I don’t have kids, don’t particularly want kids (though I reserve the right to change my mind at any point because I’m not very comfortable with absolutes; I do know that if I acquire a kid, it won’t be me getting pregnant because that squicks me too much), but I bristle at the term “child-free”.
If you’ve never heard of the term, here’s my version of the definition: child-free people don’t want kids, don’t like kids, don’t like YOUR kids, and basically don’t think anyone should have kids, and if they do, they shouldn’t inflict their children on the general public until they are no longer children.
As much as I can’t stand parents who think their children are special little unicorns that would be ruined by discipline and here is 100 pictures a day to prove that and shouldn’t you be having kids because your life has no meaning if you don’t, these child-free people are just as bad.
Bitching incessantly about other people’s children, using quaint terms like “breeder” and “crotch dropping” to refer to every parent and child (I only use “crotch dropping” for special occasions to refer to either adult or child because, seriously, that is a pretty great insult), somehow thinking that the human race could continue to exist without reproduction. I get that people don’t like kids, but seriously, they need to pull it back a tick. The kid-hate/parent-hate is just a bit much. I’m not particularly fond of teenagers, but the mere sight of them doesn’t turn me into a raving, venom-spewing asshole. Most of the time.
I believe that there’s a huge distinction between child-free people and people without kids. First of all, not all people without kids are child-free. Some of them can’t have kids, but would like to and for whatever reason haven’t acquired any yet. Some people without kids are undecided about having kids. Or waiting to have kids.
And some people that don’t have kids and don’t want any kids aren’t child-free. They’re like me. They like kids, they just don’t necessarily want any. They get annoyed with other people’s kids, but they don’t want to lock them in a room away from society until they’ve come of age and are magically not annoying anymore. Judging by the child-free people I’ve encountered alone, annoying is not a trait you just grow out of at the age of 18 or 21.
And some people that don’t have kids and don’t want kids don’t think other people that do have kids are stupid breeders. Many people want kids. And that’s totally cool. Most of my friends are parents and they’re pretty good parents. Some of them even enjoy being parents, which is awesome. I don’t believe I’ve ever had the urge to tell someone that they’re dumb for having kids.
Do I sometimes gloat a little because I don’t have any impossible extra-curricular activity schedules to manage and I get to sleep in sometimes? Sure. I consider it a fair trade for all of the potty training updates I have to endure. But it’s not with malice. It’s all done in good fun. Because I know that those parents love their kids as much as I like not having any.
So please don’t call me child-free or think that I’m child-free. I’m not. I ain’t that kind of asshole.
I just don’t have, or want, any kids.