I’m going to be honest, this blog post seems a bit ridiculous to me for a couple of reasons. One – I’m writing a post about an article online that’s talking about an article in Time magazine. So that’s pretty silly. Two – It’s about something that I have gotten flak about in person. It’s about a personal decision that my wife and I have made, and there are a certain number of people (the minority, I should say) who seem to be deeply offended by our decision.
I’m talking about our decision to not have children. Apparently there is a cover story on Time that’s being discussed on The Week. It covers the idea that people shouldn’t be judged for deciding not to procreate, and that some people are stuck in the traditional view that a marriage should produce offspring, as if that was the point of marriage. I made the mistake of reading the comment section in The Week (I couldn’t read the whole Time article, because it requires a subscription), and it got immediately scathing. There are a lot of people who get genuinely angry at people who decide to not have children.
I’ve had people ask me “So when are you two going to have kids?” and I tell them we aren’t. Usually people are just surprised because that’s not really typical (which is fair), but sometimes I get the “Give it time – you’ll change your mind,” response (how condescending is that? It’s as if they think we just haven’t really thought about it), and sometimes I get the “But kids are so wonderful! Why would you want to die alone?” (where I want to reply, “Fuck You”).
They give us guilt trips saying that it’s greedy to make money while not raising a child. They say that our own personal interests should be put to the side for something we really don’t want.
I say that as a couple who don’t want children, it would be cruel to a child if we brought it into the world without really wanting it. It would be unfair to the child, because as hard as we’d try to raise it well, there would probably be that layer of resentment from us.
Could we raise a child? Of course. But what kind of final product would you get from parents who don’t want it in the first place?
To my friends (and anyone else) who have children that are reading this: I am in no way saying that our choice is better than yours. Because your choice was yours to make. You are the only ones qualified to make it. I’m glad you did, because this world needs good people in it.