Don’t Listen To What Folks Say: 15 Reasons Why It’s Not ‘Unnatural’ To Not Want Kids

February 12, 2013  |  
1 of 15


A married woman without kids is often referred to as a “childless mother.” Have you ever thought about that? Whether or not you were even trying to have kids, you are defined by your success at having them. And surely you’ve had those friends, nursing babies, tilting their heads and looking at you like some odd specimen asking, “Don’t you want kids?” In general, if you don’t want children, you’re treated like you’re defective or “unnatural.” But here’s why that is a mother load of—you know.


It’s normal to want to develop yourself — before raising someone else

Many women, who are still missing that urge to procreate, are still figuring themselves out! And today, when women are encouraged to have careers of their own, it’s perfectly normal to still be establishing yourself, even into your thirties!



It takes time to be successful

If attempting to start her own business, or climb to the top of a company, what woman has accomplished that in her twenties? Very few. Pretty much only prodigal children. It’s not practical for a woman to be making new little lives in her twenties, while she’s working long hours, going to networking events at night, and even going in to the office on weekends.


A job well done

It would be a little selfish to have a child when you don’t have the time to commit to that child. Some women, no matter what job they do, want to give it their all. And if they can’t do that as a mother right now, they’d rather wait. And perhaps, if the thing they truly love in life—the thing that fuels their soul—would make it impossible for them to be a dedicated mother, they just prefer never to have children.


How can you teach life lessons if you’re still learning them?

If you do have children, they will inevitably grow up and face hardship. They’ll want to go out into the world and make their own mark. And you’ll want to advise them. You’ll want to have been there. You’ll want to have experienced every phase and emotion and impulse that comes with trying to forge your own way in life, and in your career.



How can you teach what you don’t know?

It’s completely normal for a woman to want to put off having kids until she’s had the experiences that will allow her to advise and empathize with her children when they reach adulthood. Essentially, many women feel a responsibility to experience all the things their kids will one day experience, before reproducing, so that they can—as parents should—be an authority figure on, well, life.



The harsh truth

The harsh truth is, if you had kids right out of college, for example, and never went on to have a career, your own personal development (sorry to say) became a bit halted at that point. So, you can advise your kids on how to deal with life through college. But then, you’re sort of out of advice. Or at the very least, personal stories to draw upon.


You didn’t buy into the myth

We love the women who wait to establish themselves before reproducing (or in lieu of it) because they don’t buy into the myth that, if you haven’t “made it” by a certain age, you have to just give up because it’s time to have kids. Too many women have to stop short in their tracks of their goals because their biological clocks are ticking and they say, “Well, I guess the ship has sailed on my career. I only had so much time, I didn’t make it, and now I have to move on to having kids.” They’re tied down to this timeline, and within that timeline it’s nearly impossible to reach their own personal goals. We love that women who put off or forego having kids say, screw the timeline.

Source: iStock

Many parents regret having not waited to have kids

A sad truth is many parents who had children young regret that decision. They’ll tell you if they could do it all again, they’d wait 5 to 10 more years so they could have finished their education, or started their own business, or mastered some craft. While it’s not impossible, it’s very hard to do these things later in life, when a whole new generation of twenty-something’s, with the most updated education and no children hindering their schedules, are your competition.


You don’t set your kids up to be resented

It may only be subtle, but parents who forewent their own adventures, successes and experiences to have children can end up resenting their children (particularly on those days when those kids are being ungrateful). Many moms who don’t want to have kids, or at least not yet, don’t want to put those hypothetical children in a position where they might be resented. That’s not fair to either party.

The whole “being a mom is the most fulfilling thing in the world” feeling doesn’t last forever

New moms, cover your ears here. That glow that parents feel from the day their babies are born until the day they hit 18 or 20—that belief that “being a mom is the most fulfilling thing in the world”—that doesn’t last forever. It’s a phase of ecstasy, but it wares off. And then, once your kids are grown and don’t need you as much, you can feel like you’re fishing around in the dark for other forms of fulfillment. Why? Because you had children, partly, because it was easier than going out in the world, and discovering what else might fulfill you.


You can end up leaning on your kids too much

Typically mothers without careers or passions other than being a mom can become codependent on their children. Their only feelings of being valued, of being skilled, of being important can be drawn from their children. And that’s a lot of pressure to put on kids, and can often be what puts a strain on the mother/child relationship—no child likes to be smothered. Some women want to put off having kids because, while they of course hope to love their kids, they don’t want to depend on them as their only source of affirmation.



Who wouldn’t want to extend the honeymoon phase?

Any set of parents will tell you that having kids does change your romantic relationship. Perhaps, dare I say, harm it. Some couples just don’t want to do that. Some couples truly are happy being just the two of them. Instead of (as many couples do) having kids because “that’s what you do next”—out of simple inertia—they pause and ask, “Well wait: aren’t we perfectly happy as we are?” It’s not selfish to acknowledge that. That’s just a deeply fulfilling relationship!


You can always enjoy your friend’s kids

Finally for the women who feel almost certain kids aren’t for them, but love kids, just remember this: you can always enjoy your friend’s kids! You get to be there for all the fun stuff, without any of the stress on your romantic relationship, or any of the physical, emotional, mental and financial responsibility. Essentially, you get to experience the parts of having children you’re sad you’re missing out on, and get to avoid all the things that are the reasons you decided not to have children. Pretty sweet deal.


Why should you just stop wanting freedom one day?

There is this odd expectation that one day—particularly in your twenties or thirties—you’re just supposed to stop craving freedom. You’re just supposed to be over it, and enjoy sitting at home at night, going to bed at 9 pm and getting up at 7 am. But, it really doesn’t happen like that. Some women are just a wilder spirit, and live for that freedom. Having to pass up on moving for an exciting job, or a trip to a foreign place, or a spontaneous road trip is too big a sacrifice. That’s not selfish. It’s a good thing to know about yourself.

Trending on MadameNoire

View Comments
Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
  • notagoodtime

    I don’t have, want or plan on having children ever. IM 22 and I need to focus on developing my career and own happiness. Plus being that I suffer from bi polar disorder, I don’t feel itd be fair to a child to experience my emotional instability. So yeah no on my end, ever.

  • Cheryl

    Finally!! Can we please see more articles like this?

  • emb

    The author seemed to turn this into a “You don’t want kids until..” article. Some folks have enough sense about themselves to know that they NEVER EVER want to have children. There are many paths to happiness and child rearing is not on mine.

  • Ms. Kameria

    It’s not “unnatural” to not want kids. Not everyone wants to be breeders.

    • RJA

      One of them breeders is mad ctfuuuu

      • Ms. Kameria

        I see lol

  • Say What?

    Some people have always told me that I was selfish for deciding not to have children as I’d be a good parent and should pass along my genes and way of life. I think it’s selfish to have children just for the sake of “passing on your genes”. I have three nephews whom I adore, a younger brother I took care of since I was 13 and have been the bread winner and helped supported my older two sisters and mother for a few years the minute I was able to work. I’m DONE raising people!

  • MsTwix

    Is it selfish to simply admit that I like sleeping in on the weekends lol? I enjoy my friends’ kids, and I’m a godmother so that’s all the child rearing I need at this point in my life (I’m 33).

    • Nikki

      No, it’s not selfish. Because if you did have a child, people would be mad at you for sleeping in and not taking your child to ballet/karate on the weekends.

      • Right, you can never please people.

  • Sharon

    If a person does not or it not ready to have children, they are just not ready. You have to be emotional, financially stable and prefably with a husband who is in agreement of having children. Also, you have people who don’t want to go through the headache of trying to get the man to pay child support as well as take up time with children. The expense of taking care of a child is through the ceiling from the time you deliver them in the hospital up to 18+ years until they graduate from college.

  • Reese

    I don’t judge people for not wanting kids. Having kids is a lifelong commitment and your life will be never be the same again. This is a good and bad thing. But I know my daughter has added much more from my life than she has taken away. But people look at me like I’m crazy when I say I absolutely, positively do not want any more kids.

    • I have married and single friends who don’t have kids and don’t want any or aren’t quite ready for a family and I don’t judge them. I agree with them for wanting to be financially stable and educated so they can provide for themselves and if they decide to have kids in the future they will be able to care for them. I have been called selfish because I just have one child who is a nineteen year old “woman” now, I’m happily married and decided early on that one child is enough for me and I don’t regret it.

  • Its hard enough taking care of myself, I don’t have the finances, resources, energy, or discipline it takes to be an outstanding mother at this point. And, I’m okay with that.

  • RJA

    Yes! Thanks for this article! I don’t want no kids and people always say “oh, you’ll change your mind.” No, I won’t!! I decided I didn’t want kids when I was 10! That’s my longest commitment lol. I don’t have time for that

    • Cinnamon71

      We must be kindred spirits, RJA! I also knew early on in life that I didn’t want to be a mother as well. Becoming a parent is a life-changing commitment that isn’t for everyone and that is okay. There are too many children that are suffering from abuse, neglect, etc. because their parents made poor decisions/choices and they are being treated like pawns and accesories to make it even worse. I enjoy my freedom and if I want to be a “pseudo” mom for a little while, I have a ton of cousins to choose from.

      • RJA

        Amen sistah 🙂