Choose to be a parent, or don’t have kids

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Recently I’ve been reminded of the thought of “choosing” to be a parent in a few ways. First, my lovely college friends came to visit and they’re all sans-kids. Second, there’s been discussion in online forums I’m in regarding the obligatory kids. Finally, there’s a post going around about the people who should have fish instead of kids.

With the college friends the thoughts/discussion wasn’t directly related to parenting, but there was discussion at points about who is pregnant or trying. My thought on the topic is it is best not to ask a married couple. If someone doesn’t volunteer to tell me they’re trying or pregnant, it is for a reason. Either they’re not close to me or they aren’t interested in being parents.

I say “interested in being parents” because I believe there’s a huge difference between having kids and being parents. 

So we’ve hit our 30s and my kid-less friends may have the biological clock alarm going off in their mind/body/spirit. Heck they may even be ovulating triple time. Who knows. Anyway, if a person doesn’t want to be a parent, that is fine! They don’t need to have kids. But they need to check where they are – what are their fears in becoming a parent? What are their fears of not ever being called “mommy.” Look at what you’ll enjoy and regret and see if you are okay to make that next step. Unfortunately for women, you can’t always just do it later.

The other topic came from the idea that there is familial (and societal) pressure to have kids. We don’t have pressure to become parents, we have pressure to have kids. Whether it is to carry on the family name or to give the (grand)parents a reason to come visit, many married couples (and single women definitely as well) get the pressure to procreate. BUT that pressure doesn’t come with a warning that having kids means being a parent and gosh-darn-it things change. Who has these obligatory kids? Many couples. College. Check. Married. Check. Kids… um… check?

choose to be a parent
Think before you have kids.

Finally, there’s a post going around social media about the mom who tells the other moms to have a dog, no wait, a fish instead.

Yes, parenting changes you. No, we don’t all want to do things the same way. Yes, there may be different ways. No, there aren’t guarantees that any one “method” will work. BUT, the fact remains, I think many of the people who have kids but aren’t interested in being parents do find their kids to be an inconvenience. 

Choose to be a parent?

I mean, heck. I willingly CHOSE to be a parent, and yes I can’t do all the things I did before, BUT, there’s a difference between being inconvenienced and morphing with the changes that have happened in your life.

If you find yourself with pressure to have kids, ask yourself a few questions.

  • Do you want kids or do you want to be a parent?
  • If your parents or in-laws are asking why you aren’t pregnant yet, tell them the truth: You’re not ready to be a parent, You’re trying but things aren’t working or you just don’t plan to be a parent.

It is no longer about you when you become a parent and really, some of us aren’t ready for that transition.
There are plenty of reasons to want to be a parent. Kids can be a lot of joy! But, really… don’t have kids to just have them raised by someone else because you’re told that some relative needs you to have kids. If you think you want kids and you want to be a parent… be willing to let go of some of your “old” life. Becoming a parent changes you… and it is okay to have that change. And, if it isn’t for you, plenty of people are happy delaying having kids or being kid-free. And that, my friend, is okay as well.

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28 comments

  1. I could not agree more with this post. Another one of our friends just lost their baby. It breaks my heart to see those that want children and want to be parents struggle when those who don’t really want to be parents are just having kids willy nilly.

     
  2. I totally agree with your title! Parents are so fortunate to have the gift of God, but then so many are not fortunate enough..

     
  3. It’s such a personal choice, and I’ve never understood why people want to tell others to have kids when they clearly aren’t ready or for some other reason, shouldn’t.

     
  4. Wow, you have nailed it! It’s such a personal choice and it IS one that people need to make. It’s not up to anyone else. If you want to start that life, go for it, if you don’t want too don’t.
    I hear jokes about me having four kids. I’m 31 have four kids, 11, down to 4, so I was with four before I hit 30 . The joke though was that “do you know where kids come from?” This is asked to me, as in our area there’s not another family with 4 kids.
    It really gets to me, I’m perfectly happy with my kids, with my life and yet they joke about it like I seriously do not know where they come from. They don’t have kids or they have one and are full of the “kids are a handful.”
    Yes. Kids are a handful, kids are also light and amazing if you give them the time they deserve. Why would you even say this ? You knew kids were a handful before you had kids, did you NOT know it? If not, you should have really thought it out. Visit someone with kids and get a good idea on what’s coming your way.

    You choose to be a parent, you choose that. You were willing to take on that challenge, don’t come to me telling me your one child is a handful and then tell me how odd it is or laugh when I tell you I have four kids. That was my choice. You don’t tell people it’s time to have kids and you don’t laugh at them because they choose to have them either.

     
  5. This is so important. So many people see kids as holding them back from life and shouldn’t have chosen to have them if that’s their view. Personally, I’m not ready for kids yet, which is why my husband and I are waiting a while. It sometimes feels like many of our friends are starting to have children not because they’re ready but because they feel as though they somehow SHOULD.

     
  6. I love this post. It so dead on right. I chose to be a parent and till this day it is the best choice I ever made. I love my son and would give anything for him sadly I do know people who are not this way and just had a kid to have him.

     
  7. I love this post too. There is such a big difference between wanting kids and wanting to actually parent them.

    I saw so many young adults/teens that had babies and said they wanted them but really had no idea of what being a parent is all about.

    I also appreciate those people that say they do not want to be a parent. They own it and there is nothing wrong with their choice.

     
  8. There is a lot of societal pressure for couples who have hit certain milestones should progress to having kids. It isn’t for everyone, and there isn’t anything wrong with that. There would be a lot fewer miserable children out there if more people would take into consideration your points to ponder before having kids.

     
  9. I think there is some pressure to become parents to a certain degree. Although, I would say it is becoming more common for people to not cave into the pressure and to live without children. I chose to be a parent and I knew what I was doing. No regrets here and not judgement on others for their choice either.

     
  10. This is so true! I know someone who should not of been a parent. They went through all the tests and everything it took to become a parent and now they barely see their child and leave everything to the dad to do.

     
  11. I’ll be honest. I didn’t wanna be a mother. I wanted to be a nerd forever and do my thing and such. But then we got pregnant. Yea it changes you and there was a lot I couldn’t do anymore, but now that my son is older I’m picking up old hobbies and habits again ’cause I don’t have to worry about buying diapers & formula 😛 Just food for three but that’s not so bad.

     
  12. I will be 30 next month and don’t have any kids but want some. However, I know that I am not yet ready. I know and don’t want to wait too long but the time is just not right so I make sure of that. I have a friend who is 22, pregnant with her 3rd child, has no job and can barely feed the 2 she has. AT a certain point, you need to be careful. She got pregnant to trap a guy and she says this, honestly, which is just not fair for the child. If you’re struggling with 2 and all she ever does is complain to anyone who will listen about it, wy should we feel bad for you because you are having another one. I mean, by now, you should know how they are made and be careful!

     

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