8 Reasons Not To Have Kids - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog

#HilaryRowland

8 Reasons Not To Have Kids

It took a lot of thought, but here are the 8 reasons we came up with that entrenched us in the DINK (dual income no kids) camp.

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By a conservative estimate, my hubby and I get asked when we’re going to have kids probably once a month. When we first got married, the question was posed more frequently, but now our friends and family have given in to the fact that we put a lot of thought into our life choices and don’t mind being different (I mean, hey, we’re vegan).

8 Reasons Not To Have Kids

When I was in my 20’s, I assumed I was going to have kids someday. That was back before I started questioning everything in life. The more I open my eyes to the realities of the world (like where our food comes from, for example), the more I see that, in reality, things aren’t how they’re marketed to us. It’s not that having kids can’t be a great thing for some people — I’m sure it is. It’s just that, in my mind, I’d had this movie trailer playing in my brain that consisted of Thanksgiving dinners and happy times with family. In reality, most families have serious ups and downs. Having kids is a rollercoaster, no matter how you slice it.

When I got sick, I realized that reducing stress in my life needed to be top priority if I was going to lead a long, healthy life. So I cut back on work, started incorporating stress-relieving habits like taking baths and meditating, and made a list of life’s current and potential stressors. Kids was right at the top of that list. But that’s not the main reason we chose not to have them. Here’s the list we made while we were mulling over the decision:

8 Reasons Not To Have Kids

The sad reality is that humans are an invasive species and we are suffocating the planet and its other inhabitants…

  1. Earth is wayyyyyy overpopulated.
    It’s hard to hear, I know, but the inconvenient truth is that the world needs (a lot) less people, not more. There’s no such thing as a carbon-neutral, pollution and waste-free person. Unless your kid ends up being Elon Musk, and what are the chances of that?
  2. We want a low-stress life. 
    Stress is a killer. The chemicals your body produces when you feel stress are a major factor in disease, they cause your body to deteriorate, they destroy your gut (which can cause many long term health problems), and they make it so your mood and sleep is all wonky. Plus, being under a lot of stress makes your life pretty unpleasant. I’d rather have the low-stress option of watching a movie with my hubby, reading a book, or going to dinner with friends, rather than dealing with my kid’s daily dramas.
  3. We want to travel.
    Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve felt the itch explore, and have flown off to have an adventure somewhere new at least once a month. I know there are people who say you can travel with kids, but let’s not kid ourselves — it’s not exactly the same as just you and your hubby, is it? #SayNoToDisneyland
  4. We want to protect our relationship.
    For many (dare I say ‘most’) couples, having kids makes keeping the romance alive much, much harder. Let’s be honest — it’s no secret that having kids puts so much strain on a marriage that many couples either become miserable or divorce. That’s just statistics. Our marriage is super strong, but seriously, why test it like that? Keeping my marriage romantic, low-stress, and happy is my first priority. (I know that some of you will disagree and say that it made your marriage stronger, and more power to ya! You’re the lucky ones!)
  5. 8 Reasons Not To Have KidsWe don’t want to be babysitters.
    Watching kids shows, dealing with other kids and their parents, and shuttling your kids to birthday parties, sports events, and school (not to mention PTA meetings) all sound like things we’d rather avoid. I’d rather be able to work on Urbanette or choose to do what I want, when I want.
  6. We want to live wherever we want.
    We don’t want the home we choose to live in to be dictated by school districts. Having the luxury of living in different places is a big plus. If we had kids, that would be a lot harder. Once you have kids, it’s a lot harder to quit your job, move to a new place, or a host of other options that effectively disappear once you have the responsibility of raising a family.
  7. We would rather donate to charity.
    Having kids costs a fortune. It’s estimated that the first 18 years of a kids life costs their parents about $500,000 per child (if you live in a good area — ie. not Idaho Falls or El Paso). And that’s if you send them to public school. We’d rather donate that money to charities, where it can have a huge impact, instead of using it all up on one person.
  8. It’s just a lot of risk.
    What if our kid were to get paralyzed? Or have addiction problems? Or split personality disorder? Or any number of other things? It’s a big risk, and then you become a lifelong caretaker with no time for anything else. And I’m pretty sure I’d go nuts and hunt down some 19-year-old prick if I found out that my daughter had been raped in college, as about a third of girls are.

Bonus statistic: The single biggest predictor that a woman will end up in financial collapse is the birth of a child.

Ok, so I know that some of you are going to hate me for this list, because it goes against the grain of society and what the public has been sold on: The American Dream. ie. Have kids, get a mortgage, etc. I’m not saying that people have kids solely because society tells them to. I just find it interesting to consider that the American Dream was manufactured by the people in charge (ie. the CEO’s of massive corporations that have hundreds of thousands — or millions — of employees). Those people in charge have access to advertising, the media, politicians, and shaping cultural norms. Their goals are: create harder workers and less turnover. They get that by making their employees feel trapped, so they’ll work harder and be less likely to move, quit, become an entrepreneur, etc. Just some food for thought…

8 Reasons Not To Have Kids

When it boils down, some people really love having kids, and more power to ’em! But in our case, I’m really, really glad that we thoroughly considered all these factors before jumping on the kid bandwagon. My husband and I are sure that this is the right decision for us, but life isn’t a one-size-fits-all, so having kids (as long as you’ve carefully considered the implications) may still be the best choice for your life. But for us, our cats are our furbabies, and the freedom that comes along with being DINK’s (dual income no kids) is one of the main reasons that our lives are so happy and low stress — and will (hopefully) remain that way.

Have you considered all these factors? What are your thoughts about having (or not having) kids?

A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she spends most of her time traveling around Europe, with pied-a-terre's in Zurich, London, Milan and Lyon, France. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 104 Comments

  1. Julia Hopkins

    Just guide her as much as you can and you and her will be fine.

  2. Dorothy Garrett

    Whoa Hilary, you’re so aware of your surroundings and everything that’s happening.

  3. Some guys really want to marry women who want to have kids. Kind of like it’s a responsibility that we have to do for them.

  4. I appreciate that you just want to donate to charity instead of sending your own kids to school. I’m not going to say that I don’t want kids either because I know that babies are blessings and they’re little angels in disguise no matter how other parents make it seem like they’re little demons. I guess our definition of happiness is just different from one another but that’s really cool too. Diversity is great and individual opinions are appreciated in this world.

    • Ebony Moore

      Yeah, we just have to be open about the opinion of others.

  5. I’m a newly wed and my husband and I are talking about this a lot.☹️

  6. Penny Ryan

    My pets are my babies. They’re a pain to take to the vet but at least I don’t have to provide education.🤣

  7. Darlene Bridges

    I respect your decision Hilary. After all, you’re living your dream life now.

  8. Sheri Lawrence

    Too bad because I already have a kid and I can’t do anything about it. Traveling sounds really good but yeah, I don’t have the luxury of doing that anymore. I kind of dislike this post because it makes mothers feel like what we’re doing is wrong or that we don’t have the freedom of doing all of that just because of our kids. Just like you, it’s our choice to make. But that doesn’t give you the right to make us feel like we’re not free spirited individuals.

    • Kathryn Hill

      A lot of people will really be offended by this but let’s keep an open mind.

  9. Patricia

    One thing I don’t like about having kids is not having the freedome to have me-time anymore…

  10. We’ve been raised as women who need to give birth to babies and all that. I’m open to any choice but I don’t know what the future holds.😊

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