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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hawaii chapter.

For the past century, the “American dream” has been ingrained into our minds, especially through pop culture (e.g. the television show that focuses on the classic, White family). People have been taught that the way to live your best life is by getting a college education, securing a 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM job, meeting and marrying a spouse, having 2-4 children, and then retiring in your 60s. Obviously, times have changed, but the norm surrounding this American mindset still remains.

Newsflash (especially for the Baby Boomers)! People aren’t working conventional 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM jobs, people aren’t getting married in their 20s (or at all), people aren’t having kids, and not everyone wants to go to college. Why is it that if someone doesn’t want to follow this linear path, then they’re seen as unconventional, defiant, or rebellious in this day and age?

The other day I visited my grandma over Spring Break and she asked, “Why don’t you have kids yet? Why aren’t you married?” I said, “I’m 24 and I’m still in school.” Bless her heart, I’m sure every grandma’s dream is to see a great-grandchild, but it really got me thinking how times have changed. I went on to explain how I’d love for her to have a great-grandchild (I’m her only hope since I’m an only child), but I’m just not sure if that’s in the cards for me, at least not anytime within the next 10+ years.

Here are five reasons why I’m thinking of not having kids:

Kids are expen$IVE

Kids are growing for 16+ years straight. Constantly buying new toys, clothes and shoes can definitely add up, especially with the exponential inflation. Don’t forget about their sports/hobbies/activities, schooling, healthcare, and other needs. I’d personally love to spend my income on other things.

Dogs are the new kids

I know a lot of people have been adopting dogs (or cats) lately with the increase in time spent at home. I hate to say it but my dog is my baby. She requires a lot of care, almost like a child, but she doesn’t talk back and she gives me so much love. I’d say that’s better than a kid!

It’s hard on the women’s body

After seeing the birthing process in videos, I think I am scarred for life. I can’t imagine my body physically giving birth (props to the women that do), but it looks horrifying to me and a C-Section doesn’t sound any better. I know there are lifelong changes made to the women’s body after giving birth as well, and I’m just not sure I want that.

It can be mentally straining

It’s pretty clear that parents have to sacrifice so much of their lives for their children, including some of their mental health. I’m not sure if I will ever be ready to come home from a full day of working just to cook dinner (and the next day’s lunch for the kiddos), bathe the kids, help them with homework, clean the house, and tuck them into bed. I’m sure it’s rewarding in the end, but again, just not sure if that sounds right for me.

The world is in utter turmoil

COVID-19, WW3, climate change, and insane politics are a few of the many reasons why I wouldn’t even want to bring a child into this world. There are so many problems that their generation will have to fight, I’m not sure if that’s fair.

I would like to reiterate that these are personal (not popular) opinions. I want to highlight that giving birth and raising a child is an amazing thing (none of us would be here today without it), but I’m just not sure if I’m the right person for it. I am in awe of the strong women who have dreamed about having children their whole life, but it is okay if you are not one of those women, just like me! Times have changed and there is no right or wrong way to live YOUR life.

Aloha! My name is Keilyn and I am a Graduate Student studying Public Health at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. I enjoy going to the beach, reading mystery books, cooking, and playing with my puppy, Kaiba! I love being on the HER Campus Hawaii Team and sharing my stories!