With over seven billion people on Earth there are bound to be differences between us all. We are separated by nationality, religion, race, ethnicity. Yet there are always common threads that unite us, especially common goals. There are key benchmarks many of us aim for: first job, first car, first house…first child.
This last one is not as vital, in a literal sense, yet it is still held in great esteem. Having a child is seen as a traditional and normal part of life, and those who opt out of this step are seen as being selfish or living an unfulfilled life.
I will probably be one of the people that opt out. Some may see it as selfish, but because I fully understand all the responsibilities and sacrifice that go into raising a child, and I know I would not be ready for them.
I am sure some people have children for the sake of it, they see it as the next step in their life. They are not having children because they want them, but because they feel like they are obligated to, because it is their duty.
Others do it for pragmatic reasons: a misguided belief that it will ease a tense relationship, an anchor that can be used to latch onto someone.
Then there are the shallow people, who think about how cute a baby will be, how glorious it will be to see their genes live on. I had a parent like that, and he wasn’t around much of my life. These people have a simplistic and shallow mindset that removes all of the realities of parenthood. They think of the cute outfits they can buy the baby, without thinking of their cute baby waking them up at 3 in the morning. They think of the pride of showing off their children without the reality of changing diapers, or sacrificing their free time to spend time with their children.
So while parents like that exist, I am seen as selfish because I want to make sure I’m ready for the responsibility before I have a child. That is why I cannot stand the people who think I must have kids so I can share in their apparent misery. Having kids was a choice they made, and they must live with it. Don’t try to force it on me,
Although everyone says I will change my mind, I doubt it and I find that sentiment irritating and insulting. I am not some teen going through a phase of rebellion. I am an adult who is smart enough to know what he wants. As my extended family grows bigger I only see more reasons to remain childless, such as family events dominated by toddlers.
I am not saying no one should have children. I am only saying that my choice not to have any should not be a concern when there are over 7 billion people on earth. Enough people will have kids for humanity to prosper. The choice that one man makes ultimately will not affect you.