So I feel like I should preface this with stating this is my opinion and not a piece set up to tell you why I am more responsible than everyone else having children. The truth is I never really wanted kids. As long as I can remember, my desire to be a mother has always clocked in at zero. And it’s not that I don’t love kids, because I adore them. Even as an aunt, after my sister had my two nieces, I have this love for those two girls that I didn’t know existed.
Growing up, I felt out of place in the sense of not having that maternal instinct. My mother would always tell me I would change my mind and that I would want to have a child with my significant other. Little did she know I wasn’t afraid to have that conversation when dating and fell in love with a guy who didn’t want to raise another human being either.
Now that I am married, the question of children has only increased, and in the response, the look of pity is evident. Do they think I’m selfish? Do they think I don’t like kids? Do they think I can’t afford it? I mean, why wouldn’t I want kids, right? It’s the “normal” thing to do in our society. Procreate. And herein lies the problem.
As easy as it can be to fall in line with society, I have always had this incredible ability to overthink. You most likely know someone exactly like me. Over-analyze, over-think, over-everything. We don’t bring out the trash without thinking about who we are going to see on our way out the door and what we are going to say.
In my overthinking about having a child, I originally decided I just didn’t want to physically carry a child and would adopt should I ever go down that path. Not to get into too much detail, but as a girl and now a woman, I have insecurities about my body and couldn’t comes to terms with the stress and change my body would undergo in literally creating another human being inside me.
Once I got married, my idea of having a child shifted again. Finances. Our lifestyle is something I enjoy. Essentially, we are able to live without a budget. Now, I don’t know if that’s because we are even really bringing in the dough or because I don’t really know how to budget, but my point is that we are happy in our living situation.
To add a child would greatly change our financial situation and what we do with our “leftovers” after bills are paid. Baby food, diapers, cutting-edge educational toys, college funds. Once a child is brought into the mix, they are and need to be your number one priority. In turn, how you spend your excess changes. Less or no vacations, dinner dates fizzle, charitable donations gone. Your potential contribution to the economy around the world is deflated.
Having a child changes EVERYTHING. You hear that all the time, and it was not until those close to me began to have children did I truly see the absolute truth to that. Your life changes forever. Most see that as a blessing, but I have looked at it as a burden not just on the family, but also on the economy and environment.
We are reaching over 7.5 billion people in the world. No matter how you slice it, that is a lot of people using a lot of resources. And when you incorporate the elephant in the room, climate change and global warming, an increase in population will do nothing but continue to harm our Earth.
Increased waste and pollution is a growing problem feeding into climate change, which led me to a new question on why I don’t want to bring another human being into this world.
What am I leaving them?
I feel like we are getting to the point of no return. Scientific reports come out weekly detailing the damage we are inflicting and what it means, and yet we do nothing. Doing nothing will lead to an uninhabitable place. Why would I want to leave my children to die before they can truly live, all while I wash my hands of it?
Being the over-thinker I am, I cannot avoid the thought that bringing another child into this world is also handing them a death sentence they have no control over and will happen to them long before they should leave this Earth. Some may say I am dramatic, and maybe I am. But to ignore the damage we are inflicting is morally irresponsible. And to ignore how it will affect the children already born and those to come into this world is devastatingly cruel.