The Unexpected Consequences of Refusing To Have Kids

As more and more people opt out of parenthood, they must consider the downsides of remaining child-free. 

Here are some of the worst things about not having kids. 

Lonely in Old Age

Senior woman sits alone in a room staring out the window.
Photo Credit: Jacob Lund via

Children often provide companionship in old age. Older child-free people say they didn’t realize how lonely they’d be. 

However, having kids is no guarantee that you’ll stave off loneliness. Listen to Cats in the Cradle for clear evidence that you can be just as lonely as a parent. 

No Excuse

Confused office worker sitting behind a desk holding her hands up.
Photo Credit: ViDI Studio via

Kids offer a great excuse to ditch work. I can’t stay late, I have to pick up the kids! I can’t work the weekend; the kid has a recital!

Parents often leave child-free folks holding the bag. 

Free Labor

Young girl mixing batter in the kitchen by herself.
Photo Credit: Yulia Starostina via

Once the kids are old enough, they can start helping around the house. Children can and should do household chores commiserate with their age to learn responsibility. People without kids always have to do all the work themselves. 

Or, they could pay someone else to do it with all the money they saved not having kids. 

Social Isolation

A man stands all alone in a barren landscape.
Photo Credit: Jorm Sangsorn via

When everyone around you starts having kids, their worlds revolve around them. Those without often get left out of birthday invites and other kid-centric events. 

Holidays Lose Magic

A few Christmas presents scattered on the floor under a tree.
Photo Credit: Pixel-Shot via

Children bring a magical innocence to the holiday season. Adults get to recreate that by making magical moments for their own children, but holidays often lose their magic for those without children. 

Epic Adventure

Happy mom lifting her infant in a field.
Photo Credit: Evgeny Atamanenko via

Some people call having kids an epic adventure. It’s filled with immeasurable highs, unimaginable lows, and loads of boring in between. 

People without kids miss this particular adventure, but that doesn’t mean they can’t pursue other adventures. 

That Warm Loving Feeling

Three moms sitting on a couch holding their babies.
Photo Credit: Jacob Lund via

There’s a unique feeling of pride and accomplishment that comes with parenting. Parents realize they made the right choice on those cold winter nights when the little ones cuddle in your lap, sharing their hopes and dreams. 

People without children can recreate the feeling by becoming a beloved aunt or working with kids, but it will never be exactly the same. 

No Help as You Age

Two women standing next to each other wearing white shirts on a pink background. One has grey hair, representing a mother, and the other has dark hair, representng a daughter.
Photo Credit: Roman Samborskyi via

Though many elderly parents still end up in nursing homes, the child-free will have no other options. Many people care for their ailing parents by driving them to appointments, buying groceries, and tending to other needs. This crucial assistance can keep them independent for longer. 

People without kids won’t have that continued support. 

Watching Someone Grow

mom and daughter wearing matching heart shaped sunglasses and little crowns.
Photo Credit: Nicoleta Ionescu via

Many parents say the greatest joy of parenthood is watching children grow into the people they will become. Knowing you guided this growth provides an immense sense of fulfillment. 


Someone filming a young child with their phone.
Photo Credit: – Yuri A via

People who have kids can experience the absurd and hilarious sense of humor youth brings. Kids lack social awareness and a complete understanding of the world, so they provide their parents with endless entertainment. 

An Outcast

A woman sits alone amidst a vast emptiness.
Photo Credit: Cristina Conti via

Having kids is the norm. Therefore, people eye those without kids suspiciously, sometimes going so far as to think there is something wrong with child-free folks. 

Thankfully, that stigma is lifting as a child-free lifestyle gains wider acceptance. 

Tax Benefits

Block letters "t" "a" and "x" standing atop small piles of coins that get progressively bigger to spell out "tax."
Photo Credit: enciktepstudio via

Kids are expensive, but the special tax breaks parents get can make up for it. People without kids don’t get nearly as many deductions. 

Elder Care

A middle aged woman walks with and comforts her wheelchair bound father.
Photo Credit: Lucky Business via

If your siblings have children, and you don’t, guess who will ultimately care for your parents? Those without kids are often default caretakers of elders, as their siblings assume they have fewer responsibilities. 

End of the Line

Pretty young woman shrugging like she doesn't know.
Photo Credit: via

Most species on Earth have one core function: to reproduce, allowing their genetics to live on. Opting out of parenthood is also opting yourself out of the gene pool for future generations. 

Reasons Not To Have Kids

Woman crossing her arms in a refusal gesture.
Photo Credit: Roman Samborskyi via

Despite all the pressure to procreate, it’s perfectly valid not to want kids. Millennials and younger generations are opting out of parenthood at record rates. 

Here are their top reasons for not wanting kids

Author: Melanie Allen

Title: Journalist

Expertise: Pursuing Your Passions, Travel, Wellness, Hobbies, Finance, Gaming, Happiness

Melanie Allen is an American journalist and happiness expert. She has bylines on MSN, the AP News Wire, Wealth of Geeks, Media Decision, and numerous media outlets across the nation and is a certified happiness life coach. She covers a wide range of topics centered around self-actualization and the quest for a fulfilling life.