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    Showing posts with label Having Children. Show all posts

    Reasons Why I'm Not Having Children

    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.

    5. Emotional: Every day I struggle to manage PTSD. Having the freedom to be sleepless when the pain tsunami hits has been a godsend. Being able to sleep for 12 hours uninterrupted if need be has been a savior. I work from home and set my own hours, an ideal situation. Add a child and what happens when depression hits and I can't get out of bed? Or I cry for an entire week? Or during bouts of rage in which I lose complete control?

    6. Social: Last time I checked, this world is messed up. There is a school shooting almost every week in this country. Also, there's this gnarly thing called "rape culture" and it permeates every aspect of our society. Many of the children of today will likely be its victims or perpetrators in the not-so-distant future. I'll go ahead and make myself another drink, that is one Big Bad.

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