How to Explain Why You've Chosen Not to Have Children

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Reader Comments (107)


July 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterben

I occasionally compare parenthood to cocaine addiction. You lose a umber of friends, the friends that you see most often are ones in the same situation as you, and a number of these you have absolutely nothing in common with except that they have kids too. Pretty much everything else in your life becomes less important, your sleep patterns are destroyed, everything in your life starts to revolve around your 'addiction' and you'd do just about anything for one more hit (a smile from your bundle of joy).
For the record, I have two, and I'm hopelessly addicted, but am totally prepared to understand that it's not for everyone, and support those that don't want them. After all, we need to limit our expanding population anyway, so you're doing the environment a favour by not having kids.
Added to that I look around and see some of the people who choose to have kids and wonder what on earth possessed them to do it, there's people out there who clearly shouldn't be reproducing (not saying you're one of them).

July 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter9Squirrels

I'm on the winning team as well....though not by choice

July 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMatt B

Done in the first frame.

July 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjb

I approve of this comic, but it would have benefited from the use of the word "crotch-spawn."

July 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSara A.

I see in 4 panels examples of conversations I've had with friends and family and straangers at parties for years. Finally just started changing the subject and if they insisted on the kids talk I'd make a rude noise and step away.
Lifes too short to waste time with people who want to convert rather have a conversion. BEWARE THE ZEALOUS!

July 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOtto66

Wow... That describes my explanations EXACTLY! I mean, seriously, why won't people just accept the fact that I don't want kids or romance? Its MY decision not theirs!

July 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChrono180

Scott... As a *somewhat* newbie here (regular reader/poster for a few months) but had seen your comics occasionally for a few years.... can you tell us who the non-bald furry-faced guy is? I have figured out who all of the other regulars are... but I must have not yet hit the right archived comic yet to get this guy's name. I see him featured quite often, but never with his name. His somewhat befuddled demeanor and look unfortunately reminds me of myself. He seems almost like your more modern version of George Castanza. What is this guys back story?

Note from Scott: He's Jenkins. He's pretty much some loser I work with. I originally used the his artwork for a film producer, but likjed it so much I ended up using him for a coworker as well. At some point (sorry to be so non-specific, but it's all a blur to me) I explained that he was the producer, but that didn't work out so he came to work at the same office as I do.

July 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPipeTobacco

@ Sara A: I've always been fond of "crotch-fruit", myself. (As a term - I'm in the happily child-free camp.)

July 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterneilvis

I am a man who doesn't want kids, and I approve this comic.

July 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

I support the winning team... I am out numbered 3-to-1 in my house. I support my wife and daughters...

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbyevad


> After all, we need to limit our expanding population anyway, so
> you're doing the environment a favour by not having kids

Assuming that position to be sound (and not nihilistic), mainly the conscientious and responsible (if that's what they are) will stop, the irresponsible will rather not (because that's how they are). Care for (or obsession with) the environment is a middle class, uhm, privilege--a class that so will do away with itself. Idiocracy looms large, any which way. Besides, "to limit our expanding population" you could limit immigration, couldn't you? This on the assumption that millions of third worlders becoming Americans will enlarge their carbon footprint manifold--that's what they're coming for after all, else, they needn't bother. Just joking, of course--let's rather stop having kids.

As for the strip, it's funny, as usual, but also eerily jarring and sad, as it seems to have become PC somehow not to have kids (ironically, I've none either). Which is generally ok with me, as I fancy controversy, though this time my sensitivities are injured. Can't complain, though.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterM. Möhling

Somehow I don't see a couple of dudes having this conversation. I wouldn't believe at all that women could have a logical conversation like that without seeing/hearing it personally.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSilent Scope


Some of us don't have a choice. My woman wants crotch-spawn (cheers, Sara A), and it's have the kid or lose the woman. Either way, it's all downhill.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRowanthepreacger

Excellent Comic. I've found that repeatedly saying we aren't having kids doesn't work, so maybe I'll try a few of these examples for a change of pace. It still won't work, but I may have more fun.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPete

Hits *extremely* close to home. Excellently executed, as usual.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAaron Firouz

It's worse when it's not by choice. Then you get to hear everyone's advice on what you should try doing, even though you've already tried everything that has a reasonable chance of success. You assume their intentions are good, but the effect is actually that they're tossing your failure in your face.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHari

Pete and Hari,

I had a brother in law who insisted on asking when we having kids at every opportunity. I finally put him off by responding with, "Since when are my reproductive organs any of your business?" Apparently the discussion of organs is not for semi-polite company.

But Scott is right, some people won't accept your decision no matter what reason you give. Much like love, children are not the result of logic.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermoojen

@Rowanthepreacger - lose the woman. I did, twice. Better to do that than to be saddled with a kid you don't want. That's unhappiness for three people and it's all your fault.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterZoltan

Thank you, Scott! That describes about 99% of conversations about why I don't want kids. I should just print this comic and use it as a handout instead of explaining from now on!

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

@PipeTobacco: I just look a Jenkins as the obnoxious, friendly, opinionated, must involve himself in every conversation, oblivious to social norms coworker.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAC

I want kids but I would never try to "convert" someone that didn't want children. That's very rude. It's your life and I feel that if people don't live the way they want (without hurting others) then it will actually affect my own happiness.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commentershady

As a forty-something woman without crotch-spawn, I'm blessed twice: 1. NO KIDS and 2. people have nearly stopped bugging me due to the assumption that my body has reached its limit. I would have loved to have had children earlier in life but now there's no way I could afford to raise them, and I really don't want to be in my nursing home years when they're just starting to like me again (or something).

Great comic, Scott! Yes, women do have this same conversation.

Note from scott: Oh, I know they do. If anything, my wife gets it worse than I do. When we tell people we don't want kids they tend to assume I'm just an ass. They seem to think there's something actively wrong with her.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBI Fan

Wow.... this got deep for my Wednesday morning laugh!

Comic is pure win, as always.

I've always been partial to "loin-fruit."

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen

I do not like babies. I do not like toddlers. I have no desire at all to reproduce. If I were to have children the state would take them away because I'd probably use beatings as my primary source of discipline. I can't even take care of myself.

None of those responses worked.

When I looked thoughtful and said that having a child would enable me to increase the atheist population they dropped the "why don't you pop out a kid" conversation and went to ensure that my sister was being a good catholic and indoctrinating her spawn early.

I WILL, however, be a great aunt when the kid is old enough. Roller coasters and independent thought FTW!

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessiEeee!

Panel one is priceless.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlan

I have two kids and I love them, but I am not a "kid person." I hate being around other people's kids and I hate talking to other parents about kids. I absolutely understand and respect the numerous reasons why someone would choose not to have kids.

So... to those of you who've made that choice, just know that there ARE parents out there who are not judging you.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterroom34

I've never made a secret of the fact that I don't want or even like children. I can barely tolerate being in the same room as one. I'd prefer it if they could be grown/educated in test tubes and not let out until they're civilised - say 27. I'm still told that I'll change my mind, despite the fact that I'm 46.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMs Mackem

I'm a single 33 yr old woman with a list of debilitating chronic illnesses. My mom still asks me "When am I going to be a grandmother?!" I answer, "In about 6 months, Mom." She stops.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterS

Hooray for the childfree!

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThalia

I love this comic! I am a childfree woman and I have been "bingoed" like this before—it's so insulting!

And I don't think it's become "PC" not to have children, I just think more people are realizing that being childfree is a valid lifestyle. There's no reason to follow the Lifescript® if you don't want to—and guys, if you breed just to keep the wife/GF happy, then you are doing yourself and your children a disservice. Don't have kids unless you truly, really want them, unless you know your life will be dull and empty without them.

There's 7 billion people on earth, we don't need any more! Yes, let's figure out to take care of all the people we already have before birthing more!

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEssuredly

Years ago, a childless friend taught me to say this slowly and clearly to anyone who asked: "Our sex life is too bizarre to allow for children." I still treasure my aunt's face when I said this to her. (we did, however, fall onto the wagon long enough to reproduce eventually)

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMJ Drennan

And if you do have one, then people will start in on why you aren't having more. Sure, we can barely afford to raise one kid, and I have some really nasty genetic problems running in my family (which I didn't know about until after I already had this one). Plus I've seen what pregnancy does to me and I'm not anxious to repeat it. But nevermind all that, now that we've had one kid we're obligated to supply her with brothers and sisters, and it's somehow perfectly okay for people we barely know to tell us (and her) that.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbionelly

Thanks I appreciate this. I am a woman who doesn't want kids, and I am tired of people trying to push me into having them. I am particularly sick of people telling me stories about women they know who didn't want kids but could not figure out how to use birth control, and now they are happy being at home all day. Thanks, but that is not helpful. I am also tired of people hoping that I am pregnant every time I get the flu.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Yup, I've had experience of a lot of these. Even when I explain that any child of mine, even if I wanted one which I don't, could be born with severe autism, they just say 'But there's a chance you'd have a normal kid or one who was only mildly Asperger'...apparently having kids is so important that I should do it even if I really don't want to and even if I might have a child severely affected with autism.

I gave up bothering to make serious points. I usually wave these people away with one liners such as

'No thanks, I'm perfectly capable of producing vomit and feces myself'

'No thanks, when I want adrenal fatigue, I'll eat six packets of No Doz'

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica M

I dont understand why people have such and issue when people decided to go childless. I want kids but if someone doesn't want to have kids then that is their business. More resources for my kids!

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMajicMan

If you don't ant to have children, then don't. If you're souse wants kids, then it's time to break up. Having kids you don't want well just make you a terrible parent, and your kids will be miserable.

I have kids, I want kids, my wife wanted kids. We enjoy being parents. In no way would I force my spouse to have children if they didn't want children.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGeekoid

I would love to follow scott on google+, but alas I have yet to score a g+ invite because no one loves me.

I haven't decided if I want to have kids yet, but either way I look forward to beating down the harassments of people who see fit to tell me I made the wrong decision.

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRevengencer Alf

The first loin-fruit that my wife and I had was an "accident" - how hard is it to remember to take those pills? :)

We didn't like the idea of an only child in the house, so we choose to give her a sibling.

I have to admit that if the choice was left up to me, we would never have had kids. But since the decision was taken out of my hands, I'm now glad we had them. They're an awesome addition to my life.

I like to refer to my kids as "Tax deductions" when I describe them to other people. As in "I have to get off the phone now, I need to put the tax deductions to bed."

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbonhomous

I say one of two things: "in the great American tradition, I've outsourced childbearing to my sister", or "I love panda bears, but I don't want to raise them in my house. And they're ENDANGERED!"

Seriously, my sister really, really wanted kids, so she had some. Good for her. I really, really don't, and don't have any. Good for me!

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen S

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