More and more people these days are choosing to not have kids – making the choice that’s best for them and their future.

People who are parents often wonder why they would do such a thing and they’re curious about their reasons (and possibly a little jealous of the sleep they’re getting). If that’s you, now’s your chance to understand a little better – these people are opening up about their choice to be child-free.

1. Know your limits.

I just don’t think I’m fit to raise a child.
I wish more people would assess themselves realistically and act accordingly.

I have a lot of respect for people like you who know what their limits are.

There are so many children who suffer because the parents are overwhelmed and regret their decision to have a child. It’s unfair.

(I don’t really know you and don’t know if you aren’t too harsh on yourself. I am not judging you).

2. They’re super expensive.

I can’t afford to give a child the quality life I want for them yet.

Edit: I think it’s important that everyone remembers that quality life may not mean the same thing to everyone, and there are multiple factors that influence quality of life.

Some people may feel financial pressure because they can’t provide basic essentials, while at the same time, some people may the feel the same pressure because they can’t provide a private school education. Some people may feel they don’t have quality time to dedicate to raising a child and might be putting their career first for awhile. Some people may have moved multiple times in their lives and will only feel secure when they have a stable home to provide a child. You do not have to be rich to have children. But you do have to be in a place in your life where you prepared to provide for them, love them, show up for them, and help them when they need it. This includes making sure that ones self is also mentally and emotionally prepared to make that commitment and follow through.

It’s not just money. It’s not just time. It’s not just assets or liabilities. It’s not just mental health. It’s all of it and it looks different for everyone.

Please keep your judgments to yourself.

3. Adulthood is a myth.

I, myself, am still a child.

I’m turning 30 soon and still feel this is why I haven’t had kids yet. Can’t believe my dad was five years younger than I am now when I was born. Taking care of my very good and easy dog, having a job, and doing housework is too much already.

4. No desire.

Money. Time. No desire at all. My mom used to say having a child is like getting a tattoo on your face. You better be damn certain you really want it.

5. Sometimes you know too much.

I’m a nanny— I’ve seen enough lol.

6. Not-ideal genetics.

Ive chosen not to pass on my mental and physical health problems. I can see negative traits from both my mother’s and father’s family and decided not to continue the line.

I do, however, want to adopt. Along side my unwillingness to curse a human with my genetically-passed ailments, I also want to care for a child that has been left or abandoned. They need love before I create something that needs love.

7. There aren’t that make good ones.

I’m a teacher. Chance of getting a good one (I don’t mean accademically) is less than 50%. Chance of being obsessed you do have a good one is 100%. Bad odds both ways for a 50-60 year committment.

I get the same odds, am paid to do it, get immense satisfaction from the job and am also free of the committment.

8. The circle of life.

They f**k you up, your mum and dad.

They may not mean to, but they do.

They fill you with the faults they had

And add some extra, just for you.

But they were f**ked up in their turn

By fools in old-style hats and coats,

Who half the time were soppy-stern

And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.

It deepens like a coastal shelf.

Get out as early as you can,

And don’t have any kids yourself.

**~ Philip Larkin, “This Be The Verse”**

9. He’s saving the world from more a$$holes.

I’m a miserable a$$hole.

Why the heck would I want to make a smaller version of myself who’s reliant on me and continue the cycle of emotionally closed off a$$hats?

10. Mental health struggles.

Im barely mentally well enough to care for myself, let alone a child.

If only more people thought like that, we wouldn’t have crappy parents.

11. Kids definitely steal that.

I like sleep.

Sleep is like a free trial of death. Love that s*%t.

12. It’s not really funny.

I use my personality as birth control. My personality is the epitome of abstinence

13. If you always take the selfish.

I don’t want to put them first and I believe they should come first.

Oddly, when I tried to explain this to a friend’s mom a few years ago, she told me I was being selfish. I thought it was the opposite of selfish, not having a kid before I’m mature enough to selflessly provide for it.

Several years later, I decided I was ready. I was right to wait.

14. Not all of us are tribal.

I’m a solitary beast and enjoy my alone time.

Super duper extra deluxe extreme introvert x 9000. Leave me alone.

15. If you’re not ready to give that up…

“I love kids. The only thing I love more than kids is doing whatever I want, whenever I want,” Sarah Silverman

16. Think of the children.

I haven’t always made the best choices. I’m on the spectrum. I just don’t think I’m fit to raise a child.

Sometimes I snap pretty bad when I’m overwhelmed and I’d hate for a kid to be put through that.

I mean not that I’d do anything to the kid, it just wouldn’t be fair to a child for me to just freak out and become a sobbing pile on the floor.

Sometimes I think I’d like to have a kid, because it would be fun to go to a museum and teach them things, and all the little holiday traditions would be fun to pass on, and I’d love seeing what things they build with Lego or what funny shit I could pretend they said for twitter clout, but then sometimes I’m so overwhelmed by my own broken brain that I guess it’s good there’s no kid around.

Although if I had a good partner I think that would help.

17. You don’t want to give anything up.

I’m fundamentally a selfish person, and I believe raising a child properly requires unselfish behavior.

Another question I think people should ask is if they would be emotionally prepared to raise a severely disabled child? If the answer is no, then you should approach having a biological child with more consideration.

18. They don’t want anything to change.

Myself (f31) and fiance (m33) have been together 12 years, no kids. Within past few years we’ve both finally got jobs we’ve been working towards and a nice income. We like our life, being able to go away for a night or two or out for nice meals as we can afford it. Then have quiet evenings watching Netflix.

Neither of us want a child enough to actually have one. We talk about it frequently to check we’re on the same page. Working well for us.

19. So many people’s fear.

I don’t want to become like my mother.

20. There are things they don’t want to pass on.

I have Crohn’s disease and I would never wish this on anybody.

My husband and I are too selfish for children.

We like having money and being able to do whatever we want when we want.

I also had a hysterectomy so I genuinely can’t bear children.

We love our nieces and nephews and get to spoil them when we want!

21. There’s more than one way to have a family.

Bad genes.

So I’ll be adopting a child/teen instead of having a biological child.

There are so many kids/teens in desperate need of a home and a loving family and I’d love to make their world.

22. They’re being careful.

I was born with a birth defect that is genetic.

No way would I EVER pass it on to a child.

Unlike many on this subReddit, I do like children.

What I really dislike are the people who somehow think they are better than you because they have children.

Drives me nuts!

23. You can’t take it back.

It’s like “super” permanent markers.

You would think the concept of permanent would be a dichotomous one, but some manufacturers apparently want to convince you it’s scaled along a gradient.

I was once accosted by an unfortunate person who grabbed me and shouted, “Please help me! I am VERY homeless!”

That emphasis on ‘very’ is still probably my favorite example of dishonesty in marketing.

24. They like their freedom.

I’m selfish and love having the freedom to do what I want, when I want. I don’t have to adjust my schedule or turn down opportunities.

Autism also runs in my family and I don’t want that life at all seeing how much my mom has sacrificed for my special needs brothers.

25. Confidence is key.

I guess it’s a mix of not wanting my own life to be on hold for 20+ years and not being convinced I’d be a very good parent.

People look at me funny when I try to bring that up, because I think most people feel if you’re not a bad person you should be a good parent, but I don’t agree.

You have to be so patient and committed to raising you kids in order to be a good parent, And I just don’t see myself being able to do it. Also, it’s not hard to find stories of how bad parentage completely ruin a child’s life well into adulthood, and it doesn’t even require the parent to be abusive or anything drastic, just not be fully committed to parenting.

Maybe you get a little distant, or you don’t really to put in the effort in the early years, that s*%t can have lasting effects on a kid.

26. It’s super scary.

I don’t want to be responsible for another human being, and sacrifice my body and time for a baby. Also, feeling helpless when you can’t help someone you really love and you need to come to terms of letting go- that scares me shitless.

27. They don’t want history to repeat itself.

Had my share of relationships where baby fever almost changed that, but I just let it end. I do understand how guys get roped into having children when they probably would rather not though.

Also most of my 20s I couldn’t point my finger on what I resented about my own parents and didn’t want history to repeat. Plus I had a bit of a drinking problem. I’m about to get married again and we basically decided we might have kids but if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen and I’m at the point in life where I’m ok with it.

28. Simple as that.

We didn’t want to.

Which is a very good reason.

I told one of our (husband’s and I) best friends this and he said, “well what’s even the point then?”

As if all childfree people should just kill themselves? What a nut. We asked for clarification and it was exactly what he meant. It’s a surprisingly common belief too.

29. Just no desire.

I just have no desire for children. I don’t particularly like children nor do I want to be responsible for another life like that.

I’m at the age where a lot of the friend group are having one/two and my fiancé and I always get asked when we’re going to start a family. I’m not maternal, I don’t like being around them for long periods of time and I love our life now.

You don’t need to have children to be complete.

30. A pro/con list.

I believe you should only have a child unless you truly want to and I just don’t have that desire. Raising a child just seems like constant anxiety and stress to me. I like having my own space and life , watching my older siblings raise their kids seems like a full time job with very little benefits.

Plus giving birth terrified me, I’ve heard too many horror birth and pregnancy stories. If I had a kid followed by postpartum depression with my already existing mental health issues I’d be an endangerment to that kid and myself. I see more cons than pros

31. Just because.

I’m surprised how people can’t wrap their heads around “I just don’t want kids.” There doesn’t always have to be some traumatic backstory but for some reason people always seem to expect one.

I believe it’s cultural programming more than anything. The larger culture just expects young people to eventually marry, settle down, have kids, be part of the community, grow old gracefully… then die.

Many MANY people don’t really question that narrative.

32. They’re animal lovers.

I’d rather have dogs, cats, goats, chickens, a mini donkey, and a horse

Prioritizing my own mental health. That alone is probably a labour of a lifetime for me

Ending the cycle of generational trauma my family has passed down to me

I’d rather spend that time, energy, and money giving to other people who need help

Not passing down traits of alcoholism and mental health disorders

It’s a moral choice for me about not putting another human into a world stumbling towards an impending environmental crisis (though I don’t judge people who have children)

33. It’s a lot of work.

I can barely take care of myself and a cat, never mind a kid

These are super valid and I love how seriously people are thinking about it.

If you’re child-free, enlighten us further in the comments!