I’m Never Having Children

by JT McGee

Over the course of this long summer, I’ve realized that I’m never having kids.

Ever.

My friends and I like to shoot the shiz about our futures all the time. Recently graduated or college seniors, we’re all at the point where our lives will soon change. Power hours with a case of cheap beer will be replaced with half-hour lunches. Spontaneous mid-week getaways organized a night before departure to Nashville will have to be postponed for when we can take time off.

Our lives have, for the most part, been relatively responsibility free. I know that we live it up like no one else during the summer – and probably for much of the school year. I like to tell myself that I should do what I’m good at – living it up like a champ is something I’ve always excelled at doing.

This is me, enjoying the concept of a stress-free life at 2am on a summer weekday:

Common Conversation and a Week Long Stay

One of my friends is a very simple person. Not simple minded or stupid, but just simple. Give him a roof, a lawn to mow, and a case of beer and this guy will be content for the rest of his life.

In common late-night, beer infused conversation, we talk about our own ideal future. His always excludes kids because, as we all know, the fewer kids you have, the less you have to work, and the more you can enjoy what you earn.

I always wanted kids. Or, I at least wanted them in some crazy land where they never cry, never need their diapers changed, and they’re always well behaved.

But a lot has changed in my life in the past six months. For one, I’m single. Heh – isn’t that crazy. Apparently girlfriends only stick around long enough to get in the way of the “college experience.” Adios, home girl! It was devastating at first, but now it’s as liberating as watching the Berlin Wall drop. Cue the Freebird chorus!

And secondly, I’m back at home for the time being, until one of my friends moves back and we move into the ultimate bachelor pad together. It’ll be a party – and any one reading this is invited. Welcome to the Animal House, people!

So in the past six months I’ve turned an engagement ring fund into a travel and fun fund. In doing so, I realized that traveling and living a carefree, completely selfish lifestyle is 100% awesome. I’m pretty good at being a single 20-something who has not a care in the world. In fact, I’d say it’s what I do best.

Anyway…

So back to kids.

I’m from the Midwest, a place where people are friendly but teeth are few. Around here, people get married at 22, have 5 kids by 27, and never really live out their 20s. Every day I encounter more wedding pictures on Facebook and silently giggle about all the future divorcees. I can’t laugh too much, as I was on the same plan just a few months ago.

But now things have changed. I’m a single dude permanently annoyed with the idea of having kids.

My niece has spent all of four days at my house and I’m ready to pull my hair out. In between stepping on toys littering the floor and listening to her prove her 75-word vocabulary her mom (my sister) loves to boast about, I’m pretty fed up. Don’t tell my sister, though.

And it’s at this point I feel just like my carefree friend. No kids = no household mess. No diaper budget = I can pay a maid to clean up after me. No private school education expense = I can spend weeks all over the world doing exactly what I do best: having a great time. No nagging = I can do what I want, when I want.

Seriously, I’ve come to appreciate just how easy life is right now. I never had to plan when I’d go to the bathroom before my sister and brother-in-law dropped off my niece for her week-long stay. It is things like that which I’ve really come to appreciate – the really simple things in life. Who wants to plan a bathroom break around a crying, needy baby?

Kids are great. I’m thankful my parents decided to have me. But I’m so not the guy to raise a child. Ha! I have a hard enough time taking care of myself.

/Rant

Anyway, that’s the end of my late-night rant. As amazing as bringing a life into this world probably is, I imagine that living my own exactly as I desire will be even better.

To all you parents out there, keep on keeping on. To all those who vouch with me to remain childless, I ask only, “Who wants to go to Vegas tomorrow?”

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Financial Samurai July 25, 2012 at 22:10

Hmmm, first of all, should I say CONGRATS to graduating college? Or do you still got more to go?

Sorry about the break up. Not wanting to have kids is totally understandable after such an event.

I think we may change by the time we are 30 on our desire for kids. Seems hardwired in many people to want them, even though they are expensive and take up a lot of time.

You can use your engagement ring fund for Vegas?

S

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JT McGee July 26, 2012 at 09:46

Soon enough, Sam. I’ve another year of college – running into some rigidity in scheduling that’s making me move slower than I’d like to.

I’ll happily use the engagement fund for Vegas. I have to say the experiences have been better than prehistoric dinosaur-dung-turned-diamond.

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Andrea @SoOverThis July 26, 2012 at 00:52

I think it is beyond reasonable at your age not to want kids. I also think it’s the smartest choice you could make at this point. You have forever to have them but only NOW to have fun. So do it while you can. As you well know, I had my son when I was super young. I gave up a lot of fun stuff, which was fine, but I always consoled myself by saying at least I’d still be young enough to enjoy myself once he was grown. And now that he’s almost 14, I realize that in 4-6 more years that day will be here. Yet I don’t have the desire to go do as much as I did when I was younger.

So live life! Be free! Ride electronic bulls and hang out with your friends before life takes over. Like I said, you can always decide to have kids MUCH later in life. #getoffmylawn

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JT McGee July 26, 2012 at 09:47

So in 4-6 years we’ll go out and have a blast, right? You’ll still be young then – and so will I. 😛

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Megg July 26, 2012 at 08:07

I’m going to be 29 in September and we still haven’t had kids (yet). The reasoning is exactly what you said…we want to travel. We want to enjoy life before it takes 30 minutes to get out of the house. The time for kids will come, for you too. Or maybe not. But right now I’m much more inclined to advise people to wait, have fun now and be tied down later. Nice post, I liked the perspective.

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JT July 26, 2012 at 09:55

Seems like we see it the same way, although I haven’t given into the idea at 30. Seems like that’s the biological point at which the clock starts ticking.

You have no idea how much better I understand the idea of it taking 30 minutes to leave the house. That has to be the most frustrating thing in the world, without question.

So, traveling – what’s next?

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BeatingTheIndex July 26, 2012 at 08:33

Tell us all about it when you hit 30, everyone changes as the years go by, never say never 🙂

Having said that, party on man!

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JT July 26, 2012 at 09:56

What’s up with 30? Ha, I can be a pretty tough mind to change, we’ll see though. I still have 8 years to that magical number.

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Kevin @ Thousandaire.com July 26, 2012 at 10:08

You don’t strike me as the kind of guy who wants to be devoid of responsibility forever.

Not that I know you personally, but I imagine you’re going to crave the responsibility of caring for children in a few years.

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JT McGee July 27, 2012 at 17:07

At which point I’ll get a dog. At least you can put a dog in a kennel when it gets too loud/obnoxious.

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TB at BlueCollarWorkman July 26, 2012 at 11:15

Haha, nice. Well dude, I had my first kid when I was 21, then got married, and then we had our second a few years later. I never went to college, being a blue collar guy, and now I’m 33. Someitmes I think it would’ve been cool to do college and live the good unresponsible life, and I bet I would’ve loved it; but honestly, I love what I’ve got too. 2 kids, and yeah, its’ a pain sometimes, they can get such attitudes and they cry.. and I love my wife, but she can drive me crazy sometimes too. But somehow I love it all anyway. I don’t know why. I love coming home at night to my wife and little girls. Turning my oldest daughter into a sports fan and playing on the tire swing with my youngest. Maybe when you meet the right chick you’ll want to have kids, but definitely don’t have them if you don’t want them! ANd dude, I’m glad you turned that engagement ring fund into something else, have fun man!

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Sam July 26, 2012 at 12:06

A lot of truth to what TB says.

Listen to your elders JT!

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JT McGee July 27, 2012 at 17:11

I can tell you’re a cool dad when you use the word “dude” at 33. High five on that one.

What you describe does sound pretty awesome. I know how much my dad and I enjoyed watching baseball before I went to bed way back in the day. It was awesome, and I can definitely get into the fun of that. But the responsibility really turns me away from the idea at the moment.

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krantcents July 26, 2012 at 13:34

I don’t like kids either until I had my own. Everything changes when it is your kids. You get to shape their existence and influence their future. They are now adults and I value my relationship with them. My wife and I waited to have kids until we were in our late 20s. Not that late today, but we were married in the 60s after both of us graduated college.

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JT McGee July 27, 2012 at 17:08

I’m sure there’s a magical connection there. I can tolerate a lot with my niece that I won’t tolerate with other people’s kids. And I’m sure that if I had my own, I’d probably be a lot more tolerant of just about everything.

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A Blinkin July 29, 2012 at 09:01

I absolutely agree with your thoughts on kids. I respect the hell out of people that are married, 40 years old, and are still living it up as if they’re 25 (because they chose not to have kids). I think far too many people have kids.
I’m 26 right now and there is a long list of things I want to do/accomplish before I have children. I imagine we’ll start “trying” in my early 30s. Definitely not something to rush into.

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101 Centavos July 29, 2012 at 10:37

What they said. I wasn’t much for horrible little bags of drool and poop until we produced a set of our own in my mid-30’s. Now that they’ve turned into sullen teenagers I look forward to future grandkids, if we ever get there. Rock on man, enjoy your 20’s.

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