3 Reasons I Opted Out of Parenthood

I've done a some pretty boneheaded things in my life. Sitting on the hood of a car that was driving down a one-way street the wrong way. Keeping myself out-of-control drunk day and night. Getting married when I didn't want to, and then acting out by having affairs.

But one thing I got right was saying "no" to parenthood.

I knew pretty early on that being a mom just wasn't in the cards.

At age six, I hid under the bed while my parents fought and thought, "You know, being an adult doesn't really seem like that much fun. I'm not sure I want to impose that on a poor little baby."

Later, in second or third grade, I attended a school presentation on human population. The presenter explained that there were too many people on the planet, and if we didn't stop reproducing, we would die, taking all of the trees and animals with us.

I didn't want to make trees and animals die.

When my mother found out she was pregnant with my little brother, she told me "God is rewarding me for being a good kid." But defeat, not elation, was in her voice.

My little brother's arrival eight months later, accompanied by ceaseless crying, puking, and dirty diapers, clinched the deal. I wanted no part of this babymaking stuff.

At 24, I told my doctor I wanted to get my tubes tied. He refused, saying, "You might change your mind someday, and then you'll regret it."

So I rolled my eyes and made damned sure I never got pregnant.

My body even supported this decision. When, at 44, I finally could afford Essure, the doctor who performed the procedure found that one of my Fallopian tubes was already blocked.

According to this website, the decision earned me a Golden Snip award.

Here it is:











Cute, huh?

To this day, if I hear of a pregnancy, I hold my tongue. It's none of my business, but at the same time, I simply can't find it in my heart to be happy.

Here's why:

1. Babies are bad for the planet

Over the course of our lives, you and I will consume 7,000 animals. If you multiply that by 7 billion, you get 49,000,000,000,000 cows, chickens, pigs, and other critters that are slaughtered and butchered for humans to eat.

That's a lot of animals.

Vegetarians aren't off the hook, either. Countless of wild animals, especially smaller ones, are killed in the process of producing soybeans, corn, wheat, and other staples of vegetarian diets.

What do these animals get in return for their sacrifice? 204,000 pounds of garbage567,575 pounds of sewage, and 9,104 pounds of greenhouse gas,

Not exactly a fair exchange.

2. Bringing a new life into being without consulting it first is inconsiderate

Sure, I've had some fun in this human body, but overall I'd say that being an adult human -- which is what babies spend most of their lives being -- is wildly overrated.

Certainly not worth imposing on an innocent being without their permission.

3. Parenthood is better for the parents than for the children

People decide to become parents for a lot of different reasons. They like the joy that children bring to their home. They want to be taken care of in their old age. They don't want to be considered selfish. You can find a pretty comprehensive list of reasons in this article.

But think about it for a minute...

...don't all of these reasons have more to do with the parents' wishes than the baby's? I mean, what's in it for the kid? 

(P.S. I've asked a few babies this question, but, being a dumb adult, was unable to understand their answer. Maybe babies have good reasons for wanting to be born. I don't know. But until I'm sure, I'd rather not assume.)

I cannot keep you from having children; nor would I want to. Free choice is just as precious to me as our little blue marble of a planet.

However,  I can -- and do -- entreat you:  

PLEASE, for the love of God, THINK before you bring another life into existence.




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2 comments:

  1. I'm 75 pushing 76, hard!
    When I was in my late teens, I thought then there were too many people.
    In my 20's, I watched as some of the places that I loved were destroyed to make room for more people, I became even more determined to not add to this mess but our growth continued thanks to laws that prevented women the right to control her own body & that fight continues on today because of some religions.
    I have no regret for not having children, I can see now that they would have been looking forward to a frightful future & they would watch, helpless, as their children died of thirst, starvation or intolerable heat.

    Climate change is moving much faster than even the most pessimistic climate scientist would have expected. Drought & heat waves are already killing people & their crops forcing them to migrate but there is no place for them to go, the earth is full, most are doomed.

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  2. Sheila, apologies for the delay in responding.

    When I was quite young, I witnessed an "empty" lot full of beautiful blooming yucca get bulldozed to make room for plastic housing, so I can relate with your pain.

    I agree that it is too late to do anything at this point, so my greatest hope is that the failed human experiment comes to as quick and painless a close as possible.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my post and writing such a thought-provoking comment.

    Blessings, Catie

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