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No Thanks: I Don't Want to Have Kids

*cues 'No Scrubs' melody*

No, I don't want no kids. A kid is a thing that a guy can't get from me...

Directly after graduation, I worked at a coffee shop part-time while taking my EMT certification course. One day, an older white lady came to the register. She was short, petite and donned a curly strawberry blonde bob. After I rung her up for her daily latte and engaged in some minute small talk, I went around the corner to clean, organize and restock the utensils while I had downtime. She asked me "so, where are your kids?" I couldn't help but wonder why she would ask me an assumptive question like that. Do I look like someone's mother at the tender age of 23? Is it because I give off maternal vibes? I told her I didn't have any kids and that I don't think I want to have them. She patted me on the shoulder and said something along the lines of "You'll change your mind." She gathered her utensils and went about her day. I ruminated on this for a few days afterward. I looked at everyone else who worked in the food court. I stopped once I thought of one of the workers across the way. She was likely in her late twenties and took the low paying job to take care of her children. That's when I realized, this lady must've thought this temporary dead-end job was a career and that I needed the money to care for children like some of the other black workers in the food court. I looked at my white college student co-workers. I wondered if they've ever been asked where their kids were and I couldn't imagine that happening. On the other hand, this could have been an innocent yet loaded question.

No, I don't want kids. As a young black woman, when, where and with whom I have kids is one of the most important life decisions. Plenty of high school friends and family members had kids before establishing a career. Seeing how this affects their earning potential and opportunities, I don't want those challenges for myself. That's not what I want out of life. I want to spend time in a high paying career, traveling with a significant other without being bound to kids.

Here are some other reasons:

  • If I change my mind after establishing my career and I'm unable to have them naturally, I could adopt or become a foster parent.

  • I value silence and independence when outside of work.

  • I don't have a religious reason for being attached to reproduction.

  • I can't name any unselfish reason for having kids.

  • Parenthood is too important of a decision to make while ambivalent.

In short, I'd rather regret not having children than to regret having them. I value my freedom and independence more than my ability to reproduce. It'd be best this way for all parties involved. (Now, seeing as my decision against having kids is mostly based on financial security, I'll reconsider my viewpoints once I've become established. So, if you see this post 10-15 years in the future and I have a kid... just mind ya bidness).

How many of you have children? If so, do you have any regrets? If not, are you for or against having them and what are your reasons?

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