Category Archives: Careers
There are some people in this life who are absolutely destined for failure from the time they are born. One would be hard-pressed to argue against this absolute fact. There are people born with disabilities too great to overcome (deaf/blind, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, autism, among other things). Some people with no disabilities at all will, through circumstance and no fault of their own, never be given the tools to be successful in life. These people are absolutely destined through failure through no fault of their own.
In that light, the question arises: why take the risk? Why take the risk of bringing a child into this world who is destined for failure? There is a much greater chance that your child will be destined for failure than your child being destined for greatness. By “greatness” I mean how people love to think their kid is going to cure cancer, be CEO of a Fortune 500 company, among other things. I don’t mean “successful” as in run-of-the-mill successful, although being “run-of-the-mill” successful still probably isn’t that satisfying of a life.
But let’s even take “run-of-the-mill” successful which most people still aren’t. Maybe that’s the “norm” in the first world (which I doubt due to the media masking the misfortunes of most of the population even in first world countries), but not in most places. The reality is the vast majority of people live in third-world nations. These people are absolutely destined for failure and it would be almost impossible to argue otherwise.
Is it really worth that big of a gamble? Each time one brings a child into this world, it is a gamble and a big one at that. Though it isn’t one’s own money or one’s own life he/she is gambling with. It is another’s life. The parents aren’t the ones directly affected by the risk. It is the child who is directly affected, and that’s what makes it even more seemingly unethical to have children. Once again we see that parents don’t have children for their children’s sake, but purely for their own.
Once again, antinatalism reigns supreme and this is yet another absolute and incontestable refutation of pronatalism.
You know, I’ve been thinking awhile about the discrimination childfree people face in the workplace: everything from having to take up the slack for the new mothers who have to go on maternity leave for (and getting no additional pay for it, I might add) to people who are lured into a job thinking it’s a permanent position only to be let go when the new mother goes back to work. I’ve also heard of cases where childfree people are denied jobs altogether because employers see being married with children as a sign of “integrity” or “good moral character” or whatever. Whatever the case, most of the time childfree people get shafted in the workplace, and it’s disgusting.
And that got me to thinking some, and I’ve come to the conclusion I would much rather hire only childfree people. Childfree people are more dependable. They won’t be taking maternity/paternity leave for any reason, they take fewer sick days, and they have no reason other than “I don’t want to” to complain about having to put in some additional hours.
I wonder how parents would react to a job ad that says “parents need not apply.” Quite frankly, there would be no law against it. Parenthood is not a “protected class” in any country that I know of. As long as you can prove that such a hiring policy affects men and women equally, it is acceptable in the eyes of the law to have such a stipulation. In my case, if I were an employer looking to hire people, it would affect men and women in the same way, so I could get away with it and I would do so and not think twice about it.
The goal of a business owner is to turn a profit. Hiring employees who will increase profit is thus the proper strategy, and childfree employees are the ones who are more profitable to a company. Thus I think childfree people should get preferential treatment. Hey, many businesses already give preferential treatment to parents, it’s time we evened the score a little bit. 😉
So I was over in ICQ chatting in the 20-something chatroom there (big mistake number one, but I was bored) and I got to talking to this one girl in private chat who seemed pretty cool. We were telling each other about ourselves and whatever, and then I brought up that I was childfree and she seemed shocked. Breeder bingoed me a couple of times, then asked a question I’ve never heard a parent or wannabe parent ask: “Don’t you want to live vicariously through your children?”
Of course, this got me thinking. Are there in fact people who have children just so they can live vicariously through them? You know, those mothers who want toddler beauty pageant queens or those dads who want star peewee football players, all because they weren’t pretty enough to be an adult beauty queen or an NFL superstar?
That’s when I realized that yes, there are parents like there out there, and that I know parents like that! I can’t tell you how many dads I’ve seen force their sons to play the sports they (the dad) likes, not necessarily what the kid is interested in. Same thing with mothers coercing daughters into being beauty queens. Oh, and never mind you got knocked up and weren’t able to go to law school like you hoped to, you can just groom your kid up to be the next big-shot lawyer and do whatever you can to convince him/her that law is the career to go into.
Now, you’ve heard me go on and on about the many selfish reasons parents reproduce, but chalk up another one! I’m sorry you weren’t athletic enough to live your sports dreams, or smart enough to get accepted into medical school. That doesn’t give you any right to force your children to do what you wanted to do.
Going back to the question I was posed for a minute. “Don’t you want to live vicariously through your children?” Well, I don’t have to! You know why? I’m living vicariously through my own eyes! I have an awesome job, a bunch of awesome hobbies, and I get out there and do stuff. I may not be a male model or a professional athlete, but I don’t have to be nor have I ever wanted to be. My life right now is pretty much how I always envisioned it. I can guarantee you this would not be the case if I had chosen the “traditional” route of having kids.
I have to admit, I feel kinda sorry for the parents who think they need to live vicariously through their kids. It just tells me they’re unsatisfied with the way their life panned out. On the other hand, I really don’t feel sorry for them all at the same time, because most of them are not doing anything to better their lives. Whatever the case, it’s wrong to push your kids to do stuff they might not necessarily enjoy just because you enjoy it.
I get asked this question all the time. I think it’s a perfectly legitimate question. So, here’s a list of reasons I don’t want children, and quite frankly the list seems to be getting longer by the day (as if it wasn’t long enough already).
1) Children are expensive. Raising one child from birth to age 18 costs over a quarter of a million dollars US (Source). By the time you add college on top of that, the cost goes up to over $300,000! So an average household that has three kids can expect to spend almost $1 million raising their little “bundles of joy.” I don’t know about you, but I can think of a whole lot better things to do with $1 million than raising children!
2) Children are annoying as fuck. Whining, crying, temper tantrums, nasally, high-pitched voices, can’t leave you alone when you want to be left alone. Who in their right mind wants to put up with that?
3) I’d rather spend time on my hobbies. Ten-pin bowling, disc golf, guitar playing, piping, dancing, distance running. Having a kid would get in the way of all of these and effectively and dramatically reduce the amount of time I could spend on these. I’m not complete without all my hobbies, and that’s all there is to it.
4) I want to travel the world. I’d love to visit the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, go ring peals in England, play pipes in the Edinburgh tattoo, connect with my Japanese ancestry, among a number of other places worldwide. That might even mean relocating on a dime to each of these places for awhile. It’s much easier to do this when you don’t have a kid.
5) My career is pretty much my life. As an ATP with over 3,000 hours flight experience and counting, it’s what I love to do. I do want to work for myself one day as an independent contractor, which of course is a very demanding task. Again, having a child would get in the way of this.
6) Fur babies make better companions. A lot of us childfree folk jokingly say “sure, we have parental instincts as long as you have four legs and a tail.” I’m not different. My dogs and cats (and even my snake, I should say) never rebel against me. Their affection is unconditional. They’ll never hate me, throw a tantrum, or anything of the like. You can’t find that kind of loyalty in a human child.
7) Having children is a more selfish choice than not. Think about it. Did YOU ask to be born? Did your parents consult you before bringing you into this world? Of course not! They made that choice for you because they wanted a miniature them running around the house for their own entertainment. Whether you want to accept the fact or not, that’s exactly why you want kids, too. If that’s not selfish, I don’t know what is.
8) Having children is ethically questionable. Bringing a life into this world invariably causes that life to suffer, as all living beings suffer at some point in their lives. Causing another living being to suffer is unethical. Hence it could be argued very strongly that having children is unethical.
9) I don’t have the right kind of personality. I’m an abrasive, cynical, brash, sarcastic, snarky, narcissistic pain in the ass. Not going to lie and say that’s what I’m not, because it’s what I am. I liken myself to a real-life version of Greg House. Can you see House having children or making a good parent in any capacity? Then what makes you think I’d make a good parent?
10) I have terrible genes. I’m a carrier for (two, as I’ve now found out) autoimmune diseases, though I only officially suffer from one of them (Graves’ Disease) and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I also have been successfully treated for Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a heart condition that’s thought to be genetic (I’m not the only one in my family with it). It would be absolutely cruel to pass on my defective genes to the next generation.
11) I’m not monogamous. Children invariably do best in a monogamous household with two parents of any combination of sexes (M/F, M/M, F/F – and don’t even bring that up, all legitimate research shows that children do just as well with same sex parents as opposite sex parents). As someone who likes to have multiple sexual partners and never stays with any woman for any length of time, it would cause turbulence trying to raise and support children. Not the best of situations. Bringing some other random woman home all the time would mind-fuck any kids I’d have and I know it.
12) Whether or not I’m actually capable of loving another human being is questionable, at best. Some seem to think I can, some think I can’t. I don’t know if I can or not. I’ve never felt an emotion that could be defined clearly as love (in my mind), though I’ve probably felt bits and pieces of it in the past. I do know, however, that I’ve never been “in love,” even in my past relationships. That might sound bad, but it’s the truth.
So there you have it. Those are my reasons for not wanting children. Make what you will of them, and if you try to breeder bingo me, I will delete your comment (and/or not approve your comment). That’s all there is to it.
So one of my regular commenters “No Kids Please” wanted me to address the topic of my expatriation to Mexico and what it’s actually like to live here and be CF in this country. I thought this was a great topic, so I think I’ll just kind of pick it up and run with it.
First, let’s talk about a bit of background as to how I got here. It’s been a dream of mine to be a professional pilot since I was a little kid. Ever since my first airplane trip, where we got grounded at the airport for three hours, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. My parents took me up to see the cockpit and the pilots and I was just absolutely fascinated. It left a deep impression on me and that’s when I knew I wanted their job.
Fastforward about 10 years and I apply for an FAA student pilot and medical certificate and I was denied because of some health issues. Thinking I’d never get to live out the dream, I was crushed and instead went to college, majored in math, and went into teaching. I taught for two years, one at the high school level and another at the college level. After a failed stint in graduate school, and finding I was never really happy with teaching, I decided to try again for my dream, only to get denied once again.
That’s when I started looking to leave the US. Truth be told I’d wanted to for some time. I never much liked America. I never fit in there. I didn’t like the culture, the politics, and I’ll be honest, the fact that atheists are marginalized in that country. People love to tout equality in America, and it’s just not there. If it is there, I sure do not see it. I started applying to flight schools in more countries than you even want to know. Come to find out that the reason I was denied in the States is perfectly acceptable for “special issuance” in most other countries (well, the US/FAA has the strictest medical requirements for pilots in the world, so that shouldn’t have surprised me). As it is, I got accepted into flight school in Merida and I didn’t look back. I was 23 years old by this time.
When I arrived in Merida I quite literally had almost nothing. I got off the plane and all I had to my name was some cash, the clothes on my back, and a carry-on suitcase full of clothes, toiletries, and such. I had nothing else. I was definitely scared, but not to be deterred. I knew I was going to have to sacrifice a lot but I was willing to do it. Anything to live out my dream, I was willing to do. It was also at this time I formally renounced my US citizenship to make a bold statement that I didn’t like the way things were done in the US. This left me stateless as I had not, and still have not, established Mexican citizenship, and I am still officially stateless today.
So then I get started in flight school and I fell in love right away, and my entire life was devoted to it. Living off of bank loans at the time, I really didn’t have a job. My life was flying and ground school. I was able to devote so much time to it that I went from zero time to private pilot in 4 weeks, and from zero to having a commercial pilot license took me just three months. After that, I logged well over 100 flight hours per month trying to meet minimum flight time requirements of the local airlines as soon as possible, and even did extra training beyond what was required of me. All of this paid off when I interviewed for an airline job at the end of that year (I told you I logged flight hours extremely fast) and was hired on as a First Officer. That’s when I moved to Mexico City and started my professional flying career and haven’t looked back since.
So with that bit of background, what is life like here? Well, I will be the first to admit that Mexican culture is extremely rich and profound. Everything from the ethnic foods here (that are NOTHING like what you get in the US), to their version of entertainment, etc. is steeped deeply in tradition, and I find it quite attractive. Mexicans’ pride in their culture is at least as great, if not greater than, Americans’ pride in theirs. I’ve assimilated quite well, actually. I can also tell you that what you hear in the States about life in Mexico is simply not true. It’s not poverty-stricken, dangerous, or anything like that if you know where to live. I’ve only lived in big cities, and I can tell you that the standard of living is just as good as any American city I’ve lived in, and actually better than a couple of American cities I’ve lived in. Of course, rural areas can be poverty stricken and Mexico has its bad parts, but so does America! Healthcare is affordable and high quality, there’s no shortage of things to do, and the people are in general very friendly. I definitely feel more “accepted” here. I’m not judged as harshly for my differences here. Nobody looks twice at my “odd” fashion choices, my weird hobbies, or me in general.
It’s actually more accepted to be CF here than it is in the States, from my experience. It’s ironic due to the fact that 80% of the population here is in fact Roman Catholic, but it’s not really frowned upon. The locals, despite most of them being deeply religious, are very live-and-let-live when it comes to stuff like that (for the record, things like gay marriage, adult prostitution, and even recreational drug use are legal here, if that gives you any indication). Even though most people here have pretty substantially-sized families, I’ve never really heard anyone get upset at my CF choice. If the rest of the world was like Mexico in this regard, I probably wouldn’t have a need to have this blog.
Oh, and I should say a lot of people do use birth control here. It’s never been, and never will be an issue. Even though it’s a huge political issue in the mostly Protestant United States, it’s not an issue in mostly Catholic Mexico. Ironic, isn’t it?
Well, that’s sort of what ended me up here and what it’s like. Sorry this got really long-winded, but I hope it gave you a look into my childfree life in the awesome city of Mexico City, Mexico. Thanks for the suggestion!
So, I got into a heated debate (you could almost call it a flame war) with someone who was whining and crying about the new mandate in the States that requires insurance companies to cover contraception in their health insurance plans (yes, it was a Roman Catholic who’s whining about her beloved “Church” being forced to provide coverage, to which I say get the fuck over it because how long have you imposed Christianity on Americans through anti-choice laws [until 1973], anti-gay rights laws, etc.?). I brought up the fact that whether or not she realizes it, there are couples who just do not want to have children for whatever reason, and that should those couples end up with a kid they’d be crappy parents because they wouldn’t have the desire to pour their lives out for their kids.
Well discourse continued for awhile, where she ripped me to shreds about the CF choice, but ultimately decided that she “respected” people’s choice to be CF (on which I call obvious bullshit), but that their choice came with a “price.” That’s when my jaw dropped almost all the way to the floor.
I can’t think of any price that being childfree comes with. The only price I can think of comes with the territory of having children. With the sticker price on a child being almost a quarter of a million US equivalent, all the countless hours you’re going to have to sacrifice, giving up your sick time to take care of the kid instead of using it for yourself, and even giving up many of your hobbies (or at the very minimum, reducing the amount of time you spend on them), having a kid comes with a HUGE price.
Conversely, let’s look at the “price” of being CF. You save all that money and time to use on yourself. You’re able to be more independent, buy things you wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. So what “price” is there? Not passing on your family name? Well, it’s really narcissistic to think passing on your family name is that important. Not having someone to “take care of you when your old?” What the hell is the matter with you? Take care of your goddamn self! Why do you even want someone taking care of you? That’s no way to live (quite frankly I’d rather die if it came to that).
Well, whatever. If there’s some other price I’m not seeing please enlighten me, because to me it’s just not there. You gotta love them breeders, most of them are so full of shit that it’s not even funny.
I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard of childfree folk getting the short end of the stick. It’s not just in one aspect either, it’s in multiple parts of life. Most notably there’s the work scene, but there are a couple of other really troubling ways in which the childfree get shafted.
If you’re childfree and think you can get discretionary time off work, you might as well think again. Almost always if someone else with a kid puts in for that time off as well, you will be glossed over for that other person, just because that other person has a kid. How do I know this? It’s happened to me. When I was teaching high school I also worked a night auditor job at a hotel. I had just filed for bankruptcy and asked for the night prior to the 341 hearing off. Guess what? The other night auditor put in the request a day or two AFTER I did because she wanted to go to her kid’s basketball tournament the next day. As if a stupid basketball game was more important than a court hearing, I was denied and she was granted. I was absolutely furious!
I’d also like to know why new mothers are entitled to over a month’s worth of PAID LEAVE but nobody else is? Give me a break. If you’re not at work you’re not being productive so why should you get paid, while the rest of us have to make up your slack and we don’t get paid a dime extra. That’s absolutely ridiculous. Now, if you want to say everyone is entitled to a month of paid sabbatical leave to do with it what they want (including “maternity leave”) fine, but as it is we get shafted once again. Those women who never have babies don’t get any leave at all, which is not fair.
The inequalities in the system extend far beyond the work world though. Can’t work? Well, unless you have a child you might as well forget about getting disability because apparently people with children “need it more.” Can’t find a decent enough paying job to keep food on the table? If you don’t have a kid you might as well give up on getting food stamps. I’ve known people who have been outright told that if only they had kids could they get help. Seriously, what the hell is up with that? That is nothing short of bona fide discrimination, but apparently in this child friendly world parents are more valuable than non-parents and the latter group doesn’t matter.
It’s time we childfree folk get serious about our rights and demand equal treatment. Call your lawmakers, harass your bosses, do whatever it takes to be treated equally. We’ve been stepped on and shat upon for way too long. Take this as a call to arms for all childfree people, because we are people too and we’re not any less valuable than parents.
You know, if it’s one thing I can’t stand about being a major airline pilot it’s dealing with the rowdy kids on board. Yes, even during flight when the flight deck door is closed you can still hear the cries and screams of babies/children acting up in the passenger cabin. I remember my 2nd day on the job it happened at the worst time. I was at the controls of the fully loaded Boeing 737-800 series aircraft on final approach into the Merida airport on a day the winds were whipping around 35 MPH. The aircraft was getting shaken up like crazy and I had the airplane crabbed significantly to compensate for the gusty crosswinds, when a baby in first class started screaming his little head off. Needless to say, it was a struggle to maintain focus during this very difficult cross-wind landing. I got the plane down safely but it was hard to tune out the screams.
Well, that piled on top of everything that was starting to annoy me about airline life really prompted me to change jobs. Instead of flying for commercial airlines, I decided to start hunting for jobs in corporate sector of the market. As it is, I lucked out and found a really good one, and I start next week. I’ll be making twice the pay I was making as an airline pilot (contrary to popular belief, airline pilots, and especially First Officers like I was, don’t make that much money at all) and I won’t have to deal with kids at all. My passengers will be well-dressed and well-behaved businessmen as I chauffeur them to company functions and such. That sounds much better. I can only imagine I will be a much happier person after I start my new job and no longer have to deal with that sort of thing.
However, once again, I have to ask: am I an isolated incident or are there others out there who have done something similar? Have you ever changed jobs (or changed careers completely) to get out of dealing with kids? If so, how did it work out for you? Are you a happier person now than you were at your other job? Tell me in the comments!