With quotes from famous people to back it up!
“If I had kids, my kids would hate me. They would have ended up on the equivalent of the Oprah show talking about me; because something [in my life] would have had to suffer and it would’ve probably been them.” — Oprah Winfrey
Intro Disclaimer: I know this can be a tough read for individuals with kids. I want to be clear that I’m not saying having kids is a right OR wrong decision. This article is just a PSA that hopefully will open more people’s eyes to think about the decision before automatically deciding this HAS to be the next step in their lives. Thanks for reading this with an open mind and honest heart.
Anyone who read my article a few weeks ago about the three decisions I made in life that I don’t regret probably knew this was coming.
I knew that my third decision to not have kids was one that many people were going to get up in arms about because who can say they regret having kids?
Kids are supposed to be the joy of our lives, right?
That is the one thing that most people will generally say they got right in the world despite how their lives generally turn out.
And while I’m not saying that EVERYONE shouldn’t have kids because that would eventually lead to our species becoming extinct, I am arguing that more people should consider it for a number of very specific reasons.
And perhaps to add a bit of credibility to the argument for those people who always like to hear advice from celebrities, I enlisted the help of a few who share my view to back me up.
1. Kids are VERY hard to raise — John Cena
If you truly sit down and think about it, raising kids is probably the most difficult thing that anyone will do because of how utterly unpredictable it can be.
I even think back to myself as a kid, and how I was pretty mild-mannered and docile compared to many of my peers. With that being said, I STILL did a fair amount of extremely stupid sh*t that could’ve gotten me killed or into some serious trouble if I hadn’t ultimately been lucky.
And while, of course, that was great for me, the other person’s life who would’ve completely been turned upside because of my stupid decision-making was my mother’s.
When you have kids, you put everything in your life at risk of the decision-making of someone who will often just do some very dumb things and not know why.
Couple that with the amount of money you will spend on them before they’re 18 and the continual disagreements you might get into it with your spouse about the way you raise them (41% of marriages argue about children), and it’s not surprising this is usually a point of discontent in a marriage.
John Cena talks about the difficulty of raising kids, and how he knew that just because he could possibly be a good father, he wasn’t ready for that type of responsibility. He said,
“It’s hard work. It’s hard work to balance the time I need to run myself correctly. It’s hard work to be the best partner and husband I can be to my loving wife. It’s hard to keep connections with those in my life that I love. And it’s also hard to put in an honest day’s work.”
2. The chances of you being happier with them versus without them seem low. — Seth Rogan
Often when I talk to people who have kids, they first start out saying how great their kids are and the monumental joy they get from watching them achieve their dreams.
They get excited when discussing how great Sue is at this sport or Miguel is at that musical instrument and how they get really excited about their future.
They then proceed to discuss how busy they are because of it and how pretty much their lives now consist of them driving the kids back and forth to various practices each afternoon as well as different tournaments/events each weekend.
Many times, this leads to them sharing they don’t take too many vacations or just time for themselves in general because they either don’t have the time or the money to do so.
Not always, but about 50% of the time, these leads them to share that they wouldn’t give back their kids for anything in their world (the ultimate caveat that everyone feels obligated to share), but if they did have a choice to do it over, they aren’t 100% sure they would have kids at all or as many kids as they have.
When I hear this, I ultimately know I made the right decision to not have kids because the happiness that I have without them seems like it would be completely destroyed by adding them.
My ability to travel and the free time I have to do what I want to do when I want to do it is one of the things that ultimately is the reason for the joy in my life, and with kids, this would be reduced drastically or not be possible.
I think Seth Rogan summed this up nicely when he said,
“I don’t know anyone who gets as much happiness out of their kids as we get out of our nonkids. Like, we’re f*cking psyched all the time! We’re laying in bed on Saturday mornings smoking weed, watching movies naked. If we had kids, we could not be f*cking doing this.”
3. Who says you HAVE to? — Jennifer Aniston
Unfortunately, for many women, there appears to be a sentiment from others that they have not achieved something in life unless they have had the experience of having a child.
The question is where did this rule come from and who says that anyone has to subscribe to it.
Just like I think others should question the societal construct of HAVING to marry in life, I think everyone should question the societal norm of having to have kids.
As alluded to in the intro, this doesn’t mean everyone shouldn’t, but for those individuals who just aren’t born with the parenting “gene”, why feel obligated to bring a kid into the world?
You can have a life that is just as fulfilled and complete without having brought a kid into the world, and the reality is if you don’t truly feel committed to making the necessary sacrifices that it takes to be a good parent, not only will you suffer, but the kid will too.
Therefore, instead of listening to society, feel confident that if you don’t feel the need or desire to have a kid, then that doesn’t make you less of a human for doing so.
I think Jennifer Aniston put it beautifully when she said,
“We are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child. We get to decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies. That decision is ours and ours alone.”
4. You typically have to make the choice of your career or not being the BEST parent — Christopher Walken
This one goes back to one of my reasons in my original article in that when you decide to have a kid, your options become rather limited as a result of it.
Many times, the risks and decisions you could make before as it relates to life and your career are restricted because now you have another human being to think about whose happiness typically will trump your own.
Sometimes people try to still live the type of life that they desire and put their kids second. I’m not judging, but some kids will see these individuals as parents who are never home, never available and ultimately turn out to be pretty bad parents.
There are those amazing SUPER parents who somehow manage to do both. However, for the majority of the normal individuals out there, the choice typically comes down to either sacrificing the upward ability of one’s career or not being that great of a parent.
This is typically not a decision that both parents will always have to make, however, as many times this is the sacrifice of whoever decides to be the stay-at-home parent. Sometimes, this can later turn into a bit of a resentment and regret, especially if divorce ever becomes a topic of conversation.
This is something that just comes with the great responsibility of being a parent.
Christopher Walken understood this wholeheartedly and admits that not having kids is part of the reason he was able to be successful in his career when his friends couldn’t.
When asked if his career would’ve been possible with kids, he responded, “Absolutely not.” He continued to say,
“I’m sure many of the kids I knew as a child would have continued in show business, but they had kids of their own, had to do something dependable. I didn’t, so I could get by even in periods of unemployment.”
5. Aren’t so many kids part of the growing problem? — Ashley Judd
There are a number of activist who feel strongly about the direction we are taking the world and this growing “cancer” known as human that seems to be depleting the world of all of its natural resources.
While many people think the decision to overturn Row vs. Wade is a terrible decision for politics to be able to make decision for what a woman does with her body (me being one of those people), the other side of this devilish decision is the disastrous human population effect this will have on our future planet.
The earth is already drastically overpopulated with about 811 million people globally hungry already. The effect of so many people in the world using tons of economic resources have some scientists fearing the world may be depleted of them as soon as the year 2040.
Each time I check Netflix for best documentaries on their site, there seems to be a new one about the disastrous effect of over-fishing or over-farming or just the disastrous effect the human population is having on our planet in general.
The reality is clear…the more people we put on the earth, the more damage we do to the planet.
Also, with the realization that up to 163 million kids are in need of adoption each year, wouldn’t adopting these kids be a solution that would have a double positive impact on both problems — not adding more people to the population and giving these kids a place to call home?
Ashley Judd had a great holistic view of this that relays the entire concept in general,
“I figured it was selfish for us to pour our resources into making our ‘own’ babies when those very resources and energy could not only help children already here, but through advocacy and service transform the world into a place where no child ever needs to be born into poverty and abuse again. My belief has not changed. It is a big part of who I am.”
I knew when I shared this belief that it would be a bit controversial because of the deep personal conviction so many people either feel about their current kid(s) or their right to have a kid one day in the future.
However, if one truly thinks about it holistically and thinks about the pluses and minuses of the two decisions from an objective point of view, hopefully, the option to perhaps not have one will get a bit more consideration in the future.
Your future self (and probably also our future world) will thank you for doing so.