Why You Shouldn’t Have Kids Until You’re 110 Percent Ready
I recently went on a girls’ weekend getaway with three close friends, and we got to talking about kids—do we want them? Why don’t we have them yet? When do we think we would, if we do? Would we be willing to make the sacrifices necessary for raising a child? None of us—all four of us 30-ish-year-old women—have children, or feel that we are anywhere near having them. We’re all in serious relationships, living with our partners, and even sharing pets with some of them, but we aren’t married. We all are pretty financially stable—more financially stable, at least, than some actual parents—so, what’s stopping us from having children? Well, we realized, we just don’t feel ready. And we also realized that not only is that okay, but that it’s very responsible of us not to have children before we feel truly ripe for it. Here is why you shouldn’t have kids until you’re 110 percent ready.
They will consume your entertainment budget
Any excess, disposable income you had will go directly into your children. If you need regular movie theater nights, spa days, happy hours, concerts etc. to feel happy and stable, those will all go away.
They make travel very difficult
Traveling with kids isn’t impossible but…it’s a hell of a lot more difficult than traveling without kids. If you can still feel, in your bones, that you have adventuring to do and you need to be totally unhindered by major responsibilities to get the most out of it, know that having kids will take that all away.
They trigger a long shopping list
You wouldn’t believe how many things you need once you have babies. It seems like every single hour, you discover the need for a new purchase. It’s not just the strollers and the diapers and the food. You need caddies for those diapers and portable bottle warmers for that food. You need a canopy for that stroller because, whoops, babies shouldn’t just sit in the sun for hours.
You won’t sleep for a very long time
Think about how you react when somebody wakes you up from a deep sleep? Maybe your significant other, accidentally kicking you in the night, or a pet, coming in to alert you that he needs to go outside. If you react pretty strongly (by, say, unleashing wrath on everyone for the next 24 hours) just know that you will be awoken every night, several times a night for several YEARS if you have a child. Don’t have one if you’re not ready for that.
They monopolize your romantic relationship
Your relationship with your partner needs to be super strong—strong enough to be, well, basically ignored for a long time—before you should have kids. It’s okay to admit that you and your partner still have your own issues to work on or bond to build.
They will slow down your career
Whether you want to admit it or not, having children will slow down your career. If parenthood doesn’t slow down your career at all then, well, you’re probably doing it wrong. And it’s okay if it slows down your career! So long as you felt you got where you wanted to be, first.
They’ll take over your home
Your home will no longer be your own. Hopefully, the décor, layout, and design of your home don’t play a big role in your sanity and joy because it’s all going to the kids now. Everything must be adjusted, moved, or changed to be childproof.
They’re very expensive
It’s not just that kids are expensive: human beings are expensive. Kids don’t only need food and toys. They need ballet lessons, piano lessons, babysitters, daycare…they need you to replace everything you buy them about three times because they eat it, lose it, or break it.
You can’t return them
There’s no going back once you’ve had kids. You don’t get to test it out and see if it’s for you. You are forever tied to the emotional, mental, and physical well-being of another human being. Nobody else can take your place in their life. It’s an amazing thing…but a terrifying one if you don’t have your own stuff in order.
You can’t have an ego
Your life won’t be about you anymore. Your kids will come before your work, your social life, your beauty, your creativity, your personal aspirations…you give your life over to another’s. Again, an amazing thing, but debilitatingly frightening if you aren’t ready.
Retired grandparents make great babysitters
Just a side note: grandparents make the best babysitters when they are retired. If paying for extra childcare is what’s holding you back, you can always just wait until at least one of either your or your partner’s parents retire.
They’ll claim your body
You should feel that you’re fully done with vanity before having a kid. And by the way, everyone is a little vain. You aren’t terrible for admitting that you’d like to have a bikini body for another five years before giving it up.
You have to answer their life questions
You’ll need to answer this little human’s questions about life. At first, they may be easy, but later, they’ll become difficult—they’ll be the same complex matters that you struggle with as an adult. It’s important that you’ve answered these questions for yourself before you have to answer them for someone else.
Your personal journey goes on hiatus
Whatever that may be—whether it involves going on a silent meditation for a month, joining a money-less cooperative in the forest, traveling the world for half a year, quitting your job and using your savings to finally publish a book—your personal journey will have to step aside so you can tend to another.
You can’t rush feeling ready
If you don’t feel ready when you become pregnant, you probably still won’t feel ready when the baby comes. Too many people make the mistake of just going for it, and hoping they somehow make a 180 when it comes to feeling ready. It doesn’t work that way.