To Parent, or Not to Parent?

Four fears that compel us to have kids — and why I’ve chosen a different path

Michele Koh Morollo
Human Parts
Published in
10 min readMar 25, 2019


Photo: wundervisuals/E+/Getty Images

II am 41 years old, and I’ve been happily married for nine years. Neither my husband nor I want to have children. In recent years, I’ve met quite a few couples like us, who, though biologically and financially able, have made the decision not to breed. As the childless by choice population increases, the decision not to have children will hopefully become a non-issue. At the moment, however, it’s something I think about often.

I’ve heard that having children is wonderful, rewarding, and occasionally heartbreaking. I tip my proverbial hat to all the parents who’ve risen to the challenge and raised the many amazing humans who populate our planet.

Occasionally, I’ve wondered if my lack of motivation to breed indicated extreme selfishness. I’ve thought hard about what it would mean to have a child in my life, along with what it would mean not to. I’ve never felt any kind of strong maternal pull toward other people’s children, and when I create a mental pros and cons list about whether I should reproduce, the arguments that carry weight are almost always based in fear.

These are the fears that, I believe, contribute to our desire to procreate.

1. Fear of loneliness