The World Needs Uncles, Too

I’m never having children. It’s a decision I made at a very young age and have never wavered from. There are a number of things I can point to in my childhood that led me to this decision. The town I lived in when I was young had the highest teenage pregnancy rate per capita in the entire state, which means I grew up doing my damndest to avoid procreating. My own parents were married when they had me, just to different people, meaning that my mere existence definitely complicated things for both of them. The list goes on. The end result is that I’m not having kids, no matter how many people tell me—as they did when I was a teenager, in my early twenties, late twenties, thirties, and still now, as I approach 40—”Oh, you just wait. You’ll be a father soon.” Simply stated, for a plethora of reasons, from emotional to financial, raising another human being full-time is not for me…

…To be fair, in certain ways, not having a child is a very selfish act on my part: it allows me great financial freedom, the ability to travel more and focus on my own life, instead of doing my damnedest to raise a healthy little one. But the non-selfish part of not having children for me is that I can literally show up for people who need the help, especially in this country where healthcare and finances don’t make it easy to raise a child. That’s absolutely a problem in this country, but a problem I alone will not be able to solve.

Come read your kid Fox In Socks for the hundredth time while you take a work call, though? That I can do.”

-Isaac Fitzgerald, “The World Needs Uncles, Too.” Esquire. July 7, 2022

Suggesting Zoltar as a baby name probably verges on a disqualification for parenthood. But, I found much here I was sympathetic with. True of aunts, grandparents, et al, too.