Why I Don't Want Kids

elysseBy Elysse Andrews

[dropcap background="no" color="#333333"]M[/dropcap]y name is Elysse and I don’t think I want kids. At twenty years old, people keep telling me that I’ll change my mind, or that, “of course I don’t want kids, right NOW”, but their words do nothing. As someone who’s struggled with anxiety and depression that stemmed out of an eating disorder, all of which genetically run in my family, the decision to have children isn’t simply based on whether I would love and care for them. I could, it’s more.[divider type="dotted" spacing="10"]

[dropcap background="no" color="#333333"]I[/dropcap] love and care for other people’s children almost every weekend. I’ve had more spit up on me over the span of my childcare career than do some new mothers, and wiped more butts than you can count, all without loving those children any less. The childcare field isn’t glamourous, I’ve had a child sneeze in my mouth, but I love working with kids all the same.

It’s not that I couldn’t be a mom, I’d be an awesome mom! I have almost 15 years of practice part-time parenting, I just don’t want to bring someone into the world, who has a 50% chance of ending up just like me. When you have suffered through mental pain, the last thing you want is for anyone to go through that, but when eating disorders, anxiety, and depression are all genetic, having your potential child go through that is a very real threat. You can take all the preventative measures you want, read the books, know the signs, and still miss it, letting your children suffer silently. My mother did all the right things and I still got sick, for me, it was inevitable.[divider type="dotted" spacing="10"]

[dropcap background="no" color="#333333"]M[/dropcap]ental illness shouldn’t have to be inevitable and while there is nothing wrong with it, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, especially someone who is my whole world. As a human development and family studies major, I study genetic pre-disposition vs environment, and it's just not a risk I’m willing to take on another human's happiness.

At 20 years and 10 months old, I’m choosing to not want kids. It is true that I might change my mind in the future, it is entirely possible, but the circumstances under which that would happen would have to be perfect, because that's just not a risk I’m willing to take when it comes to another human's happiness.[divider type="short" spacing="10"]