Slate recently ran an article about women (and men) who don’t want to have babies. I’m one of them. I have never wanted babies. Sure, I used to make up fun/ridiculous baby names as a child. I also distinctly remember thinking that the best thing about having a child would be to give it a ridiculous name and see how it reacted as it grew up. Thinking of a child as an at-home science experiment isn’t quite what most people have in mind when they talk about wanting children.
I was told many times that I would change my mind when I got older. And while I’ve still got plenty of good child-rearing years in me, I still do not foresee any rearing in my future. I won’t even get into how gross I think pregnancy is–especially the giving birth part.
There are countless reasons why children are a pain: they don’t sleep when you want them to, they’re picky eaters, they’re expensive, they have sticky hands. For me, I don’t want children because they are incredibly needy. And they’re not needy like puppies; they can’t just leave their mother after a few weeks; you can’t leave them at home while you go off to work. Children demand crazy amounts of attention and they stick around for 18 years! That’s if you’re lucky and they don’t end up unemployed and living at home into their twenties.
I am by far too selfish to want children. I don’t want to take care of someone for 18+ years. I won’t even get a pet because of the years of commitment that takes. I would much rather live how I want, where I want and spend all my money on myself than on some sticky-handed, needy child. I like the freedom of having no one depend on me. I recently moved more than 1,000 miles for a job. I would never have been able to do that with a child. Certainly not in the three weeks it took me to quit my old job, move, and start the new one.
It may seem like I don’t like children. That’s not entirely true. They’re okay. I like the one’s I’m related to. My nephew is awesome, but he’s not dependent on me for his survival. That really takes the pressure off. I can just be the cool aunt who sweeps into town bearing gifts. I get all the fun of a young kid without any of the responsibility. That’s as much child as I need.