"Childless People Are Full of Sadness and Regret," Is Something that People With Children Probably Say

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"Childless People Are Full of Sadness and Regret," Is Something that People With Children Probably Say

By Dustin Rowles | Miscellaneous | August 8, 2013 | Comments ()

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The media has been opening up festering wounds this week, drawing lines, creating schisms, and pitting Mommy vs. Non-Mommy. It’s kind of a dumb debate, but I’m always surprised at how much conversation it creates. It feels like a very personal decision to me about what kind of life you want to have, where you place your priorities, and what makes you happy. Children don’t make everyone happy; in fact, I’d wager that they’re a bigger source of misery for more couples that have them, than for the number of couples miserable because they don’t have them. Indeed, the studies consistently say that childfree people have a better quality of life than those with children, although those with children tend to live longer and say their lives have more meaning, for whatever that is worth.

As a father of three, I can’t imagine a life without children, but if I could — My God — think of all the free time, the time not spent making meals, doing laundry, and nagging! I could be lying on the couch all day Saturday eating terrible things and watching TBS and TV marathons. It’s the one thing I miss most about my childfree existence: Television marathoning.

We all have our f*cked-up priorities, OK?

There are, as always, pros and cons to each side, but man it it ever fun with a publication like Time gets into it and manufactures a debate:

Any national discussion about the struggle to reconcile womanhood with modernity tends to begin and end with one subject: parenting. Even Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In,” a book focused on encouraging women’s professional development, devotes a large chunk of its take-home advice to balancing work and family, presuming that, like its author, ambitious women will have both. It’s great that we’re in the midst of a cultural conversation about the individual choices and structural barriers that shape our lives. But if you’re a woman who’s not in the mommy trenches, more often than not you’re excluded from the discussion. …

With fertility treatment widely available, not to mention adoption, even clinically infertile women have more options than ever to become mothers, which increases the possibility that any woman who doesn’t will be judged for her choice.

Did you hear that, ladies? If you’re really ambitious, you should have a career and children, and a successful life will mean mastering both! And if you don’t have children, well, you can expect that your Mommy friends will bail on you, and you’ll feel totally left out of the riveting conversations about lunch strategies, daycare, how to deal with sick children, and poop!

Elsewhere, The Daily Mail — which features a somewhat even handed story — leads with this more provocative headline, “‘Any woman who says she’s happy to be childless is a liar or a fool.”

You hear that, fools? Liars? Of course, the story itself leads with a childless woman describing her weekend:

Take this week: I spent a few days on a friend’s sailing boat in Italy, sun-bathing, drinking rose, talking, laughing and dancing until dawn. Back at home after my break, I slept for hours, ate breakfast in bed, and stayed there reading until well after lunchtime. I couldn’t be bothered to cook, so I went out for a Thai meal, bumped into a friend, went to the cinema and then out for drinks.

I want to go to there.

The story then cites studies than say that, in the 50s, only one in 9 women were childless, while now it is one in four, while 43 percent of college graduates are childless.

Meanwhile, have you read Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World with its population graded from the top, Alpha, down to Epsilon? If educated, successful women like me don’t breed, are we gearing up for a generation of Epsilon-minus semi-morons?

This journalist has clearly seen Idiocracy. “Social mobility is stickier than ever, so let’s not leave breeding to the idiots.” Amen!

Childlessness is a source of sadness and regret. Most of those 43 per cent will have gone through fertility hell, or never met the right guy, or left it too late, or have any number of unhappy stories.

Few would say: ‘I don’t want, and never wanted, children.’

Damn lady, you just put words in a lot of mouths, and I don’t think that most of those mouths are going to appreciate you speaking for them.

(Source: Time, The Daily Mail)

See also: 30 Practical Tips About the Horrors of Raising a Baby That You Will Never Learn from Movies and TV

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Guest

    I'm 41, male, childless, not a christian, and the greatest sorrow of my life is that I spent years with a woman who didn't want kids and now that I'm finally with my true soul mate we can't have a child of our own together. If you've ever wanted a family, think very carefully about your decision to stay with someone who doesn't. You may regret it some day.

  • cgthegeek

    I don't know if I want kids. I changed my dad's diapers for 3 years before he died and I'm pretty sure I'll be changing my mom's diapers some time within the next decade. I'm pretty diapered out already, ya know?

  • petitesuissesse

    Idiocracy is a silly movie which based (either wittingly or not) on the principles of Eugenics. Smart, educated, rich people do not necessarily beget smart, educated, rich people. How many of you commentors would say that you are smart and that you grew up poor? Stay away from making too much of a funny little movie.


  • Bothari

    I had an overly chatty dental hygienist ask me a few weeks ago if I was married or had children, and when I said no, she scooted over to look at my chart and said "And HOW old are you?" (35) I thought it was funny in a mostly-offensive way, but then later I thought...what if I had been one of those Ally McBeal types who was desperate to have a husband and kids? I have friends who would've been crushed. I just laughed and told her I'd started asking for a hysterectomy for Christmas when I was 13. She was surprisingly supportive about that, and finally said "If I'd known then what I know now, I would've stopped at one." She has three grown children! Sheesh, people. Think before you speak!

  • professor_love

    My wife is 43 and has had a hysterectomy due to endomitriosis. We have worked through not having kids or even adopting them and gotten to a happy place about it. Whenever my wife meets new people, the phenomena described in this article happens. All the time, every time. Men and women. "Did you consider in vitro?" "Well, in vitro is not covered by insurance, costs most of my yearly salary for one round, is extremely invasive, and at my age only gives me a 10% opportunity to have a child." "What about adoption?" "I don't want to have children badly enough to adopt. Plus, that costs marginally less money, but there are legal fees etc." [then we get the sad face that says we must be miserable.] Every time, that conversation. Note that we are a perfectly middle class couple. The cost of raising a child that actually came out of your v-jay is very high, but it is spread out over the course of a lifetime. The cost of getting a child that didn't come out of your v-jay is pretty exorbitant. The cynical side of me might think that the adoption and in vitro industry are jacking the prices up because of the sense of desperation engendered by the kind of people that make us repeat that conversation ad nauseum.

  • BlackRabbit

    Weirdly, this article is incredibly appropriate for me today. I'm 36, male, and have a decent job (which I hate, but that's neither here nor there), and I've felt constant (mostly self-induced) pressure to have kids, being an only child. I woke up this morning feeling like I'd missed out. Three of my friends have them, and I in general like kids. And yet, I've been reasonably happy w/out, and I don't think I'd make a good father. Yet for all that, I say: It's your own damn choice. Do what makes you happy and healthy.

  • Lauren_Lauren

    I *would* like something small and cute to dress up in costumes, but that's what cats are for.

  • vyduxawanuxe

    мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт...­ ­ViewMore----------------------...

    Generally speaking men without children is seen as something that
    happens. Women without children is seen as 'oh no you *must* want to
    have children'. If you're young, you'll get the annoying 'oh you say
    that now, but just wait' bullshit. If your old, people will tell you,
    you're missing out.

  • blacksred

    I really wish having children was more of a taboo subject so when you are still reeling from the hurt and pain of a miscarriage 7 people wouldnt randomly ask you when you and your husband will be having children.

  • Dennis Albert Ramirez

    i am also one of the "few" who doesn't want children. at all.

    it is fantastic if you want some yourself. i mean, i get it, it's not like i'm immune to the romanticism of having a child. i'd love to pass on my wisdom about how one should properly drink a hacker pschorr or weihenstaphaner hefeweiss (proper weizen glass, with a lemon on the rim for aroma BUT NOT IN THE DRINK like a goddamn Blue Moon peasant), etc. to a very deserving mini-me-and-mom of my own

    but then days like a couple summers ago happen.

    i decided to head to a local bar one weekday afternoon (SINGLE LIFE!), and passed a park where a dad was playing Catch with his 6 or 7 year old son. a bunch of mental AWWs overwhelmed the Dillinger Escape Plan in my headphones.

    the kid missed a throw (i assumed the father was terrible at Catch) and the ball rolled through the park fence and stopped in the middle of the sidewalk in my path, cruelly taunting the child as he tried his best to reach the ball through the gate where it lay JUST out of his reach

    overwhelmed by instinctual feels, i was like, oh man, i'm totally going to get the ball for him, toss it back and show him how a REAL dad plays Catch and other things that eventually would have evolved into kidnapping when i noticed that there was an open gate IMMEDIATELY NEXT to the child.

    he knew it was there, but just kept trying to reach through the fence anyway. and my instinctual feels immediately morphed to 'are you fucking kidding me' rages and decided the child DESERVED to forever reach through that fence at a ball he would never attain. you know, like a life lesson he'd never learn since the dad ran through the open gate to get the ball instead of telling the kid to (like a good dad, yeah, yeah)

    and that is why i don't want/shouldn't have children. i'd write them off faster than i'd have just kidnapped them.

  • e jerry powell

    That is an Oprah-worthy Ugly Cry happening in that header photo.

  • clancys_daddy

    If you want em have em, if you don't want em don't have em. Every one who thinks differently is wrong and should STFU.

  • VohaulsRevenge

    The childless "debate" reminds me a great deal of a kind of semi-annual flame war that pops up on a sex and relationships forum I frequent. At least once a year, someone will post a question about whether cut or uncut penises are best, or whether it should be done at all. A hundred or so acid-spattered posts later, a mod will finally step in and close what is, in essence, a "Whatever I've got is what rules, and that's that."

    As for whether or not I want kids, I want them in the same way that I want a daysailer that I could never afford, transport, or care for.

  • calliope1975

    I do want children. But I haven't found a man and my babymaking parts are getting old. And I've thought about adoption, sperm doners, my inherent laziness, etc.

    I get comments all the time about how sad it is. It kinda bums me out but I don't feel my life will irrevocably suck if I'm not a parent.

    I have a ton of respect for those who decide to have kids. I have a ton of respect for those who decide not to have kids. But you get judged either way. You're horrible if you don't have kids. You're horrible if you have kids but don't parent them the way the judgee deems.

    Basically, you're screwed either way.

  • e jerry powell

    "I don't want, and never wanted, children."

    There. I said it, too.

    Of course, there were a couple of weeks in junior high, while I was reading Great Expectations, that I fancied myself a male Miss Havisham, where I wanted my own little Estella.

    Weird thing, Estella is now my niece(s). But I can send them home when I'm done playing out Dickens.

    (And no, it wasn't humid that day; that is some hardcore biracial hair happening.)

  • emmalita

    That's some GORGEOUS hair - says the white girl with the stick straight hair.

  • e jerry powell

    The babymamas have to deal with it every day, though, so I suspect they have a slightly different opinion.


    Willam (he of RuPaul's Drag Race fame) made me swear to never let anyone take a pressing iron to Simone Muad'Dib's hair. Luckily, I haven't been forced to worry about it, because pressing that hair would take at least TWO HOURS, and nobody in her life wants to give it that kind of time.

  • emmalita

    The grass is always greener, especially when it comes to hair.

  • e jerry powell


  • chanohack

    One time my little four-year-old cousin said to my aunt, "Daddies go to work and mommies stay home and protect the children from sea monsters."

    As hilarious and adorable as that statement is, it's also entirely influenced by his interaction with society, because both my aunt and uncle work, but she works more, and she travels a lot, so it's usually his daddy that tucks him in at night and makes him breakfast. But in spite of his home situation, he still gets the idea that men are breadwinners and women are home makers. And I hate that.

  • Berry

    I do envy the people who've never wanted children, and have always known that, at least a little My husband and I needed many years and a lot of painful conversations to reach that conclusion: we're just not meant to be parents. But even though that decision has caused us both some sadness, maybe even regrets, it was still the right one. And our lives are not defined by our tearful, bitter regret. We made our decision for good reasons, and we'll live with that just fine. People needn't concern themselves with our empty, meaningless lives, but of course they will. Oh well.

  • Slash

    I feel somewhat fortunate in that one of my sisters has 7 kids. She had her share, my share and someone else's. And she started early, at age 19. My mother has 9 grandchildren. So no pressure on me whatsoever to produce the next generation of mentally unstable alcoholics.

  • A good friend of mine from high school through college has two very well-behaved children. For a myriad of reasons I've maintained my desire to remain childless and over the last few years my friend has been giving me the usual grief about it. His latest argument was that it was my biological imperative to pass along my genes. I responded that since I've got 6" and 50 lbs on him it's also my biological imperative to kill him with a stick and take his stuff.

  • Kim Voeks

    When I was single in my thirties and forties, I would get asked by men "Why don't you have children?" My response was always "Cause my birth control and my brain both work."

  • I don’t want, and never wanted, children. :)

  • luthien26

    *sigh* I'm getting to that age where I'm getting reminders that my ovaries are quickly shriveling to raisins and that my uterus is going to shrivel into dust soon. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE my Mom, I would cut someone for her. But she recently gave me the "you should get your eggs frozen" speech, and then pointed out that my husband's siblings have children, and that one day he might look at those kids, decide he wants some, then throw me over for some young thing who can reproduce when I can't.

    My husband and I DO talk about kids, and I think we would like to have at least one, but I'm not sure I'm there yet. I'm was sort of a late bloomer, and I'm getting to do things now in my 30s that I wasn't in my 20s. But I feel like I have the Sword of Damocles over my head, and that I have to cram in all I want to do in the next year or so, before my "child bearing" years are over. I hate that I don't FEEL old, but I'm being made to think I am.

  • emmalita

    One of my friends didn't decide she wanted children until she was 38. She and her husband adopted. Now they 5 adopted children. And they recently started fostering, so there are 8 children in the house.

  • Slash

    OK, well ... If you're approaching 35, you're approaching the age when conceiving "naturally" (ie, with no drugs or other interventions) will be more and more difficult. If you're less than 35, you got a couple years.

    Sorry, but that seems to be the medical consensus. It's not that 35 is old, it's that statistically, conceiving after 35 takes longer. But it's not 0%. You can get knocked up into your 40s (see Halle Berry, though we don't know if that was with the aid of medicine or not).

    And these numbers are applicable to men, too. Various birth defects are apparently slightly more likely with advanced PATERNAL age than with advanced maternal age. There's a reason sperm banks won't accept donations from anyone under (I think this is right) age 37. Older than that, your sperm is past its sell-by date.

    But, biologically, women do have a little more urgency to reproduce by a certain age than men do. Because their bodies have to do a whole lot more than produce a single egg.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I do think that depends on the individual woman though. My family is crazy fertile. I've had unprotected sex one weekend in my life. I was 37. My child is 8.

  • Slash

    I assume their numbers involve averaging of some kind. There are always "outliers."

    Like I said, late 30s isn't old. But for having a first kid, it kind of is. Physiologically, anyway. And fertility treatments are expensive.

  • e jerry powell

    Even more expensive if you have to go through it more than once, I've learned.

  • TK

    Eh. My wife and I never even talked that much about kids. And then oopsie, we had one. We were both 37 when he was born. And it's fine. It doesn't feel like we took too long, it feels just right. We did a shitload of really fun stuff when we were childless, and I don't regret waiting this long AT ALL.

    So what I'm saying, as nicely and politely and with as much respect as possible, is fuck 'em. You'll be ready when it happens, and don't let the pressure get to you. You're happy and having fun? Awesome. Keep doing that. And then, IF/when you have a kid? That'll be awesome and fun too, and best of all, regret-free.

    But until then, live it the fuck up, lady.

  • kinoumenthe

    For a long time, I just assumed life would take me there at one point, which I wouldn't exactly describe as "wanting" children. As women, the idea is still instilled in us very early that motherhood awaits around the corner. Now that people around me (friends, family) are having the babies and giving me access to them as aunt or godmother, I've found out that my feelings are totally flat on the subject. I neither "want" or "do not want" children.

    It's realistically very likely I won't have any, but the prospect doesn't seem to send me into any kind of hysterics or feelings of superiority. That's all I can say on the subject for the time being.

  • theothercourtney

    Blech. I was all heated up, ready to vent and pontificate
    and then… it’s really kind of simple:

    If you want them and have them, good for you. You are
    probably happy.

    If you don’t want them and don’t have them, good for you. You
    are probably happy.

    If you want them and can’t have them, that sucks. You are
    probably unhappy.

    If you have them and don’t want them, that sucks. They are
    probably unhappy.

  • emmelemm

    Childless lady now, childless lady forever... I assure you I am not a liar. I may be a fool... but not about not having or wanting children.

    PS Hello from my yacht where I'm eating breakfast in bed and reading until noon, then television marathoning (or something to that effect).

  • Slash

    The older you get, the better you are at recognizing these manufactured "controversies." It's what the media does instead of giving us actual news, which is boring and complicated.

    Have kids. I don't care how many. As long they're reasonably well behaved and well taken care of. Kids are cute. I watched a kid (maybe a year old) eat pizza in a restaurant yesterday and it was way more entertaining than anything anyone else was doing in there.

    Or don't have kids (like me). It doesn't indicate your superiority or lack thereof. It's just a life choice.

    Don't people have anything better to do? This is why we don't have hover cars yet, isn't it? Because instead of investing valuable time in hover car technology, people are yapping about how great they are for reproducing or not reproducing.

  • emmalita

    True story - I have never wanted to be a mother. I love kids AND I do not regret not being a mother. My friends have kids that I love and hang out with. And then I am happy to give them back. Right now I'm running my annual two weeks of Camp Emmalita. I have 4 kids and we do a lot of the things their parents don't have time to do with them. I'm having huge amounts of fun and already making plans for next year. Next week I will relish my childless existence. I'm looking forward to it.

  • PaddyDog

    My sentiments exactly.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Little J is spending his first night away from both of us tonight at a YMCA camp sleepover. He is so excited. We are so freaked out. I'm going to imagine all of the counselors are you.

  • emmalita

    He's going to have a blast, and you can sleep late. I once watched a friend's kids overnight so she and her husband could get romantic. They were more excited to sleep late than they were to have sex.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Tomorrow's a workday, so mostly I'll be savouring not chasing someone around saying things like, "You have to stop chaining yourself to things. It's time to get ready for bed*."

    *I actually said this last Saturday night.

  • e jerry powell

    I see a bright future as a social activist.

  • emmalita

    Yesterday a neighbor caught me yelling at the kids not to put the candy they found on the ground in their mouths. When I realized she was laughing at me, I assured her that crap like this is why I like being an aunt, not a mom.

  • Cree83

    My daughter brings me joy every single day, and I never get sick of her, and the thought of her growing up and leaving me makes me severely bummed and makes me want to have 10 more kids so that I always have a little one around for years and years and years to come. But I suspect that this attitude makes ME the one who seems sad and pathetic.

  • e jerry powell

    Hey, as long as you don't go completely Michelle Duggar with it...

  • Mrs. Julien

    No, but it makes you seem like the right person to have children.

  • Cree83

    Ah, thanks! I'm not the most adventurous person, and I always felt like a big boring person because I never really wanted to do all those crazy things you're supposed to do in your 20s before you have kids/the things you're supposed to miss once you have kids. I'm now ruefully accepting that I'm basically 60% Marge Simpson: "well if loving my kids is lame, then I guess I'm just a big lame."

  • Skyler Durden

    Why are we having this tired fucking debate again? Where did this even come from? If I wanted to watch a thousand people get the vapors over parenting choices, I'd read Slate.

    Can't we just see more Cap Ass?

  • BWeaves

    I never wanted children. I didn't have any because I live in a time when I have the advantage of successful birth control. I have NEVER regretted my decision. I'm blissfully happy.

    My husband thought he might want kids, until I made him babysit my sister's kids. He changed his mind.

    My sister said, "Oh, they're different when they're yours." Bullshit.

    Before I got married, I asked all the women I knew what they would do differently in their marriage if they could do it all over again. Everyone, and I mean everyone, said, "I'd never have kids." They all loved their kids, but they told me the kids weren't worth all the effort. Even my Mother-in-law said this.

    The one dissenting vote was from my Mother who told me I was selfish for not having kids. I never understood how I could be selfish for NOT wanting something.

  • ljridley

    I was ambivalent about having children. I have a (somewhat) unhappy story about not having them (combination of fertility issues and it being too late anyway), but I am over being sad or regretful about it. I mean we aren't partying until dawn in Italy -- we do have jobs after all and other responsibilities -- but I can sleep until 9:00 on the weekend (my not-husband is always up by 7:00). Whatever.

    One of the researchers where I work was quoted in that Time article: "Culturally and academically, 'childlessness defaults to women, in all scholarship in the social sciences.' says Pamela Smock, of the Population Studies Center."

  • BobbFrapples

    I love children, but I do not want to be a parent. My nieces are awesome, but you could not pay me enough to want one of my own.

  • Kate at June

    I don't understand how people cannot wrap their heads around simply not wanting kids. Well, for women at least. Men seem to be able to get by not wanting kids just fine. women are made for baby makin'

    I love kids. My niece and nephew and the children of my close friends are all amazing. I'm great with them, or so they tell me.

    I do not want my own. And I don't feel that way because I'm "prioritizing" anything else like a career over family. My life right now would be conducive to having a child if I so chose. My husband and I own a home, we have steady jobs--mine with opportunity for advancement, travel, and relocation. If we were to have a child right at this moment, nothing about our lifestyle would change. (By that, I mean how often we travel and go out--obviously your day to day life changes a billion times over)

    We simply don't want to have any.
    So many people cannot understand this.

    When people give me the 'you'll change your mind argument,' I respond with "I already did."

    When I was a kid and a teenager, I wanted to have children. As I entered my early 20s, I began to question if I still felt that way. Now that I'm a few years older and married and own a home, the desire is hovering right at about 8% and diminishing yearly. If the biological clock was going to start back up, I think that would have happened by now.

  • When I was younger, I always assumed I'd grow up, get married, have kids. As I got older, I realized that wasn't what I wanted at all. (Don't get me wrong - I like kids and spending time with them, but I'm always happiest when giving them back, all spoiled and happy, to their parents. I LIKE being the "favorite aunt" type.) I used to wonder if something was wrong with me, that I didn't feel the ticking clock that so many of my friends did. Now I have a new theory - and you're gonna think I'm nuts. This whole "controversy" is really something cooked up by a right wing mastermind (a la Carl Rove) to take away from the conversation that we should be having right now about how the Republican Party has evidently decided that it hates women, doesn't think we can make our own decisions about our health, and wants to keep us barefoot and pregnant even though it doesn't want to help us feed or educate our children.

  • emmalita

    I'm always happy to suspect the far right of manufacturing controversies, but I've heard this bullshit for a long long time.

  • I'm not saying they created it necessarily, but I do think they make sure it gets stirred back up periodically.

  • emmalita

    I can jump on that bandwagon.

  • GDI

    Well, they need a surplus population to indoctrinate and carry on their crazed mantra. Or sustenance a la Soylent Green.


  • Mrs. Julien

    What does Benedict Cumberbatch have to do with this?

  • oh, Mrs. Julien... thanks for two things: making me snort orange crush and making my office wonder if I'm right in the head. again.

  • PaddyDog

    I just need to tell you that your first Guest Upvote is from me and I am still laughing.

  • JoAnnaSpring

    Whenever someone asks me why I don't want kids I tell them there is no way I can answer that question without sounding like an asshole, especially if they have kids. Also that it's a really crappy question. Having kids should not be the default - it should be the positive choice.

  • ZizoAH

    I will really love to have children (or just one for that matter), but I wouldn't know how to start raising the thing.

  • PaddyDog

    You also missed the fact that yesterday the New York Times ran a column on why people with children prefer to be friends with other people with children and tend to abandon their child-free friends. In the comment section, one woman actually wrote "childless people simply don't know what it's like to put someone else's needs ahead of their own".

    Which should come as a surprise to the people without children I know who look after aging parents, volunteer tirelessly at immigrant health care centers and do amazing work with rescue dogs.
    But then, since I have no children, I'm sure I'm just too selfish to understand her point.

  • VohaulsRevenge

    Kind of a softer version of "You know who else didn't have kids? Hitler!"

    Of course, Stalin had a couple. YMMV.

  • Buellie413

    WOW. Yes, I actually run people over with my car I care so little about others.

  • PaddyDog

    Really? I think you're not pulling your weight: a little lazy to stay in the car. I prefer to take food out of the mouths of the homeless on a whim and push old ladies in front of buses so I can have a better spot.

  • DataAngel

    Or teach. Most of the child-free people I've known have all been educators. So instead of raising kids of their own, they're helping raise hundreds of kids. So selfish of them.

  • latvianluck

    Hell yeah!

    My sister is 43, never married, no kids...she was "called" to be a teacher when she was 4 and old enough to make me, her 2 yr old little sister, sit at a desk and play "School".

    She has spent the last five summers hosting all five of her nephews (current ages: 14, 14, 10, 10, and 8) for two weeks or more at her house. She would take them on historical field trips all over Virginia (history teacher, duh).

    On pickup day at the end of "camp", she would sit on her front porch and greet me with "how the hell do you DO anything?...I am exhausted and we didn't go anywhere today!". She learned that 1) boys eat a lot, especially five of them. Feeding five growing boys takes a lot of damn food! and 2) boys tend to fight a lot over really dumb stuff and 3) that once they have gone home, you once again appreciate being single and childless and having a quiet house.

    If she ever feels like she is missing out, she'll stop by my house for about 30 minutes before she gets her fill of the noise level and the STANK generated by hormonal boys.

  • John G.

    mommies, have children, and a career, and do all the housework, because even your progressive boyfriend tends to think it's your job, and then he says "why are you always tired all the time?"

  • emmalita

    My bff's husband complained that they never had sex after the 2nd child arrived. She asked him why she would want to have sex with him after working all day, and then coming home and taking care of the children and the laundry, while he played video games. He immediately became a more active parent and house-cleaner.

  • Eva

    Since the root of so many of the world's problems is the fact that it is massively overpopulated, my general opinion is that the fewer people having children, the better. And also that it DOES make it of interest to me what your reproductive choices are considering we all have to share this planet and its increasingly depleted resources. I would fully support a limit to the number of children any couple is allowed to have, especially since there are already so many out there in need of adoptiong into a good home.

  • Viking

    The Duggars make me angry. I don't send them hate mail about their choices, but I don't watch that show, either. I have been told that being childless is selfish, but I think having that many kids in an overpopulated world with starving, homeless kids is selfish for so many reasons.

  • Eva

    I absolutely agree!

  • competitivenonfiction

    The world is full of people who want to tell you that you should live your life like they do, because it makes them feel better about their own decisions. If you are truly happy and confident in your decisions you don't need to tell people how to live. In fact, if you are truly happy with your decisions, you will take pleasure in having friends and family who live their lives differently from how you live yours.

    God, why am I taking this drivel so seriously? Why am I even participating? It's like quicksand made of bullshit.

  • maydays

    Well, that's my new favorite phrase. Quicksand made of bullshit. Do I see a new FoxNews logo??

  • Mollyb

    Ugh, this old argument. I'm in my late twenties, and I'd like to have one kid someday. I'm pretty much alone among my friends. I think not having kids is a perfectly valid choice. That said, I don't believe the choice to have kids actually keeps you from doing many of the things that are so great about the child-free life. For example, my parents took us all over the world when we were kids. They were lucky to have good jobs, yes, but I think they also made a decision to not make their lives about us and us alone, and they made other sacrifices (like not having great cars or a big house). They also expected a little more of us: we didn't throw tantrums in restaurants, and we learned to play quietly on our own. Everyone makes parenting seem like such a grim, self-sacrificing experience, but as far as I can tell my parents enjoyed it and didn't even have to give up all their dreams to do it, even if they did have to compromise sometimes (something which I believe everyone has to do anyway).

  • I love the heck out of my kids. I insist on manners and responsibility for both school work and chores. My life did not become all about them, at least not once they did not require my constant attention to survive. But despite having decent jobs, we cannot afford to do the sort of things with our kids that we would do if we did not have children and the requisite child-related expenses. And I think it is unreasonable in the current economy for people to expect to have both children and the funds to do anything you might be able to do if you were child-free. For most people, it is a choice. I chose to spend $10,000 on fixing my kids' teeth. That means no vacation, no new car, no college assistance. It's great that your folks were able to take you all over the world, but that's an anomaly, not the norm, for most families.

  • mollyb

    I definitely see what you're saying; kids are expensive. And you sounds like a good parent. I guess I would argue that people can choose to have maybe one kid instead of two or three. The choice doesn't have to be multiple kids or none. I think only something like 20% of parents have only one child. In a crappy economy and with overpopulation being what it is, it's surprising that it isn't a more popular choice.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    I may be a liar and I may be a fool. But when I am enjoying sitting on a patio having drinks with my other liar fool friends... well, let's just say I will be enjoying myself. And that is no lie.

  • I'm always available for poop talk, whether or not you have children. I'm here for you.

  • evie

    I just don't get the controversy here. Why does anyone give a flying fresh fuck about the procreation choices of others (or any "lifestyle" choices, for that matter)? If it doesn't affect you personally, why waste the energy with all the smug judging?

    I have kids. I'm glad I did. I don't think that makes me any better or worse than my friends who have chosen not to. More power to them. They know what they want (or don't want, I should say), who am I to question that? I just expect the same in return.

  • e jerry powell

    Because life is so good in general that people need something to piss them off. Right?

  • Viking

    I think you don't understand the controversy because you have kids, which is socially acceptable. You don't realize how frequently or harshly people (and many of them, I've found) will openly question and judge someone for not having kids (and for not being married I will add) unless you are on the receiving end of that judgement.

  • evie

    Also, I upvoted you because I understand where you are coming from and thought maybe my tone made it seem like I took offense, which I didn't.

  • Viking

    Aaah, I see. I thought you meant you don't get why people react against the judgement, or why that judgement is a problem for those being judged. Like "who cares what others think". Which is valid, as long as people keep those opinions to themselves. Having to defend your choice all the time gets tiresome. But obviously, you had some experience with all that.

  • evie

    I waited until I was 30 to have kids, in Utah, where nearly everyone has kids before they're AT LEAST 25. I have been on the receiving end of plenty of judgment. Add on to that, the exasperated "Finally!" that I quite often get now that I've "given in".

    I still don't understand, and I hope I never do.

  • Aaron Schulz

    Im 30 and dont have kids, have a male roommate, and, if were being totally honest, love way to much girl rock, people assume im gay, and at the root of it its because of the kids thing. I dont care if people think im gay except that most of the people that assume it are kind of like "Ooooh are you gay?" like its a shame or what have you. Maybe i just dont want my kids to have debilitating mental issues and i like my sleep?

  • Viking

    Also, the older I get the more frequently it happens.

  • PaddyDog

    What's even worse is when you get to your 40s and instead of the harsh judging, people give you the pity stare when you say you have no children. One woman, a COMPLETE STRANGER, actually hugged me at a party and asked me how long I had tried before giving up. Ugh!

  • emmalita

    I get so pissed off when people assume I hang out with my friends' kids because I can't have my own. I like my friends' kids. They are excellent people in their own right.

  • $27019454

    ew. that is so creepy.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Whereas I would be all "I'm so jealous. Tell me how late you slept in this past weekend."

  • ljridley

    My brother gets mad when I mention sleeping in. I tell him he made some poor life decisions (mainly because he makes it clear that he thinks I am something of a failure for not having kids, not being married and making a lot less than him.)

  • mswas

    I tend to think that people who do "give a flying fresh fuck" about others' choices are not terribly happy with their own choices in life.

  • evie

    I would upvote you a thousand times, if I could.

  • Anna von Beav

    I've found that other people's judgement of my choices reflects far more on themselves than it does on me.

    Now, someone PLEASE teach me to grammar, because I've clearly forgotten.

  • Tinkerville

    I swear, TIME magazine trolls better than any other publication in the world, digital or print. In a way I have to give them some credit for that.

  • VohaulsRevenge

    Amen. That attachment parenting cover a few years ago could have been subtitled: "Clickbait: Not just for the Interwebz anymore."

  • e jerry powell

    Even better than the Daily Mail?

  • Dumily

    I realized about 10 years ago that I don't want kids and never have. I still get the occasional "Oh, you'll change your mind." Best reply I've found is "Oh, so you like your kids? You'll change your mind."

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