Why We Don’t Want Kids

Why We Don't Want Kids

To have kids or not? That’s the question Michael and I have been asking ourselves for years. And only now, I feel clear and confident enough to explain why we don’t want kids.

I’ve resisted writing about embracing a child-free lifestyle because I thought I’d be in the minority and people would feel offended by it. This thought turns out to be incorrect.

According to research from the Urban Institute, birth rates among 20-something women declined 15% between 2007 and 2012. Additional data from the Pew Research Center reflects a longer-term trend of women eschewing parenthood as the number of US women who choose to forego motherhood altogether has doubled since 1970.

It’s interesting to see that child-free living is on the rise. Nevertheless, by no means do I intend to judge others for their choice to have kids.

This is just my opinion which I felt compelled to share. I’m sure many of you have similar thoughts to us about not having kids and are looking for someone that shares your thoughts.

Michael and I have been together for over ten years, and of course, having kids has come up in conversation numerous times. I come from a family of six and Michael from a family of five.

We are incredibly grateful for the gift of each breath, and we don’t take being alive and healthy for granted.

With our conventional upbringings, we thought we would continue the tradition and give birth to children of our own.

However, after transitioning to a minimalist vegan lifestyle, it unlocked a different paradigm of non-conformity.

We started to question the status quo in all aspects of life, and sure enough, the question of having kids or not was under the microscope.

Since getting married in 2016, we’ve been asked many times when we’re planning on having children. Both being at the age of 30, to others, our baby-making clock is ticking.

We’re not getting any younger, right? This comment seems to be primarily directed at me as a woman.

Once we started delving deeper into what we wanted in life and how we see the world, bringing kids into existence didn’t feel like the right thing to do for us.

There are many reasons for this decision. Below are a few that I wanted to share.

Bringing kids into an already overpopulated and overburdened planet.

 

With the world’s current population at 7.6 billion and the number of resources and money it takes to raise a child, we don’t think that its necessary for us to bring more humans into the world.

I understand that it’s fundamental human instinct to reproduce. And it totally made sense to grow the population an your family in the past.

However, with the future looking scary with fish-less oceans predicted by 2048, and the degradation of the environment, the future for our children and our grandchildren, is not looking bright.

As people who care deeply about the environment, it doesn’t make sense to bring kids into this world. Especially in the state that it’s currently in and all the future predictions based on current resource depletion.

It may sound pessimistic, but facts are facts, and we want to consider everything before taking on such a huge responsibility.

With so many children needing a caretaker, 153 million globally to be exact, Michael has always loved the idea of adopting. With the current situation in Australia, the Government has made it very difficult to adopt.

Adopting is something that’s still in the back of our minds, but we’ve put it on the back burner for now because of the way that our life is currently set up.

People say to us all the time, “But couples like you guys should reproduce, your kids would be gorgeous and also brought up by such caring, loving parents with great life values.”

Comments like these are flattering and which I don’t doubt for a second. But that still doesn’t give us a strong enough reason to have children when there’s so much turmoil and doubt about the health of our planet.

It’s a selfish act not to want to have kids.

 

People I’ve spoken to think it’s a selfish act not to want to have kids and to choose instead a life that focuses more on the work you do, travelling and just simply enjoying life.

Now, I’m not saying you can’t enjoy life when you have kids, but there’s a whole set of new responsibilities that come along with it. For life! No return policy exists.

Some might say that adopting a dog is more restrictive as we can’t take him everywhere. But we can leave him at home, unattended if need be. There are pros and cons either way.

We’ve been conditioned as a society to conform to the status quo of meeting our life partner, getting married, buying a house and having kids. Call it the American Dream, if you’d prefer.

Whatever it is, when others, like myself, choose not to do one or all of those things, we get cast as outsiders. It’s as if there must be something wrong.

It’s natural for others to think that we’re selfish not to want to follow the norm or fit in, or even have those normal motherly urges.

I’ve personally never felt like I fitted in any way.

Whether it was being tall all through school (I’m 6 Ft), not knowing English when I first arrived in Australia (I was born in Slovenia), caring about what I put in and on my body to the point of slight obsession, having an interest in and following natural healing methods, or being a vegan and a minimalist.

Being different is something I’m used to. I’ve always questioned everything and have been looked at differently by others, as a result.

It may also sound selfish not to give my parents the opportunity to have grandchildren, as I know they’d love to.

Luckily I have two sisters and a brother, and I’m sure at least one of them will have a child. But I also don’t want them to feel pressure to have kids because someone else wants it for them.

Why We Don't Want Kids Hugging

The way that we would want to raise our kids would be very different.

 

This is one of the main reasons why we don’t want kids. Again, this is just my opinion, and I’m not judging anyone else that would raise children differently to how I’d want to do it.

I also understand that my theoretical “perfect” approach as to how I would want to raise my kids when I don’t have the perspective of having kids, would likely change if I was actually to have children.

When it comes to education, we would either follow the unschooling method or enrol in Montessori.

We would want our children to comfortably eat vegan food at school, and learn more about sustainability, nature but also be in touch with technology to keep up to date with today’s world rather than becoming completely isolated.

Like many parents, I’d love our kids to be able to play on the streets, explore nature, and feel independent. I had a very fortunate childhood when I lived in Slovenia and would love to be able to share something like that with my kids.

I know that a lot of these are ideals and may not be realistic, but this is what I would want for my kids and would do my best to be able to create that environment around us for that to be possible.

Giving birth scares me.

 

Real talk here.

When I was younger, I used to be terrified of the thought of something growing inside of me. These days, that thought isn’t as scary anymore.

Although the process of childbirth still irks me out as I’ve heard so many horror stories that it seems that most births these days, with the women around me anyway, brings complications and traumatic experiences.

I applaud and think these women are amazing for what they put themselves through—for the love of bringing a child into the world.

However, the more I think about it, the more I’m not prepared to put my body through that. To possibly sacrifice my life to give birth to a new life is not noble.

I know that can sound selfish, but I love my life, and I don’t want to play with fire if I can avoid it.

Knowing myself, I would want a natural, drug-free birthing experience. I’m scared to think how I would respond if that weren’t able to happen.

Our lifestyle is not suitable for a child.

 

Our goal has always been to become entirely self-employed, and the life of an entrepreneur is not a very stable environment to bring a child into.

If we changed our minds and wanted kids, later on, we would like to have a reliable environment for them to be brought up in and for us to give them the attention they deserve.

Again, I know I’m idealistic, and so many of you will be thinking, “But Maša, it will never be the right time,”. And I get that, but I still don’t believe that it would be fair for the child or me to have to wrestle through life like that.

We’ve always envisaged working from home full-time and to have the ability to homeschool our kids and to explore the world with them when we got the opportunity. Teaching them life skills through experiences and create a fun environment for them to develop a creative and curious mind.

I love hanging out with kids but…

 

I have kids around me; nieces, nephews, and friends kids. As much as I love spending time with them, with sleepovers, play dates and the like, it’s nice to be able to give them back to their parents and come home to peace.

Having to think about another human 24/7 is exhausting, and is mentally challenging.

I’m still personally trying to work on my health, and with a history of chronic fatigue and other health challenges, I’m just simply not up for it. Less sleep at this point in my life seems like a recipe for disaster!

This is not to say that when I see someone with a cute baby, my heart doesn’t melt. They do make me feel something special inside, and I’m very happy for the parents that have created a beautiful new being.

I don’t see myself changing the diapers, having sleepless nights, dealing with the screaming and crying, feeling the pain, and hardship of breastfeeding. And on top of all of that, doing everything right to keep my baby healthy and happy. My anxiety and patience would be tipped over the edge.

No thanks.

Why We Don't Want Kids Toys

It doesn’t seem very minimalist.

 

I don’t mean this in the sense that it’s not minimalist to bring more humans into this world.

It’s more specific to the fact that kids require so many things. Clothes, wipes, bottles, toys, car seats, you get the picture. And it’s always changing!

When you have a particular way of living where clutter and more stuff is not how you view the world, it can be challenging when having kids to keep that same routine.

I would love to hear from minimalist parents of babies/toddlers that have worked out how to live an intentional clutter-free life with young kids. Please leave your comment at the end of this post.

And that’s why we don’t want kids.

 

I hope you can see why I’m not one to be interested in becoming a mother at this point in my life. Who knows, maybe in five years time I would want nothing more but to have a child (either through birth or adoption), but that’s not where I’m at right now.

For those of you that are wondering, Michael, shares the same opinion on this topic 100%. We’re on the same page with what we want out of life and where we see ourselves in the immediate future. And kids are not part of that plan.

I’d love to hear from you, do you feel the same way? Or is there something that you want to share with me? As I mentioned earlier, I completely and utterly respect those who want to have kids, but I just wanted to show that’s it’s okay not to want to have kids either.

Be yourself and don’t feel like you need to succumb to conformity. That’s what it means to live a minimalist, vegan lifestyle.

64 comments… add one
  • Erin 03/06/2018

    Good post. I felt the same way but eventually my husband and I decided to have one child. She is now nearly 7 and is an absolute delight. She has attended Montessori school which merged into mainstream schooling at year one, and is a proud vegan. It is true that she has stuff, but we don’t buy her much and she is perfectly happy with some books and a soccer ball, plus plenty of our time and love.
    I totally understand all your feelings and have felt them too. If you ever want to chat about how we live here I am happy to do so.
    Peace and love, erin

    • Hi Erin, thanks so much for sharing! Glad to hear that you’ve found a good balance. Nice to see a fellow Canberran 😉 I’ll definitely be in touch sometime!

  • Erin 03/06/2018

    I forgot to mention, we also live in Canberra 🙂

  • Kelly 03/06/2018

    I have 2 children & I love them….but I do openly tell people & my children that if I had my life over I wouldn’t have kids (shock horror! I can hear people’s reactions!) That doesn’t mean for one moment I don’t love them, I don’t have regrets & no I definitely wouldn’t change a thing.
    It probably even sounds abit contradicting….
    I enjoyed reading your article. I think society can put too much pressure on people to re- produce.
    The reality is kids cost money & lots of it! They also bring alot of heartbreak & alot of joy.
    Each to their own really whether you decide to or not to, your choice should be respected.

    • Hi Kelly, thanks for sharing so honestly. I can totally understand that.
      Glad to hear you enjoyed the post, it’s nice to see that it’s resonating with others.

    • Anna 19/06/2018

      Hi, I do the same as Kelly, I even have 3 kids and there are many positive things to have them but I also tell them and anyone who ask me, that having children is hard and not suit to everyone’s lifestyle. (Well I always say: no kids!) My lifestyle has changed to vegan and minimalist from let’s called it “common “ and now I would never decide for having kids:) The only thing is that, if smart and conscious people won’t have children, there will be more and more “common” kids, then adults 😉 So I am trying to raise my kids to be conscious and the best as they can. I am trying to be a role model for them but I also give them choice to choose their way. That is what I and other parents can do for better future for all of us, I suppose;)

  • Jessie 03/06/2018

    Hi Masa and Michael,

    Thanks for sharing this article. I’m 31, turning 32 this year and single. I too do not want kids and haven’t for years. Growing up I always thought I did want kids, but that was just because society tells you that that is what you do. You grow up and have children. Once I was old enough to realise that you have a choice I knew I didn’t want them.

    There are many reasons as to why I don’t want kids relating to my family, my mum and Sister, things I’ve experienced and witnessed and things the I don’t want to happen to me or my children if I were to have them. But I agree as well that the planet is dying, were overpopulated, life is hard and what we’re leaving for future generations isn’t anything I would want for my own children. So I just don’t want kids. That, and I’m selfish. Or am I? Maybe that’s society telling me I’m selfish, but really I’m just honest and a realist perhaps??

    But I want to do what I want to do, when I want to do it and with kids it’s no longer about you. You have to put them first and make life completely about someone else and I’m just not prepared to do that. Plus, growing up with a single mum we struggled. We never really went without but my Sister and I knew mum had no money and things were tight. We were made to feel guilty for everything we got and I would never want that for my own children. Furthermore, the work I do is a great form of contraception hahahahahaha – youth work/social work. I see the results of damaging your children and how easy it is to do, and I’m too scared I would do that. So I don’t want to put myself in that position or my unborn child.

    Also Masa, I watched a client give birth a few years ago as she asked me to be with her. This was a really special thing and I felt so honoured. The whole experience was amazing and I’ll never forget it. But, it looked and sounded like the worst experience of anyone’s whole life! If I were pregnant tomorrow I would have a panic Attack out of the fear of knowing that I had to physically give birth and there was no way around it. It’s so scary and makes me feel sick to just think about it.

    Also, call me mean or whatever, but I think it’s physically weird that we can grow a human inside us. I mean this isn’t why I don’t want kids, but seeing as we’re on the topic I wanted to share this thought. Yes it’s amazing that a females body can do such a complex thing, but it actually freaks me out that like a garden, we can grow a life inside us. It reminds me of an alien hahaha.

    Anyway, enough of me. Just on the thought of you guys adopting, maybe you should consider, or even look at fostering a child. The Organisation I currently work for is screaming out for more foster carers and you don’t have to have children for Long term, you could just do respite, or if you do Long term, it can lead to adoption or Enduring Parental Responsibility (EPR) which is like adoption. Adoption this way or EPR isn’t necessarily easy, but it’s easier than private adoption. Of course, fostering isn’t easy, these are very traumatised children, but it’s worth it and worth considering. You can let me know and I’ll post you info or just look at the Barnardos/ACT Together website for more info.

    All the best and hope to see you at the Cruelty Free shop on the 9th for your book signing – if I finish work on time.

    Kindly
    Jessie Jo

    • Hi Jessie, thank you so much for your honest share. I find it so important to be honest with yourself with what you want in life, that doesn’t make you selfish. I think that it just makes you stronger as a person because you know what you do and don’t want in life. Some people might see that as selfish but I see that as independent.

      I can completely understand and relate to many things you mentioned. Thanks for letting me know about the fostering system here in Canberra, we may look into that in the future but are quite happy being kid-free for now.

      Hopefully see you on Saturday! 🙂 M x

  • Penny 03/06/2018

    Thank you Masa for sharing your personal life. I totally agree with everything you have written and thankfully we all have choices and need the strength to ignore society’s expectations. I find it hard enough being vegan,( started late at 55) and can’t imagine how difficult it would be trying to nurture a child in a vegan and minimalist home, when all around us we have people who don’t care and are judgemental. My adult kids know there is no expectation for grandkids- it’s their choice. Mind you we do absolutely adore our first grandchild, however there will be challenges to come trying to accept everyone’s choices when family visits.
    Thanks again for sharing a personal topic.
    Penny

    • Hi Penny, I felt compelled to do so. Thank you for sharing your perspective as a grandmother, it’s nice to hear that you’ve left it up to them. I appreciate your message 🙂

  • Namrata 03/06/2018

    Hey Masa 🙂
    I’m also vegan, minimalist, and anti-natal. The top reason for me is that the earth is already overpopulated and precious resources are getting scarcer by the day. I don’t wanna bring a child into this kind of a world where they would only suffer! I love children, and that’s the biggest reason I have chosen not to have them.

  • Julie 03/06/2018

    Hi, i think like Namrata and if i was writing English the way you do, i could have written it myself! 🙂 I’m 45 and don’ t want kids since i’m 17. I never fit in the “traditional mold” since then and my mom always told me “You don’ t have to have kids if you don’t want to” so i never felt the pressure from my family. At the time, environmental problems (other than the ones we have now and much less worse) made me doubt i wanted to put a kid through that. Then i discovered there were way too many people on this planet! Altough i know not gavibg a chuld diesn’t help me province abd mt culture, since locally, our population is declining ( I live in Québec, Canada), i couldn’t resolve myself to have kids just for the sake of keeping my culture and language alive (French) in this part of the world. I have to see the biggest picture, at the planet level, and think more about all the other species for which living land is shrinking every day…. But i have to admit this is the thing thay made me doubt my choice. Losing our cultursl identity. But the facr that i have at least 4 female friends who didn’t have kids ( some i have encouraged to listen to their own voice, not the others, on this aspect) helped a lot!

    • Hi Julie, I love how you said that you look at the bigger picture. I think that not enough people are doing that, they just focus on their own small world and don’t see the damage we are doing to this beautiful planet. I do also understand about culture and making sure that this stays alive, I’m glad to hear that you have support around you and that you’re a support for them as well.

  • Miss D* 03/06/2018

    Just stopping by to say hello from your country – Slovenia. I share the same thoughts and want you to be encouraged from same-minded people. If you’ll be traveling to Slovenia, I would be happy to meet you. Lots of love

    • Lovely to hear from you! Where in Slovenia are you? I grew up in Ljubljana, gornji trg area 🙂 Have no immediate plans to travel but we have considered moving there in a couple of years! Stay in touch 🙂

      • Miss D* 28/06/2018

        Hey, Maša 🙂 Hope you and Michael are doing well. I currently live near Krško. That’s great! If I can help you with anything, just let me know. 🙂

  • Léa 03/06/2018

    Thank you for this post. It felt really refreshing to get this in my emails. I’m 22 years old, vegan and trying my best to live a zero waste and minimalist lifestyle. I love kids but don’t think I would want to be a mother for exactly the same reasons you listed, so your article is just what I needed to read today.

    • Glad to hear that Lea! Thank you for what you do, that’s inspiring at your age 🙂

  • Minimalist Weirdo 04/06/2018

    Thank you for your article ! I think and feel exactly the same today.
    But it wasn’t the case when I met my husband. At the time I wanted kids badly (probably to repair something from my childhood).
    But then I became a nanny, and now I know I don’t want a kid of my own. I love my job, I have a lot of fun, but not always. Kids are really demanding, and I’m so glad when the parents come home and I get to leave and be at peace at night with my husband.
    I now know that I don’t want children, but my husband does. Badly. Like it is the only thing he has always wanted… And I don’t feel like I can take it from him. I love him more than my own life, and I think I ‘ll have to sacrifice for him at some point. I have to choose between the love of my life and my happiness… That’s a tough one.
    I’m so happy for you, for you have found someone that shares your opinion on kids. You are very lucky. 😉

    (Please forgive any mistake, I am French)

    • Hi, thanks for sharing your story. Sounds like a very tough situation. Does he spend much time around kids himself? Just wondering if he may change his mind if he comes to work with you sometime haha.
      But jokes aside, I wish you the best of luck deciding what to do. I know we are lucky to have each other and be on the same page about pretty much everything in life, at least all the important things. Just make sure that if you choose to do it, that you feel good about it too.

      • Minimalist Weirdo 07/06/2018

        No, he doesn’t spend any time with kids. And although I talk about my days at work with him all the time, he seems to still be idealizing life with them…
        I guess he has always had the strongest desire to be a father, and cannot imagine living without children, even though he knows it can be tough sometimes. He only keeps the “good side” of it in mind. And I’m the complete opposite : for me, the “good” (and I have trouble finding positive things about having my own child) is totally erased by the bad (sleepless nights, having my personal space and time ruined, having to think about and being responsible for an other human being, the pregnancy and delivery, and the worst : what if he/she is sick ?…)
        We have been talking about it recently. I expressed my lack of desire for a child and he didn’t seem very upset. But I think he might believe that I am going to change my mind someday. I really don’t think so. The older I get, the less desire for a child I have.
        I have to add a little detail : as said in my previous post, I used to want kids. We tried but suffered infertility (I have PCOS). At first I was devastated, but a couple years later, I began to consider it as a sign that maybe I shouldn’t have kids.
        My mother wasn’t a very maternal person. We didn’t have the best relationship. And my father was not in the picture (well, in and out, to be fair). And a few years ago, he killed himself. I learned a lot of things from that moment. How they (he, actually, my mother was not that convinced) decided to have me, why he left, etc…
        So my infertility was just an other reason for me not to have children. And the more info I got regarding my own birth, the more convinced I got that shouldn’t do it.
        I’m sorry for the long post, but I needed to be clear.
        That is why I kinf of feel like a fraud to him. When we met, I agreed to a future with kids, and now I’m backing out. That’s not fair for him. But if I do have a child, that will not be fair to him/her. He will not have a great mother. At least, he will have a great father, which would be more than I had, but still. Feeling unwanted is awful. I know that from experience…

        • Sorry I only saw this now! Maybe it’s worthwhile talking further about it and expressing how you feel and the fears you have? Talking through all the positives and the negatives and being realistic about it can help you both I think.
          I would feel the same way if I couldn’t have kids – as a sign that it wasn’t meant to be for me.
          Don’t feel like a fraud, things change. People change and we can’t be expected to feel the same way about everything we want for the future, especially when there is so much family history. I’m sorry to hear about your experiences as a child, but I’m sure you would be a loving mother. It’s definitely not an easy decision, I wish you the best of luck. If it was me, I would be listening to my heart first. It’s a life-changing decision.

  • Lyn 04/06/2018

    Thought I’d way in from the prospective Grandma angle. I have four sons, and have always wanted lots of grandchildren, just assumed that would happen. My oldest (37) and his wife have never wanted kids, and it’s a good choice for them for many reasons. My 2nd (30) and his probably future wife have recently said they also do not want kids. That one took me by surprise. And while it might be easy for me, as I have 2 more kids who may still reproduce, I’ve told them all that there is only one good reason to have a kid, and that’s because you truly want and can provide for one. Providing your parents with grandchildren is a terrible reason! Would it make me sad to miss out on grandchildren? Absolutely! But would I want them to feel pressured into having a child for me? Absolutely not! I do campaign for more grand dogs, though, completely guilt free.

    • Hi Lyn, thank you for your honest thoughts and perspective. I think that this is how my parents feel as well. They would love to have grandkids but are in no way wanting us to have them if we don’t want them. I guess a lot of it comes down to how someone is raised and what values the family has. If family and having lots of it around is very important, I think that the kids are more likely to want to have children compared to let’s say a family that may not have those same values. Thanks again for your message 🙂

  • Kristina Plummer 04/06/2018

    Thank you SO much for sharing this! It’s so nice to know there are more people out there who are comfortable talking about this incredibly life-changing decision. I’m excited for a life without kids and happy I’ll have more energy to help others discover ways to make the world a better place!

    Thank you for sharing <3

    • Thanks so much for your lovely message Kristina! It means a lot. Thank you also for caring about mother nature and all of us that share her beauty 🙂

  • JO 04/06/2018

    Hi, Masa..
    How are you? I enjoy getting your blogs in my mailbox. 🙂
    As for this post..I understand you felt compelled to give reasons as to why you and Michael don’t want kids, but seriously, it isn’t anybody’s business. You’re not obligated to give reasons or justify your decision. It’s simply YOUR CHOICE. OWN IT. 🙂
    As for me..I’m 53 years young, vegan nearly a year and an aspiring minimalist (getting better, but not completely there, yet)..and I simply never wanted kids. I never received the “mom gene”. That said, I feel I would have made a good enough mother, as I’m very nurturing..but that said, you have to WANT them. All other reasons aside, you simply have to have it “in” you to WANT to take care of a little being..and I don’t, and I’m not going to apologize for that..and you shouldn’t, EITHER. My point is, the environment and other reasons you’ve mentioned, may not be “good enough” if you TRULY wanted to have kids to begin with. I know that wouldn’t stand in the way for ME if I DEEPLY wanted children. I would just “make do” because my desire to raise a little one would overshadow everything else..know what I mean? All this to say, do something (or don’t) because you feel it deeply in your soul and it resonates with you..not because your ideologies are pushing you in a different direction. Just like I’m vegan, but don’t have a vegan cat because my ideology has NOTHING to do with him, having children or not I feel should come from your innate desires, not from your belief system. Maybe I’m wrong and you disagree, and that’s fine. 🙂 I’m just saying that if you truly, REALLY wanted to have kids, NOTHING would stop you.
    All the best.
    Jo xo

    • Hi Jo, thanks for your message. In all honesty, I was more compelled to write it because I wanted to let others know that if they think like this, they are not alone. I’ve had an overwhelming amount of emails, comments and conversations since only posting this yesterday morning and it’s refreshing to see others connecting with it. This is what I wanted.
      And I get what you’re saying, it is after all my life and my body 🙂
      I also completely understand what you mean about truly wanting kids and that the environment wouldn’t be a big factor if that was the case. I think the way that I see it is that when you make a decision as big as having kids, and think about their future as well as their kids (your grandkids), this is where the environment plays a role and where for me it’s a massive turn off. I wouldn’t want them to only learn about certain animals by going to the museum or not know what it’s like to have clean (truly clean) drinking water.
      I think a lot also comes down to personality and how you truly see the world. So if the WHY is strong enough in you, you may choose otherwise.
      Thanks so sharing!

  • Hope 04/06/2018

    Thank you for sharing such a brilliant piece. I never wanted children until I met my now ex-husband. We had a daughter together and I have been truly blessed to guide this little soul through the world, mostly on my own. However, I’m not very maternal although I know I’m a great mama. I hated being pregnant. The thought of breastfeeding made me feel physically ill. And I knew as soon as I fell pregnant that I would never have another child. I had a tubal ligation to ensure no further children would be a possibility. My daughter is now 10 and she is a magnificent being. I admit that I do think about how much more freedom I will gain as she gets older. I don’t think that’s selfish. I think it’s important to honour your own needs and desires before anyone else’s… including your child. She has learned this lesson well and knows that she is her most important person. Bringing a child into the world is a huge and very impactful decision and I feel that too many people take that decision far too lightly. Each to their own of course, but considering it is the biggest decision you will ever make, it surprises me how often people give it so little thought. It’s wonderful that you have made your decision available for people to chew on. Thank you so much for sharing xo

    • Hi Hope, thanks so much for sharing your story. Your daughter is lucky to have a mum like you 🙂
      I couldn’t agree more, it is a massive decision, completely life changing and too many people do it because they don’t think twice about it. That’s part of being a human and what a normal life cycle should be. Maybe 100 years ago, but in this day and age, I think that there is so much more to take into consideration. Thanks again for your insight.

  • Christine McGrath 04/06/2018

    Hi Masa,
    Baby talk – An impressive article, and comprehensive responses say it all.
    The population continues to run off a treadmill, and there will always be those that continue to breed.
    If a child is meant to come into this world, it will be no matter what, and visa versa.
    Isn’t it amazing that at this point in time people still pose questions on such a personal status.
    Not to be influenced in others opinions requires strength.
    In the case of adopting or fostering – There is always the do’s, and the don’t’s as both have equal tender. This is an opinion, and I wish you well because you are poroviding a good service with the work you do. Kind regards, Chris

  • Montse 04/06/2018

    Hi everyone.
    Not for tag me, just for telling something about me: I’m vegan transitioning to Whole Grain Plant Base Diet, minimalist, unschooler of myself and my 2 little girls, both under 5.
    Me and my husband always wanted to have children, lots of them. Then things happen, an horrour story with my first labour as you mentioned…but however We wanted more. So I did some therapies and have my second one at home. Completly drug free, and you know? Is one of the most empowering experiences in my whole life.
    I don’t think everyone has to have children. Actually is not an easy path, it “steal” you lots of time, money, resources, space, ecc… You obviously can be a minimalist family (like Leo Batauta family), is not easy, but You Can. No matter what. At the end, you can do anything tou whant.

    I agree that your children would be simply the ppl wich the world need and I also agree you can adopt. For me just doesn’t work. I never delegate something I can do for myself. Like taking care of my health, nutrition, my girls part of knowledge…so of course, how can I neither imagine delegating having a children (while I still can for myself)?

    And finally, just one thing people doesn’t tell to much about motherhood. If you let them, it would change your whole life. And I’m not talking about clutter, money expenses, no sleeping, ecc…all this finish as long as they grow, but your knowledge as a person, your growing would never end. They put you in situations that anyone else in the world could. They made you ask some questions, and in most cases, if you just flow, will sane lost of things that happened in your own childhood making you a better person, for yourself and for the others. This is kind of selfish argument 🙂

    However yes, children= money, but you can see this in terms of investment. Instead of seeing children like a bottomless pit, you can try to see them like a way of growing.
    Caring of others, specially children, could be exhausting, sometimes frustrating but, any time I imagine my world without them I always understand that I am who I am now, because of them. And every change I do in our live style is always thinking in them aswell. And in you, and your family, your country, our world. Because there will be children growing anywhere all the time, so I will put my black sheeps in the middle of the other, and they will as well show that life could be different, and the way we treat others really change everything…
    Well…arborescent thinking…
    In conclusion, life will put you exactly where you have to. And will give you exactly what you need at any moment. I’m not a kind of believer person, actually I’m neither a religious one, but, this is how it is. If you should have children you will, no matter what, and would be the biggest, frightening, exiting event in your life. If it never happen, no problem because your live would be simply perfect, enjoyable and fullness just the way it is now.

    My best wishes for you and your husband, actually your family.
    Hugs.

    • Thank you Montse for your message. I can agree with you 100% that having kids would be a beautiful thing at times, life-changing and would definitely make you grow as a person. I personally believe that everything happens for a reason, so if I was to fall pregnant unexpectedly tomorrow, I would embrace it. Yes I would be a little sad as our plans would have to change, but that’s life. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

  • Tina 04/06/2018

    Good on you. I have two kids myself but my sister has never wanted kids and is often put through the wringer for it. It’s great that you’re sharing this for those who are in the same boat as you and maybe for people who disagree they can at least see your side and be respectful of your right to make that choice.

    • Thank you Tina. I was hoping that this would resonate with others, and it looks like it really has!

  • Dominic 05/06/2018

    Thank you for this post. I am almost 30 and have been married for 5 years now and could not see myself having kids either. My wife graduated with student loans which we have aggressively paid off and just finished. Also in the past 5 years I have worked for 7 companies in 3 industries. I was unexpectedly laid off and had to move across the US for a new job 2 years ago. I have had to move 5 times in the past 3 years. My father is disabled and I also had to move him across the country at the same time. Needless to say our lives have been very hectic and this is the new normal for our generation. As you can imagine, it has been stressful for both of us, and I can’t imagine having to do all of that with a child.

    Additionally, in the US, paid maternity leave is not a thing, so one of us would need to stay home and likely not be able to work. Childcare is too expensive (1500-2000 dollars per month, more than our rent and half of our income) and takes away time to spend with our child. We have no family around to care for our child either so it’s just the two of us. Even being minimalist and debt-free, (in the past 5 years we have gotten rid of about 75% of our stuff and counting. Moving frequently really makes you question the need for stuff.) to cut our income in half and have another person to feed is simply not possible. Still we have been pressured several times to have children by our family as well as others. Thank you for showing us we are not the only ones who feel the same way.

    • Hi Dominic, thank you for sharing! That sounds next to impossible. I didn’t realise there is no maternity leave in the US. Child care is about the same here but sounds like we have much more support for new families and families with young kids. Yes, moving frequently does make you reassess everything you own. Sometimes it can be a blessing in disguise. Best of luck on your journey and I hope that your family and friends can understand your reasons in the near future!

  • miodrag zaric 05/06/2018

    I love you Masa Ofei !

  • b 05/06/2018

    I subscribe to your emails for the (delicious) vegan recipes so I was quite surprised when this theme popped up in my inbox. Especially since it has been on my mind a lot this year. I am turning 32 this month, and so is my boyfriend. He wants kids and I have never wanted kids for the same reasons as you are mentioning. I feel it is kind of selfish in an overpopulated world, I know that life can be a struggle and I would feel guilty if my kid became depressed or had other physical or psychological struggles. Also I don’t want to experience pregnancy and motherhood. I have always loved travelling, taking care of animals and being in quiet environments. This year I have really needed to look into all my fears – physical and existential, about bringing a new human being into this world. Also I never really liked kids much, but since my friends started having them I can see that they can be charming when you know them. I still have not made up my mind and we have tried to break up a few times over this issue already but we love each other so it is hard. I think adoption would be a choice I could live with more easily.
    Thank you so much for sharing this 🙂 It is not an easy decision to make for many people and I applaud you both for not being shortsighted and making an educated and well thought out decision.
    All the best to you.

    • Thank you so much for opening up about your feelings and struggles. It would be tricky when you want slightly different things in life. I think relationships are about compromise but that is a big thing to compromise on. It does sound like you are warming up to the idea 🙂 Best of luck with it and glad to see that it popped up in your inbox at the right time.

  • Karin 06/06/2018

    Wow, there have been a lot of comments on this post! Thank you for sharing. I, too, am a childfree Canberran. I made my decision in my mid-twenties and am now fifty. I haven’t regretted it for a moment. My reasons are similar to yours (and elaborated here http://karinscuisine.blogspot.com/2010/12/no-kids-and-no-regrets.html). If it’s any help, the older you get, the less people ask intrusive questions about when you’re going to procreate. Something to look forward to! Best wishes.

    • Karin 06/06/2018

      P.S. it’s good to see that the comments here have been so nice and respectful. A few years ago I mentioned on a mainstream economics blog that I’d decided not to have kids, and received DEATH THREATS from random strangers on the internet. I don’t understand why such a personal decision makes some people (who’ve made different decisions) so angry. You’d think that by not having kids myself, I was freeing up space and resources for other people’s kids. They should be thanking us 😉

      • Thanks for sharing Karin. It’s been really great to see so many beautiful, open-hearted comments on this post. I’m sorry you didn’t get the same response. I think it also depends on the circle of people you share this with. We’re just lucky to have such wonderful supportive and like-minded readers 🙂

  • Rhea 11/06/2018

    I’m a mother of two adult daughters, the older a vegetarian since toddlerhood. They were raised more simply, with less stuff, than their peers. I don’t know if I would be vegan today if my daughters weren’t born. Children often help their parents make positive change. We are able to influence the future by how communicate with youth. I’ve read numerous blogs written by vegan singles and couples not wanting children for environmental reasons. If the majority of those having children are ignorant or apathetic about our planet’s health, maybe that one baby born to parents who care would make…all the difference in the world.

    • Hi Rhea, I can completely agree with you on that. My concern is that our beautiful planet is in crisis and bringing children into this world now is very different to what it would have been only 10-15 years ago. What I mean by that is the facts about all the damage we as a human race have done to mother nature. For example, we now have only 1/3 of the bees that we had only 5 years ago. If bees die off, we only have 4 years on this planet without them. I would personally need a stronger reason to bring a child into such an uncertain world at this point in time.

  • Amanda Villanueva 12/06/2018

    While I would love to have a kid, I do not take it lightly, nor should anyone. I have had many moments where I’ve thought “maybe I don’t really want s kid”. You’ve hit many of my top reasons! I feel like there is so much pressure to conform to other people’s ideas of success and I do think that having children without truly weighing the costs emotionally and financially is one of the most selfish decisions that can be made. I’ve watched too many people have a child for the wrong reason and watched the child suffer. My husband and Inhave also talked about adopting and I hope that we can journey down that path when the time is right. But if it never feels right then I won’t carry any guilt or shame. Great article!!

    • Thanks for sharing Amanda, couldn’t agree more! Glad to hear you enjoyed it 🙂

  • Jessica White 13/06/2018

    Well, if you ever do decide to have children in the future, or adopt, just know that we have 3 children, are fully self-employed freelancers, we are vegan, and we aim to never live outside of our means. Our children have what they need at all times… food, shelter, clothing, love and community. Our daughters are not vaccinated since vaccines are not vegan and we do not feel comfortable with their side effects. Our daughter happily eats her vegan lunch every day at school. We plan to homeschool after elementary school or sooner. We did Waldorf homeschooling for PreK and kindergarten. She has many friends and everyone thinks it’s pretty cool when we attend class parties with vegan ice cream to share. I’m not trying to convince you to change your mind. But just know, that if there is a pulling at your heart to have a child, you can totally do the whole parenting thing vegan style and will find a huge community of parents doing the same thing!! … some parents will start looking up to you as a mentor too just because you would be parenting boldly against the status quo. Thanks for sharing your heart in this blog post. I can tell you really put a lot into it. 🙂 Peace and Love to you!!

    • Hi Jessica, thanks so much for sharing and for your reassuring words. If we ever change our mind, you have given me a bit of hope. Where are you located? I think it also depends where you live to how much support you would receive from the community. Nice to hear you’re living the dream! 🙂 x

  • Lays 14/06/2018

    Hello.
    I really liked the way you talked about not having kids!
    I think and feel the same way but I avoid talking about it openly to a lot people because many don’t get the reasons that having a child in the present world scenario would be more selfish than not having one. Having and raising a child just because this is what is expected from adult life is just not right.

    • I hear you Lays! This is one of the reasons I wanted to write about it, to be able to talk about it. I haven’t fully expressed how I feel to anyone else (besides Michael) until I wrote this post.

  • Jess 17/06/2018

    This is such an amazing post, my fiancé and I feel exactly the same. We have noticed people don’t really accept our decision when we tell them, often they say things such as “ohhh you will!” Especially family.

    Hopefully they will start believing us after the vasectomy…

    • Thanks Jess! I can totally relate, I think our families still feel that way. Haha, that would do it!

  • Candi @ minhus 17/06/2018

    Thank you for sharing this as sometimes it feels very unusual in my everyday life to not want kids. I never really wanted kids, babies scare me and I never learned how to care for them. And the idea of childbirth? No. Thank. You. I was also an au pair and found it quite difficult spending that much time with a young child.

    So there was never a strong pull to have kids, but I always thought that if I did I’d rather adopt. I also don’t think we need more people on the planet and actually find the state of the world rather terrifying these days. I’m more pessimistic than optimistic about the future and I can’t imagine leaving a child to deal with that.

    I’ve also never understood the “not having children is selfish” idea. I think the actual selfish thing is to have kids if you don’t completely, totally want them and are able to care for them and their well-being for the rest of your life. Lots of people meet both those requirements, but if you don’t it’s not selfish to recognize and honor that.

    • Thanks for sharing Candi. Sometimes our own experiences tell us what we don’t want, and it sounds like that’s what being an au pair did for you. I agree with you 100%.

  • Natalia 22/07/2018

    This is so great! To hear other woman and their opinions, to know you are not alone.
    I’m 30 years old and happily married for 6 years, no kids! But i am a “mother” of 3 cute dogs, they are my sweethearts… not only mine but my husband’s too. We are a happy family and we don’t have any plans for having children. Before getting married I thought I wanted to procrate, but as the years went by and we started to stablish ourselves strong as a couple we felt no need to have babies. There is too much pressure from friends and family, they look at me in a weird way and keep asking if we are struggling with infertility problems! I mean… How ridiculous is that?? And when i say “NO! I CHOOSE not to get pregnant, that’s not such a hard thing to do these days”… They stare at me like i am crazy or something. And since we are all being honest here, can i just say i don’t find having myself a bump that wonderfull. It scares me a lot to think about my skin getting streached and organs being squished…. And i don’t even have to mention being in labor,,,
    I have friends that had children but didn’t like being pregnant… I’ve seen that it’s ok not to like the whole process. And they are amazing mothers!
    Of course children are a blessing and it’s amusing to watch them learn and grow. I love children!! But what about all the worrying that comes when having your own? My mom says she never slept the same way after I was born, i mean never! Besides the world is out of control, just thinking about the dangers my child would have to face is enought for me.

    • I can totally relate Natalia. I think that women making the choice not to have kids is still deemed as a little out of the ordinary. And with the increase of infertility and other issues, most people default to that reason as to why someone would choose not to have kids. I’m hopeful as time goes on, that as a society we become more accepting. Which is sad, but it’s true.

      From my experience, I have ever only known one, maybe two women that have enjoyed the process of being pregnant, giving birth and those first few years. It’s tough and we shouldn’t feel like we’re crazy for choosing otherwise. And the worry you mention, it’s real. I worry enough about my fur baby as it is! haha I’m sure you do too.

      Thanks for sharing.

  • Jessie 25/07/2018

    It`s sounds 100% like what I think about this topic. If people ask me, if I don`t want kids, I always reply: The last thing this world needs are more humans.
    I have four dogs and the only time I thougth about having a baby, was when my ex told me, I can`t have another dog until we are retired (I was 30 yo at this time)
    I am so thankful we quit our 12 year relationship before I got pregnant 😉

  • Courtney 30/07/2018

    It’s so awesome to see an article that mirrors a lot of aspects of how I feel.

    When I was younger I always saw my future with kids – no questions asked. My kids would go on and grow up and do wonderful things to benefit the world. But then people around me started having kids, and they were insufferable about it. My ability to be an empathetic person (which i am) was questioned because I wasn’t a mother, so I wouldn’t understand a certain situation.

    Because of this my husband and I questioned having children, and then more things played into it. Eventually we got divorced and here I am at 28 years old, single for the first time in nine years with my apparent egg-rearing days in fast decline. I had lost over 20kgs of weight, was finally getting happy with body, and I made the selfish decision that I didn’t want kids in my future.

    I don’t want to live for my kids alone. My kids don’t have to be what benefits the world – I could benefit the world. I didn’t want to gain weight again, I don’t want to give up alcohol and my money and my nice things and my lifestyle. I don’t want to breastfeed – the idea of my breasts being anything other than sexual is not a concept for me.

    But I fully am happy to change my mind about this. If I meet another person that I love, which at the moment seems doubtful, I will be more than happy to introduce children into our lives – but not through me. I see so much more benefit in adopting. This world is overpopulated and it is selfish of me to want to bring another person into our already heaving world just to pass on my DNA. I would rather give a home and love to a child who has none, who was born in difficult circumstances.

    I dont know if kids are in my future – they probably aren’t. But there will be many many many dogs. And honestly, that’s kind of better.

    • Thanks for sharing so openly and honestly. You’re the only one that will know if and when you want to have kids. Don’t be so doubtful of meeting someone else, it can happen when you least expect it to!

Leave a Comment

Top