There are plenty of reasons why couples decide not to have children and each one is valid, regardless of what that reason is. For one couple on TikTok, however, it's not about deciding to not have kids on their own accord, but rather a necessity not to have kids because of the economy. And, as one user, @bigaldrag, whose name appears to be Al, puts it, kids are just too expensive to be able to have any.
Al explains that they are about to marry their partner. And, naturally, both of their families have questions about starting a family. While Al believes they would make a great parent, along with their partner, the truth is that having kids costs money any way you look at it. And for Al, the amount of money it requires to start a family is just not viable in this economy.
A couple says they won't have kids because kids are just too expensive.
In their video, Al explains that they were inspired to share their story because they had seen other videos of people describing "what they've had to give up due to the high cost of living." And the big thing that Al is giving up, according to them, is starting a family with their partner
Al admits that they are living "paycheck to paycheck" with their partner as it is. And obviously, finances are a huge factor in deciding to have children or not. Al cites childcare, a growing child's need for new clothes at an alarming rate, and even the mental load that caring for another human being takes on you.
All of Al's concerns are well worth it for most parents out there, myself included. But as a parent, I can also understand any hesitancy to have children in a world where financial freedom is becoming less possible and there is a lot that goes into properly caring for a kid.
However, while some people opt not to have a kid because of financial reasons and the lack of desire to have a family, the latter isn't true for Al or their partner.
"I think the biggest thing we gave up on is the idea of having kids," Al says in the TikTok. "I'm 30, my partner is 29, and we're getting married at the end of the month legally."
Al explains that their family often asks about the next step for Al and their partner. And, because of the economy, Al has to break it to their family that having a kid is not the next step for them and their partner.
"It made me super sad for a while because I really think we'd be great parents," Al wrote in their TikTok caption. "But I've just accepted it now as things got worse."
Other people understand the financial struggles and sacrifices in the world right now.
"I literally don't have a life. I go to work and go home. I've given up enjoying my 20s," one user commented under the TIkTok video.
And, while others do have kids, they still have harsh realities to face: "We've limited ourselves to one kid, I switched to working in childcare, and I'm considering the reality that he won't be able to move out until he's 30."
Al's biggest concern in their TikTok is the ongoing costs that come with raising children. And as a parent, I can agree that Al is not wrong here. Other parents confirm as much in the comments too.
"My two kids are 4. My wife and I work FT, preschool is 75 percent of my income," someone commented. "We are paycheck to paycheck even with my second job."
As sad as it may be, Al isn't alone here.