I’d Rather Have New Shoes Than Kids

It all started with my friend cracking a joke about my shopping addiction. “You’d rather have new shoes than children,” she said. Then she caught my eyes that were reflecting exactly the same thought and added (not laughing) “I can’t believe you’d rather have new shoes than kids.”

You’ve read the title of this post correctly. Your mind is probably racing from shock to horror to disbelief and then to anger. Feel free to throw stones at me because I know some of you will want to do it. But before you pick that stone up and throw it at my face, answer the following questions to yourself:

– Are you ready for your life when you kids move out and move on without you?

– Are you worried if you will ever be able to afford that college you want your offspring to go to?

– Are you suppressing the urge to punish your bundle of joy who refuses to go to bed at 2:00 am and wakes you up at 4:30 am?

– Would you like to be able to sleep in on the weekends?

– Would you like to go on vacations to places you always dreamt of and not think what your kids are going to do?

If you honestly answered all of the above with “no,” then I am happy for you and your kids.

Some of you might feel sorry for me because I never wanted to have kids. Some of you are reading this post with a condescending look on your face, thinking that I am a total failure as a woman. A handicap. You are probably thinking how I can be a real woman if I never gave birth. Honestly, I don’t give a shit what you think. So spare me the self-righteousness. Spare me that sense of entitlement and selflessness.

I don’t know what it feels like to want to have children. I do, however, know how it feels to make plans and not worry if my plans include children’s activities. I do know how it feels to know that my days off can be slept away. Or read away. Or shopped away. I know the feeling of being disorganized and not worrying about it. I know that I can stay late at work and not feel guilty.

Over time I learned that it is quite difficult to explain why I’d rather have new shoes than kids to women who are mothers. I don’t want to offend them by saying the truth that I simply don’t like children. I do not want to anger them by admitting that I do not consider babies a miracle. Just the same way I don’t think puppies, plants or birds are a miracle.

My child-free image and state of mind does not correlate well with parents. Sometimes I think that they are either jealous of my uninterrupted hours of sleep (so bold of me, isn’t it?) or they see me as a repudiation of their own life choices.

Sometimes I feel tired of explaining that I decided to forgo my chance of being a parent because I did not want to lead a life filled with strollers, diaper bags, poop, pee, vomit, breast pumps, sleep deprivation, and the contemptuous looks from strangers like me, who wonder why you thought it was a great idea to bring your bundle of joy on a cruise or to a French restaurant.

I don’t hate children. I just feel a lot better when they are not around, and I like adults a little bit more.

I chose not to relinquish my freedom of professional mobility, freedom to go to any place in the world, freedom to choose to do what I feel like doing and, of course the freedom of sleeping in.

So, yes, you are right, my dear friend, I’d rather have a new pair of shoes than kids.

29 thoughts on “I’d Rather Have New Shoes Than Kids”

  1. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with not wanting children. I don’t want kids for around 6-7 more years and most people think I’m insane for wanting to wait until I’m 30.

  2. Aloysa….interesting topic. I’m not by any means particularly maternal. I love my independence and a good night’s sleep!! It’s quite a surprise to me how I ended up with three children(!!?) None of them were planned. One of them is disabled. The other two are wilful but they are all unique. I don’t suggest that all women should be mothers and if I’d been asked to choose motherhood I wouldn’t have. My own mother had a very tough life with four of us and my father wasn’t supportive. I am divorced and my financial situation is not the best (though I’m not sure that the best can ever be achieved!!).Having said all that, I think parenthood is a beautiful choice and a wonderful accident to happen – to anyone. I respect anyone’s life choices but, for me, there’d be a huge void if I was childless. My heart and soul cannot be filled with shoes, travel or even a healthy bank balance. Parenting is strange and special, full of challenges and rewards and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

  3. Mrs PoP @plantingourpennies

    My standard response when people make most inquisitions about kids is, “we both have 2 seater cars and hope to keep them for quite some time”. It usually takes people long enough to process it that it’s awkward to continue the conversation, or if they do it gives the impression that we are postponing the decision, rather than shutting the door completely. Which, I guess is what we are doing… More power to you for having your mind 100% made up! And I hope they’re juice shoes since I beat kids can be pretty expensive themselves. =)

  4. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with deciding not to have kids. I have never been a baby person and I don’t tend to like children overall. If I hadn’t had a birth control mishap that resulted in my pregnancy with my son, I wouldn’t have any (notice that I stopped at one!). Is that awful to say? Maybe, but it’s just the truth.

    I would much rather someone examine their lifestyle and decide to maintain it than have kids that they don’t want and ignore/mistreat them. (Not saying you would do that; I’m just speaking in general.) Becoming a parent changes EVERYTHING – not just for 18 years but forever. And if you are happy with your life the way it is, I see no reason why you should feel pressured to do things differently.

    Shoes don’t talk back or throw up on you or need money every 30 seconds. Shoes don’t go off to college. Shoes don’t result in heartache for you when someone makes fun of them or treats them badly. BUY THE SHOES! 🙂

  5. I don’t think there is anything wrong with not wanting to have kids. Kids are work. I don’t have them myself, but I am almost a decade older than my brother and have babysat A LOT.

    Like you, I like my life. I like sleeping on the weekend, eating whenever I want, not having to go anywhere if I don’t want to. Once you have kids, that life goes away. Your life revolves around your kids.

    A lot of people say motherhood is a miracle,,,not trying to offend anyone. But maybe they say that because they don’t know any different? Who knows…maybe I will be the one saying that in 15 years, but right now I wonder what kind of miracle it is…

    I mean if your kid is going to end up growing up and curing cancer or diabetes, then it is a miracle. But otherwise it makes me wonder what kind of miracle it is. After all, who would ground their miracle kid, or tell them they are little monsters during their teenage years? Parents get grumpy because they get tired and then they hurt their kids’ feelings. That’s no way to treat a miracle!

  6. I completely respect your decision. Having children is a long term job and only people who are prepared should have a child. The population is still growing overall and the earth is getting overloaded. I applaud you decision to not reproduce. 🙂

  7. We don’t have any children either and are always on the fence about it. There’s nothing wrong with not having kids as it’s a personal decision. Some of my mates tell me they are jealous of me because I can sleep in and pretty much do what we want, when we want. I don’t know what it’s like to be a parent so I couldn’t compare like they can as they too once had no kids. All I know is that if we are blessed then it’s a beautiful thing and if not, life goes on. Cheers Mr.CBB

  8. I don’t judge because I have been judge for being a young parent so I don’t judge women based off I whether or not they have children. So long as they are content with their lives and who they are the rest should not matter. Stay true to who you are the rest will follow 🙂

  9. Haha when I saw the title for this post I was like “Me too!” Sure I want kids one day, but I would much rather have a new pair of shoes than deal with a screaming baby and not be able to sleep in on weekends now.

  10. Good for you for knowing that. I think there are a lot of people who just have kids because it is what you’re supposed to do and it makes them miserable. We’ll have to make that assessment in a few years but I think we’re going to have at least one… time shall tell.

  11. I’m just going to come out and say that this post fucking rocks my socks off. I’m still on the fence about kids, but for right now…you are echoing my thoughts and sentiments. I wish everyone who had a child could answer the questions on your list. There would be a lot more good parents and well adjusted kids walking around.

    “I don’t hate children. I just feel a lot better when they are not around, and I like adults a little bit more.”

  12. I LOVE this post! All of these points are my thoughts exactly. It’s ok if you want to have kids, but don’t tell me condescendingly that I’m going to change my mind or that I’m selfish for not procreating. I think sometimes my bosses take it for granted that I’m childfree: no sick days because of kids, no running off to pick them up, no maternity leave, etc etc.

    I’m going to go out on payday and buy a Marc Jacobs purse and have a damn good time doing it! Maybe a new pair of shoes, now that I’ve read this post!

    1. I am surprised myself. Even Beaker warned me that this post might ignite some strong feelings. I guess you never know, right? 🙂

  13. Well, I was ALMOST ready to type a strong opinion against what you’re saying. I’m a Dad of two, and absolutely love my kids more than anything. So, quite naturally, my viewpoint is very different and I don’t know what it’s like to see it the way you do.

    HOWEVER, after thinking about it, I now have to applaud you for your honesty. You know, there are different ways of looking at things, and I can accept that. It really is best for people who aren’t into kids to just not have them. For that, you seem to be realistic about your interests. You’re living your life the way you want to, and nobody should project their own feelings on things onto you, and expect you to follow suit. Good for you that you’re honest and straightforward with yourself (and others here) about it.

  14. You wrote pretty much everything I’ve been feeling in regards to kids, but have been too chicken sh*t to write about. I do not have the maternal instinct. I feel I would be that awful mom who constantly throws her kids in daycare, so I do not want to make a life changing decision because that is supposedly the next step in my life or because I’m of a certain age.

  15. I don’t want people like you to have kids, and I don’t want society to keep pushing people to have kids just because you’re less of an adult/woman/grown up if you don’t!

    There’s no reason in overpopulating the planet (further) just because it’s what we’re “supposed” to do. Just do your own thing and let everyone else do theirs.

    That said, I’m not going to avoid taking my future baby on an airplane just because other people don’t “like” kids. Sorry I’m not sorry.

  16. I love you.

    That’s not a come on… I’m happily married (most of the time).

    And I don’t agree with you (most of the time) as we have 2 active little boys. I would be flat out lying if I said I didn’t miss sleeping in occasionally… or being spontaneous… All in, its worth it (most of the time)…

    I just love the fact that you are so honest with yourself and the world… Tell anyone who purports to sit in judgement of you and YOUR decision(s) to kick rocks…

  17. As someone who is looking to adopt and has to see what so many kids in foster care have been through, I personally think the world would be a lot better of a place for kids if everyone who didn’t want to have them felt secure enough to admit that and confident enough to live their life without giving in to societal pressure.
    I want to be a mom. Is life once we have a kid going to be perfect? Of course not. There will be times when I want to throw a shoe at the kid and tell them to go back to sleep. Of course, there are times when I want throw a shoe at the dogs and tell them to go back to sleep. I don’t. I get up and deal with their needs, because I can’t imagine my life without my dogs in it. In the same way, as much as I love our life, I can’t actually imagine NOT being a mom. So there we go.
    But for those who have a hard time imagining being a parent, or at least, imagining a life where they like being a parent, then I say more power to them (and you) for admitting it and not having kids.

  18. Aloysa, I know you were worried about possibly offending people with this post, but I think you missed! I’ve got 3 kids, love being a mom, and am refreshed by your perspective. See, I think people that don’t like kids…need to STOP having them! Jeff and I love being parents. We take it seriously. There seems to be way too many people that have kids just because they think they’re supposed to. I don’t get it at all.

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  22. I feel you! I agree so much! Pass the shoes & anime because the crying, whining & temper tantrums well into adulthood is beyond sanity in my book.
    Oh look I have money for margaritas by the pool in San Marcos you can have your drool & $200,000 college tuition.

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