In honor of Mother's Day, I thought it would be interesting to open up the floor to women who don't want kids, as well as those who can't have kids due to biological restraints.
1. "I’m afraid that I’m going to end up like my biological mom."
"I’m afraid that I’m going to end up like my biological mom and that the children would end up in foster care. I don’t know if I would want to put them through that."
2. "I don't like the idea of giving birth and changing my body."
"I have a few reasons: 1) I don't like the idea of giving birth and changing my body, 2) I'm not sure i want to change my whole life for kids, 3) I'm perfectly happy with my nephews, 4) The idea of picking a surname stresses me out — will it be my surname or my partner's surname? Whoever it is automatically becomes the head of the house. I don't want to double the surname as that means that kid can't have that opportunity if they choose to have a family."
3. "My child would have a genetic predisposition for bipolar disorder."
"I have bipolar disorder and so does my father. My child would have a genetic predisposition for bipolar disorder and while it's manageable, it has certainly made my life more difficult. I would also feel uncomfortable taking my prescription mood stabilizers while pregnant and while breastfeeding; but without them, I would be high risk for postpartum depression and/or psychosis. I just don't see myself being mentally strong enough to be a mother with these possible risks."
4. "I was bullied throughout my whole school life, mostly about my looks."
"I was bullied throughout my whole school life, mostly about my looks. Plus, mental health issues run in my family. I've suffered from depression and I still have anxiety. I wouldn't want a child to go through the same things I went through. Without children, I can focus all my attention on my nephew and nieces."
5. "I am a wandering soul."
"I am a wandering soul and I love to travel. My partner doesn't want children either."
6. "I feel like I am too selfish to have a child."
"I feel like I am too selfish to have a child. I like the fact that my fiancé and I can eat what we want, go out for dinner whenever, do whatever we want whenever we want, and not have to worry about who will care for our child. I just love our freedom."
7. "I can’t have children of my own."
"I can’t have children of my own and when my mum found out, she was devastated but I was not. I honestly felt like my body had done me a favor. I’ve never wanted children even before it was revealed that I physically couldn't. I’d rather be the fun aunt any day."
8. "I thought there was no chance I could ever consider not having children and then I had a life-changing head injury."
"At one point, I was the most maternal person ever. I thought there was no chance I could ever consider not having children, and then I had a life-changing head injury. All the extra stuff I have to constantly do that just came naturally before made me realize that I need far too much of my own attention to share it with anyone else. I find it SO difficult to look after myself that I can't imagine how much harder it would be raising a child. Not to mention the pregnancy and how I would have to come off my pain meds to have a healthy pregnancy. The fact that I'm disabled and on benefits means that if I ever had children, they would not have the same opportunities that I did and their lives would be infinitely harder.
Also, this world just isn't a world I would want to bring children into. I may consider fostering or adoption in the future but physically having my own child is just not something I want."
9. "I didn’t want to lose myself as an individual. "
"I knew from childhood I didn’t want children. I refused baby dolls and I didn’t like actual babies either. Some family members tried to encourage me to change and as I got into young adulthood, some of them tried to say I’d change my mind. I never did. I just don’t have that maternal urge. Some things that solidified that decision even more for me were the social obligations placed on women to be the keeper of the house and children. I always hated gender stereotypes and fought to be seen as capable of anything and not to have to live up to certain ideals. I didn’t want to lose myself as an individual.
Secondly, I watched how my brother struggled to raise a son that he had very young. He gave up a lot for him and struggled to pay bills. I ended up being somewhat of a secondary parent to my nephew when his parents couldn’t do some things or pay for things. I loved spending time with him and taking him places. That is enough for me. I appreciated that he went home at the end of the day."
10. "I kept thinking of reasons to put off children."
"As I hit my thirties and got married, I kept thinking of reasons to put off children: work, my dogs, wanting a few more years of traveling, etc. Then at 34, I decided to go off birth control and I got pregnant within 2 weeks. Instead of feeling excited, I was honestly completely terrified. It wasn’t just the childbirth part that gave me anxiety (although those 'what to expect' books are freaking horror novels in themselves), it was all of it: being home for months with a newborn, not sleeping, losing my identity, my career, my body, and my freedom. I also had horrific morning sickness and really hated everything about being pregnant. I was assured by everyone it was just hormonal. I ended up miscarrying at 11 weeks and I felt so incredibly guilty about it. I blamed myself for having all of those feelings.
A few friends of mine were pregnant around the same time and after they started having babies, I had a flood of different emotions like sadness, excitement, grief, but mostly relief, which made me feel even more guilty. I got back on birth control and decided I was not ready. Then the feeling of being ready never came."
11. "It’s not that I don’t want to have kids but since I was 11 years old, I’ve struggled heavily with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)."
"It’s not that I don’t want to have kids but since I was 11 years old, I’ve struggled heavily with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and based off previous family history, I know I would struggle a lot with conceiving. I’m Hispanic and from a very young age, I was taught that women grow up and become mothers — yes, it’s very outdated — but it was all I wanted. After fully realizing that pregnancy for me would most likely be so emotionally painful and most likely not happen, I got so depressed and angry that my parents considered sending me to a psychiatric hospital. Instead, I started going to therapy. Since then, I’ve made the conscious decision that I would never have kids of my own. Instead, I hope to become a foster parent and adopt later on when the time is right."
12. "Having kids would mean having to be in that caring position for the rest of my life."
"I’ve been the legal caretaker of my mum since I was 12. I recently turned 18 and she passed a week later. I’m now the guardian of my younger brother and am taking care of him. Having kids would mean having to be in that caring position for the rest of my life and I don’t think I want that."
13. "I just don't imagine myself able to recover mentally or physically from the enormous changes incurred by pregnancy."
"I suffered from an eating disorder and body dysmorphia for several years and although I consider myself more or less recovered now, I just don't imagine myself able to recover mentally or physically from the enormous changes incurred by pregnancy and childbirth. I feel like they would set me back to a state of mind where I wouldn't be able to give my child the love and care they deserve. I'm also not confident I'll ever even find someone to have children with. I haven't had much luck with love and right now I feel like I'm destined to spend my life alone."
14. "It feels so socially irresponsible. Overpopulation mixed with the reality of climate change is a recipe for disaster."
"I've never felt the instinctive urge to procreate and when I felt it was expected of me, it filled me with dread. I don't think people should be mothers unless they can't imagine living without becoming a mother. Permanence makes me feel very uncomfortable and a child is a permanent, massive life change. On top of these personal factors, it feels so socially irresponsible. Overpopulation mixed with the reality of climate change is a recipe for disaster, famine, and death. I genuinely believe all governments should be encouraging one-child families and adoption if people are genuinely desperate for children. The planet simply can't sustain us if we continue breeding at the current rate."
15. "I work in the green energy industry and I try to do what I can."
"I work in the green energy industry and I try to do what I can because not all hope is lost. And I have to try for the sake of my young nieces and nephew. I was so mad at my sister when she announced her third pregnancy! But ultimately, I don't want kids and I've learned to just not even say that to people now. In the past, I've been told, by men, that I'll change my mind when I'm older. I've even been dumped on second/third dates when the topic of kids comes up but I feel really strong for standing up to society's expectations!"
16. "I don't want to force some poor kid(s) to grow up in a house where their mother puts her job before them."
"I have a dream job that will take up a lot of time and energy, and it's incredibly important to me. I plan to put the job ahead of my personal life and I don't want to force some poor kid(s) to grow up in a house where their mother puts her job before them. Because of the nature of the job, it comes down to kids or my dream. I could have kids and chase my dream but there's no way I'd ever have the time or energy to be a good parent. This is my dream and it's a dream I've had for a long time, and I couldn't live with myself if I gave it up."
17. "I work in special education. I love [my students] but I could not have the patience to have a child like them myself."
"I work in special education with students with the most needs. I love them but I could not have the patience to have a child like them myself. There's always that risk when you have a child that they will have special needs. Nothing against those who have disabilities. We are all born different. But it takes a lot of work to give them the best life they can possibly have. I admire my students' parents because they take care of their children to the best of their ability and always stand up for their children. I'm too selfish to do the same."
18. "I think the world is going to shit."
"I don't think there should be more people around. And more personally, I have anxiety and I don't think I could take care of a completely dependent being. I also enjoy my life as it is and wouldn't take drastic measures to change it. I just lost my job due to the pandemic, can you imagine if I had a kid to care of?"
19. "I don't want to subconsciously become like my mother."
"I don't want to subconsciously become like my mother. My mother is emotionally and verbally abusive, as well as manipulative, and she never saw anything wrong with it. When I confronted her on it, she guilt-tripped me by saying she made a great sacrifice by having children and manipulated my siblings to believing I'm ungrateful for everything she has done for me. I'm 15 so sorry you have to feed me and house me mom!"
20. "Honestly? I don't like most kids."
"Honestly? I don't like most kids. I find them loud, annoying, and messy. I love my niece and nephews and enjoy spending time with them, but after a few hours, I'm exhausted and ready to be done. Everyone says it's different with your own kids...but what if it's not? I don't want to risk bringing a child into a world without knowing I'd be able to 100% love and cherish them."
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity. Not all submissions were from Community users.