opinion

COLUMN: Deciding not to have kids



I’ve always been great with kids.

My parents always told me I was, and I began babysitting my newborn cousins when I was just 14 years old.

I also genuinely enjoyed interacting with children.

The thought never crossed my mind that I didn’t want to have any of my own when I got older.

Until about a year ago, that is.

At this moment in time, I have no desire whatsoever to have any children in my future.

And according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population survey, I’m not the only one.

In 2014, 47.6 percent of women ages 15-44 were childless.

This is the highest this percentage has been since it was first recorded in 1976.

Why is it that women are opting out of having children now more than ever?

Isn’t reproducing what we women are here to do?

At least as far back as I can remember, I have always been given the idea that you’re supposed to go to school, get a job, get 
married and have kids.

But sorry to break it to you people, we aren’t on this planet for the sole reason to reproduce, and we aren’t selfish for not wanting to.

There are copious reasons not to have kids, and we shouldn’t be shamed for our decision either.

I don’t know if anyone has realized this yet, but we aren’t living in the 1950s anymore.

We’re not all expecting to stay at home and raise our children.

It’s 2015, and we’re women with real jobs and real passions for our 
careers.

And when we do want to have a career and children, it’s become increasingly 
difficult to have both.

Because of course, we’re women so we’re dealt the responsibility of staying home and taking care of the children.

Never mind our careers.

As well as being the assumed caregivers, we’re also not given much chance or choice to have both.

Paid family leave is rare within the U.S. seeing as only 12 percent of American workers have access to it, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With the financial burdens that come with having children, it’s perfectly reasonable to decide not to have any.

As women, we shouldn’t be made to have to choose between our career or 
having children.

We also don’t need to have any reason at all why we don’t want children.

I cannot express this enough.

If I don’t want to have children, then I don’t have to, and I shouldn’t have to justify my reason to you.

I believe there is so much more to life than 
having kids.

Like finding your passion, traveling, building your career, falling in love and just spending time with that person without adding a baby to the mix.

We aren’t selfish or self-absorbed, or whatever else you try to shame us with.

We just believe that having children isn’t the only way to complete our lives.

That being said, if you want to have kids go ahead and have them.

Have a million babies if that’s what makes you happy.

But for myself, I’m going to go ahead and live a child-free life and enjoy every minute of it.

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