Please Stop Referring To Having Kids As “Starting a Family”

I haven’t blogged in awhile. After the crazy busy year that was 2019, I needed a break. I’ve just been laying low out here in the beautiful country enjoying my life and my family, and it’s been wonderful.

Family is actually what brings me back to blogging today; more specifically, perceptions of family. As I’ve written about before, my husband and I have decided to be childfree. I already hear the gasps and questions; I’m used to it. Without going into private stuff, I have several good reasons to never want to be pregnant. I also like sleeping in and being able to afford nice things sometimes. I don’t think diaper blowouts are cute. Medical bills are fucking expensive and I avoid them like the plague they are. I just wasn’t cut out for that life. At 36, I know what I want out of life and human babies aren’t on the list. Sorry, not sorry.

I have a family. You read that correctly. I have a wonderful husband and two rescue pups, and together we are a family. That’s why it annoys me when people refer to having a kid as “starting a family” or, worse, ask when I’m going to “start a family.” Wait, what? I already have a family; no kids required. My family is just as legitimate as yours. Please stop belittling childfree people by implying that family belongs exclusively to parents of humans and doesn’t exist for us. If you really mean having a baby, why not just say that? Even the US Census Bureau agrees, as they define a family as “a group of two people or more related by birth, marriage, or adoption and residing together; all such people are considered members of one family.”

I don’t hate kids, in case it’s necessary for me to spell that out (go on now, put the torches down). I love being an aunt and the projects I work on professionally are dedicated to improving early childhood education. It’s very interesting for me from a research standpoint, and I’m glad I can contribute to the next generation without using my uterus. It takes all kinds to make up a world. I love and respect you and your family; can I please have the same respect?

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