Can You Be Happy Without Kids?

As a world-famous blogger who hates his kid and once mentioned Bronies, I get A LOT of weird spam. Most of it regarding my penis.

Sometimes I actually get asked advice, and sometimes I get yelled at; sometimes I get praise, and sometimes an old teacher from high school reaches out to say hi. (Most of the time I get yelled at.)

Yesterday, I got an email that I initially thought was spam. I’m still not positive it’s not. Just in case, I’m responding to a reader who wants to know if she can be happy without kids.

Hi, there.

I hope you don’t mind me messaging you, but there is something I would like to ask someone who is married with a kid.

I made a decision at 20: I AM NOT GOING TO BE A MOTHER.

I want to be responsibility-free and have myself and my significant other to take care of.

But how can I do this? How can a marriage without kids survive? What is the glue that’s keeping them together? Won’t we be bored if we aren’t changing diapers or wiping vomit from the bathtub?

That’s the email, almost verbatim. What you don’t see above are the personal details that convinced me the email was a sincere message from a real person. I’ve excised those details, because once I decided to write about it, I didn’t want to violate the woman’s privacy by revealing private information about her life, location and upbringing. Those details, while largely superfluous (she had a crappy childhood and as a result she doesn’t want kids), made the email far too personal to be spam. Not that I don’t have a real, meaningful connection with some of Nigeria’s wealthiest deposed generals.

So it’s not spam, but it is a joke, right? It has to be a joke. How could it NOT be a joke, with questions like this:

How can a marriage without kids survive? What is the glue that’s keeping them together? Won’t we be bored if we aren’t changing diapers or wiping vomit from the bathtub?

What a couple of stumpers!

On the off-chance that’s it’s not a joke, I’m going to respond to this obviously insane woman – so insane she is scared to be kidless! – here and now. Rest assured that while what you’re about to read may sound harsh, I say it with love. But this woman asked the advice of a man who once compared having kids to being in prison, so hopefully she knows what she’s in for.

My response:

Are you out of your mind?!

How can a marriage without kids survive?

I’m reminded of The Simpsons episode wherein someone asked Ranier “McBain” Wolfcastle how he sleeps at night after starring in such cinematic dreck. His reply: “On top of a large pile of money with many beautiful ladies.” Obviously, it’s the spirit of the response I’m referencing and not the words, but I think you can survive a marriage without kids just fine. I wouldn’t even use the word “survive” if there aren’t kids involved. You “survive” wars. You enjoy life-long vacations.

Won’t we be bored [without children]?

Hmmm, I dunno. Do you get bored during NONSTOP SEX? Do you get bored ROLLING AROUND IN PILES OF MONEY? Do you get bored SLEEPING UNTIL NOON ON THE WEEKENDS? Do you get bored when you’re NOT COVERED IN URINE AND FECES? Do you get bored when someone ISN’T SCREAMING IN YOUR FACE ALL DAY LONG?

I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone who doesn’t even WANT kids worry about how boring their life might be without them. Your childfree life is one long bucket list, and those buckets are filled with all the money you’re not spending on diapers and education and healthcare and smoothie packets and a bunch of food he can actually eat in the morning that isn’t eggs because he’s allergic to eggs and toys you step on 800 times a day no matter how often you pick them up.

parenting, dad and buried, lowes, #dadtime, father's day, sponsored, funny, kids, two kids, ruins your life, humor, dad bloggers, mommy bloggers, dads, fatherhood, kidsHow can you be bored when you can do anything you want and go anywhere you want at all times? This is like whining about winning the lottery.

I don’t like to use the phrase “first world problems” because it’s stupid and condescending and even though I’m totally broke I’m scared to complain about it because I’m not “flies buzzing around my face” broke but still, let’s not diminish people’s real problems. Except this lady’s because holy moly is she inventing some issues right now!

Obviously I have a kid, and I love my kid, and I love having a kid. But take my kid… please! Just for an afternoon! I just want to go see Gravity before Clooney’s next breakup. I want to try to be happy without kids, just for a little while!

One last question to wrap things up:

What is the glue that’s keeping [childless couples] together?

Semen, probably. It’ll be everywhere.

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8 thoughts on “Can You Be Happy Without Kids?

  1. Thank you so much for your help, Dad and Buried! It’s so wonderful, I’m really happy that you wrote this article. I feel like I’m famous! 😀

    Please forgive me, I know my email sounded crazy. I just have this horrific fear in my head that won’t go away.

    I adore children more than life itself. I LOVE kids. In my community, I’m known as Miss Cupcake, the girl who makes cupcakes especially for the kids. I babysit, change diapers, the whole works.

    It’s just this terrible taboo if I ever dare say that I don’t want children of my own. AND I’M A WOMAN! GASP!!

    It’s even scared away some of those guys in my culture that are trying to get with me. The funny thing is that most of them do NOT want children, and they expect me to take care of them. They just want kids just to prove to the world that they are not sterile. Isn’t that awful?

    But I’ve learned something important from your advice: family is what you make of it. I think my future husband and I can still be a family regardless of whether or not we reproduce.

    Keep up the great work, Dad and Buried. Thanks so much! 🙂

  2. I adore my children. I do…but if ANYTHING has strained my marriage, it’s been the kids. Since the youngest got a job, our weekends are like heaven. And there is PLENTY to do

  3. I also get a lot of penis spam (about mine, not yours). Most of it regarding size enhancement which has left me with an small inferiority complex. But, I digress, reading this post couldn’t have happened at a better time. And by “better”, I mean at 6:32 this morning. At 6:32, for no foreseeable reason, my son woke me up. No, he wasn’t tired. No, he couldn’t possibly sleep for a while longer. So, yes, I agree with you that a marriage can survive without children. Especially at 6:32 on A Sunday morning!

  4. Dear Subject of this Article, honestly, I thought you were joking too. Or at least that you were being ironic.

    In many ways, I think people with children and people without children don’t get each other. Sure, you can get sympathy from parents here for your choice, but then you go to the real world and you feel like every other person is talking to you about biological clocks, pretending these conversations are for your own good. On the other hand, I saw a Facebook update from a new mom today, complaining that her non-parents friends have not called since she’s had a baby.

    I don’t know what to say, other than do whatever it is you feel like doing, and if another person makes you feel guilty or scared about your choices, punch him or her in the face. It’s your life, not theirs.

    1. Thank you so much. It makes me feel so happy inside knowing that there are people who won’t call me weird or stupid or selfish.

      You don’t know what I’ve been through in my community with these aunties shoving kids down my throat. I’m not even married!

      I’m a graduate student getting my MA (and then PhD). I want to educate people. I want to inspire and write books. I also have a Cinderella keychain, so it’s kind of obvious: I dream of finding my Prince Charming. I was the dorky girl that was abused and bullied by the blonde-haired popular cheerleaders, and none of the boys noticed me. I was always treated with disrespect by men, so it would be nice to meet and be with someone who will treat me with love and kindness.

      I just worry because people often say that kids keep a man and woman together, which isn’t always true. But isn’t it true that they say, “Two is the second loneliest number after the number one”? What would my husband and I talk about? How would we occupy our time? 🙁

      I can’t sleep at night because of this. Mind you, I have serious PTSD and General Anxiety DIsorder as a result of my childhood, so I stay up at night pondering and pondering. I just wonder if I’ll be pressured into having a life, and a baby, that I don’t want.

  5. My husband and I have an awesome, solid marriage. Due to stress and sleep deprivation, we fought more in the first year of my daughter’s life than in all the seven years we had been together before she was born, combined.
    Having a kid is a huge life change and even positive life changes create stress. Adding a baby will test your marriage, not make your relationship easier.

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