Seriously, I don’t
by Erin Stehler
Staff Child Hater
My name is Erin, and I dislike children. I’m not sorry—they’re just not my thing. If you have a kid or a little brother or sister or nephew that you think will be an exception because they are just “so cute,” they won’t be. They’ll be covered in slobber, snot, and every other bodily fluid you could imagine. In my opinion, they are an 18-year, at the very least, burden of time and finances. If I wanted a cute burden, I would get a dog. They scream less. It makes no sense to me that it’s more socially acceptable to go through all the pain of having a child than to simply opt out. It frustrates me immensely when I am at a wedding or similar event and hear somebody ask a couple about when they think they will have kids. For one, stay in your lane. But additionally, why do you feel the need to interrupt the couple’s happiness so quickly? Leave them alone and let them enjoy their lives at least a little bit before they decide to give up almost two decades of life experiences and a year of sleep.
That said, if you want kids or you have kids and think they are the greatest, most perfect people on earth, great, I am truly happy for you. I don’t believe you, but I’m happy for you. When you show your newborn off to me, I will smile at you and will not tell you that all babies look the same and that they all look like aliens and have weird little heads and that their big brown eyes are only big because their other features are not yet proportional to the size of an average human eye. I would never do that. I’m not going to be rude about it if you ask me to hold your baby—not that the baby understands anything anyway—but I will politely decline. I don’t hate you as a person, I just think your baby probably smells bad and/or is sticky for some reason. Also if it starts screaming or throws up, I just don’t think I have the mental or emotional capacity to cope with that.
On a similar note, I think that approaching someone, child in hand, and asking if they like children should be illegal. This is especially true if somebody in a position of authority over me, like a boss or manager, does this. Bringing your baby to work and asking if I like it is like asking a prostitute you hired if she thinks you’re hot. Technically, I am allowed to hurt your feelings and still be paid, but it still feels like a trap. You’re trapping yourself, and you’re trapping me. One of us will leave this conversation unhappy. I think that it should be universally acceptable to not want kids. People may say that it is selfish to not want kids or that it makes you an incomplete family, but I would argue that people who get married and have kids right away are more incomplete because they then have to live their entire lives for their kids. I hear so many older people talk about how they are looking forward to retirement so they can spend time with their significant other, travel, pick up a new hobby they’ve always wanted to try, or even get a part-time job just for fun. People who never have kids do not have to spend the entirety of their adult lives looking forward to finally relaxing.
People will still say, “Oh, well I know you, and one day a little baby will wrap its hand around your finger and you’ll have a change of heart.” First of all, if you think I’m going to let it grab my fingers then you don’t know me at all. They’ll just stick my hand in their mouth. I know better. And honestly, you should know better too—do you have any idea where my hands have been? Secondly, I do not think this way out of lack of exposure. I was a babysitter for several years. I suffered through hours of their annoying TV shows, cleaned up after them, and managed to answer every question they asked me. But overall, I would give the whole experience a 5/10. I like the energy of older kids around 8 or 9; I just don’t like that they’ll bluntly point out my flaws and that I have to let them win at games despite them single-handedly destroying my self worth. Just remember, do not ever have kids just because you feel like you should be having kids. Nobody should be made to feel bad for not liking or wanting kids because, after all, you can’t un-birth a child.