Deciding to have children is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make because it is something that will change your life forever. While some people dream of starting a family, others dread the idea of becoming a parent.
That’s okay. Creating a family isn’t for everyone. In fact, parenthood can be quite overwhelming because it often feels like you become responsible for another human being overnight.
To make matters worse, babies don’t come with an instruction manual. Perhaps you have decided not to have children in order to focus on your career. Or maybe you’re trying to help save the environment. In any case, it’s important to understand that the decision to start a family is solely up to you.
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You’ll Have to Cook Every Day
While some people enjoy cooking, others completely despise it. Putting together a meal can be quite a production. The worse part about it is that parents have to do this at least three times a day, if not more.
Other than breakfast, lunch, and dinner, there is the necessity to put together snacks in between. You can only imagine how exhausting cooking can be after a long day of looking after the kids.
To Give Yourself Meaning
There is a lot of pressure put on women to have children. Some people say that being a mother is the greatest role a woman could have while others consider that to be an outdated theory.
In reality, people are vastly different; motherhood isn’t for everyone. If you’re searching for meaning in your life, don’t automatically think that having a baby will fix things. More times than not, children make things even more complicated.
If You're Curious What They’ll Look Like
If you are thinking of having a baby just because you are curious about what they’ll look like, you might want to hold off.
Luckily, there are a few other not so permanent options. Instead of having a baby, you can play BabyMaker. All you have to do is upload a picture of you and your partner to see what your baby would look like.
Or you could look at your and your partner’s baby pictures.
No More Spontaneous Traveling
When you have children, you can’t just hop on a plane because you feel like going on a quick getaway. There is a lot of planning and preparation that goes into booking a vacation.
Traveling with kids requires a great deal of patience and a good bit of luck. Before you even book a trip, you have to make sure that the hotel is child-friendly and that the trip falls on a school break.
Fear of Regret
As crazy as it may seem, there are people who have had children because they were worried they might regret not having children. FOMO, fear of missing out, doesn’t only pertain to social media but to couples without children as well.
Being a parent may seem like a fun, joyous time but it can be very stressful and difficult. It takes a lot of hard work and patience to raise a well-rounded human being.
To Please Your Parents
At every family gathering, there is always that one parent who guilts you about not having a child yet. After a while, that pressure from your parents starts to put a strain on your relationship, which leads to one of you giving in.
The next thing you know it, you are nine months pregnant and about to give birth to your first child. If you and your partner aren’t ready for children yet, don’t let anyone pressure you into having them.
You’re Responsible for Them
Just thinking about being responsible for another life can be overwhelming. That’s because children rely on their parents for absolutely everything.
Infants require complete care for nourishment, cleaning, and mobility. Fortunately, kids over the age of 10 can start doing most things for themselves.
It isn’t until they are in their early teenage years when kids can start truly fending for themselves and by that time, they are almost ready to go off to college.
You’ll Have to Socialize with other Parents
Having to carry on a conversation with someone you really don’t want to talk to can be extremely exhausting. Parents have to deal with that all of the time. It seems the only place parents are safe from having to talk to other parents is when they are at home.
Raising a child is straining enough as it is. So, the addition of having to socialize with other parents on top of that is just outright crazy.
If You’re Looking for a Constant Companion
A lot of people say that their children are their best friends. However, Ellen Walker, a licensed clinical psychologist, doesn’t suggest people have kids just because they are feeling lonely.
As tempting as it might be to bring children into the world simply to add meaning to your life, children are not a means to friendship.
“Children need to have a parent figure that is focused on giving them the tools they will need as an adult rather than someone who’s seeking a playmate or talk therapist,” says Walker.
Ruins Your Sex Life
New parents have a million and one things to do and most of the time intimacy is at the very bottom of the list. That could be one of the reasons, other than vaginal pain, why doctors tell new mothers to wait at least three months before having sex after giving birth.
An estimated 85% of women only start having sex because they are concerned about their partner’s sexual needs, rather than their own, according to The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Lack of a Steady Income
You may want to reconsider having children if you do not have a steady income. That’s because kids are extremely expensive and you are going to need every penny to help raise them.
A steady income also usually comes with a decent health care plan for you and your family. People who don’t have insurance can end up in debt trying to pay off exorbitant hospital bills.
Stress can affect anyone who feels even slightly overwhelmed. For parents, their children are the sole cause of the majority of the tension in their lives.
There are many factors that go into kids causing stress for parents. It could be that parents don’t have enough time to spend together or by themselves. Children can also cause extreme financial strain, which can lead to physical and even mental health issues.
Kids Can be Mean
Let’s face it, kids can be jerks. No matter how much you do for them, sometimes they still aren’t happy. Throughout their childhood, you’ll experience different phases of meanness.
The terrible twos are called terrible for a reason. Most toddlers scream and shout for no good reason at all.
“My two-year-old screams for cookies all the time! I try to draw her away and find something to put her mind elsewhere. Every time I go into the kitchen she follows me and screams her head off until I pick her up,” says Erin F, mother of a two-year-old girl.
Messing Up Your Sleep Schedule
If you decide to have children, get ready to give up your precious sleep. In the beginning, it won’t be that bad because newborn babies tend to sleep a lot. However, by the time they turn nine months old, they’ll only sleep around five to six hours in a row.
This means you’ll be up at random hours of the night. After they turn one, it doesn’t get much better. You’ll then have to deal with sick nights, bad dreams, and cleaning up after they wet the bed.
Children = Messes
Get ready for your child to be extremely messy … from the moment they are born on into their teenage years. Of course, when they are babies you have to deal with all the diaper changes and vomit.
Then, when they are toddlers, it’s cleaning up toys and food that they have thrown on the floor. When they are finally teenagers, you’ll have to deal with their dirty room, smelly laundry, and the boys forgetting to put the toilet seat down.
You’ll Have to Relive High School
Take a moment to recall all those cringe-worthy high school moments. The drama between your inner circle, awkward adolescence, and those jock bullies. As much as you think those days are long gone, having a child throws you right back into the middle of it.
Hopefully, your children won’t have to experience all the things you hated, but it’s definitely likely. You’ll soon realize why your parents enjoyed a glass of wine every night at dinner.
Doubles Your Student Loans
It could take more than 20 years to pay off your student loans, depending on where you went to college and how much your tuition was.
If paying double student loans doesn’t sound appealing to you, then you should probably reconsider having kids. By the time some people pay off the entirety of their student debt, their child is almost ready to apply for college.
Or maybe you’ll get lucky and your kid will be offered a scholarship.
Changes Your Body
A women’s body goes through a drastic change during her nine months of pregnancy. Other than gaining anywhere from 25 to 35 pounds, women have also reported changes in their shoe size, breasts, and legs.
Even after birth, women still experience their bodies altering. For example, women who give birth are more likely to suffer from saggy breasts, enlarged gums, stretch marks, and tooth loss. While some things can be prevented, others are just part of motherhood.
Interrupts Your Social Life
If one of your close friends has recently had a baby, then you know all too well how a child can interrupt a person’s social life.
They say you learn who your true friends are once you find out you are pregnant. That’s because a lot of people can’t be bothered to change their lives to accommodate your parenthood.
Most of the time, new parents don’t want to hang out anyways. They are too exhausted from staying up all night with their baby.
Your Life Will Never Be Yours Again
From the second you find out you and your partner are pregnant, you instantly start sharing your life with your child. This is especially true during pregnancy. If you are the mother, your baby essentially experiences everything you experience during those nine months.
After childbirth, you can kiss most of your favorite hobbies goodbye. The majority of your time will need to go toward taking care of your newborn baby.
If you think your marriage is rock solid, just wait until you bring a child into the world. Adding another element into the relationship can be disastrous.
Parenthood tends to have a negative effect on marriages due to the conflicts that arise from reorganizing roles in the relationship. Researchers have also found that the more children there are in the family, the unhappier the marriage is, according to Parenthood meta-analytic review.
It Can be Dangerous
We’ve all heard those stories that make childbirth sound like something out of a horror movie. It really makes you wonder if the excruciating pain is really worth it.
Aside from the backbreaking pain, giving birth can actually quite dangerous and even life-threatening. An estimated 830 women die every day because of complications during pregnancy and childbirth, according to The World Health Organization.
The majority of students are eager to start their careers immediately after graduating from college. That’s because they dedicated a lot of time, money, and hard work to accomplishing their goal.
Once they do land a job, most people spend almost their entire adulthood trying to climb the corporate ladder. Throwing children into the mix only makes moving up in your career harder because children require a lot of your time and attention.
Children come with a whole new level of expenses that most parents don’t even realize. As of 2019, the average cost to raise a child from birth until the age of 17 is $233,610.
That may not seem like a lot because it doesn’t even include college, afterschool activities, birthday parties, Christmas presents, and everything in between. On top of that, one parent usually has quit their job in order to properly care for the child.
Let’s face it, the planet is severely suffering from the vast amount of waste humans have created. Scientists believe that humans are 100% responsible for modern global warming and the majority of it is due to burning fossil fuels.
More and more people are deciding not to have children to help reduce their carbon footprint. Even Prince Harry and Megan Markle announced that they were limiting their household to two children due to concerns about climate change.