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

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Reader Comments (105)

Why don't I have kids?

"Because I'm neither stupid enough to think the planet needs more people, nor vain enough to think they need to look like me."

Had that taken care of in '89, which is the only reproductive freedom men get, and why I love big plastic bags of frozen peas.

July 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

I believe the term is "crotchling"...

babies & kids are cute & can be great but adolescence... if I had a crotchling in that stage who is like most crotchlings that stage I'd... hate life

July 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjpw

Now I'm hoping this strip will be the first in a BASIC INSTRUCTIONS childless-by-choice series:-).

July 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

Heh. I'm rarely asked but, when other people's kids start acting up and they give me that "what can you do?" look, I just shrug and say "yeah... we decide to go with dogs, instead."

:)

July 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChum

@JessiEeee! : I don't need to come up with my own comments here because you've nailed everything in my head. Well, except for the "being a great aunt" thingy. I am an aunt, but I'm a terrible one. (Also I don't like roller coasters.)

July 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMeech!

I'm 28 and just this afternoon my mom and I were talking about my choice not to have children. She FULLY accepts my choice, probably because I'm an overly practical person and my reasons are logical. I'm in the middle of my degree ( full time), after school I want to go teach in Thailand. . .difficult to do that with a child. I want to have a comfortable life and do as I please.

I would rather invest my time and money in my mom and take her to Europe and give her an enjoyable retirement (I don't think hair dressers get the most desirable pensions) and be chill. My younger sister will have kids. . good luck. So I'm glad that at least my mom and sister understand my decision even if my friends do not.

July 31, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermina

I love you all! When my husband and I got married, we just kind of assumed we'd have kids one day because it was considered the next step. Then we realised our kids would inherit all kinds of genetic nasties and decided not to do it. Turns out we've never regretted not having kids - we really enjoy our lives together as a couple. We get to go away at the drop of a hat, drink excessively, copulate on the sofa in the middle of the afternoon, watch interesting TV programmes (no cbeebies in our house!), use profanities, and sleep late at the weekend. We look younger than our peers with kids, we laugh more, and I can bounce on a trampoline without peeing. What's not to love about that?

I love some of the responses I've seen here to invasive and rude questioning. I must write them down for future reference!

August 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSuperfrogwoman

The instructions are incorrect.

The answer to "How to explain why you've chosen not to have children" is "You don't." It's nobody's business but yours. Our nosy society believes that privacy is irrelevant.

August 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Lester

I am 35 and have been married for almost two years (after dating for four years) and my husband and I are sometimes anxiously questioned about when we'll have kids. When I tell them we don't want any (and we've taken steps to see that we never do!) they tell me, "Oh, you'll change your mind. Just you wait and see."

I like kids, I like all the kids my friends have had, and I'm happy to play the cool Auntie who'll play video games with them and let them eat cake for dinner just for fun, but I have no desire at all to have my own.

Perhaps I will print this out and give it to people when they are rude enough to tell me I don't know my own wants or needs regarding kids.

August 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRenee

Right off the bat, I'm not a baby lover by a loooooooong shot.

I am ALWAYS complaining whenever I see mothers gathering to talk about their babies. I'd only ask them about their children when I have nothing else to chat with them about (and when I like them enough to ask), but most expect me to get married and be pregnant and what not. "You'll know in future!'

That's when I 'hide my scorn'. Getting married changes someone.

Having babies, is like morphing the woman into something else entirely. I watched my fangirl colleague turn into a mother and now her facebook is nothing but her baby's pictures. My language teacher turned into a mother and HER fb is full of her baby's picture.. Heck everyone situated near me at work turned into mothers and they all became something else. It's totally like zombie infestation. If you think about it, once the monsters appear they'll NEVER be gone for the next 50 odd years, your finances DIP crazily to support this thing, and there's no more time left for yourself, not even thinking time.

Then they do nothing, but cry, scream, poop, pee, cry, scream, poop, pee, cry, fall, cry, poop, cry and when they learn to walk things get worse. They get lost, they cry and talk! they poop more, and pee..

Ew. I'll tell people (who insist on babies), 'I don't want to have kids, because I hate them'. Screw you and your opinions. Not everyone has to love babies, and certainly not everyone has to love *your* babies. I might like all kittens, but certainly not babies.

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaeleia

I like to give people a knowing wink and say, "Well, the way WE like to do it, we ain't gonna be parents anytime soon." This carefully delivered lie, especially at family holiday gatherings, will crush any kind of inappropriate questioning right out.

August 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMiss B

I've known since the age of 11 that I didn't want kids. Twenty years later, I still haven't (nor will I ever) change my mind. If people are rude enough to ask why I don't want kids, I ask them why they decided to have kids. That usually shuts them up. I know how I want to live my life and it does not involve kids. Now the challenge is finding a man who feels the same way I do!

August 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJade

Have to admit, I'm with Jessie on this one. I don't do babies or small children. I have no patience or tolerance for either and it bugs me when people say "It would be different when it's your own" WHY? I'd probably despise them even more! I'm a woman in my mid thirties and am very happy to admit I feel no maternal urges and long may it reign. My partner and I have been together eight years with no plans ever to marry or reproduce. Why can people just not accept it's a personal choice not to have babies..the same as it is a lot of the time to have them...leave me the F87k alone and stop asking me such stupid questions!!

August 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterClaire

Totally love this 'How to'...and the conversation. I greatly enjoy my own kids, and occasionally other people's, but totally support people's choice not to deliberately procreate. I don't think I've ever asked anyone when they're having kids...what an irrelevant question! I have, however, been asked frequently when I'm planning more...bloody hell people, how many am I supposed to pop out? It's as if, having already entered the horrifying and often disgusting world of parenting, I am now so devoid of outside interests and life goals that producing more demon spawn is my only aim in what remains of my life.

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

While my parents were in the situation of not wanting children ever, my mother was about to get her tubes tied, but the doctor said he wouldn't now, if she still didn't want any in 5 years he would. 5 years later they decided to try for children and have never regretted it, they love my brother and I and consider us not only their children but their friends. So yes it is possible to change your mind.

But I still don't understand... their reasons for me to not have a dog are the same reasons I didn't want children... (I'm now in debate with myself if I really want kids I think the clock has started to tick, but I think my boyfriend and I will be settling on a dog and more cats instead since he's 100% against children, while I'm at about the 75% range)

September 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKilian

A couple of my favorite answers over the years:

1.
"Are you going to have children?"
"Oh, heavens no. We sprayed for those."

2.
"Are you going to have children?"
"I'm infertile."
"Oh, I'm so sorry. Do the doctors know why?"
"They're pretty sure it's the vasectomy."

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertrigonman3

Since I was about ten, I have always known that I absolutely do NOT want kids. And fortunately my mother supports my decision, even though she was one of the people to "change her mind" after several years of not wanting children. My friends, on the other hand, adore children and can't fathom why I don't want any.

Aside from the numerous personal reasons that I don't want kids, I believe that having me as a mother would be needlessly cruel to any child. Heart disease, depression, and autism, among many other things, run very strongly in my family. Plus, I know myself well enough to recognize that I am an easily frustrated perfectionist, and that I don't have the impulse control to keep myself from belittling people who are getting on my nerves.

But even though the combination of my personality and my genes would give a child more than its fair share of suffering, people still think I'd make a great mother. I'm speechless.

May 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHarmony

Eric Phillips is new at breeder bingo.

"Morally speaking, rearing children is the most selfless and significant thing most people ever do with their lives..."

Morally selfless? Riiiiiight. The media, social workers and the statisticians must make up those stories of children being abused and murdered by their own parents.

Significant? Please! Copulation, insemination, gestation and birth are just biological processes.

"Personally speaking, it's one of the most fulfilling and happy experiences most people ever have."

Hang on a sec, "personally speaking" AND "most people"? That is a contradiction. It is simply not possible to be "personally speaking" for "most people".

"....Put those two facts together...."

Simply stating an opinion is "fact" does not make it so. That is a clumsy rhetorical device.

"....you might as well be complaining about gravity."

False analogy.

Next.

October 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNulligravida

but...

you do have a child!

http://basicinstructions.net/basic-instructions/2006/11/2/how-to-display-your-baby.html

or at least your character does...

and Rick have a Kuato...

March 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDarth GTB

My two favorite are crib lizard and flesh loaf. Nevertheless, as a blissfully childfree person, I can definitely relate to this conversation. Trust me when I say that as a woman, that childed women have a very hard time understanding why anyone would not wish to breed. Good grief!

May 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdonsgal

It's really quite simple. I hate kids. As a teen I worked in my Mom's day care and hated them. When I'm surrounded by them I feel the same way as someone surrounded by snakes or roaches.

May 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnna Paolinelli

I personally think replicants and would-be replicants have weak egos and are insecure. I would much rather have a dog. How do I explain personal stuff like bipolar disorder runs on both sides of my family and my would-be child would have a 30% cahnce of getting it, AND would be very difficult to raise (I'm not up to it!!!).

May 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPam

How do I explain personal stuff like bipolar disorder runs on both sides of my family and my would-be child would have a 30% cahnce of getting it, AND would be very difficult to raise (I'm not up to it!!!).

May 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPam

My mother told me after I got pregnant.. "I have been waiting for grandkids, but didn't bring this up to you because having kids is a big commitment, and nobody should have kids until they really want them." Wise woman.... And even if people do really want kids, sometimes they don't get what they want. Either way, an inappropriate, but all too common method of poking and podding into someone's personal life.

May 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterstacy

Saddest of all is when no one ever asks you why you never have kids, but simply take it as a given that you have none and never will.

October 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJason Toddman

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