Monday, 28 July 2014

Why I don't want children

Photo courtesy of Olga/Flickr
Many people love children and want to start a family of their own - men included. Some people love having children, and some people struggle to deal with the changes that having a child brings. Some may think that wanting or having children is natural - but I just don't have this desire. In some ways I've struggled with this whole topic, but I'm beginning to accept who I am. Here are some reasons why I don't want them.

1) For me, being around children is stressful. The noise, the high maintenance, and the piercing screams that children make, which really get under my skin. I much prefer to be around animals. I just don't feel the love for children that most people seem to - in fact, the truth is, I don't particularly like children. As human beings, I'd love them just like I'd love adults, but just because they're a child doesn't mean I'll like them more - in fact, it's more the other way round. As a spiritual person, I've sometimes wondered whether this is 'bad' - but I am accepting this part of myself more now. 

2) I find looking after myself hard enough. Raising children is a 24/7 job, with no extra pay or perks, and I would not trust myself to have the level of commitment and stamina required in helping to raise a child. I am liable to lose my temper if things get stressful, and would find it hard to keep a cool head if a screaming child is stressing me out. 

3) The whole pregnancy thing makes me a bit nauseous. If I was a woman, I definitely would not fancy being pregnant. I am very squeamish, and would probably find it all quite difficult to deal with. 

4) I don't really want someone to inherit my genes, particularly a male. This may sound an awful thing to say, and my life is okay now - but I have paid a very high price to get to where I am today, partly due to my wiring - and I would not wish what I have been through on anyone else. 

5) I want to see the world, spend quality time with friends, go for evening walks, go to coffee shops when I'm in the mood, write, create .. having children will reduce the time you can spend doing the things you want - and it will be hard to see the world whilst bringing up children, although not impossible. 

6) I am pretty selfish, really. I don't want to sacrifice myself for another person. I like the independence and freedom I have right now. 

7) There are enough people in the world as it is. If you don't have a desire to have children, then I think it's best not to have them.  

I personally believe that people who think childfree people are 'selfish' (in a bad way) are the ones that secretly or openly wish they'd never had children, or at least wish that raising a child was a bit easier. It's a difficult job raising children, and maybe some people are totally unprepared for it. Having a child to 'fill a hole' or for someone to love you is not a good reason to have one. And don't even get me started on the concept of having a child so that someone can look after you in old age. That is the most selfish reason anyone could have for having a child - it would never even have occurred to me that this is one of the reasons that people have children - but it seems like it is. And having a child to give your parents grandchildren is not a good reason either - the decision should be for you. Just because your parents had children, doesn't mean you have to.

As a man, it's not particularly a big deal to not want children. Women have it worse if they don't want children - and I do feel for women who get criticised for this. People should be respected for their lifestyle choices. If you really want children and feel it's part of your calling to be a parent, great. But just because the majority of people end up having children, doesn't mean you have to. We all have our own lives and it's important to be our true selves - and do what is right for us. Me, I love animals - and having a dog and cat will be better for me than having a child. 

Peace 
Andy

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