by ANGIE KRUEGER, Staff Writer

Lately it seems as if my Facebook is being blown-up with people announcing pregnancies, posting sonograms and baby pictures and the only thing I can think while scrolling down my newsfeed is: I am so happy I do not have a kid.

I made up my mind years ago that I do not want to be a mother. I’m just not maternal—that and my sarcasm, lack of patience and let’s face it, I’m not the best role model. Yet, Pope Francis thinks I should have children.
The pope recently said that it is selfish for a couple to not want to have children. What’s next—the pope says Catholics can’t use contraception—oh wait, never mind.

I think that’s a pretty bold statement coming from someone who isn’t even allowed to have children. He has no right to make that assertion; there are people out there who abuse, neglect and even kill their own children. How can the pope know all this and still make his claim? The truth is, some people really just should not be parents, it’s not selfish, it’s just common sense.

To be honest, I completely see where Pope Francis is coming from. If you don’t have children, you would undoubtedly have more money, you would also have freedom to move or travel or go out every Saturday night. If you are a woman, you wouldn’t gain weight, have stretch marks or have to go through nine months of pregnancy and then hours of labor.

Yeah, all that pretty much solidifies my choice to never have kids. Does that make me selfish? Yes, maybe a little, or maybe a lot, but I don’t care. I would much rather be viewed as “selfish” for being single than be the mother who clearly should not have become a parent.

“It might be better, more comfortable, to have a dog, two cats, and the love goes to the two cats and the dog,” Pope Francis said in The Guardian. “Is this true or is this not? Have you seen it? Then, in the end, this marriage comes to old age in solitude, with the bitterness of loneliness.”

So, in other words, have children so you have someone to care for you and visit you in your old age.

What about nieces and nephews, siblings and friends? Having kids does not automatically protect you against loneliness and bitterness. Loneliness happens to everyone at some point. And my grandparents, for example, had six kids, 15 grandkids, and five great-grandkids and you know, even with all their offspring, they can still be pretty bitter towards each other sometimes.

Pope Francis told The Guardian, “Children are not a problem of reproductive biology, or one of many ways to realize oneself in life. Let alone their parent’s possession. Children are a gift. Do you understand? Children are a gift.”
Yes, I do understand, Papa, but I also understand that children are a life-long commitment, an expense, a perpetuating worry, and at times a legitimate struggle. I really don’t think everyone is cut out for parenthood, and I really don’t think anyone should be made to feel badly if they make that decision.

Yes, of course, the world will always need people to have babies; otherwise humanity could not carry on. However, that still does not mean that every person should be a parent; not everyone wants to raise a family. But one thing is for sure; people will always have kids because people will always have sex.

Just because you are able to have kids, Pope Francis, does not necessarily mean you should—which is exactly why contraception was invented.

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