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In Childfree (CF) communities, the BINGO is a set of expected negative comments we get when we say, “I’m not having children.” So here are some of them, with answers! Feel free to add yours in the comments.

You’ll change your mind!

Here’s a fun question: why is it that when a woman says she wants children, nobody ever tells her that she’ll change her mind? Biology is not destiny, especially not in this day and age when modern medicine is more than capable of genetic engineering. When I have a ligation, it’s going to be permanent, just as permanent as having children. You live with all the rewards and regrets either way. Children are a choice, and my mind has been made up.

People who don’t want kids are selfish.

Yes, because all people who want children want them for completely selfless reasons. As sentient beings wired for survival, we’re all selfish. There are people who don’t want children for selfish reasons, just as there are people who want children for selfish reasons. It goes both ways and nobody has the moral high ground over the other. Many people who plan to have children don’t really examine why they want them, but if they did I’m sure they’ll find that they are less than selfless as well.

You were a baby once/ Don’t you LIKE kids?

I still have no idea what being a baby once has to do with anything, but no, I don’t. Simply a matter of preference.

Aren’t you curious to see what they would look like?

That’s a superficial reason to have children, I hope nobody seriously thinks this way.

What if your parents didn’t have children?

Then I wouldn’t be here writing this entry and the world would be none the wiser about my existence. Don’t I care? If I didn’t exist, how would I care? Moot point.

The only reason to get married is to have children.

The only reason to get married was to have children back in the day when children cemented unions between families and provided heirs to the family fortune. Since I don’t have any qualms about leaving any money I’d have at the end of my life to my sister, or to a charity in case she doesn’t want it, this is irrelevant. I have a feeling there won’t be much left anyway. Furthermore, I think that marriage is about companionship, mutual understanding, and growth, and every couple is different so they get there in different ways. I’m a little iffy on marriage myself because of the legal issues involved (conjugal property and whatnot) and the lack of a divorce law in this country. And how about homosexual couples who are in happy marriages, who want to adopt orphans and give them better lives? We really should just get over this argument.

The Bible said go forth and multiply.

Yes, back when there were two people on earth, not seven billion, eight billion by 2025. Also, I am not Catholic.

Children are a woman’s greatest achievement/ You’re not a real woman until you have children.

This deserves an entire essay in itself, but anyone who thinks that the worth of a woman can be measured by the number of children she birthed and raised should be transported back to the medieval ages where this point of view belongs.

Who will take care of you when you’re old?

You spend a ton of money raising children. If you don’t have children, you can have a retirement fund. That’s how you’ll get by when you’re old. You make arrangements for nurses, or even a retirement home. It’s not that hard to fathom. I’m also extremely uncomfortable with the debt placed on children to take care of their parents in their twilight years, and I think it’s a vicious cycle.

Don’t you want to give your parents grandchildren?

Absolutely not. Why would they even want to take part in raising more children, didn’t they endure enough stress the first two times?

Children bring happiness to families.

I think that children bring happiness to families who want them. Furthermore, I’m disinclined to believe what other people say the source of happiness is because if there’s anything I’ve learned in the 23 years I’ve existed on this planet, it is this: People don’t know shit. They tell you one thing and do another, judge you for things they likewise do, and give unsolicited advice on family, love, and happiness based on personal experiences that have absolutely nothing to do with you. So no, dear old savants and denizens, I will not take your word for it.

Nothing is better than “new baby” smell.

What smell are you talking about, the strange milk smell that makes me nauseous, or the diaper stench that sends me running into the next room?

What about the family name/ Don’t you want genetic immortality?

I don’t really understand why people would want to “continue the family name” unless they’re Ayalas, Zobels, Aranetas, or some other family with billions under their name. I am not one of these people, and I couldn’t care less about genetic immortality, which is not guaranteed, by the way, even if you do have children because someone might decide that they don’t want children somewhere down the line. Are people really so convinced of their greatness that they want some part of themselves to become immortal?

It’s different when they’re your own/ It’s going to be worth it!

I have never actually liked children, so this one gets thrown in my face a lot. It’s different when they’re your own… Since I dislike children now, does that mean that I will abhor them when they’re mine? I honestly don’t think I can handle the screaming and constant nagging and lack of peace in the house when there are children around. I’m sure it’s different, but that’s a double-edged sword. It’s possible that you’ll love them, but it’s also possible that you’ll hate them. I have seen websites devoted to this.

People regret not having children, but they never regret having them!

Check out this article: 15 Parents Explain What They Regret About Having Children, or this one: We Need to Talk About Women Who Regret Motherhood. I think it’s important that we’re more open to this discourse. Every decision comes with its own regrets.

This is why speaking frankly about motherhood matters, and why support matters, because what any one woman cannot summon can be summoned by the village, if it exists. And what matters even more than that is giving women the resources to cope with whatever their experience is, and the space to sort through the complex feelings that accompany it, a way for a woman to be a mother and still human, still flawed, still something other than merely an endless vessel of giving. Because as in everything, what we think we “want” is but a sliver of the picture.

Being a parent is the most important job in the world.

Yes it’s an important job, but not every job is for everyone. That’s why we specialize in certain things. Some people are also unhappy with their seriously important jobs and want to quit — I’d argue that being pope is a seriously important job but you know what happened with Benedict XVI. When you’re a parent, You Cannot Quit. That ought to give more people on earth a reason to pause.

But you have such good genes/ People like you SHOULD have kids.

Oh, compliments! Unfortunately, that’s not a very good argument against contributing to the human population that is draining the earth’s resources, causing the extinction of thousands of species every day, and polluting the planet to the point of destruction. We are part of the problem, so I think that some of us should be contributing to the solution.

What if your child is going to be the next president/ find the cure for cancer/ establish world peace?

S/he could also be the next Adolf Hitler or Idi Amin Dada. Well then, I guess we’re never going to find out. It won’t make a difference, you won’t miss what you never had.

If everyone didn’t have kids, the human race would die out!

But I’m not saying anyone else shouldn’t have kids if they want them, I’m saying I don’t want them. Furthermore, the human population increases by 80 million people every year. Pretty secure as a race don’t you think?

Children are the future.

I agree, and thousands of them are in orphanage homes or starving on the streets, which is a more pressing issue than my personal stand on reproduction.

Parting Thoughts

Childfree. This is the term for people who are childless by choice, and their reasons vary wildly. There are many childfree people I admire, not just because of the choice they made but because of the positive contribution they are making to society.

It is such a challenge to become more than what people think you are, or should be. In the end, the only people who will truly be affected by our decisions are us. It is my body, my mind, and my life, and I will choose to live it the way I want to. It really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, not even my parents who may have different ideas of how I should turn out. I’m not going to have children because I don’t want to have them. And I’m not going to apologize for thinking differently, for challenging the norms, for daring to ask questions about things which most people take as facts of life.

If you still think I’m going to change my mind then let’s bet on it, I’ll match any figure you can come up with — although I find it hard to believe that anybody would go to that much trouble over what I choose to do with my uterus.

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