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October 16, 2015

Why Having Babies Isn’t on my To-Do List.

Pedro Ribeiro Simões/Flickr

Yes, I am a woman with a complete reproductive system that is still functioning, and I choose not to have babies.

Before delving into the details, I would like to shed light on a crucial reality of the world being split into two types of women: the type that believes in procreation, and the type that is firmly against it.

Let’s put our cards on the table. Having babies isn’t wrong, and choosing to be child-free isn’t wrong either. However, the world has changed, and our generation is blessed with awareness that past generations didn’t have. Hence, more women are choosing to remain child-free.

Lately, society has been judging women who choose not to have babies. I am fed-up with the comments I get when I claim I want no babies. First thing I hear is, “You should have kids.” When I was still a teenager, I used to get plenty of the, “you’re still young, you’ll change your mind when you reach adulthood.” I will reach 30 in a couple of years, and my conviction of remaining child-free is growing by the minute.

Judging women with firm decisions to not have babies should come to an end. At least I don’t judge women with babies on their laps. I might be against it, but I don’t give them a hard time for getting pregnant.

Think about it, the world needs women like us; it needs balance.

If all the women in the world wanted to have babies, there would be an insane baby boom. The biggest threat to the earth isn’t global warming—it’s human overpopulation.

My reasons might seem absurd, especially to women who have raised kids. You might agree with me, and you might not. Nevertheless, my reasons are completely personal, and I have no intention of convincing anyone else. To each her own in life, and every woman must feel free to do what she sees fit.

The following are five reasons why I choose to be childless.

1) Maintaining my freedom.

When I assert that I want no babies in order to maintain my personal independence, I hear that one can have a baby yet remain free. Women with babies certainly aren’t imprisoned. I don’t mean that mothers are stuck in their houses changing diapers and wishing to see the sunlight.

I know many women whom motherhood didn’t stop from achieving what they wanted. However, the freedom that a mother has is different than the freedom of a woman with no babies. A mother’s freedom is somehow limited, while the freedom of childless women is limitless.

A baby should remain under scrutiny, and thus there is a double responsibility to be taken care of: the woman’s own, and her baby. A child-free woman, on the other hand, is utterly free with her decisions, because she is only concerned about herself. There is no one else to worry about, think about or take care of.

2) I’m saving a life.

If you ask me how I define life, I would say that life is suffering. There are so many beautiful things in our world, but none are permanent. And then there is hunger, poverty, illnesses, divorces, break-ups, pain, torment and death. Some people refrain from seeing that side of life; some of us only want to see birth, parties, birthdays, traveling, luxury, money and houses.

When people only see this side of life, they crave more. Hence, they have babies. For me, seeing the other side has encouraged me to remain childless. Why would I want to bring a soul into this life to suffer? He might not suffer from poverty or hunger, but he will definitely suffer from illnesses, break-ups, pain and death.

By not giving life to a baby, I am basically saving a life—from a cycle of suffering.

3) Procreation is selfish.

It seems many people nowadays are having babies to give their life a meaning. When it comes to giving birth, there are plenty of reasons: feeling complete, strengthening the love between partners, avoiding dying alone with seven cats, our mother wants to become a granny or testing our parenting ability.

In my opinion, all these reasons revolve around egocentricity. The proof is that once the baby is born we start fighting on the baby’s similarity: “he looks like me,” “he has my eyes,” “he has the same chin as mine.” That is, a baby is the unconscious pleasure of seeing a part of ourselves in someone else.

Parents describe it as something “unexplainable.” To me, a baby is the daily bread to our ego, and we don’t even realize it.

4) Parenting is attachment.

We read magazine headlines: “secure a lifetime attachment with your baby,” “bond with your baby,” “new baby attachment: how to do it.” This advice is resulting in a crisis when the baby grows up; many adults struggle to plan their life because they have parents who wouldn’t let them go.

Many cultures firmly believe that having a child is crucial for one’s final years. Some parents have children so that they will care for them at the end of their life. No matter the culture, parents will get attached to their children, and in most cases it’s a two-way street.

I consider the attachment that parenting causes quite hazardous. One day, death will take away the people that are close to my heart. Why risk losing a baby that I have raised for years? To me, not having a baby basically means protecting myself from another potential loss.

5) Requirement of readiness.

Procreation needs financial, physical and mental readiness, and I consistently choose not to go through this sort of preparation. I am in a phase in my life where I am struggling to generate enough money to live. How about struggling to make money for two people, instead of one?

The problem is that people are reproducing without taking into consideration the needs of their baby. This baby will grow up in a few years, and they will need a proper education, a proper house, a decent health care and above all a strong financial foundation, which can only be found with their family. If I am not capable of giving my son/daughter money when they ask me, why did I bring him/her to life?

Babies need an immense financial readiness, and they shouldn’t be on planet Earth if we can’t provide them with what they need.

As I have mentioned above, having babies is a decision that every woman is free to take—or not. The world needs mothers the same way it needs childless women. Without reproduction we wouldn’t exist here.

If you choose to have children, have them for the right reasons. Babies shouldn’t be the reason why we wake up every day. If we wish to have them, let’s have them selflessly!

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Relephant Read:

I’m 23 & Choosing to get Sterilized.

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Author: Elyane Youssef

Editor: Toby Israel

Photo: Pedro Ribeiro Simões/Flickr

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