“Living a ChildFree life doesn’t mean your life has to be childless. It just means that your life gets to stay yours.”
The world has changed. Some changes are great. Others… not so much. But one of those great changes is the shift in societal expectations regarding children. Gone are the days when a woman’s job was to have and raise babies. The nuclear family is no longer the only option, giving men and women more agency in their lives.
Today, choosing not to have children isn’t taboo. In fact, many people are taking this route. Here are the five top reasons to go ChildFree:
1. Living ChildFree Means Saving Money
According to a 2017 report published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average cost of raising a single child born in 2015 was $233,610.
From the moment that test comes back positive, you start spending money. There are prenatal checkups. Ultrasounds. Vitamins. A crib to buy. A car seat. The costs of delivery. Pediatric visits. Yearly checkups. Physicals for school and sports. Broken bones. Braces. And so much more!
Within minutes of being born, your baby is put in their first diaper. And you’ll need many more after that. Along with wipes. Bottles. Formula. Baby food.
Even when you finish with diapers and formula, your child will continue to grow. They need new clothes constantly. New shoes. Winter coats. Hats. Mittens that will inevitably go missing. Backpacks. School supplies. Lunchboxes and food to go inside them.
Do you want a newer, nicer car? What about that kitchen renovation you’ve been dreaming about? Maybe a house with hardwood floors? Even if you can afford them, a child can ruin any of these in just 30 seconds with a Sharpie and a grin.
Do you want your child to be active? Prepare to pay school fees for every sport. You’ll also be paying for gear and equipment. And don’t forget about tickets to every game, recital, or school play.
And that’s just when they’re under 18. Should we even get started on college…?
2. ChildFree Adults are Statistically Happier
According to a Pew Research Center analysis, “Having children limits parents from advancing in their careers.” 23% of working moms and 15% of working dads have turned down work opportunities because of their children.
Remember when you were a child and everyone asked you “What do you want to be when you grow up? Well, if you want to be a parent, the freedom to pursue any other hopes and dreams quickly diminishes. Even if you do manage to find that dream job, you’ll always be making sacrifices. Your child has a fever? School policy says they have to stay home. Your child fell on the playground and bumped their head? Now you have to leave work to go pick them up. Your child has a soccer game next Saturday? Guess you aren’t going on that work trip.
There goes your career – and any personal fulfillment you hoped to gain from it.
There goes any chance of traveling anytime, anywhere. And if you do get to head out on vacation with the kids, be prepared for a lot of dirty looks when your baby won’t stop crying, or your child won’t stop kicking the seat of the person in front of them on the plane.
There goes your energy, off to a void fueled by grocery store tantrums, potty training, faking interest in cringeworthy cartoons, and trying to answer SO MANY questions. While having children is a wonderful choice for some people, it’s not for everyone – and ChildFree adults don’t have to deal with any of these challenges.
3. Choosing a ChildFree Life is Better for the Planet
Have you ever wanted to be able to say you saved the world? Choose a childfree life and strap on that red cape, my friend.
According to a study published in Environmental Research Letters, “Having one fewer child will save 58.6 tonnes of CO2-equivalent per year.”
Climate change aside, you’re also refraining from adding to over-population trends. And you won’t be creating another mouth to feed when, according to the USDA, more than 38 million people in the United States alone struggle with hunger.
4. Choosing not to Have Children is Good for Your Health
An article on WebMD states that parents spend so much time and energy on their children that their own health tends to fall to the wayside, resulting in “parental burnout, a condition in which you’re so exhausted that you feel you have nothing left to give.”
And mental health isn’t the only health that is impacted by having children. Lack of sleep does a number on a parent’s body. A pregnancy is even worse. Then you have to send your child to school – or, more accurately, to a petri dish of germs – and deal with all the illnesses they bring home.
5. ChildFree Adults Have Better Relationships
According to an article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology comparing couples with children to couples without children, “the rate of the decline in relationship satisfaction is nearly twice as steep for couples who have children than for childless couples.”
Raising a tiny human is hard work, and it’s a job that requires you to make important decisions. This isn’t about disagreeing about what to eat for dinner or whose turn it is to do the dishes – these are decisions that make or break a human being. That’s stressful on a relationship, especially when your ideologies don’t always line up. Maybe your parents were all about love and individuality, but your partner’s parents were about respect and rules. Which parenting style do you use on your child? How do you decide?
Even without arguing over tough decisions, a couple faces other obstacles when they become parents.
Their sex life is either a thing of the past, or a thing of the present that has to be carefully planned and executed – and quickly, in case your child has a nightmare and comes looking for you.
Parents’ quality time – whether it be fancy date nights or nights spent on the couch binging Netflix – is decreased drastically. And time with friends? Unless they have children too, you can kiss that goodbye.
BUT BABIES ARE CUTE!
Who doesn’t love to kiss chubby cheeks or listen to a baby belly laugh? People watch video compilations on Youtube about cute babies for a reason.
The solution? Be the cool gender-non-specific-human in the lives of your friends’ and family’s children. Give those poor (literally and figuratively) parents a break. Take those kids for a few hours of kisses and laughs and spoiled fun – and then give them back to their parents so you can crawl into your bed and enjoy spontaneous hot sex or a full night of uninterrupted sleep.
Living a ChildFree life doesn’t mean your life has to be childless. It just means that your life gets to stay yours.