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Stop Trying To Convince People Who Don't Want Kids That They Will Someday

For a long time, the thought of being a dad appealed to me so much that I even had names picked out for my hypothetical children. If you're curious, they were Kurt and Salvatore for boys and Bianca and Sierra for girls.

But while I still think I could make a loving dad and my opinion on children themselves hasn't soured, I'm now firm in my belief that this is no longer something I should do. And as sad as it is, the reason for that is I'm simply not confident in the future that I would be ushering them into.

That's not to say that I judge new parents for feeling differently. I'm genuinely happy that they're more optimistic about where the world is going and I wish I shared that optimism.

But my fears are far from the only reason why someone may choose not to have kids. And whatever those reasons are, I believe they're as serious about them as I am about mine.

But since so many of them often report pressure from friends and family to procreate anyway, this consideration is far from universal. And I think it's time we changed that.

It's important to remember that the family plans that a person or couple may have aren't really anyone else's business.

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And while it's hardly a crime to ask about what they want to do, that doesn't make it any less annoying when relatives still ask childfree people "when are you having kids?" after they've already established that they don't want to.

It's also not uncommon for certain parents to see this as a personal attack when they don't understand or agree with their reasons for this.

Furthermore, some who don't want kids may not even want to get into those reasons. If you ask and I answer, can't we just move on and get back to what we were doing?

And if there's such a thing as an invalid reason not to want kids, I have yet to hear it.

For instance, Seth Rogen feels that the responsibility and shift in priorities that it takes to properly raise kids aren't something he wants to devote his life to. He and his wife greatly prefer their free time and freedom in general.

Others don't feel equipped to take care of children, don't like kids, are afraid of childbirth, or don't feel they could afford to be parents. And those are only a brief sample of common reservations.

But ultimately, they're all valid for one simple reason. The fastest way to give a kid an unhappy childhood is to resent their very existence.

And regardless of their reason, it's extremely unlikely that any of us would be able to convince these people that they really do want children in a way that doesn't breed this resentment.

Nonetheless, that doesn't stop some from fighting hard for other people to have children and to claim that they'll change their minds "when" they do have them.

It's interesting. One of the most common responses you'll hear to stories of parental neglect is that "some people shouldn't have kids." But whenever those people come to that conclusion themselves, there's almost always some push back.

And to be honest, I get it. Many people truly do think their kids are the greatest parts of their lives and they want everyone to share in the joy they have.

But the reality is just because that's true for them, that doesn't mean it's true for everyone.

And there's another pitfall with badgering people about their parental status that would make everyone but the world's biggest monsters regret doing it.

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Because the fact of the matter is that due to certain bodily or persistent fertility issues, some people don't have children of their own because they can't.

And as I've said, those who can but choose not to should have their opinions respected as much as these people should be respected for how they deal with their circumstances.

But the important difference here is that when we're pestered about our decision not to have children, it's annoying and can even reach the point of infuriating. But to those who can't, that badgering becomes a constant, painful reminder rather than an annoyance.

And nothing is worth putting somebody through that.

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