When I explain that I’m child-free, I often get a sidelong glance that says, “I’m not 100% sure what this means. Do you hate kids? Do you hate parents? Are you a threat to the nuclear family?” Bitch please! While some no-kidders truly can’t stand other people’s offspring, not all of us are like that. But this response shows that abstention from reproduction is still viewed as wholly abnormal by a good many folks. I hate it when the voluntarily childless are lumped into one homogenous (and largely misunderstood) category — presumed to all share the same motivations, lifestyles, and priorities. That’s like suggesting that every breeder spawns for the same reason. And non-parents are just as diverse a group — wake up and smell the IUD!
I fully admit that the woman who feels pressured to squeeze out a unit before her biological clock stops ticking is driven by a different compulsion than the guy who’s trying to give his mother a grandchild — just as the dude who’s filling a personal-accomplishment hole with a mini-me is functioning on another level from the chick who forgot her diaphragm and decides to keep the resulting accident. (Wow — could I have possibly offended more groups in one sentence? Oh yeah!) But in the same way, those who choose not to pair sperm with ova each have their own unique justification — some eschew pregnancy because of political or philosophical convictions, others are too busy focusing time and attention on other projects, and many more choose to get their enjoyment from O.P.C. (other people’s children) without feeling the need to own a house-ape themselves. This little cheat-sheet summarizes the many impeti (I don’t care if Webster likes “impetuses”) for mounting the “baby not on board” bandwagon:
population controller (some believe that as long as hunger and homelessness exist, it’s wrong to create more humans — why put additional strain on our limited resources when we can’t even take care of the sapiens we’ve already got? — as overpopulation wreaks havoc on our planet, these no-kidders are doing their damndest to balance out the Octamoms of the world)
too much love to give (what happens when you adore wee ones so much that you can’t imagine limiting the distribution of that affection to just your own sproglodytes? — rather than parenting, you work in child care or social services or pediatric medicine, so you can positively influence scores of rugrats — these no-kidders do better when they spread it around a bit)
professional lifers (we all need to feel as though we’re contributing to society in some way — while the baby-burdened see their precious snowflakes as an acceptable legacy, no-kidders prefer to leave a mark on the world with their talents, not genitalia — driven, ambitious, and goal-oriented, they don’t want their careers taking a back seat to dirty diapers and play dates)
full-time wanderlusters (being nein kinderspüllen means freedom to travel — and, at least for some of us, a life of full-time nomad-ery — these no-kidders prefer to navigate the road less traveled without a car seat in the back, to scratch their itchy feet without hearing “Are we there yet?” every 5 minutes, to discover new horizons sans snack-packs of cheerios and goldfish)
artsy and unapologetic (creative no-kidders are able to live, breathe, and eat art without wasting precious energy corralling a litter of munchkins — they might write about or paint or photograph children, but that’s as close as they want to get — there’s no time for packing lunchboxes or driving carpools when you’re contemplating the meaning of life and beauty)
animal lovers (most no-kidders get their dose of caring-for-a-dependent-creature from hairy kids of the 4-legged kind, rather than squalling pink human ones — critters provide unconditional love and physical affection with a whole lot less bother — you never have to worry about furbabies bringing home a bad report card, crashing your car, or asking for money)
a stickler for structure (these no-kidders see creepy-crawlers as an unnecessary mess to clean up — they track in dirt, leave trails of toys wherever they go, and spill juice on the rug — they draw on walls and infect adults with their never-ending kidplagues — they disrupt schedules and interrupt conversations — life is neater, easier, and much less complicated without them)
crazy aunts/uncles (it’s more exciting to join in the pint-sized fun than be a grown-up — no-kidders make great playmates, hanging those little boogers upside-down by their ankles, running around with them like idiots, filling them full of sugar, letting them do all the stuff mom-and-dad-types won’t allow — then giving them back and going home to their cats)
having too much fun (when you’ve got other activities keeping you busy, there’s no “hole” to be filled by an infant — time that would otherwise be spent on breastfeeding and burping is instead used to enjoy art/music/theater, good friends, food/wine, and outdoor adventures — these no-kidders are so busy sucking the marrow out of life, they totally forget to conceive)
just never got around to it (while many of us have known since birth that we never wanted to give birth, other no-kidders actually intended at one point to procreate — then life gets in the way, the timing stinks, circumstances aren’t right, and it never happens — but in the end, they discover the joy of child-freedom while carving out a happy and fulfilling existence)
maybe someday (just because someone’s a no-kidder today, doesn’t guarantee things will stay that way — but because these folks understand the extent to which breeding changes your life, they want a rich, full existence FIRST — knowing they’ve contributed something meaningful to the world and are leaving a lasting legacy for more than just their crib lizards)
kids should be outlawed (these no-kidders flat-out hate non-adults, want nothing to do with them, and would move to an entirely larvae-free state, if given the choice — at the very least they’d outlaw minors in restaurants, movie theaters, and live performances — it’s always entertaining to watch those with a tot-allergy maneuver through a zoo or amusement park)Click here for reuse options!
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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and RamonaCreel.com.
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