A growing number of adults in the United States say that they aren’t interested in having children. A 2021 study by Pew Research found that 44% of nonparents aged 18 to 49 say that it is “not too or not at all likely that they will have children someday.” That’s a 7% increase over the 37% who said the same in 2018.
Fifty-six percent of those say they simply don’t want to have children, and the 46% who chose “some other reason” cited medical reasons, their financial situation, lack of a partner, age and state of the world as the biggest reasons they aren’t likely to have kids in the future.
A Reddit user by the name of ilovenosycats asked the online forum, “Why don’t you have kids and/or do not plan on having kids?” and received a lot of revealing answers. Over 1,700 people responded to the question, and some of the most popular reasons contradict the idea that those who don’t want to have kids are being selfish.
Many who replied to the thread said they don’t want to have children because they don’t think they’d be good parents. Others are dealing with childhood trauma and have no interest in passing it on to their kids. Some are concerned about the condition of the world and don’t think it’s right to bring a child into such a challenging place.
Some enjoy having fewer responsibilities and a couple of extra dollars in their pockets. And who can blame them?
While it’s good to understand those who want to remain child-free, people’s reproductive choices are no one else’s business. There are many great reasons to have kids or be child-free. So, it’s probably best to celebrate each other’s differences when it comes to such a big decision.
Plus, no one should have children unless they really want them.
Here are 15 of the best responses to the question: “Why don’t you have kids and/or do not plan on having kids?”
“I just don’t feel like I want it badly enough, and one should really want to have a child in order to be able to give their 100% as a parent, every child deserves that.” — SignificantFunny1523
“This is my reason. Waiting for that ‘badly enough”‘to kick in. It’s getting hard to differentiate between wanting to fit in socially (not wanting to miss my friends and family’s current ‘baby wave’), and what I actually want. Been married 4 years now and I’m 32, so it’s just… hard. I struggle with the idea daily.”
“Sleep. I love sleep. I get up when I’m being paid to get up but otherwise my great and immediate joy is sleeping until I don’t feel like sleeping anymore. I much prefer sleep to children.” — DamnIGottaJustSay
“This curse ends with me.” — DavetheRoper
“Don’t have the patience for kids.” — Leoimirmir
“I don’t want to be a parent. That’s a perfectly valid reason.” — AllyriaCelene
“Cost of raising a kid, and the lifelong stress of raising a kid.” — Typical_Conclusion_5
“Would rather help an existing life be better through adoption than to create another one. As well as not pass down my less than optimal genetics.” — LoonaticLaskdorp
“I like my life exactly like it is. Kids might make it better. They might make it worse. But, since this is awesome, I’m great with things staying the way they are.” — SnooWords4513
“I have OCD and trauma that would be entirely overwhelmed by a child. Children deserve to be annoying, gross, messy, and to have fun. I would not be able to foster an environment where a small child had the freedom to have fun without feeling bad about themself. Children are annoying but they’re supposed to be. It would be unfair for me to have a child that I know would overstimulate me. You don’t get breaks from being a parent and I just don’t think I’ll ever be ready for that.
I would perhaps like to adopt or foster older children one day. I think I could help someone have a very nice life. I’d also like to give a child the adult guidance I needed and never had.
Overall, I think I’m more suited to be a cool uncle. I love kids and feel like they represent the best parts of personhood — love, trust, freedom of self-expression without shame. I just don’t think I’d be a good fit for small kids long term. My own desires to nurture another don’t overpower the personal limitations I hold, I believe that would be selfish. On a personal level, I would also be horrified if I had a child with the same disorders that I have. I know the struggles and pains of growing up mentally ill and mistreated, and I never hope to make another person feel that way.” — TheSoundofStyrofoam
“Bringing someone into this world is cruel.” — dziwolonk
“I can barely look after myself let alone a kid.” — Rude_Act_6276
“Isn’t 8 Billion People enough?” — Georgiculus
“Responsibility is one of the things I hate most in my life. I want peace of mind. I don’t want to deal with a creature that I have to take care of everything. Besides, this world isn’t a good place anyway, if I had a child I wouldn’t be able to live my own life trying to give him a good life. That’s why I don’t have children.” — Corvuseums
“Being a DINK is the literal best. We are the coolest neighbors on the block, amazing aunts and uncles, loving parents to several pets, and have enough free money that we can give money to charities and causes we believe in. I think I am a better member of my community without kids. (I fully believe this is not the case for everyone and there are many fantastic parents.)” — probably_a_possum
“I can’t impregnate myself.” — Nirvana_bob7