Childfree by Choice

Published on August 7th, 2013 | by Rayne

26

Things the childfree know about parenthood that parents don’t

I’ve had a number of emails come through to my inbox since the conception of this blog from mombies attempting to refute my arguements that the decision to become childfree stems from a place of open honesty and maturity on behalf of a childfree person. Unfortanetly the parents that invade my inbox believe that childfreedom is a decision that is made on a whim, a spur of the moment choice that is the product of selfishness rather than one that involves weighing up the pros and cons to make a balanced, fully informed choice about something that will heavily impact your life and the lives of others around you.

Time and tme again I have refuted claims that childfreedom is “selfish” by pointing out that parents only call us selfish because they are under the delusion that parentdom makes them selfless individuals (most bingos come from a place of parent selfishness anyway). Over the years I’ve stated reasons for why childfreedom is a decision that is not made lightly (time, sleep, more money, more sex etc) only to be met with sneers and smirks from parents who inform me that “I will change my mind” and “it’s all worth it in the end”, it hasn’t been until I found this article that I have been able to explain with references some of the things childfree people examine when deciding whether to be childree or not.

In my dealings with parents over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that not many of them have an idea what raising a child entails and how difficult it is financially, emotionally and physically to be a parent. Unlike their childfree counterparts who know how hard it is to raise a child (which is why we opt out of it), parents seem surprised at the difficulty level which is why I suggest people thinking about becoming parents read the linked article first. The article is quite informative, it’s the type of article you would want a person to read before they decide to have children to give them a heads up on what it is really like to be a parent. Like all parents, the author attempts to justify all the negative aspects with “it’ll all be worth it in the end” which is rather biased but it’s a starting point at any rate.

As a childfree person, I looked at the information on the article and thought to myself “Well, duh. These are the exact reasons I’m never having children apart from “I just don’t want them”.

1. Making a Baby Isn’t as Easy as It Sounds

Well this one doesn’t really apply to me seeing as I’m gay but for straight childfree couples, this is why condoms and the pill were invented (also to prevent STDs). Childfree people don’t want kids so the natural conclusion would be to use birth bontrol.

2. The First Few Months Are Pure Torture

I think this is pretty self explanatory. Children for the first few years are completely dependent on you for their survival. They poop and pee every few hours, they need feeding and watering and sometimes they get ill, which all leads to one thing – crying. Crying leads to little to no sleep. Little to no sleep leads to sleep deprivation and stress which can manifest in some funky and horrible physical symptoms.

3. You Will Lose and Sorely Miss Sleep

See point number 2 and as an addition, kids have been know to sleep with their parents right up until they are nearly 10 or at the very least wake them up early. Good luck with that, I like sex and sleep thanks very much.

4. Children Rack Up a Lot of Surprise Costs

Things cost money. Especially children. New nappies are needed all the time and if you’re using disposable nappies, that means extra washing and an increase in the water bill. Bottles, dummies, formula (if you’re not breastfeeding), baby food once they’re off the bottle or boob, clothes every few months, a place for the children to sleep, baby monitors, a few toys – not to mention doctors visits, school fees, school supplies, an increase in car bills due to driving them around everywhere, school excursions, music or dance lessons (if the child wants them), sport, camp, child care – the list goes on and on.

Did I mention that I like my disposble income?

5. You Can Work from Home with a Child (But Only Up to a Point)

I once had a woman tell me that I could drop out of university to become a parent. No thanks. After university I got a job and if I had children, I wouldn’t be able to keep that job. Finding a job that will allow you to work from home is hard and maternity leave in Australia is a complex process, one which doesn’t pay you to be off work for nearly enough time for the child to be grown up enough so you can go back to work.

6. Going Out—Anywhere—Will Never Be the Same

This one is pretty self explanatory as well. Going out with kids, especially young kids is a pain. There’s extra baggage to bring, they run away at the drop of a hat, they throw tantrums and they get fussy. No wonder post natally depresseed parents snap and take it out on their kid – they’re so strung out and depressed, their mind just snaps. No wonder I see many parents yelling in frustration at the their kids, often abusively because they just can’t change or handle their situation.

No thanks, not for me. I like going and seeing R-rated movies or wandering a shopping center without having to cater to the needs and wants of small people.

7. You Will Never Be the Same

Your habits might change for the better. You’ll think more about the nutritional value of your food, driving safely, spending money more wisely, living longer, and exemplifying good ethics.
One would hope that a parent would do that but the amount of parents I see buying their kids KFC or McDonalds – I doubt it. The stores I hear about parents driving drunk or drugged or speeding with their kids in their lap – I doubt it. Parenting does mean that you will have to budget but unless you have a great job, childfreedom does that as well. I have homophobes living across the road from me – they’ve taught their kids to hate gays so not all parents have good ethics. I’d like to point out that all of the above things (driving safely, budgeting, ethics etc), all of those things a childree person can do.

Poop will no longer be taboo (if it ever was). Oh, the poop stories you will be able to tell when you’re a parent.
Forever gross.

Your relationship with your partner will change. You can’t really know until it happens whether it’s for better or worse, but parenting changes the other person too and how you look at him/her.
I like the relationship I have with my partner, we have a relationship built on communication and not being a dick to each other. Stressed out people get snarky and it can put a strain on relationships. I would hope that parents have good relationships fulled with communication so they don’t breakdown due to sleep deprivation and stress.

You may have to part with previous entertainment choices. (Play video games and watch TV? Sure, but now it’s Talking Tom and My Little Pony/Voltron.)
Voltron rocks but you know what else rocks? Our playstations and computers. Our X-Box 360 and our TVs. You know what rocks even harder? No having these things broken by kids and the fact that we have 2 of most of them so both of us can play different things at the same time. We can watch porn if we want or watch a M rated drama show (or Adventure Time) without having to wait until the kids are asleep.

You will never take free time for granted again.
Because I will have lots and lots of it without children.

You might actually have more fun and become more creative. (Inventing dog costumes, drawing on the sidewalk, and trying new ways to make peas appealing weren’t on my to-do list before.)
We have a house full of video games, cartoons, colouring in books and guitars – what’s more fun than that?

You will likely experience a love and a bond that you never could’ve imagined.
I have that with my partner and it’s reciprocated 100%.

Looking at all the points in the article, the pros and cons are clear. There are just too many negatives to have children. Children isn’t something that I want but if I did actually want kids – I’d think twice reading that article. Is breeding really worth the loss in money, privacy and sleep? Is it worth the physcial, emotinal and financial stress? Not for me it isn’t.

If you like some of the things I say – feel free to add me to your RSS feed, comment or email me: rayne@insufferableintolerance.com. I now have a facebook page! Feel free to like my page by clicking here!

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If you like some of the things I say – feel free to add me to your RSS feed, comment or email me: rayne@insufferableintolerance.com. I now have a Facebook page! Feel free to like my page by clicking here

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About the Author

Goth. Metal music. Tea. Books.



26 Responses to Things the childfree know about parenthood that parents don’t

  1. Lalla says:

    Wow, the spelling and grammar in this blog is atrocious. It really does affect the impact of your argument.

    • Rayne says:

      Care to proofread for me? No? You can stop reading at any point.

      Do you usually go around on blogs and insult the author and their content based on their grammer and spelling? Does it make you feel good?

      Sorry to offend your grammernazi sensibilities.

  2. Lalla says:

    It’s grammar, not grammer for starters.

  3. Lalla says:

    I posted twice as the first message timed out before I’d finished: a second comma was required after ‘grammer’. Why shouldn’t readers comment on grammar and spelling? Are you saying that they’re not important when it comes to writing? Are you saying that they simply don’t matter? Soon people will just be posting in a stream of consciousness and expecting readers to decode complete nonsense. No wonder there are such problems with literacy these days.

    • Rayne says:

      There is a large difference between a typo and “talkin lyk dis”.

      If you’re so crazy about having 100% correct spelling and grammar, get your own blog or don’t be so anal about a few errors. Heaven forbid someone doesn’t have the same level of English skills you have. That’s why I hire professional proofreaders.

      A little tip, insulting a persons writing skills by calling them “atrocious” is not the way to start a discussion when persons skills need enhancement. That makes you a dick. A few errors won’t take away from the content.

      The problem with literacy is that English teachers don’t teach English in a beneficial way that students can understand. School lose funding which means budget cuts and piss poor teachers and poor lesson plans which don’t play to students strengths. Students all learn differently as noted by David Kolb and Neil Fleming and if all learning styles aren’t accounted for, people get left behind.

    • Puddlejump says:

      It worked for Faulkner; why not Rayne?

      Linguistic prescriptivism is limited in its usefulness. Speaking as a blind person who uses screen readers to access the internet, I have zero complaints about the legibility and accessibility of any of the content in this blog.

      I’m also a professional linguist and English and Latin teacher, so allow me to point out that you are using quotation marks incorrectly. They go outside the punctuation mark of the sentence, “like this.” and not “like this”, regardless of whether or not the punctuation mark itself is included in the quoted text.

      Being a jerkass to a perfectly competent writer does nothing to improve the quality of English literacy. Compassionately encouraging people to read beautiful literature improves the quality of English literacy. For you, I recommend Hesse’s “Glass Bead Game.”

      • Rayne says:

        Thankyou!

        Interestingly which screen reader do you use? My mum (who is blind) uses a program called “Jaws” for her computer (she also uses an iPhone).

        • Puddlejump says:

          Chromevox most of the time; Jaws is a decent go-to for any time I’m forced to use Internet Explorer instead of Chrome.

  4. lalla says:

    Ah yes, blame the teachers. How about purchasing a grammar book and learning how to write before starting a blog? You could of course hire proof-readers who know what they are doing. Errors do ‘take away from the content’ : form and content are related and it makes a much better impression if the content actually makes full sense. Incorrect grammar compromises meaning.

    • Rayne says:

      This constant back and forthing can be summed up thusly:

      1. Stop reading my blog if it annoys you so much.

      2. Get a hobby.

    • Puddlejump says:

      “Proofreaders” does not contain an hyphen.

      There you go again, using those quotation marks incorrectly.

  5. Adella says:

    Isn’t it funny how attacking grammar/spelling becomes that last-ditch effort to nullify someone’s point? “I’m not going to pay attention to the excellent points you made because spelling, and also I’m lazy and don’t want to find another way of validating my own argument!”

    Seriously, though, this was an excellent post and sleep-stealing children will always be a dealbreaker for me.

    • Rayne says:

      Thankyou :-)

      I’ve never claimed to be the best with words and reading over articles written months ago, I still find errors and typos which need fixing (which I do) even though I have proofread numerous times.

      -shrug-

      Errors happen and they get fixed when they get found. This is a blog, not academia.

  6. lalalalalalla says:

    Sounds like lalla has been dealing with a toddler. Time to turn off Sesame Street and relax in a bubble bath with a glass of wine… oh never mind… sorry… too soon?

    • Rayne says:

      If only I could drink wine, it would help with having to deal with strange blog commenters who seem to have nothing else to do with their day but throw tantrums because they disagree with my posts.

      I pefer Adventure Time over SS.

  7. Gomer says:

    To the person who’s going super grammar nazi, calm the hell down, will ya? -I- count myself as a grammar nazi and I don’t get bent out of shape over a few typos. You’re making the rest of us look bad. Stop it!

    Incorrect grammar only compromises meaning for people who can’t (or won’t) read the context clues around the item and at least make an educated guess at what’s trying to be said. If it’s unclear, then say so. Just don’t be a dick.

    Now, with all that said: Rayne, you’ve made some good points in this post. I’m currently staying with my folks and they’ve got four foster kids that I help with every now and then. To say that I want to make child defenestration an Olympic sport should give you an idea just how FRUSTRATING it is. And I’m not even a parent!

  8. Mel says:

    Lalla, how about you stop being a raging ass? (Trust me, that wasn’t the word I originally wanted to use) This blog is Rayne’s to write and dictate.
    You’re right, if this blog was about how grammar is going downhill in today’s society, than yes. It would matter. But it’s not. It’s the reasoning behind why he feels that it’s okay to be CF.
    Considering the fact that you felt that you just HAD to comment on that instead of not commenting on at all just shows your lack of maturity. Not only that, it’s quite clear that you do not agree with Rayne’s stand point because instead of INTELLIGENTLY debating his points, your stomp your little foot and try to demean and discount his point of view simply because you cannot come up with a half baked defense.
    Do us all a favour, either stop being a petulant child and grow up, or don’t bother commenting.

    • Rayne says:

      Raging ass. Love it. I’m using that as an insult at some point.

      <3

      You wouldn’t believe the tantrums I’ve seen from some commenters. After I stop engaging them (because I get bored) they often resort to spamming the comments section with nonsensical crap and after I ban their IP – they switch to a different computer. It’s all very immature.

  9. Caroline says:

    I couldn’t agree more with your whole post, especially the bit about sleep. Nothing gets between me and my sleep. Nothing.

    I hope you manage to fend off bingos with those points but sadly I’ve never been vey lucky myself, as in my experience parents tend to go into Denial Mode when you hit them with the truth. Everything you say is countered with “Naaah, it’s not that bad, it all works out in the end, don’t believe everything you hear, we made it work for us because blah blah blah”.

    No wonder new parents then complain nobody gave it to them straight before it was too late! I suppose if parents had to admit out loud that their life has turned into a vat of shit, they’d have to kill themselves.

    One thing in your post caught my eye: “music or dance lessons (if the child wants them)”.

    Well, in my family, children do that sort of thing not because *they* want to, but because their parents make them so they can boast about their ballet-dancing, instrument-playing prodigy. Then, when the kid grows utterly bored and wants to quit (because they weren”t even interested in the activity in the first place), the parents get to make a song and dance about all the money they wasted on their ungrateful brat. For years and years and years. Talk about attention-seeking martyrs. (Do I sound bitter?)

    • Rayne says:

      I wanted to have music lessons but sadly we never had the money but now I have a job – I’m finding it fun as an adult to learn.

      Bingo’s will always happen and we will always be regarded as selfish being CF, all we can do is call the people who bingo us out on their claptrap.

  10. DanDare says:

    Actually choosing to have kids (as opposed to “accidents”) is more selfish. My wife and I deliberated on the many for and against, including questions of population management. We both wanted children and in the end decided on one and only one.

    It has been hard at times, full of difficulties and anxieties. Also with many rewards. That does not bias me toward thinking that other people should do as I do. My sister in law has decided to remain childless and fulfills here nurturing instincts by occasionally co-parenting with us.

    Other people really don’t have a desire for children. Others still choose not to have them for perfectly valid reasons.

    As for grammah nazis, before I went to school I couldn’t not spell compeuter programmer and now I are one.

    • Rayne says:

      I’ve found that people who have planned to have kids are a lot happier – still stressed and sleep deprived but they know what having kids is like so it’s less of a shock when the negatives crop up. They can get through the hard times a lot easier because they know what to expect.

  11. CC says:

    My attitude towards having children is the same attitude I have towards pet adoption; why get a shiny new one when there are tons of children out there who would love to have a loving family?

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