I don’t like kids. No, not even your kids. Not even good kids who mind their Ps and Qs, and put away all their toys. I don’t like any of them.
Yes, I am married, and I am still within childbearing age, but I don’t want kids. Not next year, not when we get a house, not ever.
Still, there seems to be some importance placed in the child-free movement to stress “I like kids, they’re just not for me.” “Kids are great as long as I can give them back to their parents.”
I used to be the same way. I’d occasionally babysit and even enjoy sweet moments with friends’ children. But the older I get and the older their kids get, the more I realize kids just get on my nerves.
I’m not even talking about those bad moments all kids have — those meltdowns or tantrums that make even their parents’ skin crawl. I’m talking just regular kid stuff — normal behaviors that any child psychologist would tell you are healthy. I’d say once a kid gets old enough to become their own person, that’s when that kid starts to annoy me.
As more of my friends start reproducing, I grit my teeth with the realization that it means forcing myself through more interminably tiresome growing pains, things that parents embrace as typical childhood milestones. I’m fully aware that I went through these same phases when I was growing up, but that doesn’t stop me from being aggravated.
I know even reading this, some of you are judging me. That’s okay. I’m not using my real name, and I keep this well-hidden from my friends with children — fully recognizing that it’s my problem, not theirs. I’m not outwardly rude to children, but in my heart I am counting down the moments till I get to have adult-conversations rather than humoring a child.
I’ll fully go against the “good” child-free grain and say it: I’m child-free because I don’t like kids. It might make me a bad person, but I think it’s better for me to realize my aversion now than after having kids out of some misguided attempt to like them.
You can tell me all you want “it’s different when they’re your own,” but I’ll just take your word for it.
Note from Megan: As Offbeat Home’s editor, I’ve written before about being child free. But I’m also one of the rare “child free because I don’t like kids AT ALL” people. Now I’m wondering… anyone else out there part of this under-represented sect of the child-free?