Mrs YFG and I don’t have, and don’t want, children. We are unusual among our peers as a married young couple without a plan to create small humans.
We had assumed when we were dating, blindly, that we were going to have children as that’s “what you did“. We didn’t have the “conversation” until we married and people started dropping hints (some less subtle than others). After seeing our friends have children and, frankly, seeing their lives, it wasn’t something we wanted for ourselves. We’ve experienced our own childhoods, and spent enough time with enough children to understand the difficulties – financial and otherwise – in raising them. Also, to be fair, children don’t get a choice in whether they enter the world or not. The choice is made for them, for good or bad reasons. We prefer to help the people already here.
And this is where we receive the following remarks…
Oh but you would make such good parents!
Yes we would, probably. We would also make good landlords or teachers, but we don’t want to do that. Arguably, the most important part of being a parent is wanting to be one, which we don’t.
Surely you want to leave your imprint on the world?
Some people would like to continue their family to remember them, which is a nice notion. This isn’t something that inspires us. Mrs YFG and I want to leave our own positive imprint on the world, we don’t need children to do that.
What if you change your mind? You might want children later on
We might well do. And at that point we can reassess and there are plenty of children already existing in the world who need a home – through adoption or fostering. Time will tell.
But as a woman Mrs YFG won’t fulfill her motherly destiny if she doesn’t have a child?
As Mrs YFG would say: “F*** off“.
Who will look after you in retirement and old age?
The plan is not to depend on anyone else to care for me – the purpose of my birth was not to care for my parents. It’s an incredible responsibility to give to somebody who has no say in the matter, and we don’t feel that sense of duty to our own parents. We love our parents, but neither them nor us would want to be destined to care for the other. We plan to pay for our, and our families’, care later in life and hopefully care for each other. We’re not banking on anyone else.
Do you hate children?
On the contrary, we love children – we just enjoy being able to give them back (especially when toilet trouble happens). We have multiple godchildren and friends’ children and we love them all. Our childfree existence provides babysitting, personal shopping and entertainment services. We give good gifts and can provide a source of pocket money in future.
Won’t it make you jealous seeing other people enjoying their babies and children?
No. Other people are jealous of our lie-ins, weekend brunches and our clean, sharp, flammable objects in our house. We have a beautiful, clean home. We get to do what we want when we want: cooking and reading and generally hanging out. We make decisions which will objectively improve our life. Having a child (or a dog) for that matter will not improve our life right now.
What is your life’s purpose if not to have children?
To be happy human beings, and enjoy our limited time on Earth, preferably helping others throughout our life. If we couldn’t have children at all, this choice would be made for us. Some people don’t get the choice and we are grateful we have the choice.
I know what it’s all about – it’s cost saving – you exclude children so you can get to FI quicker
Well, that’s kind of obvious- children are the most expensive thing in life. But you can still piss away all your money whilst not having children; or you can have children, be frugal and reach FI. It’s a matter of personal choice.