5 Answers to the Question “Why Don’t You Have Kids?”

5. I don’t like kids.

This should be a very reasonable answer. After all, why would you commit to caring for something for the next two decades if you don’t enjoy its company? And yet, this is probably the least helpful answer you can give someone. The two most common responses are, “What do you mean? How can you not like kids?” and “You’d like them if they were your own.”

That’s a big assumption to gamble 18 years and $300,000 on.

4. I want to focus on my career right now.

Already a contributing member of society, thank you.

Another honest, but generally unsatisfactory answer. Despite the advancements of feminism, it’s still considered selfish by many for a woman to choose a career over a (non-existent, hypothetical) child. Despite all logic to the contrary, it’s seen as better for a woman to give up on her aspirations, conceive and birth children she didn’t want, and try to raise them without resentment than it is to continue contributing to society in a way that she already enjoys.

3. My husband/boyfriend/partner and I decided not to.

This is a tricky one, because it avoids the question directly. It’s also kind of a cheat, because it shifts some of the responsibility onto your partner. I’ve found that the people who ask this question tend to realize this, and hone in on the partner, blaming him/her for not allowing you to have kids. At this point, you can either argue that it was a mutual decision (they’ll likely go away believing that you deeply desire children anyway), or just let it go and move on with your day.

2. I can’t have children.

This is a controversial answer, assuming it isn’t true. Some people will say that, with so many women and couples struggling to conceive, using this as an excuse is callous. On the other hand, it’s the only answer I’ve found that seems to satisfy the busybodies.

And the number one answer for not wanting kids?

1. Because I don’t want kids.

It’s really as simple as that. Raising children isn’t a hobby. A child (though this may come as a surprise to many mothers) is an actual, individual human being, with its own wants, desires, and personality. Being a responsible parent means devoting the better part of the next 18 years to being a caretaker for that person.

But, ultimately…

The underlying problem with this question is that it’s not being asked by someone who’s curious about your reasoning. When someone says, “Why don’t you want kids?” they’re often really saying, “You should want kids. Now give me some explanation as to what’s wrong with you.”

Even so, when someone does ask, answer. Let them know that you don’t have kids because you take the matter very seriously, and have come to a well thought out conclusion, which is more than many parents have ever done.

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