Not having children is my choice, not yours


Photo credit: Bobbie Rae Jones

Easter is such a fun day to watch kids run around all hopped up on sugar and looking for eggs. While visiting my boyfriend’s family, I was having so much fun, then suddenly the dreaded question gets asked, “Don’t y’all want to have one of these running around?” My reply is, “Oh, I don’t know,” while my immediate thought is NOPE.

This makes me think about the plan that I grew up thinking I’d follow, and if I didn’t I would feel like an outsider or I’d done something wrong.

I don’t plan on having kids. This is something I had to discuss with my partner and see if we were on the same page before we became serious. This was actually something he found attractive.

Having children is usually the big goal for couples, so we had to come up with some other possible goals to have together.

There are many different options for couples:

  • Travel is a great way to discover new things together and to create new interests that carry over to life at home, such as food and other parts of a culture.
  • Working together: Business Insider interviewed 50 couples and found that “the co-partnership actually strengthens their romances and businesses.”
  • Fitness goals are a great thing to have as well and also promote a stronger emotional bond. These goals can be to have a sport you share or just being able to share the enjoyment of working toward competitions together.

All of these can be a great way to build a relationship and create some different opportunities that other couples might not.

There are many reasons people choose not to have kids, but people tend to think I owe them some sort of explanation.

Some of my reasons, though, are:

  • Kids are expensive and not getting cheaper. The Huffington Post points out that the average cost to raise a child in the United States in 2013 for an average middle class couple was about $245,340.
  • With all the stresses that come with children it can affect a couple’s emotional well-being and bond. “The American Sociological Association recently conducted a study on this very topic and found that parents are more likely to be depressed than their child-free counterparts,” as talked about in Psychology Today.
  • Age is another reason I don’t want kids. There are certain ages that things change for women that can lead to pregnancy complications, birth defects and put the baby at risk for other disabilities.

There are other reasons for me, but these are the ones that I’m OK discussing with others. This is a very personal decision and a lot of thought went into what I chose. Many people think that it’s a selfish choice, but isn’t it the parent’s choice in the first place?

Kids are great and I enjoy hanging out with my nephews and the other children in my life, but I really like being able to give them back. It’s also nice to be able to go home and be kinky and play without having to worry about waking up a child or if I’m going to have to pay for years of therapy because they walked in on me and their dad having a session of makin’ bacon.

Joann Chevaillier can be reached at [email protected] or @jmc_8284 on Twitter.