Given the recent news of the Supreme Court's leaked draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade (which is subject to change before the final ruling), people across the internet have been talking not only about pro–abortion rights, but also their reason for not wanting children in the first place.
So when Reddit user u/AGstudios22 asked the r/AskReddit community: "What makes you not want to have kids?" over 28,000 people commented on the matter.
To help bring awareness to this topic, we rounded up some of their incredibly honest and heartfelt answers below.
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1."I can barely take care of myself. Sometimes it feels like I can’t possibly take on another human."
2."Honestly, I just loathe the idea of pregnancy or children. I think they would ruin my life, my body, my finances. I'd waste 21 years and come out haggard and broke and dead at the end of it all. I would hate that kid so fucking much for ruining my life. I know it wouldn't be their fault but I couldn't bring myself to like them if I was forced to have a child against my will. Of course that will never happen, and if it does, God help that child. I'd abort in Canada."
3."My mental health and financial situation. I wouldn’t want to raise a kid the same way I was raised."
4."It's irreversible. You can't un-have kids when you've committed to it, so when you have all those doubts and fears that you might not be a good parent, it's hard to take the plunge. Plus, I'd have to find someone to have a kid with and make more money for it to be viable, but I think they're secondary to actually wanting to go through with it."
5."Those kids who have parents that are perfectly normal but still somehow act like mini serial killers."
6."I have bipolar disorder. I fully believe that if I had a child right now (23F), I might accidentally kill it. Not because of negligence, but because babies are incessant. They cry all the time, postpartum depression scares me. And at my worst, I am violent. I know who I am in this moment, and if I had a child constantly screaming with no solutions, I might cause SIDS. I can do upset and that’s not great for a child. I know I can change. And I have made great progress. But right now, no. I refuse to have a child. I've been in therapy for 14 years. That’s not enough time to heal."
7."The fact that nothing really makes me WANT to have them. I feel like you should have an overwhelming desire to become a parent — I don’t, so why would I have a kid?"
8."I'd be a control freak out of fear. It's too much responsibility — plus, I hate crying."
9."I do not want to deal with pregnancy, I do not want my perineum cut open, I don't want to piss my pants for the rest of my life. I do not have the patience to be a good mother. I do not have the skills. I was horrifically abused as a child and then dumped in the foster care system. I never, ever had a sane and stable guardian, so what skills could I bring? Of course, most people's answer is that 'You figure it out,' but I am a twice-degreed social worker with extensive experience working with people who should not have been parents, and I can tell you that sometimes you do NOT figure it the fuck out."
10."Losing the rest of my youth in exchange for raising a child."
11."Not trusting myself enough that I'd be motivated enough to take care about them constantly and treat them the way they deserve!"
"This. Growing up, if my dad couldn't fix a problem by throwing money at it or using his hands, he usually made it worse. Mom ended up doing 99% of the actual parenting, and I grew up with low self-esteem, crippling depression, and terrible anxiety.
Dad's not a bad person. It's just that he wasn't equipped to be a parent when it wasn't fun for him."
12."I’ve been clinically depressed for almost a decade. Postpartum depression is one of the things that terrifies me about the prospect of having kids."
13."It’s taken me 30 years to 'find myself.' When I imagine losing all of that identity and replacing it with a big MAMA BEAR sticker, my stomach turns. There are some aspects of having a kid that are appealing: they’ll adore me, they might end up loving all the same music/movies/hobbies as me, they’ll love and care for me when I’m old. But none of that is guaranteed and seems selfish and also not worth the gamble."
14."Seeing my family. This curse ends with me."
15."I've been dealing with a mentally disabled older brother for nearly all my life. He's 32 years old, but acts like a 7-year-old nearly all the time. I love him to death, but after so long of dealing with him growing up (I'm 22), I just do not have the patience to handle something like that again."
"This is my big one. I feel terrible for this, but the fear of having a child that isn’t going to grow into a fully independent person with no limitations stopped me dead. If there was a guarantee they would be of average mental capability, I might reconsider."