There are many reasons why someone may not want to have children. Some people may feel that they do not have the financial resources or lifestyle to provide for a child adequately.
In contrast, others may simply feel that having kids is too much of a commitment — both in terms of time and energy — and prefer to maintain their independence instead.
To uncover the core causes that make people not want to become parents, we delved into Reddit and gathered the most popular reasons. Below is a summary of what we discovered.
1. They Cannot Take Care Of Themselves; Let Alone Another Human (23,800 upvotes)
This response reflects an individual’s lack of confidence in their own ability to care for another person. This could be due to health issues, financial instability, or any other number of reasons that make someone feel not ready — or not willing — to take on the responsibility of raising a child.
2. Wouldn’t Want to Raise a Child The Way They Were Raised (18,700 Upvotes)
This response originates from an individual’s apprehension in their parenting skills due to financial and psychological instability. This could also be due to negative experiences or feeling they had when they were growing up — leaving them with the impression that they would not make a good parent themselves.
3. No Guarantee How The Child Will Turn Out (18,500 Upvotes)
“Those kids who have parents that are perfectly normal but still somehow act like mini serial killers,” one user said.
One person from a big family who had two children themselves said that personalities are “a dice roll.”
Another person reminisced about her nephew. “Watching my sister’s kid get kicked out of daycare for slamming a kid’s face into a table and hitting a teacher. He’s 3 and the most difficult kid I’ve met.”
“I don’t wanna have the responsibility to raise something that will end up like me,” another person said.
4. It’s Irreversible— Sort Of (17,300 Upvotes)
One user commented on the irreversibility of parenthood, stating that when you have doubts and fears about being a good parent, it is hard to take the plunge.
“You can unhave them, but it is generally frowned upon,” one person responded smartly, and the comment quickly gained traction with more than 17,500 upvotes.
Another person recounted disturbing experiences in wilderness search and rescue, where they had encountered parents who dressed their children in earth tones or actual camouflage, making them difficult to find if they got lost. This raised the question of whether this was done on purpose, even subconsciously.
5. No Big Desire (15,600 Upvotes)
‘The fact that nothing really makes me WANT to have them,’ one user said. “I feel like you should have an overwhelming desire to become a parent— I don’t, so why would I have a kid?”
“As a child of a parent who didn’t actively want them, thank you for thinking about what this does to a kid,” one commented.
The idea that parenting isn’t for everyone and that children should only be brought into this world if the parents can provide a stable, loving home resonated with many people.
6. They Know They’d Make a Terrible Parent (13,500 Upvotes)
One person commented that they had a very low opinion of their own parenting ability and didn’t believe they could ever be the kind of parent they need to be.
After the experiences of being an uncle and aunt, many Redditors have come to the conclusion that they are only in a good mood around kids when they know they are going home at the end of the day. Otherwise, the whole experience is “exhausting,” and they “couldn’t put up with it.”
7. Pregnancy and Childbirth Fear (10,600 Upvotes)
This response is mostly related to the physical side of parenting — pregnancy and childbirth. Many people are scared of it because they don’t know what to expect or if their health will hold up afterward.
“I’m 34, and the thought of being pregnant still freaks me out to no end. I’d love to adopt, but I don’t think I ever want to be pregnant,” one person commented.
“I’ve been clinically depressed for almost a decade, one person said. “Postpartum depression is one of the things that terrifies me about the prospect of having kids. Also, I am in no way mentally stable enough to be a parent.”
8. Ruin Their Life (1,900 Upvotes)
One commenter reflected a fear of becoming pregnant or having children as it could have a major impact on their life, both financially and emotionally. The individual may feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of raising a child and consequently would resent them for “ruining” their life.
This person also expresses their desire to abort in the event that they were to become pregnant against their will. The individual may feel that unless they are willing and able to take on the responsibility of parenthood, any child would be better off not being brought into the world.
9. Everything *Gestures Broadly* (34,700 upvotes)
The most popular response on Reddit is “everything.” This response encompasses a variety of reasons that people may be hesitant about having children, such as the current state o the world, not wanting to commit to the financial and emotional obligations of parenthood, or feeling overwhelmed by the responsibility.
Ultimately, it is up to each individual to determine if and when they are ready for parenthood. In the end, it comes down to personal values, lifestyle choices, and financial stability. While there are a variety of reasons why someone might not want to have kids, it’s important to recognize that this is a valid choice and should be respected.
This post called What Makes You Not Want To Have Kids? was syndicated and produced by TPR Teaching. Our article has been inspired by Reddit and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of TPR Teaching.
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Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.