Today's question is:
"Do you want to be a parent, why or why not?"
And the answer is "absolutely not ever."
There have only been a few instances in my life that I've ever flirted with the idea of having children. one of them was for a week when I was a caretaker for this absolutely adorable child at a summer camp. I don't remember the rest of them, actually. The rest of my life I've been either somewhat ambivalent or rampantly against it, but I didn't want to say anything because my relatives would be upset.
It's well-known, now. And they are upset. And it's really frustrating.
My father wanted me to freeze my eggs, which is an expensive endeavor for something I don't actually want. My aunt recently started making comments about me becoming a father, and when I protested she insisted she meant adopting, which I equally do not want. My grandma, not to be outdone, decided to say I "needed" to have "at least one" biological child.
My co-workers--people who don't even really fucking know me--have also made comments. One woman, when I said I didn't want kids, said "You're young, you have time to change your mind." This was a woman who was actively trying to have kids at 23... she is five years younger than me. All I could think was "Yeah, I do have time to change my mind. You won't." Many of them have brought up things like the ever-so-heterosexist-as-well-as-presumptive "You'll never find a woman who will go for that!" And when I say that I've been sterilized--and I frame it as a personal choice--they start telling me how sorry they are for my loss. It's ridiculous and disgusting.
But that doesn't answer why I don't want kids. And there are lots of reasons for that.
First and foremost? I don't get anything out of kids. I like kids. Don't get me wrong. I find rampantly-anti-child childfree people to be disgusting and annoying. I worked with kids for many years. I enjoy being an uncle. But long-term exposure is deleterious to my health. I just don't get anything out of constant contact with kids to rationalize the way they make me feel long-term. Even now, my niece has been staying at my house a lot because it's summer and she's out of school... I love her to death, but it gets really annoying having to listen to her constant Minecraft bullshit (she loves trying to get people to listen to insufferable YouTube videos featuring crappy Minecraft parodies) or having her come knocking on my door to ask about petty things.
I don't have the patience for things to get broken on me all the time. I know that when I was a child I broke a lot of my parents' things, and as I grew older my cousins broke a lot of my things, and these are memories that haunt me. My brother has wound up with practically every expensive thing he owns smashed by his step-daughter. I know I can't handle that sort of thing gracefully.
And that's actually a part of a more pressing issue... I have a very strict idea of how kids should be raised. I believe kids deserve respect and autonomy. I remember things like the one time I was ever spanked, knowing it was because my dad was frustrated and not because we deserved it or wouldn't have stopped misbehaving if he'd just asked us, having him gloat about it even as we are adults as if this was a central part of our character, and I think "Would I wind up so frustrated--knowing already that kids are frustrating for me anyway--that I'd turn my back on my principles?" People keep telling me "you'd be one of the good ones, though!" That might be true, but it also might not be true. And it might help if I overall wanted kids, but I simply don't.
There are lots of others, but those are the main ones.