I have read that a lot of childless couples say that they always feel like they have to justify their decision to not have kids. That they feel judged by people asking if or when the little bambinos are coming. I think that is unfortunate and I want to make clear to anyone I have ever asked this of, I was not judging you. In all honesty, if I’m asking you if you are planning on having kids, it probably means I have run out of other conversation topics. You are probably someone I am chatting with at a (insert social event here), we both are holding a glass of wine and we have dispatched the usual where-do-you-work type bullshit and are looking around awkwardly trying to figure out what to say next.
Believe me when I say to you that if our conversation has gotten to this point, I really don’t care whether you want kids or not. Should you tell me something along the lines of “Oh God no! Husband and I are never having kids!” my response would be “Good for you.” Because seriously, if you don’t want kids, don’t have them. And by want I mean want in the I-absolutely-must-have-this-or-my-life-will-end-PMS-chocolate-craving-where-is-my-crack-pipe-now-Now-NOW kind of way. Why? Because kids are hard work.
Kids are not fun. Don’t get me wrong – they can be fun, but they aren’t designed for fun. Take the state fair for instance – designed for fun. Bright colors, lots of delicious fried junk food, someone else cleaning up behind you. There are lights, music and games everywhere. Prizes and drinks galore! It exists to bring you joy at turn. This is not parenthood.
Then there is Target. It can be fun under the right circumstances, if all the stars align just right. But isn’t designed for fun. Nowhere that is selling 2X grannie panties in the jumbo pack along with generic toilet paper is designed for fun. Usually you end up parking at the back, they are out of half of what you need, there are 14 people in line for the 2 registers that are open and one of them is that carpool mom you try to avoid at all costs. This is parenthood.
So if you say you would rather spend your money traveling the world, I’m not going to say garbage like “But you can take kids traveling!” or “Babies are portable!” because I have taken kids traveling and while babies are portable, that kind of shit should come with a large warning label. One that starts with the words “YOU WILL REGRET THIS” imposed over a photo of the moving van full of crap you need to take along with your “portable” tyke.
If you tell me you would rather have a small home and spend your time biking and canoeing outdoors I promise I won’t mention things like “Kids can share rooms!” and “Children love the outdoors!” because, who cares? Just because kids like the outdoors doesn’t mean you should birth one out to drag around with you.
I love my kids. I would not have passed on the opportunity to have them for anything, but that’s me. No one else is required to feel the same way. The last thing this world needs is children spawned by people who didn’t want them but felt pressured to have them.
Now, on the other hand, if you have the nerve to say to me that you have gotten a puppy to “try it out” and see if you are cut out for parenting, I will have more than a few things to say to you, because I have had both and they are nothing alike. For starters, I cannot remember ever having seen a puppy smear it’s own shit all over the walls for entertainment.