As a childless 24-year-old who can barely feed and look after herself, let alone another human, I have so much respect for parents who are raising children to the best of their ability.
While arguably one of the world's most rewarding jobs, parenting is also perhaps the hardest - and most thankless. Instead of a pay rise, you get poo in a nappy. Instead of a promotion, you get 'I hate you, you're ruining my life' - as you funnel your hard-earned money into educating, feeding and giving this human the best life possible.
With all of its trials and tribulations, no one can blame a person for deciding 'enough is enough' and shutting up shop. For whatever reason, deciding not to have any more children is a personal choice that not everyone is fortunate enough to have; a decision some people wish they had the ability to make.
While it shouldn't be taken lightly, the simple truth of the matter is not everyone is cut out for two, three, four rugrats running around, and not everyone is in a position to raise multiple children.
With that being said, a number of parents recently took to BuzzFeed Community, an online forum, to share the brutally honest reasons why they don't want more children. BuzzFeed later collated a number of the responses - here are a few of our favourites:
- "I wanted a big family, but I lost so much of who I was when I had my child. My family has been asking for another one ever since I had her, and I kept trying to tell myself I would have another - I just wasn't ready yet. I put it off for so long that my daughter has started school, and I finally feel like myself for the first time in years. The thought of starting over with another baby now makes me feel suffocated."
- "I knew I was done when I realised I'm 30 and have never had the freedom to just be an adult - to go out, spend a whole day relaxing, and travel. If I had any more kids, I wouldn't have that freedom for another 10 or 20 years."
- "My son came out after a day and a half of labour, and by the time they finished the 21 stitches and handed him back to me, I didn't want him anymore. It developed into postpartum depression, AND he had colic. I had wanted him so badly, and he's the light of my life now, but from the moment he was born until he was five months old was the worst time of my life. I knew then that I was done."
- "I don't want another kid because they're expensive and you barely get one-on-one time with one child. Quality time with my husband is important to me, and I want to travel and take my daughter to amazing places we couldn't afford with two kids. Don't pity a parent who is done having kids - celebrate them for making a mature decision that isn't pushed on them by nagging families."
- "During my first pregnancy, I was on crutches, had gestational diabetes and hyperemesis gravidarum the whole way through, and it was nine months of torture. After the birth, I had a blood clot due to my lack of mobility during childbirth, then two years later, my gallbladder gave up, causing my liver to begin to fail, which was also due to my pregnancy. We do want another kid, but I'm way too scared to do it again."
- "We knew right away we wouldn't have more. I got pregnant with twins the second month we tried, and the day before we found out I was pregnant, one of my best friends had a stillbirth. My pregnancy was full of complications and was extremely stressful and scary. I was sick all the time, and I hated being pregnant. But meanwhile, my friend could barely speak to me because of everything she had been through, and I was terrified I would endure the same thing. We haven't spoken in over two years now because it was just too hard for both of us. I think about her every day, and I hope she's doing OK, but it was just too hard for her to be around me, and I never knew what to say or do around her. Then, when my girls were six months old, another friend of mine lost her three-month-old due to heart complications. Several other friends have had miscarriages, and all of the complications that can happen terrify me now."
- "We were always 'one and done' from the beginning of our relationship. We have career goals, we want to travel, we want to give our kid great experiences, and we want to be selfish. We wouldn't be able to do those things with more than one child."
- "I knew I wouldn't have any more when my friend brought her newborn to a Christmas party, and neither me nor my hubby had any desire to hold her."
- "I knew I was done when both of my kids finally learned to buckle their own seat belts, and I realised we could leave the house like normal human beings again."
- "When I found out we were pregnant with our third boy, [I] panicked about being outnumbered by penis in my own home."
- "I always pictured myself having three kids, but then I had my daughter and immediately felt so complete. My husband, daughter, and I are so happy that I don't see us changing a thing."
- "I knew I wasn't having any more kids when my bank account told me."
Earlier this month, parents also took to BuzzFeed to reveal the disagreements about kids that ended their relationships, from baby daddy drama to different parenting styles to being called 'da-da' - three months into a new relationship.