Why I’m Not Selfish For Not Having Kids

August 7, 2019  |  
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I’ve often been told that I’m selfish because I am not going to have kids. I’m always shocked by the accusation. What did I take from anyone? I’m just living my life and not creating a new one. In what way did I rob someone of something? I am not taking life from a child—there is no child. It’s a hypothetical being. A dream. A thought. Hypothetical children don’t have feelings and aren’t mad that I’m not having them. Am I taking something from my accuser in some way? Did this friend or family member’s life or joy depend on me having a kid? I really don’t think so. So, why then am I called selfish? The funny thing is that, in my opinion, choosing not to procreate is the opposite of selfish in many ways. I’m not saying that having a child is inherently selfish but, not having one is, without question, the opposite of selfish.

childless by choice

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I can’t neglect someone who isn’t there

First and foremost, when people call me selfish, they usually say something like, “You only care about yourself.” Well, first off, that’s not true—there are many people I care about—but second off, as that pertains to parenting, why would that really matter since I don’t have a child? If I had a child, and then only cared for myself, that would be selfish. But, again, there’s no kid here.

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I’ll still give my time to others

It’s not like I’m going to live for me and only me. I’m still a human and as such I thrive on and require relationships. I’m still going to give my time to others. I’m still going to be of service to my loved ones. It’s not like any of us are completely free of responsibilities, all because we don’t have kids.

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In fact, I’ll remain more available

If you think about it, I’ll actually be more available to my loved ones because I don’t have children. Parents are kind of MIA when it comes to being there for anyone besides their kids. Their kids take up all of their energy and time. I’m keeping my energy and time for everyone who is currently in my life—I’m not creating a child that will suck it all up.

childless by choice

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And my finances

I’m also still going to be generous with finances. Why is it selfish that I won’t be creating a child that then takes all of my savings for things like survival and college education? I’m not exactly going to use that money to drink champagne and get manicures all day. I just get to choose when to be generous, and I will be generous often. I’ll donate to causes. I’ll lend money to friends if they truly need it.

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I won’t ask for free elderly care

What happens when parents get old? Their adult children need to put their lives on hold to care for them. I’m not making any children to do that. Some would say, “But who will care for you?” Well, seeing as I didn’t spend a hundred grand or so on rearing children and sending them to college, I’ll have some money available to hire help.

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I won’t put expectations on anyone

Let’s be honest: parents often put a lot of pressure on kids. Children are born into a world of expectations. There are all of these things their parents want them to be or not be. People say that having kids is to “give life” but I often see it being about telling them what life to live. I’m not doing that to anybody.

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I harm nobody by traveling more

Yes, I can travel almost whenever I want—finances allowing. Why does that make me selfish? Isn’t it good that I will experience other cultures and connect with people from around the world during a time when people feel so disconnected?

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I harm nobody by having fun

And, yes, I can stay out until all hours. I can be spontaneous. I can have a lot of fun. I, once again, don’t see whom I am harming by doing this. I’m told it’s selfish to want to do that but…I really would love it if somebody could tell me to whom am I being selfish?

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I won’t ask friends to accommodate my kids

I won’t be asking friends to accommodate my kids, pressuring them into having 5pm dinners because the kids have early bedtimes or asking them to put away half of the things in their home to make it safe for my child. I won’t be asking for baby shower gifts either!

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I am free to babysit

I’m actually leaving myself free to babysit! I can be a free babysitter for the children of my friends and family. Is that so selfish? If all of us have kids, then none of us will be free to help each other with one another’s kids.

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Maybe I’ll make something great

Who knows? Maybe with all of this free time I will do something wonderful for the world. Maybe I’ll invent or create something that impacts thousands of people. Perhaps, rather than give life to one or two little ones, I can improve the life of thousands because I wasn’t consumed by parenthood.

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I’m not seeking a sense of control

Not all parents do this, but some have children all to gain some sense of control. They feel that life always bossed them around, so they just make someone they get to boss around. They don’t like the laws of life, so they make someone who they can rule. I think that is selfish, and I won’t be doing that. There are truly a lot of wrong reasons people have kids—we have to remember that.

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I’m not passing on my legacy

Here’s another reason people have children: to pass on their legacy. They want someone to take on the family business or protect the family empire or tell their story. There’s some egotism at play there that I am not participating in.

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Or creating a mini-me

I’m also not creating a mini-me—somebody I can mold in my image, because my image is so great. That’s another thing many parents do that is, again, rather selfish in my opinion.

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I’m not asking a kid to finish my achievements

Parents can often project onto their children. If they didn’t achieve a goal, they pressure their kids to achieve it. They push their kids to be and do the things that they couldn’t, because it’s a form of doing it themselves. That’s also rather selfish, and I won’t be doing that to anybody.

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