We don't hate kids, we just don't want them
Choosing not to have children
Maybe it's the influence of my parents and upbringing, maybe it's the poor influence of TV shows I grew up with like Married With Children, maybe I don't even know why, but for my wife of over seven years and I, children are a no-go-zone.
We're great with the gorgeous children our siblings have brought into this world and can both fully appreciate that, for many, becoming a parent is the most amazing thing a human being can do.
Heck, I trained to be a primary school teacher! We don't hate kids.
I can also fully appreciate the view that, until you have personally experienced something like being a parent, you cannot properly comprehend what it feels like. Not really.
Here's the thing though. To people who are parents: we don't care.
We don't care that you can't imagine life without your precious little one(s), or that you think they're the best kid on the planet. We're glad you're happy, but your gushing just bores us.
Your child is only super-important to you. Not me. Just you.
My wife is the strongest opponent of having children. She can't recall ever feeling anything that might be considered maternal instinct. She has never wanted to have children, and has never wavered in her conviction.
I'm mostly ambivalent. If my wife proclaimed a sudden change of heart I'd happily be the father to her child. I honestly feel that, with our powers combined, we'd make super parents. We're financially and emotionally stable, very much in love, and have a super set of genes to pass on.
But why have kids just because we're well set up to have them? Having an ideal situation to bring children in to this world doesn't mean we should.
When it comes to people having children when they're not ready though, the sad reality is it seems my wife and I are some of the only adults we know who have made intelligent and considered decisions when it comes to parenting (or not).
We have a great cluster of friends. Of those friends who have children, well over half of them did not plan to be parents at the time they became them.
I know a few couples who were in love, got married, had kids. The rest ... some are living together with the person they got pregnant (or got pregnant to) because they felt obliged to. Some are raising their child while not living with the person they share that child with. Some, well, they're on their own.
While I back most of them to make the most of their situations, I find I'm constantly baffled at how these intelligent people can stumble so blindly in to parenting.
How do people respond to our claims of desiring a childless life together? Essentially we're met with a mixture of confusion, disbelief and disdain.
Predominantly, people who are parents tell us we don't know what we're missing, and that we'll probably change our minds. Like having children is what we're meant to do, so not wanting them must make my wife and I odd or strange.
You know what we do want? We want to go on holidays in our 30s and 40s, not our 50s and 60s. We want to have free time to do the things we always wanted to do. Heck, we want to be able to afford a house. Maybe even a house in Auckland.
I grew up as a benefit baby, and missed out on a lot as a kid. I don't care if you see that as being selfish. I consider people having kids and expecting me to help raise that kid through my taxpayer dollars slightly more selfish.
We don't want to raise children. We don't want pitter-patter, and we don't want nappy-changing and first steps.
We do not want to be parents, so are living a life without any children of our own. We think the fact we've made a positive decision should be applauded.
If you wanted children, had some, and love them, I applaud you and wish you continued happiness.
Just please accept that my decision has no bearing on yours, or vice-versa.
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