5 signs you’re just not cut out to be a parent (and why that’s okay)

Maybe it seems like just about everyone in your circle is settling down and having kids. 

Maybe your Instagram feed is suddenly filled with babies and toddlers. 

Maybe you’re starting to feel a bit lonely because your friends are always busy on Friday nights tending to their children, while you’re as free as a bird. 

For all childless folk of a certain age, all of these observations are completely normal. 

But don’t feel left behind. If you feel that pressure to start a family of your own, try to let it go. 

The conventional route of getting married and having kids isn’t for everyone–and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. 

Choosing to forego having kids in this day and age is a testament to your character and uniqueness more than anything. 

In this article, I’ll walk you through the signs you’re not quite cut out to be a parent.  

Let’s dive in!

1) You have a lack of interest in children

It’s evident from an early age that some people are just born to be parents. 

When they see a baby in the mall or the park, they might giddily think to themselves “I want one!” 

Not you though; kids just ain’t your jam. 

You have nothing against these little people but you don’t necessarily feel overwhelming joy interacting with them. 

That said, you realize and appreciate the enormity of the commitment being a parent entails. 

Hence, you won’t be producing kids flippantly, as many tend to do. 

You acknowledge that your lack of interest in them is more honest and selfless than pursuing the duty of parenting half-heartedly. 

2) You value your personal freedom 

When you see your friends tied down by kids, you don’t envy them. 

You value your independence. 

The idea of being responsible for a living, breathing person doesn’t quite appeal to you. 

In fact, the prospect occasionally frightens you. 

I like to travel. 

I’m not married, and I have no kids, nor do I have any plans of having any in the foreseeable future.

Since I work remotely, I tend to move around a lot. 

In some months, I’ll be in Spain; others in Thailand, or Hong Kong, or Melbourne, or the UK. 

I realize I’m lucky to experience so many new places–but I’m also a product of my decisions.

Being childless, I am mobile, not tied down by other people. 

I can book flights on a whim, not having to deal with the responsibility of thinking about feeding a son or daughter. 

A few of my friends who have all settled and had kids are somewhat perturbed by my lifestyle, occasionally telling me something like “How do you travel so much? You must be wealthy.” 

The truth is when you’re not shelling out on daycare and preschool, you tend to have a lot more disposable income. 

I’m content with my situation, and see no reason to change the status quo. I don’t feel the thought of changing diapers will compel me to make radical adjustments any time soon.

3) You want to save money 

I have cousins and friends who had kids in their early 20s, when they were earning entry-level salaries, barely making ends meet for themselves. 

We aren’t living in the 1950s anymore, life is expensive in this day and age. 

Raising a child, in particular, is far more costly than our parents’ generations. 

These days, rather than mindlessly procreating, being able to provide financially for yourself, your family, and the child should first be considered thoroughly. 

You don’t want to have to live with your parents, or work multiple jobs, just to provide for the person you brought into the world. 

It’s perfectly reasonable, even intelligent. to decide that the financial strain of parenting is something you’re not up for, regardless of what society tells you. 

This is particularly true when you’re young and lacking in life experiences. 

Take the time to be a bit selfish, climb the career ladder, date around, and travel. 

You don’t want to be deprived of key life experiences and live with regret later, just to be tied down by a child, like every other person you know. 

4) You lack patience or emotional stability

One of the main reasons I’ve chosen not to have kids yet is because I’m not emotionally up for it. 

My decision might be tainted by the fact that I was raised by rather negligent parents and I don’t want to put another person through what I did. 

Parenting, specifically good parenting, requires a high level of patience and emotional resilience. 

So if you’re not there yet, that’s okay. 

Everyone moves at their own pace. 

The fact that you are self-aware enough to recognize the latter qualities aren’t quite your strengths is in itself impressive. 

Understanding your emotional limits is a resounding indication of your maturity

I already worry enough about my three-year-old labrador Frank–so the magnitude of truly caring for a fragile human being is something I can’t wrap my head around. 

5) You have environmental and worldview concerns

Many consider having kids selfish, a way of thinking I’ve noticed common among Gen Z–who, for all the flak they get, are pretty level-headed in many ways.

I’ve spoken to people in their twenties who have vowed never to reproduce due to their concerns about overpopulation, environmental sustainability, climate change, and the general state of the world. 

Almost 400,000 babies are born every day, many of whom are thrust into poverty and hunger; many of whom will inherit an unjust world; and all of whom are sentient beings susceptible to pain and suffering. 

Grim, I know–but the fact remains, these are valid perspectives, valid reasons to not want kids. 

Making decisions based on these broader global concerns should be normalized, not brushed aside.  

Final words 

To recap, not everyone is cut out to be a parent, and there’s nothing wrong with that. 

You’re not a lesser person for not wanting to procreate. 

It’s crucial to decide on life choices that are in sync with your personal goals, values, and circumstances. 

If that means having kids, so be it. 

And if it means staying childless, then that’s equally fine. 

Don’t live for anyone else. Make decisions based on your interests and what you truly want deep down, and not what society or parents want. 

Remember, you have one life to live. Make it count. 

Also read: 9 reasons why men are less likely to experience the regret of not having children

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Clifton Kopp

Welcome to my writings on Ideapod! I'm a bit of a "polymath" in that I like writing about many different things. Often I'm learning from the process of writing. I hope you enjoy, and please leave a comment on one of my articles.

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