Boyfriend and I want children. This is something we’ve know early on. This isn’t about that. I was talking with my mom about Magenta and Bella, neither of whom want children. They don’t even like being around or interacting with kids. They want no part in them. My mom said “How selfish can you be?”
I don’t think people who don’t want kids are fundamentally selfish. There are a lot of really good reasons to not have children.
- Demanding career – If you work abroad in a rough location for something like Doctor’s without Borders, your work is incredibly beneficial to the community but doesn’t leave a lot of room for a family. Even if you aren’t saving the world, a lot of jobs don’t lend themselves well to parenthood.
- Genetic disease – You might be a carrier for a serious genetic condition like ALS or cystic fibrosis. By not having your own kid, you’re keeping that out of the gene pool.
- Money – Kids are expensive AF. If you can’t biologically have your own, you might not be able to afford to adopt or do fertility treatments. Healthcare in the U.S. is still a joke.
- Single – While it’s easier to be a single parent these days, it’s not something everyone is prepared to do. Someone may want to be a parent but not ready to take on that commitment by themselves
- Cycle of Abuse – Someone may have had a traumatic childhood at the hands of a vicious abuser. This can leave many uncomfortable with being a parent.
- Raised siblings – A lot of older children in big families can wind up raising their siblings depending on their parents. They may be content to be aunts/uncles to their siblings kids and live their own lives.
People with some of the issues above can adopt or foster or use a surrogate but that is expensive and has no guarantees. If you have the money but not the time to raise a kid, are they really better off raised by a nanny? Kids thrive the most when you give them a lot of your time and attention. It’s a huge sacrifice of self. Your identity completely changes. Not everyone is prepared for that.
Some people absolutely opt out of having kids for selfish reasons. It doesn’t make their choice wrong. It’s not my job to judge the choices of others, especially if I don’t know them. Everyone has to make choices that work for them and their families. Whether someone wants kids or not, their choice deserves respect.