08 December 2013

The Award for Most Selfish Article of the Year Goes To...

Yes. I believe I have found the most selfish article ever written.

Over at Buzzfeed, you can find 28 Reasons You're Better Off Never Having Kids.

I am finding it a little hard to believe I just wrote that sentence.

So the list counts up a wonderful set of twenty-eight reasons not having kids makes your life awesome. The first reason? "Your sleeping schedule won't revolve around when another tiny human feels sleepy." Okay, I'll be one of the first to admit my love of sleep. I don't always sleep as much as I should, so given the opportunity, more sleep would be fantastic. But read that sentence again. Your sleep schedule won't revolve around "another tiny human"'s feelings. I mean, how dare that tiny human feel sleepy, right? Doesn't he know I haven't had my beauty rest yet? How selfish of this week-old person!

With the second reason, we are brought much comfort in knowing that not having kids means we can sleep "without worrying a child is burning down the house." Because that kind of thing can't be prevented by shared naps, baby-proofing or good parenting.

The list continues on with reasons inconsequential ("I can't swear around those little jabberjays!") and exaggerated ("Your body basically explodes when you give birth," something I'm sure author Adam Ellis has to worry about). Other objections are completely avoidable ("What if I raise a monster?") or null ("I can't have a glass of wine at night!" What, is your toddler going to tell on you to the alcohol police?).

If you have kids, you can't have an ugly house like this.
Because it's the kid's fault he gouges himself with your pointy shelves.

The entire article is composed of typical materialistic objections. There will be less time for myself. I'll have to give up my hobbies. Children cost $241,080 to raise. Whoa, let's stop for a second. $241,080 to raise a child? How much crack is that author smoking? Not much, we'd admit, if we subscribe to spending thousands of dollars on clothing in the first years, spending $800 a month on groceries for a four-person family, purchasing the latest technological gadgets, giving each child a too-large room of their own, focusing on gifts and parties more than birthdays and holidays, buckling under the convincing "But everyone else has one!".... Not much, we'd admit, if we show love to our children by our purchases and by never saying "no."

What is it that makes it so acceptable to hate on the infants of the world? Agreeing with an article like this (which does occur, as a skim of the comments of the article unfortunately tells) is basically like saying, "Hey, thanks, Mom and Dad, for raising me and everything, but you would have been better off never having had to take care of me." Talk about ungrateful. This same attitude makes it easy for us to promote extreme pro-choice stances. It is better, this article and those stances say, for this nuisance of a child never to have existed to bother me so. After all, all that matters is my comfort, my possessions, my wealth and my "individuality as a person." That stuff is all eaten up when you bear children. You couldn't possibly gain anything from parenthood like love, hope, strength, cleverness, craftiness, thriftiness, a better sense of humor, deep human connections, selflessness or a brighter outlook on the world.... You couldn't possibly gain by learning to love someone else more than you love yourself.

And that's it right there: the reason we're better off not having kids is because then we won't be the center of our own universe anymore. For some reason, that frightens people more than anything else.


  1. "the reason we're better off not having kids is because then we won't be the center of our own universe anymore" -This hit the nail on the head. Thank you (and who in their right mind would want a house as hideous as that one?).

    1. I know! It just looks uncomfortable, doesn't it? But it's sooooo stylish... ;)

  2. I think it does frighten people. Sometimes it frightens me! This reminded me of an article I read: http://catholicexchange.com/love-never-ends-2 . She said, " I pictured their neediness literally tearing my flesh apart, exposing the selfishness, the pride, the inability to love … and I was glad... They’re my living, breathing invitations to love like Him." The room picture reminded me of this: http://suburbanturmoil.com/warped-childhood-restoration-hardware-style/2012/12/03/ You might get a kick out of it. :)

    1. Hi, Esther! I actually have seen that link with children's rooms. While a lot of it is over the top, I do like some details of the rooms (color schemes, fairy lights, travel-inspired clocks). The rooms' general expense and lack of function is a big problem though.

      The concept of children is a little frightening, but I think it's a good kind of scared. It's thrilling and probably a lot more humbling than people are comfortable anticipating. What a great quotation from that article. :)