8 Reasons Why I’m Not Having Children | Sezin Koehler

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“You’ll be missing out.”

“You’ll never understand the meaning of life.”

“You’ll be incomplete.”

“You’ll regret it when you’re old.”

“You’ll change your mind.”

“You’ll never be a real woman.”

“You’ll never truly understand love.”

I’ve been on the receiving end of these statements because I’ve chosen not to bear children.

My reasons to remain childfree are plentiful (and nobody’s business). Yet I’m constantly asked to justify my choice.

Here’s a sampling:

1. Economics: Children are expensive. As of August 2013, the average cost for a middle class family to raise one child for 18 years is $304,480. Giving birth can cost between $3,296 and $37,227. Sending a child to college costs between $8,893 to $22,203 per year, per child. I’ll go make myself a stiff drink; those numbers make me dizzy.

2. Logistics: In spite of social and cultural advancements, women are still default caregivers, especially in a child’s formative years. Raising a kid before s/he begins school is more than a full-time job. It’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with no time off for good behavior. I’m not fit to be around adult human beings when sleep-deprived, let alone a child dependent on me for Every. Little. Thing.

3. Environmental: There are an estimated 153 million orphans on Earth. Why add another mouth to an overpopulated planet for an ego-driven biological imperative I don’t feel? If anything, I’ll adopt.

4. Physical: My body has been through enough physical trauma in its 35 years of being knocked about this world. Post-traumatic stress disorder from surviving a gun crime has wreaked havoc on my nervous system. I also grew up abroad and wasn’t exposed to the additives and preservatives rife in American food. Adding just one child to my family means no more organic and clean eating because we can’t afford it. Well, we also can’t afford cancer.

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