Pleased to not have progeny

May 25, 2011

I came to the conclusion long ago that I was not going to have children, a decision that is reinforced every time I see someone’s insipidly-saccharine Facebook status update about their kids being the ultimate joy in their lives.  I have a  similar reaction to when they post the same rubbish about their spouses, but sometimes in those cases I mitigate the mental nausea by saying “Well, they are rather fortunate they found someone who could tolerate them…”

But back to the child-bearing issue… there’s this pervasive belief in our culture that one can only be truly happy after you have contributed offspring to the world, or have imported them from elsewhere into your domicile for you to raise.  The childless are seen as incomplete, incapable of experiencing the same enjoyment of life that their spawning counterparts have attained.

This recent CNN article, as well as the entire childless main roster of Renal Failure, disagree with this child-centric cultural assumption.

“As a group, parents of all types and all socioeconomic levels in the United States report more symptoms of depression and emotional distress than their childless adult counterparts,” said Robin Simon, a Wake Forest University sociology professor who researches the association between parenthood and emotional well-being.

Her information is based on a nationally representative study sampling 11,473 Americans. They were picked from all races, socioeconomic backgrounds and educational levels.

“This study doesn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know,” I say, being someone who will not have kids of my own for many reasons that become all to obvious once you meet me.  “But I hope it smacks the smugness off the sleep-deprived faces of parents who think there’s something wrong with me and my decision not to breed.”

“Wow… people exercising personal choices in how they live are happy… who could have known?”  says Tina the Lesbian, who will not be having kids of her own because she doesn’t have sex with men.   “Though I will admit to feeling a small bit of pleasure every time my sister Jennifer the Straight complains about her kids and openly envies my lesbianism.”

“Right, like I have any time for parenthood,”  says Ninja Vicki, who will not be having kids of her own because of her successful career as a ninja, and because her intimacy issues have left her in a state of unintentional celibacy.  “There is no maternity leave for ninjas.  How am I supposed to hide in the shadows with a frickin’ baby bump and swollen feet?  How can I assassinate my targets with a baby suckling at my teat?”

“I take pride that Marlie and I will not be producing yet another resource-consuming parasite into this dying world,”  says Bernie the Half-Cyborg Cat who is not having children because he is a bionic cat married to an Irish woman, and the doctor said that their babies would be monsters.  Plus his wife Marlie would never stop drinking for nine minutes, let alone nine months.  “The Earth’s population is going to hit 7 billion next year, and 10 billion by the end of the century.  Either we gotta start killing more people or we’ve gotta slow up that baby spigot because it’s becoming apparent we’ve exceeded the storage capacity on this planet.”

This portion got Avonia’s attention…

“It’s such a counterintuitive finding, because we have these cultural beliefs that children are the key to happiness and a healthy life, and they’re not,” said Simon.

“From the outside you see the detrimental effects of what our cultural beliefs cause, yet there is this group of people telling you children are the best thing that will ever happen to you,” said Copeland.

“I’ve learned to ignore the cultural pressures that happiness is only fully realized through parenthood, especially targeted toward women”  says Avonia the Wiccan Pimp who can’t have children of her own.  “My sense of self-worth is not dictated by my fertility or lack thereof.  Besides, I think of my ladies of the night as my daughters.  My adopted, whorish daughters… ”

“Some guy at one of my many past jobs told me he had never been happier when he first saw his son walk,”  says Anonymous Doug, who might have kids of his own but women don’t remember sleeping with him because of his Anonymous powers.  “Then I said I had never been happier when I banged two Japanese broads at the same time, one of whom was missing a leg.  Now he didn’t need to say it, but I could tell by his eyes I won that battle of happiest moments.”

“It’s this whole weird concept of ‘being an adult,'”  says Mikka, who has been dating Samurai Cathy for 3+ years, thus making them the most likely out of all of us to have offspring one day.  “As if you haven’t achieved full adulthood until you have kids.  Like there’s a prize waiting for you to be handed out by the Adulthood Council of the World if you start a family.  Congratulations for living your life how we told you to:  here’s a gift card to Target and a box to bury your dreams in.”

“I get the feeling a lot of the happy-with-kids crowd are putting on a show to rope other people into joining their parenting collective as to justify their choice to start a family,”  says Samurai Cathy.  “As if your enjoyment of something is dictated and justified by how many other people enjoy it.”

“All living things are saddened by the fact that they are not Tag Larkin!”  says Tag Larkin, who does not have children because the combination of a woman’s ovum and Tag Larkin’s seed creates volatile womb bombs instead of viable embryos.  “Look upon your babies and despair for they are not Tag Larkin!”

The childless don’t have to despair that the children they don’t have are not Tag Larkin, and thus don’t have to put up a brave front that they are happy with having non-Tag Larkin progeny like their child-bearing counterparts.  And while that might not make childless people happier than those with kids, it certainly makes them less depressed.  And that means we win.


  1. married people and single people argue the merits of their choices. stay home moms do constant battle with working moms, each trying to justify positions. same with breeders and non-breeders.

    fuck it all. doug stanhope got it right. abortion is green.

  2. Stand up and cheer.

    “Heres a gift card to Target and a box to bury your dreams in.” That about sums it up.

    If I got started on the people who have kids because they think that’s the way to get approval and respect (and Target gift cards), and the sinking feeling I get about the kids who got had for no other reason than to make two-bit celebrities of their moms and dads, and the sick sense of the world’s resources trickling away because someone wants that baby buzz… well, don’t get me started.

  3. Come bomb my womb Tag

  4. having children doesn’t make you happy. Being happy with what you have makes you happy.

  5. … But progeny is so cool!

  6. Even if I had kids, they wouldn’t like me. I’m piss-poor at handling other people’s crap, both literally and figuratively so kids are right out of the question.

  7. Not a choice. As Gaga says, I was born this way. Born without a desire for children, that is.

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