be able to take an impromptu trip to the Caribbean to go snorkeling, there is no shame in that!
All in all, there is nothing wrong with a woman who wants to make the most of her life without it involving runny noses and dirty diapers. So the next time one of your friends asks “When are you going to have kids?”, feel free to ask them how much they spent on diapers the first year their child was born. When your Aunt Sally asks when you're going to make her a great aunt, feel free to ask her for a ledger of a bank account since the day your cousins were born.
You are entitled to feel the way you feel about now having children. Stick to your guns, ladies!