21 Reasons I’m happy to be child-free

I don’t hate kids.  In fact, I like other peoples’ (well-kept, well-behaved) kids.  We just don’t want any of our own.  Unlike other couples who choose to remain child-free, we haven’t (yet) encountered any nosy, borderline-judgmental questions or attempts to convert us to the World of Parenting.  I figure as an extra preventive measure, I’ll make my list of reasons here and should we encounter any of those shining examples of humanity, we’ll simply point them to this blog.

Listed in no particular order:

1. It’s a full time job and then some.  I already have one of those and since I’m just one person (and not two), I don’t need another.  Without kids, I don’t have to pick between a kid and a career.  And make no mistake – you can’t have it all.  Sorry.  You’re one person, not two.  If you think you can do both, then you’re probably not doing either very well.

2. My other half and I have a few major genetic issues that we would prefer not to knowingly pass on.

3. Kids are a major investment.  We have plenty of other entities vying for our money (our office, our apartments–two right now, Christmas, Whole Foods, Apple, etc).  To meet the expenses that kids create, we’d have to grow money on trees or start drug dealing or something.  I like having disposable income to go bowling, upgrade to a nice cable/broadband TV/internet package, get my clothes at Dillard’s, or get a spanking new iMac.  Daycare, baby food, diapers, clothes, and future college tuition just don’t seem nearly as attractive.

4. Kids cost money – Part 2.  They only cost more money as they get older.  You thought daycare, diapers, and baby formula were expensive?  Ha!  Wait till they want designer clothes, starter makeup, video games, and a smartphone.  Wait till they toilet-paper the neighborhood and those homeowners find out it’s your kid and want restitution.  Wait till they want a car.  We got lucky – my parents paid for anything we were seriously interested in and wanted to pursue.  We got music instrument lessons, ice skating lessons, karate classes, and more.  Bless my parents.  They wanted everything for us – but we were not spoiled.  We worked during the summer and understood exactly what it took to obtain the funding for these activities.

5. Kids take space.  We tend to need the 2nd bedroom for a home office for our hobbies.  A 3-bedroom is out of the question financially.

6. I strongly dislike snot, puke, and poo.  I don’t care so much about blood and pee, but I have to draw the line somewhere.  Without kids, I won’t get puked on, nor will I have to wipe a nose or change a diaper.

7. Kids make noise.  I’m overstimulated as it is.  Occasional neighbor noise aside, I like to have my peace and quiet when I want it.

8. Kids make messes.  I’d rather not have to clean more than once a week.  Laundry, dusting, catbox, vacuuming, dishes, and general tidying up already take some time each day/week.  Our truck is a mess but it doesn’t smell bad – without kids I don’t have to worry about milk getting spilled and then smelling really….”nice” a week later on a South Texas July afternoon (true story – ask Mom).

9. Kids get into things.  Ugh, I went through this with my kid sister – coming home from school and finding my Lego cities in shambles, my books piled on the floor instead of in the bookshelf, markers and paints all over, stickers peeled off and stuck elsewhere, Barbie dolls undressed and re-dressed horribly, pieces of everything everywhere.  I hated going to school knowing she was getting into everything all day and I couldn’t do anything about it.  It didn’t stop with the toddler years, either – we continued into our pre-teens and teens stealing my makeup and clothes.  Again, ugh.  Why would I want to do that to myself all over again?

10. Kids get into things Part 2.  I remember Mom having to put latches on the cupboards and doors, store guns in locked cabinets, store books/knives/china dishes/etc high up, put away sticky candy, worry about where detergents and cleaners were stored (in the Monsanto-dominates, pre-eco-friendly days), etc etc.  Why would I want to relive Mom’s experience?

11. Kids break things.  Candles, light bulbs, electronics (yes, let’s confuse a peanut butter sandwich with a VCR tape.  Let’s pour apple juice into said VCR, too), you name it.  Besides the cats, staying child-free means we get to enjoy the full life of our things without having to replace them prematurely.

12. Kids do kid stuff, I do adult stuff.  OK, I’ll admit I love playing outside – catch, hide-and-seek, capture the flag, tag, you name it.  I also love Nintendo/video games.  But I don’t do kid-style birthday parties or coloring books or other little games that smaller kids play.  I like to go people-watch and the mall or play cards.  I like to exercise – walking, biking, working out, martial arts.  I like to paint, with very permanent paints.  I like to get my hair done.  I also refuse to bore a little kid by dragging him/her all over the place to do the adult things I’d rather do instead of parenting.  So, I don’t have kids.

13. I can go on vacation or away on an impromptu overnight without having to worry about A) someone watching the kids or B) having to take the kids with us.

14. We can go out to eat or to a movie (or anywhere!) without having to worry about A) getting (and paying increasingly more for) a babysitter, or B) having to take the kids with us.

15. We don’t get any dirty looks or stares or (justifiably) rude comments because our kids are acting up or causing a scene.  We don’t risk having to leave a restaurant in the middle of a meal or a movie just when it’s getting good.

16. Kids are heavy.  So is their stuff.  The kids themselves need to be carried everywhere – but so does their diaper bag.  So does their formula.  Their toys.  Their stroller, should the place not be conducive to strollers.  When they act up, or get tired, irritable, and difficult, they become twice as heavy – dead weight, and they’re not moving anywhere if they can help it.

17. Kids get cranky.  See above – tired, irritable, and difficult.  They do this when they’re tired.  Hungry.  Bored.  Hot.  Anytime they’re not happy, which, based on how often one encounters a crying baby or fussing toddler, seems often.

18. Kids stink – puke, poo, pee, etc.  They smell up the place, causing embarrassment (and if you’re not embarrassed, something is wrong).

19. Kids strain relationships.  They’re something else to fight about.  They add stress overall.  It’s not their fault.  They just do.  As much as we tell kids it’s not their fault (which it’s not, exactly) – the stress of adjusting to life with kids and the intimacy/money/free time that go out the window when kids arrive can be enough to expose the instability of a partnership and maybe push it to its breaking point.

20. Kids sap sleep.  Whether your baby is crying, your toddler is puking, or the cops bust your teenager for having sex in his/her car after he/she snuck out of the bedroom window.  Or your 30-year-old who still lives with you coming home at 3AM, staggering around because they’re drunk.  My sleep is touch-and-go as it is; I certainly don’t need any more help staying awake.

21. No extra doctor bills.  No “well-baby” checkups, whatever that means.  No school district telling us what to do.  No having to express breast milk when it’s least convenient.  No risk of people chastising you for how you parent, or for having to change diapers/breastfeed in public places.  Nobody telling me “they hate me”.  I don’t have to worry that I’m producing the next Hitler, Antichrist, Dahmer, Ted Bundy, David Koresh, Stalin, or Saddam Hussein.

Here are movies that help explain what I *won’t* have to go through:
“Parenthood”
“Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead”
“Home Alone”
“Three Men & a Baby”

Etc.  The clock chimes, time to leave for the office.

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