I’m in my mid-twenties, and honestly get so much hate over being childfree that I’ve started telling people I have an adopted daughter when they ask about my kids. I just conveniently leave out the fact that my adopted daughter is, in fact, a 40-pound sheep, one of roughly two dozen that live in my back yard.

It isn’t even a lie, I raised that lamb on a bottle from the day she was born, as far as she’s concerned I’m her mom. And as long as I’m vague enough, the problems of dealing with sheep sound totally believable as human toddler parenting problems. “Oh yeah, my daughter’s two, she always puts everything in her mouth.” “Ugh, my daughter is always climbing on stuff, I swear she’s part mountain goat!”

I live for seeing how long I can keep it up before someone asks to see a picture of my little darling. “Sure!” I say, “Here she is! Isn’t she adorable?” then relish the horrified confusion when they see this tiny little brown sheep like:

It’s the best thing. It’s my favorite thing I’ve ever done, next to raising sheep in the first place.

I often refer to my bottle-raised lamb as my adopted daughter, because it’s mostly true, it temporarily keeps nosy strangers from knowing I’m an eeeevil childfree woman, and it’s hilarious when people find out. And by that time they’re usually too disturbed by the “her-daughter-is-a-sheep” thing to get on my case about the “woman-with-no-husband-or-kids-oh-the-horror” thing.

Most of my friends are aware that I do this, and will back me up in conversations without batting an eye when I reference my daughter. And the best part is that they literally never drop the story. They just 100% all the time accept that I have a two-year-old adopted daughter. The fact that she happens to be a sheep is an unimportant detail, not worth mentioning until an anecdote gets too weird to plausibly be about a human toddler.

Which actually takes much longer than you’d think, since human toddlers apparently have absolutely zero sense. “She bites if you stop paying attention to her” is believable, “she tries to eat rocks out of the landscaping” is believable, “she stuck her head through a fence and couldn’t get out” is believable. "She jumped a five foot fence and came screaming back into the house through the dog door when I left her outside in the pasture” does get some strange looks, though usually not for the right reason.

Occasionally the joke gets turned around on me, though. I posted a picture on my not-tumblr blog of her wearing my glasses, and every comment was “Oh my gosh she looks just like you!!!” “I would never have known she was adopted If you hadn’t told me!!” “Are you sure that’s not an old picture of you?!”

So apparently this is what I look like:

At least she does look cute in glasses.

PLEASE don’t have children

-If you are not financially independent.

-If you are mentally ill without consistent means of treatment

-If you cannot afford doctor’s bills

-If the thought of having a gay, trans, or nonbinary child makes you upset.

-If the cant accept having to care for a child with a disability or special needs.

-If the thought of having a fat child makes you upset.

-If you have a bad/short temper

-If you’re in an abusive relationship

-If you’re not ready to put someone else’s needs first, EVERY SINGLE DAY, for 18 years.

-If you have an ideal of what this person is going to be like and anything other than that image makes you upset. 

-If you need to have a quiet and tidy home at all times.

-If you need to control all aspects of their life even into adulthood.

-if you believe they owe you unconditional, unquestionable respect regardless of your own behavior. 

-If you don’t believe they have the right to privacy in their own home.

-If you’re unwilling to change your lifestyle to accommodate the demands of parenthood.

-If you do not believe ALL humans of every race, gender, sexuality, religion, and career deserve the same rights and respect. 

Look. Your baby could be fat. Your “son” could actually be your daughter; or both or neither. They could be a lawyer or a porn star. You could have a boy who loves makeup and grows up to be an athiest that brings home an alaskan lumberjack named Boris and the two make a living doing gay camshows . You could have a daughter with blue hair, pierced tits, who is a YouTube rapping sensation called Krispee Kareem and marries a black man and wants 8 kids with him

YOU NEVER KNOW

But what I DO know is that parenthood isnt Build-a-Baby; you get what you fuckin’ get and if you’re not prepared to love and support the shit outta that baby; WHOEVER they grow up to be–

Do. Not. Have. Kids.

Imagine a world where nobody has kids unless they feel like it.

With the declining birth rates, everyone is needed and there is plenty of space for everyone.

 Automation is honed to perfection, as human workers are too rare and valuable to be put into manual labour.

With less mouths to feed, basic income and a post-scarcity society are not only possible, but any other option would be unthinkable.

 The few, rare children that are born are showered with not only the love and affection of parents and grandparents, but flocks of aunts and uncles and the parent’s/parents’ friends who chose not to reproduce, and have plenty of time and energy to invest in the little ones and give the parents a much-needed rest.

 People who don’t like kids or do not get along with them have no trouble avoiding them, and children grow up without unpleasant experiences with them.

Cityscapes are broad and the people are scarce, no infrastructure is forced to hold more than it was intended to handle.

No-one is told they are less of a man, less of a woman or less of an adult for choosing to not have a child. Numerous childless adults pour their energy and devotion to developing a society of sparser and sparser, but happier people.

Humanity does not end with war, in a cramped, stressed nightmare suddenly ending with a bang, but by gently lulling into a soft sleep.

I Hate Children

Maybe I should clarify:

I hate the culture of children.

It’s not really children, per se.  Granted, I’m not fond of them being around, I don’t want one in my house or very often in my immediate presence, and I especially don’t like it if I have to watch one that can’t even talk coherently let alone understand what I’m saying, but all this is because I have no patience and no strong maternal instincts to speak of.

If I’m out in public somewhere and a child looks at me, I will smile at it.  If I see a video or gif of a child doing something adorable, I might coo and share it.  I don’t actively go out of my way to upset children or even discuss them with most people.

But I hate with all my being the culture that surrounds the concept of children.

There’s an overwhelming societal expectation of a beuterused person that they must not only have children (usually multiple), but that they must desperately want children, often to the exclusion of all else.  It’s tied very much into the notion that everyone is supposed to get married and promptly produce offspring and put themselves neatly into heteronormative traditional gender roles so as to be a good adult and a “productive member of society.”  Indeed, the mere presence of breasts and a presumed uterus is indicative that a person’s worth is whether or not they reproduce.

And it’s this idea that infests every conversation about health or future or family.  It’s this concept that makes those of us who do not want children (especially biologically) have to constantly brace ourselves for potential arguments when we talk about any of these things.

It’s the reason I had to switch doctors when my first one kept insisting that “the ideal” was for me to “remain a virgin until marriage and then marry a virgin before having children.”  It’s the reason people with vaginas require checkups for “reproductive health” to make sure everything is “functioning correctly for reproduction” instead of just to make sure things don’t hurt/aren’t infected/need attention.  It’s the reason we see language used like “baby-making” for het sex with no stated reproductive intent, why the term “biological clock” is still exclusively used in regards to reproduction, and why there is an over-emphasis on pregnancy and reproduction language in sex (“baby goo,” “baby batter,” “gonna make a baby in you,” etc.).  It’s why there’s still so much debate over who gets a say in pregnancy, why pregnancy is still terrifyingly often referred to as a punishment or as a means to control the beuterused.  It’s the reason why family, friends, and even strangers feel completely within their rights to ask you about your reproductive plans, to make you justify all of your life choices to them at a moment’s notice, to question your thoughts and beliefs as if they know you better than you do yourself.

It’s the reason why the questions are so intensive when someone asks for lasting birth control.  It’s the reasons why we are told over and over the rate of regret, the success stories of people who changed their minds, the horror stories of those who didn’t.  It’s the reason why, when you state that you have a “phobia of pregnancy” in the hope that it will make people stop asking you without making you explain yourself or justify your feelings for the umpteenth time, the only advice you get is, “Well, that needs to be fixed before anything else.”

It’s the reason why “because I don’t want children” isn’t enough.  It’s the reason why adoption is never seen as an option because “you’ll want some of your own someday.”  It’s the reason why people put such value on “extending the family line” and “continuing the family name.”

It’s the reason I have to say I hate children for people to stop questioning me.  It’s the reason I have to monitor my conversations with certain people because they’ll say, “Ah, see, you DO like kids!!”  It’s the reason parts of my dysphoria kick in hard when I see the sort of things mentioned above.  Because, unless something happens to remove or damage a uterus, it is not only expected, but demanded of you to know why you’re refusing “the most precious gift on Earth,” “your womanly duty,” “the greatest love you’ll ever know,” and so forth.

It’s the reason why “I hate children” is rolled off my tongue more and more until finally people just stop talking.

But I don’t hate children.

I hate the culture of children.

I hate the misogyny that surrounds pregnancy.

Most of all, I hate the people who perpetuate this culture, who deny someone else the right to say they don’t want to be part of it, who threaten to make them part of it.

But, you know, it’s so much easier to just say I hate children.

Me: I don’t want kids and finding out I was actually infertile came as a relief for me. It’s nice not to have to worry about birth control.

Sexist asshole: You might not want kids but what if your boyfriend does? Don’t you think you should consider his future?

Me: He can find another woman to have children with, I’ll be remaining childfree.

Sexist asshole: That seems pretty selfish towards your boyfriend, you could always adopt or get a surrogate, you don’t have to carry the child.

Me: I don’t want to raise one either! What part of childfree do you not understand?

Stop pushing adoption onto people who decidedly do not want children, stop trying to shame people for being infertile and insisting there are “steps I can take” to give my boyfriend a child. My body and decisions surrounding my future do not solely revolve around my partner’s choices.

Teach girls it’s okay to not want kids. Or even like them.
That they can be functional people without being a mother.
That deciding into their 30s they want kids isnt bad and they’re not “too old.”
Teach girls that they don’t have to sell their youth to kids.
Because motherhood isn’t for everyone. And we need to stop acting like it is.

  • people with kids: oh MAN being a parent is so STRESSFUL I can't WAIT to get away from the kids all the SCREAMING and TANTRUMS
  • me: I don't want children
  • people with kids: no parenthood is a joyous thing you won't know real love until you have them