While the choice to not have kids is a deeply personal one, it’s essential to consider both the benefits and drawbacks before making such a big, life-altering decision. To help you reach an informed conclusion, here’s a list of 16 thought-provoking disadvantages of remaining childless, as discussed on an online forum:
16. People Always Asking “When Are You Having Kids?”
“I got so sick of that question and it was a regular one. It mostly came to a stop when my brother got married and had a kid.”
“At this point, I just have a prepared response: “Don’t need to, don’t want to, don’t care to; and no, I won’t change my mind. I’m happy being single and not having kids.”
15. Your Family Size Diminishes
“My mom always told me as a kid that our family was small, but I never realized what that meant until I was much older. The grandparent generation had 4-5 kids each, their kids had 1-3 or none. I only had 3 cousins on my mom’s side and only 1 was even remotely near my age. 3 cousins were dead before I was 35.”
“It’s a very strange life not having any family other than my parents and brother. A lot of people don’t believe me. I’ve never gone anywhere for a holiday, or had a family reunion.”
14. Holidays Aren’t as Special
“Holidays aren’t as special without kids. They’re fine without kids, but with kids, holidays are EVENTS.”
“Christmas gains its magic back with kids. It’s soooo much fun.”
“They do bring a special excitement to every family event. My daughter couldn’t sleep tonight because she was so excited for her grandfather’s birthday party tomorrow.”
13. People May Assume You Don’t Like Kids
“I LOVE kids and am honorary cool aunt to several. Things just didn’t work out for me to have my own (didn’t meet spouse till older, went thru traumatic life events during post marriage childbearing years, etc.)”
“This. I love them. I work with them. But I also like that at the end of the day I can recharge and attend to them all over again the following day at my job.”
12. You May Wonder Who’ll Look After You
“My sister just had her 2nd baby. I (26F) am not sure I even want one. But, people like to ask me when I’m going to. They say ‘Who is going to take care of you when you’re old?'”
“I am an only child. There will come a day when my whole family is dead. Mother, father, aunts, uncles, all of them. And the only family I have left, will be those I married or made. I will spend years, possibly decades, without a single family member alive.”
11. You’re More Likely to Maintain Bad Habits
“As an older parent, I think my brain had become less malleable. Kids have been good for me because I’ve had to re-learn how to be patient and break some of my bad habits.”
“If I didn’t have to be directly responsible for a little headstrong bundle of energy constantly making unreasonable, often conflicting demands, I might still be going through life in my 40s naively confused that not everyone in the world is rational, sensible, and restrained while looking down on those who aren’t, even considering malice as the motivation.
10. You Risk Losing Friends
“As you get older your friends who aren’t childfree will start getting married and having kids. They’ll still love you, they’ll still like you, they’ll still try to keep in touch…. but their life will be very different from yours. Their priorities will change and you will inevitably be bumped down the list. You could start resenting them for not being present for you like they used to be. They could start drifting from you because they feel you don’t understand their life and struggles anymore.”
“Losing your friends to their children is hard but sometimes is the way things go. The best thing we can do is support them as long as we can and let them go if things get sour. Wish them luck and be grateful for their company.”
9. You Can’t Make Dad Jokes
“Can’t do dad jokes or make the sounds only dad’s make.”
Counterargument: “I don’t know what you’re talking about. My husband has caught me multiple times grunting getting out of chairs and slapping something on the back of our truck saying something like “that ain’t going nowhere”. Dad is a state of mind. No kids required.”
8. You Miss Out on a Special Closeness
“Some of my best memories are sitting with my mom and grandmother and sisters around a table, just talking and working crossword puzzles together. There’s a closeness there that can’t really be replicated, even with your best friends, a lifetime of memories. I’ll never have that with my adult children, because I don’t have any. I don’t regret not having kids, but those times around the table are gone forever now.”
“You’ll be missing out on a special kind of love, joy and pride without them. But it’s a responsibility that isn’t for everyone. So if you have any reservations about becoming a parent go with your gut feeling. You will find fulfillment in your life in other ways!”
7. You Miss Out on Fun
“I have the most fun with my kid. Literally they’re just the coolest hangout buddy. Want to go to a science museum and write “fart” in the sand table? Hell yes. Want to watch animals do dumb s*** on YouTube for an hour? Don’t have to ask me twice. Want to make popcorn at 9 a.m.? Why the hell not. We have dumb inside jokes, scream sing to music, do experiments like make a cake using the recipe from Minecraft (it’s… Not good), watch Star Trek, look at ants, have pun battles, you name it. It’s just so fun.”
“Having inside jokes with your own kid is something I never expected, and I absolutely love. He also shared my sense of humor so I find him more and more hilarious as times goes on and he keeps adjusting his jokes to get a laugh out of me.”
6. You Risk Future Loneliness
“Potential loneliness when older. Less obvious who to pass assets onto after death.”
“As a firefighter it’s really sad going to older folk’s homes with no family. Sometimes we’re the only company they’ve had in months/years which is tough to think about, especially when they’re at the end stages.”
5. Your Perception of Time Is Different
“You don’t have the same perception of time. When I run into a friend and his kids have aged ten years you realize how old you are.”
“The days are long, but the years are short.”
“Interesting reading this. My life is literally broken up into before kids and after kids. It’s a very distinct line… never thought about if it wasn’t like that.”
4. You Miss Out On Potential Friendships
“I chose not to have kids and honestly I’d say this is the biggest “con” to me. Making friends as an adult without kids is nearly impossible. You don’t meet people through school functions, etc. Plus the people you do meet usually have kids, and so schedules do not line up, you don’t have as much in common, people you like with kids are often very busy (understandably, of course) and are much harder to make plans with.”
“Can vouch for this. My mom only became friends with her best friend because I became friends with my best friend.
3. You Miss Out On Special Moments
“Something so mundane can happen that just grabs your heart and makes you wish harder than you’ve ever wished for anything before that you could freeze time and just stay in that moment with your child forever. Like the other day…My 17 year old son can be your typical crunchy teen and sometimes he’s such a tough nut to crack…I was taking a nap the other day and I woke up to him hugging me. He must’ve been checking on me and saw me sleeping and just wanted to hug me for some reason. It was like he was little again. Those are the moments.
2. You Miss the Wonder of Watching Them Grow
“Nothing more amazing when the student becomes the teacher. It was a special moment to me when my son was able to tell ME facts, or when my other son was able to beat a game I couldn’t. It’s amazing to see them grow from sponges of everything you say, to actually seeing them seek out knowledge and be excited to share it with you.”
1. You Miss the Joy of a Child’s Adoration
“Nobody will ever be as impressed with you as your own 4 year old. I made rolls that didn’t rise once and she ate 3. I am a biology major and I can tell her very basic things about sharks or birds and blow her mind. I taught her how to play Mario Kart and she congratulates me on doing well every time we play, even if I did an objectively poor job. She tells me good job for going to the bathroom. I’ll never have this kind of support again in my life.”
“Every day when we get home from school, I give my son a snack, and he says “it’s great to have a dad like you!” Little man I am literally handing you a bag of sour cream and cheddar chips but thank you.”
Can You Think of Any Others?
Can you think of any other downsides to not having children? Anything the people on Reddit didn’t cover, but that people in the midst of making this decision might benefit from knowing? Drop a comment with your suggestions to let us know.
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